When you finally leave back filling out divorce forms, proceeding through arguments and agreements, moving out, and other divorce challenges, you may think that it is finally all over, but it is only the beginning of your new divorced life full of pleasant and not very pleasant moments.
You will face multiple hurdles in private life, financial issues, career, routine things until you get everything settled. And when you try to establish your private life with another divorcee, be ready to work hard to get your personal happiness.
Image Source @sun-sentinel.com. It often happens that both partners have children from previous marriages and this is where challenges begin. You will have not only to open your heart and dare to trust a man one more time but open your heart to his children as well. You shouldn’t be scared of it, but this is a vital issue you will have to work hard on. Also, read How To Get Your Kids Back Into a Good Routine Post-COVID
Top tips for how to be a loving and supportive stepmother
The first thing you should understand and take, that you will never replace a real mother of your stepkids. Due to this, there is no point in wanting or waiting for them to call you “mom”. They are going through a difficult period, their regular life and family have fallen apart, and a stranger auntie forces them to call her “mommy”, which doesn’t seem to be the best beginning of the relationships.
So, clear up the question from the very beginning. Offer your stepchildren several variants, and let them choose the most comfortable one. That can be your full first name or its short form, or simply “stepmother” if you feel okay with it. But not anything too personal. All of you need some more time to get more familiar and move closer.
Choose the Right Role
As well as with names, it is significant to establish your role from the start. You are not going to be their mom, again. So, to begin with, you are their father’s wife, an important person in this family, as well as they are. Show that you are an adult person, who they are going to obey, but you are a supportive friend on the other side. Learning their trust will be a long way but you certainly don’t need to give up your position and play on their rules instead.
If you still have some problems with establishing your role in your new family, you can always ask your husband for help. His children love him and will value his position. Or you can always get a fast consultation on the case even at the divorce platform, you have used lately, such as onlinedivorcer.com.
Respect Their Mother
No matter who ruined the marriage, who did something bad for the family, this is still between the parents, and children will love them both no matter what. So, the last thing you need is to have arguments with their mother. You don’t have to become friends with her but
getting on well will be a good option. If you can communicate from time to time, you can even ask your partner’s ex about your stepchildren’s preferences and habits, and she can also help you to get closer to them.
You should also follow what you say about your stepchildren’s mother in front of them to your husband. You are not the one to judge her and this will bring no good in any situation.
You’d better also never force your stepchildren to decide between you and their biological mother since you have no chances, no matter how close you get with them.
Realize, that finding the right approach to your stepchildren is going to be far more difficult than filing for divorce without a lawyer. So, you need to gather all your patience and inner strength and work on it. Prepare for tests, challenges, bets on your reaction, tricks, not always funny ones, and so on from your stepchildren before they can choose whether to trust you or not.
Your task is to keep a face and follow your role. Remind that you all have to obey not your but house rules and prove it with your example. Don’t punish your stepkids, if the situation requires it, ask your husband to take it to his responsibility. At the same time don’t be a floor mop just to please your stepchildren and make them love you. You will lose authority and chances to be really loved and trusted forever.
Set Financial Rules
Discuss the family budget beforehand, concerning custodial expenses, alimony, and other things to avoid arguments later on. It often happens that the parent who feels guilty for the divorce overwhelms the children with the presents which may affect your family budget. So, set the budget rules and be sure both of you follow them.
Remember not to discuss the financial issues in front of your children or stepkids. Or they will detest you and accuse you of a negative attitude to them.
Care about Yourself
Dealing with stepchildren is not like getting a do-it-yourself divorce packet. You are not provided with the instruction, after following which you will get the desirable results. You are going to face multiple failures and little moments of success, your way to establishing good relationships with your stepchildren is going to be long and full of hurdles.
So, you need to care not only about your kids and your stepchildren but about yourself as well. Who needs a constantly angry and exhausted stepmother, unless you want to become a wicked one. Care about your physical and mental health, keep a healthy lifestyle and a healthy diet. Find ways of physical and emotional recharging.
It is also recommended to have time for you and your partner only. Working on your relationships is as important as finding the right approach to your stepchildren.
The more you try the more chances you have to succeed, so never give up on becoming a better stepmother, another supportive adult, and an understanding friend to your stepkids.