Things I Have Learned About Being a Stepmom
It’s not always easy
Remi is a great kid 90% of the time, and I know we are lucky for that. But I still struggle to find my role in her life since she also has a stepdad, a mom, and, Camp who are all very actively involved in her life. I am a parent, but I did not give birth to her or adopt her. For some reason, just realizing that fact makes it difficult sometimes.
Being you is really the only option
Remi loves me for who I am, and she loves the things we do together like baking, and talking about girly stuff, shopping, and hopefully soon sharing my love for running. I don’t need to act the same way or do the same things that she does with her mom, her stepdad, or even Camp. I have to accept that we each have our own individual relationship with Remi, and they are all special in different ways.
Jealousy is not pretty
I used to get jealous a lot of the relationship Remi has with her mom. I was jealous to the point that it was causing fights between Camp and me. I allowed it to ruin way too many days, and I allowed it to cause way too much stress. It took me a couple of years, but I have learned to accept that a little jealousy is normal, and I can move on a lot faster without causing a huge blow up.
Remi and I have a different bond
I don’t ever expect to have the same bond with Remi as she does with her mom and Camp. Even though I love Remi very much and I know she loves me; she still cries for “Daddy” when she is sick or scared, and that is completely understandable. I am Remi’s “cookie”, and even if that means I’m not “first”, it’s ok because there is room for more than one person to love her.
However, that brings me to the last thing I have learned, and one of the most important ones
I Influence Remi’s Life
I am a big influence her life, even when I don’t realize it. I know Remi is always watching and observing, and she picks up on things. Even though this should seem pretty obvious, it still takes me by surprise sometimes. We have a game in our house called “winning napkin.” The three of us eat dinner at our dining room table most nights when Remi is with is. I try really hard to instill the manners that my mom taught me in Remi. One of those manners is putting a napkin in your lap before you eat, and because Remi wants to win napkin, she puts her napkin in her lap most of the time without me even reminding her. It is small thing, I know, but it means a lot to me, and it means that she pays attention.
What things have you learned after becoming a stepmom? What suggestions, tips, or advice do you have to share?