This is another guest article by Marsha Neu and it is one that I absolutely appreciate! Her transparency is sure to stir your heart up whether you are a wife, mother, or stepmother!
Hello again sweet Step Moms! I wrote an article about 2 years ago giving my advice on being a Step Mom and parenting along side your husband.
That article was written at a time of change and great pain. Thankfully time heals wounds, and even brings about joy you may have never expected! As I was browsing the internet the other day I came across that article and reread it… and CRINGED! The sentence I cringed at was
At this current time, my stepson’s Mom has decided she wants to be the Mom again.
While that statement seems like no big deal, I wrote that sentence with an angry heart. See, my stepson’s Mom never decided that she didn’t want to be a Mom in the first place. Since she was always in their lives she very well couldn’t decide she wanted to “be the Mom again.” And I wrote that in an article giving advice!
Yes, I’ll take a slice of humble pie please. Through this God was able to open my eyes on something important. Today, I want to write to all you wonderful Step Moms about respect.
Most Step Moms unfortunately most likely do not get a lot of respect from the biological Mom, and possibly your stepchildren as well. Hopefully you get the respect and appreciation of all you do to parent your step kids from your husband, but sadly, that isn’t always the case either. As wives we know how important it is to give respect to your husband. Men need it. Respect is a big part of how they feel loved. We all need to feel respected in life.
So do we get a pass from God if we don’t respect someone who dislikes us?
I think we all know the answer to that one.
As strong Stepmothers, we need to learn to respect our stepchildren’s biological Mom. I’ve sadly heard from numerous Step Moms speak about how they hate the Mother, how they don’t agree with how she parents, how the Mother doesn’t deserve our respect when she treats us so badly. Let me ask you this…
Do you always agree with how your husband parents your stepkids or biological kids?
Do you always agree with the advice from your Mom or siblings on how to parent?
Most likely not. We, as women, need to understand that it is ok if the Mom parents differently than you and your husband does. If the child is safe and loved, that’s all that matters. Yes, it does hurt when the biological Mom may not treat you well. However, this is real life. As people we are not always treated the way we feel we deserve to be treated. Does your husband, boss, parents, friends always treat you fairly? Most likely not.
Being a stepmother is all about doing what is best for your step kids. Loving them and caring for them. Being a great “mother figure” for them when they are with yourself and your husband. Wouldn’t is be best for your stepchildren if you respected their Mother? Even if she didn’t deserve or earn it? Even if it isn’t returned?
God has called you as Stepmothers to do an incredibly huge job. It’s not an easy job. You will make mistakes. You will fall down on your face and pick yourself up again with the help of God. You will make an incredible difference in a child’s life. What kind of difference that is, is up to you. Children didn’t get to choose if their biological parents stayed together or decided to go their separate ways. They didn’t get to decide to get a new pair of Stepparents. Let’s make the transition and the years you get to love on them as easy as possible for them.
My advice to you all is the same that my husband and I follow with my stepsons, motivated by a heart of respect:
1. NEVER speak poorly about their Mom and/or Stepdad to them.
2. Do not “interrogate” them about the happenings at their Mom’s house. She deserves her privacy with the relationship she has with her kids the same as you do.
3. Accept the differences in parenting that you may have with their Mom. Because there will be differences.
Sweet Stepmoms, you may not be loved by your step kid’s Mom, but you are loved by God and many others in this world. Focus on the healthy and happy relationships you have instead of the one that is poor.
Everyone desires to be respected and loved in life. We certainly do not deserve the love we get from God, yet it is freely given. Pray that God will give you the desire and the ability to change the way you think about your step kid’s Mom. Decide to choose to respect the Mom.
A soft and repentive heart is a happy heart. Your husband will appreciate a wife with a respectful heart instead of an angry one. Have faith that God will help you change the way you think, and watch your marriage blossom!!
With love from a proud Stepmom,