First Mother's Day with my new family

I often write about being a stepmom from the point of view I have now. Right now, I have three step kids, ages 20, 20, and 24. Right now, I am the only mom in their life and we consider ourselves an integral and closely connected family. Right now, I don’t even think of them as step kids but as my own, children I love and cherish as much as the two I gave birth to. And truly, after almost 15 years together, we’ve made it through the rough stuff.  I have legal guardianship of Kyle, who has Down syndrome, and I’m working to legally adopt Kira at her request. While Derek is on his own, in the military, and far away in Japan, he chooses to spend all of his leave time with us, wherever we happen to be. That’s right now. Sounds pretty idyllic, doesn’t it?

It was not always that way. We have had our share of frustrations and growing pains to get to this point. In fact, there were times when I honestly didn’t know if I’d be able to make the whole step mom thing work. It’s not easy, and it takes a huge commitment that will make you at times question your sanity.

This is an excerpt from Shadra’ s book, Stories From a StepMom, available on Amazon Kindle. Read more or request a review copy.


3 thoughts on “It’s Not Always Easy Being a StepMom

  1. All my respect to step parents! Parenting of its own is not easy but step parenting must be a real challenge calling for an extra measure of love, strength, determination and patience – hats off to you Shadra!

  2. I’m currently struggling to feel like I fit in with my boyfriend and his relationship with his daughter. He has her once during the week and once during the weekend. When she’s with us I enjoy her but feel like an outsider. We are in the process of buying a house and are planning for a wedding after that. I really want this to work and it’s not like this is just casual dating. Any advice on books or support groups would be helpful. How did you get past this?

    1. Lisa,

      Thanks for writing. It takes, more than anything, TIME. Time for the child to adjust to you, time for you and your boyfriend to work through some of the awkward moments and build trust in each other, and time for you to build a relationship with the child. There are so many resources available that it sometimes gets frustrating, and I don’t have a “perfect book” to suggest. What I do suggest is that you keep the lines of communication open with your boyfriend, but that you also recognize that the insecurity you feel when they are together (I know it well) will dissipate with time if you and your boyfriend have a healthy relationship that embraces open communication. It’s ok to feel jealous of the two of them, not really ok to act on it unless he is somehow using the time with his daughter in a destructive way with you (making you feel small and unimportant, overriding or ignoring your feelings…). We can chat more…

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