The Session: 5 Steps to a Successful Blended Family, part 1

The Session with Tom Russell

16-11-2023 • 25 minutos

As only Tom and Scott can do, they take what was supposed to be a one week episode, and have to turn it in to two.  The full notes are here, and will be repeated on next week's episode.

The Session: 5 Tips for Becoming a Blended Family

Romans 8:15

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father.'

From Learning to respect the “other woman”

Tanya T. Warrington

1. Dump shame

At first I was ashamed of my title as a stepmother. I worried I wasn't good enough. I re-punished myself for my failed first marriage repeatedly.

A quote from a step mom

I didn't suspect how painful being a stepmother could be. I didn't imagine feeling jealous of the strong influence my stepchildren's mother had on her kids in my home. I sometimes felt powerless. I assumed I wouldn't act self-righteously, and yet I was absolutely convinced I knew what was best for my stepchildren, who I'd grown to love. I didn't foresee the many potholes on the stepfamily journey.

Hope for stepmoms

God continually revealed love and forgiveness in response to my fears until I grew to believe that being a stepmother could be, and would be, a journey made in Christ Jesus. Frequently, I casted all my stepmothering cares on God and experienced his support and lordship over our family. I learned to be honest and open with girlfriends and other stepcouples about my struggles, giving others the opportunity to be supportive as well.

2. Exercise patience with relationship building

Stepmoms can have strong feelings of awkwardness and being ignored when a step child’s drama is discussed by both biological parents.

Hope for stepmoms

Stepmoms can feel better when they take feelings of unimportant and not heard and reframe them. Reframing them would be that they would say to themselves I am just less involved and I will get my chance to be heard

It is easy for a stepmom to feel hurt and not valued when she is reminded that his children are not yours.

Hope for stepmoms

It is important when the children are not home to communicate the hurt.

3. Accept your imperfect family

Accept the reality that the step children will be conflicted with getting close to you because they feel guilt because she’s not my mom.

Hope for stepmoms

I learned to give us all a break. A newly formed stepfamily is a hotbed of emotion and stress; I had to stop expecting instant family relationships.

4. Celebrate your growth as a stepmother (The celebration of success)

Other times being a stepmom felt comfortable. Sometimes I knew my husband's trust in my parenting skills was growing. Sometimes my stepchildren admitted they liked me or appreciated my help. Sometimes their mother would thank me for something I'd done

5. Create healthy community

Be proactive about managing your marriage and family. Try to join a step family support group. It would be helpful to visit a step family website. We can also tell others about our experiences and invited both step and non-step families over to our home.

Reminders for Stepmoms:

1. Pray for yourself, your marriage, your biokids, your stepchildren and their mother. With God's power and love involved, you can build a stepfamily that defies the statistical norms.

2. Don't assume you know what your stepkid's mother thinks of you, or what she is telling her children about you. Kids aren't always accurate recorders or reporters.

3. Let go of proving you know what is best for another woman's biological children. Keep your end goal in mind—you're building a loving home, not a courthouse.

4. Forgive your kids' stepmother when she treats her own children in a way you dislike. No mother is perfect.

5. Don't say anything critical about your stepkids' mother when there is even a remote chance of the kids overhearing. It isn't worth it. You would emotionally wound the child with that criticalness.

6. Don't try to be the best stepmom in the world. You'll have good days and bad days. We all do.