This tip is born from the concerns of a number of readers who have been emailing me about holiday worries, dramas, and tribulations. It seems that the holidays can bring out the worst when it comes to charged relations with exes; “visitation shenanigans” as one reader puts it; and unresolved issues between us and stepkinder.
If it gets stressful over the next days, take a minute to remind yourself that you are not necessarily a “stepmother.” You are a woman who married a guy with children, and there is a whole spectrum of “normal” when it comes to how you will be with those children, and how they will be with you.
Remember what you were like before you married a guy with kids? You’re still that person, too.
Remembering that you are a person first–a person with interests, talents, ambitions, gifts, and desires of your own–is something women with stepkids too often forget. Stepmothering can be so overwhelming, so demanding, and so depleting that you may give yourself over to it too completely. Which leads to resentment. Kim writes:
“The last time I was ‘away’ by myself was in October and it’s overdue for me to go again. Even though it was for a conference, I was relieved of my responsibilities and I started to feel like my old self again.
Then, today, when I was out getting the making for the desserts I’m contributing to several events and I was buzzing between stores, I had a sudden desire to go to my favorite bakery for a quiche and a cappuccino. The place is so popular that the line is out the door. Instead of fretting about how long it was taking me, I just waited. I waited and breathed and did my people-watching and ran into some people I know. By the time I left, I felt “youthful” again . . . in the way that having a spontaneous and carefree moment can bring. It was precious . . . that moment ‘out’ of it all”
Taking time to reconnect with friends and your family of origin, go to your book group or just your favorite cafe for a cappuccino, solo, Kim reminds us, can help you get back into your own skin and reconnect with the woman you were and still are. Remember her?