mom vs. stepmom

Sad, but true…  the mom and the step mom rarely get along.  Why?  Insecurities, anger, jealousy and fear.  On both sides.  Unfortunately, the two usually don’t take the time to talk or get to know each other, so they have no idea how the other one feels and most likely don’t care. Instead, they co-exist in misery rather than co-parent in harmony.

Often times, these feelings tend to bring forth bad behavior or actions.  The results of which cause negative effects on all parties involved.  The kids suffer, mom and dad suffer and step mom and step dad suffer.  If mom and step mom knew they were bringing all this unhappiness on themselves, would they be able to stop?

First, they need to understand why they feel the way they do.  I’m no psychologist, but I can give you my personal perspective.  I have a little insight from both sides.  I am legally a step mom, but my situation is a little different.  I consider myself a mom because my three kids have lived with their father and me for the last ten years and their bio mom was only involved for the first four of those years.  I gained a lot of wisdom and made a lot of mistakes in the first few years.  That’s what I want to share with you.  A few of these things may sound familiar.

My biggest fear, when I first became the step mom, was that the kids wouldn’t love me because they didn’t have to.  It sounds awful saying that I was more afraid of that than afraid of doing something wrong in raising them (that was number two).  So how do you make the kids love you?  You need to realize that you can’t.  It’s also important to realize that, from a mom’s point of view, you can’t make your kids NOT love the step mom either.  Because there is such animosity between the two, they don’t realize that the kids have enough love for both of them.  They also can’t respect the love that each of them have for the kids.  It’s so sad that something as great as LOVE can be the cause of such harsh feelings.

It’s also important to grow a thick skin.  Kids will say things that will hurt your feelings.  Kids will do things that will hurt your feelings.  You have to know that they don’t do it intentionally.  I can remember, when my youngest son was eight years old, he made a clay hand print in school.  It was in the shape of a plate and about six inches round.  On the front, it said “MOM” and on the back, he had put his name.  It had a little red ribbon attached to the top so you could hang it on the wall.  That year, on Mother’s Day, he presented me with this beautiful, hand-made gift.  I was ecstatic, it was one of the first instances where I realized I WAS MOM.  I hung up this beautiful gift, a sign of my new role in the family, displayed for everyone to see.  It hung proudly on our wall for only two months.  That was the next time his “real” mom came to visit.  MY son came to me and asked me if he could take MY gift off the wall and give it to her.  As you can imagine, I was devastated.  Of course, I said yes and took it down and gave it to him and watched as he presented it to his mother.  I then walked into my bedroom and bawled my eyes out. It was probably one of the most hurtful things I had ever been through, but it wasn’t his fault.  He didn’t try to hurt me on purpose.  He just loved his mom and wanted her to have this gift.  Grow a thick skin and know that you can’t take it personally.  Don’t be angry with your kids or step kids for wanting to express their feelings to their other parent if they are being sincere.  Unfortunately, there are those kids that know which buttons to push.  It’s also important to make sure the kids have limits, that they are respectful and honor all parents.

As a step mom, you made the choice to marry your husband and love his kids as if they are your own.  That also means that you accept that his ex, their biological mom, will be in your life FOREVER.  You should make every effort to have a decent relationship with her for the sake of your step kids and your marriage.  Your relationship with this woman will affect your relationship with your husband, no matter how you try to avoid it.  If his ex does something you don’t agree with,  You think your husband should “do something about it.” You cannot make your husband feel what you feel or react the way you think he should.  That doesn’t mean you can’t tell him how you feel, but know that he will  handle things the way he sees fit.  It’s important to talk things out and explain your points to each other, but ultimately you need to respect each other’s decisions.  You may both agree to talk to mom together.

As far as moms go, be thankful that you have another woman who loves your kids as much as you do.  Try not to project the hurt, anger or ill will you feel towards your ex husband onto his new wife.  If she wants what is best for your children, she takes care of them when they are with her, she makes decisions that are in their best interest and she shows them the love that they deserve, be happy.  If she over steps her bounds, have the kind of relationship with her where you can talk to her about it.

We are all human.  Again, there are many feelings involved in divorces, parents getting remarried, becoming step parents.  Where children are involved, we need to learn to overcome those feelings.  We need to always remember that the children’s well-being needs to be the biggest priority.  If everyone agrees with this, it may not be easy to put hard feelings aside, but you would all be willing to try.

My advice to moms and step moms…  be nice to each other.  Try your best to accept and respect each other’s role in the family dynamic.  Remember that the same insecurities, fears and other feelings that you have, she is most likely experiencing the same feelings. Be sympathetic and empathetic to one another.  If you can do this, I can guarantee that although things will not always be perfect, they will be manageable and you will have a better chance of raising healthy, happy children.  Children that will be a blessing to you and will become productive members of society.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. – Psalm 127:3

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus heals

There are so many of us that are dealing with different afflictions.  We pray to Jesus for healing because He hears us. The Bible tells us, over and over again, that God heals. Believe in Him, accept Him, pray to Him.  HE performs miracles every day.  If you are suffering, if you are sick or in pain, pray to God.  He is faithful, always and forever!

Is anyone among you sick?  Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.James 5:14

And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”  While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler’s house came and said, “ Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher anymore.”  But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.Luke 8:48-50

And Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”Mark 9:23

And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured.Acts 28:9

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.Acts 10:38

GOD LOVES YOU! John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  God loves YOU enough that He sent His son to die for YOU.

If you are suffering or dealing with any type of affliction and you need prayers, let me know.  I WILL PRAY FOR YOU, I WILL PRAY WITH YOU.

Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”  – Matthew 18:19-20

childhood

Home is where she guards her fragile heart. She tries her best to be invisible, to not draw any attention to herself. She imagines herself light as a feather as she tiptoes over the proverbial eggshells. She makes every effort to go unnoticed, only leaving the solitude of her room if absolutely necessary. Her home is an insufferable prison and she can’t even imagine being free.

She was a little thing, just a tiny wisp of a girl. She was beautiful, with her big brown eyes that always seemed to be way too curious. Her hair was long and dark and felt like silk to the touch. She was a good student, always thirsting for knowledge and she reveled in the praises of her teachers. She made friends easily and excelled at everything she put her heart into. She loved life and she laughed. A lot.
But over time, everything changed.

She wasn’t sure when or why he began to hate her. It must be hate, right? Why else would he treat her that way? Every word out of his mouth was like a punch to her gut. She was stupid, she was fat and she never did anything right. It was almost as if he looked for reasons to put her down, he really took pleasure in beating her with his words. He enjoyed seeing her cower in fear before him, and oh what a bonus it was for him when she cried. If she managed to pretend it didn’t hurt her, that every time he raised his voice, it didn’t terrify her, he seemed to put more effort into his attack. It never failed, the tears always came. She was powerless to stop them.

Life continued this way for years. Then one day she was free. She had survived physically, but she couldn’t escape the emotional damage she had allowed him to inflict on her. She couldn’t forgive herself, she couldn’t forgive him. That wouldn’t come until much, much later.