Becky and I are thrilled to have Laura Petherbridge guest blogging for us today. If you are a parent in a blended family, this post is for you! If you know someone in a stepmom or stepdad role, pass along this wisdom from Laura, a stepmom of more than 29 years.
Lori & Becky
Have this attitude in yourselves
which was also in Christ Jesus.
“Being a stepmom is much more difficult than I imagined,” the woman shared with me. “Since my husband and I are excited about our marriage, we assumed the kids would be happy too. But they are really struggling.”
As a stepmom of more than twenty-nine years I’ve learned a few things.
ALL Stepfamilies are Formed Out of Loss
Whether death or divorce has disrupted the biological family, children often struggle to adjust. A smart stepmom understands that loss can evoke anger and fear.
Stepfamilies Take Time
One of the most common misconceptions about stepfamilies is that everyone bonds quickly. However, it’s not uncommon for the kids to struggle or battle the relationship. When parents attempt to rush or force the relationship between stepchildren and stepparent, it creates tension and sets the marriage up for failure.
Children Need Dad
A smart stepmom encourages her husband to spend time alone with his kids. When dad remarries a child (young or old) often views the new relationship as a threat. Dads often don’t know how to respond when his kids are jealous. Therefore, it’s important for the stepmom to initiate and support activities just between dad and his kids.
The Marriage Must Come First
If a marriage is going to thrive, it’s necessary for the relationship to become the first priority. However, parenting out of guilt may prevent a spouse from placing the marriage before the children. If the marriage is going to survive the dad and stepmom must create a unified team.
God Can Teach You How to Love
Many stepmoms have stepkids who are wounded. Remembering that hurt people—hurt people can help. A smart stepmom learns to let the Holy Spirit teach her how to love her husband’s children, even if they never love her in return. This doesn’t mean tolerating rude or disrespectful behavior.
My journey as a stepmom has been filled with mistakes and victories. One of my greatest pleasures is to use the experience to help other stepmoms.
Copyright © 2015 Laura Petherbridge. All rights reserved.
Laura Petherbridge is an international speaker who serves couples and single adults. She is the author of, When ‘I Do’ Becomes ‘I Don’t, Practical Steps for Healing During Separation and Divorce, 101 Tips for The Smart Stepmom and The Smart Stepmom co-authored with Ron Deal and endorsed by Gary Chapman (Five Love Languages). Laura has taught at the Billy Graham Training Center and has been featured on Family Talk (Dobson), Focus on the Family, and Moody Broadcasting. In addition to her books she has been published in Focus on the Family Magazine, Today’s Christian Woman, Christianity Today’s Marriage Partnership, and Crosswalk.com. Laura is the founder of Sisterhood of Stepmoms, website. Contact Laura at www.LauraPetherbridge.com and email Laura@LauraPetherbridge.com.
The 1 Corinthians 13 Parent Series: Raising Little Kids with Big Love and Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love and their companion Study Guides, are formally launched this month. We are sharing the LOVE with over $400.00 worth of give-aways: books, jewelry, and one-on-one parent coaching with either Lori Wildenberg or Becky Danielson, both licensed parent and family educators. To be eligible for the gifts, comment on one or more of the 1C13P blog posts during the month of February. Winners will be randomly drawn each Friday and notified via email.