The summary of a discussion held during
a stepmother's potluck dinner in 1999.
Q: If you were to start again in the same situation, what would
you do differently?
Q: What has helped you maintain your relationship with your partner?
- Take a great honeymoon! Read and get educated
- Talk early on, and keep talking. Then talk some more!
- Help my partner understand what the stepmother role is
- Define my role more carefully
- Give more attention to the marriage/relationship
- Take my needs (as well as others) into account
- Expect support from my partner in being treated respectfully
by hls/her children
- Time Alone
- Considering my own needs- not always putting kids first
- Biological parents taking time alone with their kids
- Being concrete with partner about needs (ex. Using date-book
and making definite plans/vacation time for just the two of
us/setting aside 15 minutes a day to talk)
- Taking the time to be certain divorces are "emotionally completed"
Temper, etc. Shift slowly. Keep some traditions and rituals from
each family, etc.
Q: How has the experience of being a stepmother helped you grow
- Learning about letting go of control
- Learning how to apologize
- Developing more patience and resilience
- Seeing myself as a success…doing something very hard!
- Developing more self-acceptance, even of (maybe especially
of!) my "darker" side
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