How to Cope with Being a Stepmom with No Kids of Your Own
Many stepmothers enter into marriage unprepared of the realities of raising another person’s kids. The love relationship with the father blinds many from the upcoming changes in their lives. Raising another woman’s children is hard enough. However, being a stepmom with no kids of your own is worse. In this article, you will learn some tips on how to cope with this situation.
How to avoid childless stepmother depression
The most common feeling among childless stepmothers is feeling like an outsider. The children have an amazing relationship with their father but the mother cannot blend in fully into the relationship. For many stepmothers, infertility comes as a shock. A few mothers know of their infertility but many expect to bear children after marriage. Hence, the stepmoms struggle with both the frustration of infertility and a strange relationship with stepchildren.
It is common for step kids to reject their stepmom and disregard her role in their lives. Some are verbally abusive and deviant. While the father may step in and try to solve the situation, the father cannot control all their actions. The anger, frustration, and rejection can drive an infertile stepmother into depression. How do you avoid depression or any other mental problem as a childless stepmother?
1. Understand and accept your feelings
You will struggle with that feeling of an outsider for a while because of the constant reminders. The visits to the doctor, the kids running around or even telling you about their biological mother will trigger the feeling. Accept it instead of suppressing or denying it. It is natural to feel that way.
2. Talk to your spouse
Fathers play a great role in helping their spouses fit into the new family. Do not assume that your husband understands the pain of being a stepmom with no kids of your own. Talk about it as much as you can. A loving spouse will be willing to listen and help where possible. Learn to express your frustration without trying to make the children look bad to their father. You will destroy your marriage relationship, which will lead to more stress.
3. Be patient with the child
Children express their emotions after a loss in different ways. The most common is to act out or block communication. Some of the issues that the children are facing have nothing to do with you. Do not take any of the struggles you have with kids personally. The kids could be expressing their grief after a loss or lack of control over the new family set up. That does not mean that you allow disrespect. You still have to correct bad behavior but avoid taking every action or word to heart.
4. Gain knowledge
The bitter truth is that you are not the first childless stepmother to struggle with relationships with the stepchildren. Get over the feeling of being alone and start gaining knowledge on how to cope with the situation. Read books for childless stepmom to find out how other mothers have handled their lives. Talk to professional counselors about your struggles. Your spouse may be great support but not answer all your questions.
5. Take care of yourself
You may be caught up with the pain of being a stepmom with no kids of your own and forget about yourself. Being childless does not make you less valuable. Your spouse loved and married you for a reason. Go back to taking care of yourself. Get new hobbies, join social networks, eat well, exercise, and get enough rest every day. No one understands your needs better than you do.
Quick tips on how to cope with being a stepmother
The struggles of stepmothers are different. Some families blend into one happy home while others struggle to accept one another for a lifetime. One of the greatest lessons you will learn as a stepmom is that you cannot control the decisions and actions of others. You will be frustrated if you try to force relationships to form or blossom. However, you are in full control of your actions and responses to others. Do not make the relationships worse by expressing your anger or frustration in the wrong way.
Whether you are dealing with being a stepmom with no kids of your own or just a struggling stepmother, these tips will make your life easier.
- Do not blame yourself for the children’s bad behavior. The kids may be expressing their frustration of things beyond your control.
- Give yourself enough time to understand, love, and accept stepchildren.
- Have the right expectations of both your spouse and the children. The blended family may not work right away. The kids may take time to embrace you.
- Get professional help even before the situation becomes overwhelming.
- Set and communicate clear boundaries with your children. Respect them and teach them to respect you as well.
- Create a support system around you with your family, friends, spouse, counselors, and other stepmoms. Do not be ashamed of expressing the pain of being a stepmom.
Being a stepmom to a toddler
Raising a toddler can be a nightmare for a stepmom. The stage of development is difficult for many parents because kids are always exploring and experimenting with new things. You may notice bad behavior including yelling, talking back at you or even ignoring you in a toddler. Understand that even your own child is likely to behave the same way at this stage.
Overcome the fear to discipline the child even if you are the stepmother. At the end of the day, you have a responsibility to raise the child the right way. Let the child understand that you are correcting bad behavior and not expressing hate. The way you handle this stage will influence your relationship with the child at later stages of development. Hence, it is important to get it right from the start. Ask for help if the child’s behavior is beyond your control.
You can overcome the pain and frustration of being a stepmom with no kids of your own. Create a support system around you and ask for help where necessary. Learn to take charge of your emotions and give your stepchildren time to cope with the change in their family.
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