Greetings everyone! Lets do a little recap for those that don’t know me; I’m Martina. Founder of Hope Images & Momtogblog! I AM a stepmother, i’ve had a stepdaughter since she was 2.5 years old. She is now 8 almost 9. I also was raised with split parents basically since the day i was born. So, coparenting is definitely not new to me.
First off lets be real, I love her 100% as one of my own and she loves me just as much! I’m super, tremendously thankful for our relationship; she has taught me so much about love, life, and much more. However, every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Sunday at 6pm i’m quickly reminded she is not mine. I hate those words because it sounds wrong, it sounds rude, and mean, but its the cold hard truth.
With that being said, her MOM is HER MOM. She knows whats best for HER daughter even if i don’t agree with it. My husband and i don’t agree with a lot of stuff she does as a parent, and i know for a fact she doesn’t agree with almost any of the stuff we do as parents. I know, because she tells me. LOL
Let me quickly remind you, i was only 18 when i became a step parent, and her mom was only 19 . We were both very young & dumb, very vocal, very opinionated. As we grow older we tend to, “choose our battles.”
Moving forward, i have a few helpful tips for a healthy relationship with the mother of your step child and your stepchild. Also, these are only opinions solely based on what has helped me. Every situation is different, and every mom is different.
I know, i know. It’s a tough pill to swallow, trust me i have screenshots for days of the trash talk and the nonsense but i finally found the secret to not letting her or anyone get a reaction out of me. Its LITERALLY one word. Are you ready?….. *DRUMROLL* Okay. Yep, you read it already. Okay! Okay! Okay! Okay is your friend. She has a list for you to do, say okay. She needs you to pick him/her up, say okay. She has something rude or negative to say, say okay. It prevents all the unnecessary drama. Regardless of how you feel, that baby is her child and your opinion literally goes out the window when you start to disagree. First because, again, THATS HER CHILD. Second because, ITS YOU.
Really sit here and think about it. You have little Jane or John doe who has a fever and you might say okay were going to watch the fever overnight, but momma says rush him/her to the E.R. Momma is gonna go crazy because she wants the best for her baby even IF you know the Dr. will only test for certain viruses and say come back if the fever doesn’t go away. Now lets flip the table put yourself in her shoes, how would you like it if another woman said no im not taking him/her to the E.R After you told her what to do, for YOUR child. Do you really think there could ever be a relationship with constant disagreements and negativity? Heck no. Do you really think you could love that child 100% or that child could love you 100% when he/she feels the hostility.
I remember in the beginning of this whole relationship, my step daughter would say little things like, “Oh my mom bought me this, my mom took me there, or me and my mom did that.” Naturally i was uninterested. Why did i want to talk about what she did with her mom. Another woman? Especially another woman who didn’t like me… Until i saw how it affected her. (I’ll get to that in a little bit) How she reacted one day really made me change the way i looked at this all the way around. DO ask about how it went, DO ask if he/she had fun, DO ask about the games he/she played, or the movie he/she watched, or the gifts he/she got. Put it in the effort and acknowledge she’s healthy and having fun. It could be so much worse.
Ever since that day (mentioned above) i changed everything, and it really helped me a lot. That’s her MOM. How much do you love your MOM? A lot, right? Imagine how much my beautiful bonus daughter loves her MOM. ALOT! Imagine you telling your best friend about a mom day you had and your best friend is just like okay, cool. You’d probably be like what? Huh? We’re suppose to be friends, you’re not going to ask me how it went? Right? (See the picture?) Bottom line put yourself in your step childs shoes and see it from their perspective. My step daughter literally asked me,”Why are you saying okay? You don’t want to know what i did?” AND THAT CRUSHED ME! I’ve never in my life wanted to be the ugly step parent or, ” The Evil Step Mom.” At that moment, thats how i felt. Without hesitation, i grew up, put my big girl panties on and asked all about it. You know what? Not once did i make it about her mom. I made it about her and her amazing day she had. You know what else happened, our relationship instantly grew stronger because we made a connection. We now both openly talk about any and everything & believe it or not, her mom hardly gets brought up. She confides in me, we can talk about anything under the sun, the love is mutual, and she knows she has a forever friend in me. Her Bonus Mom.
DO SET BOUNDARIES
Setting boundaries can be easy or tough. Regardless coparenting is hard all the way around, from every angle and aspect; but boundaries make it so much easier. My husband has a court order in place which makes it easy, we have a set schedule made by a judge so theres no way around it or legal action can be taken. If there is not a court order in place I recommend getting one or remaining civil. I understand there are moms out there that are overly amazing at coparenting, they don’t need a court order, they gladly share days and precious moments. Thats not the case for us, so the court order is our saving grace.
DONT CROSS BOUNDARIES
As i mentioned above we take the legal route, it’s so much easier for us. If you have a great coparent…. cherish it, appreciate it, agree, gain a friend. Don’t disagree, don’t cross boundaries or lines. Remember she’s a mom too! Put yourself in her shoes and try to see the picture all the way around.
All in all I am a mother, I raise my 2 beautiful children, they aren’t neglected, they’re well behaved, they have manners, they’re perfect to me. Just because her mom and i parent differently or disagree on our parenting styles, doesn’t mean she’s better or i’m better. Not just her mom, any mom. Breast fed or bottle fed, organic or non, private school or regular school, electronics or no electronics. We’re all moms and its a beautiful experience. Don’t waste any second of your precious time on any negativity, try to understand the situation and move forward.
*** REMINDER This is what works for me, im part of a step mom group and i’ve heard soooo many different stories. There are neglectful moms, and the step mom completely steps up. There are ugly, hateful step moms that keep their husband away from their child. There are mom’s like the one i deal with and step moms like me. My situation is not the same as everyones, if your step child is in danger or needs help.. please do not say, “Okay.” Take action. This article is solely based on my experiences.
I hope you enjoyed the read, I’d love to hear your story and situation!