Step-mothering: It Takes So Much Time!

“Tragedy plus time equals comedy.” Lily Tomlin

If you have ever wondered:

stepmother, stepfamily, stepchildren, divorce, parenting
Stepmother Time is Ours to Control. It’s Relative!

How much more time do I devote to my role as a stepmother? or

Will things get better over time? If so, exactly how much time? or

Will time heal?

How much time do you spend step-mothering? Literally, count the hours. Be sure to count the time spent talking and thinking about your stepfamily life. Also, count the time you spend venting and complaining about the entire stepfamily situation. I think you will find that it is a huge percentage of your life. If you have biological children, calculate the time you do the same for them. When you start doing this math, is there any time left? Once you also subtract your sleep and work time, I bet there is nothing left. I would not be surprised if you have negative hours left.

No time means no sleep. No sleep means grumpiness. Grumpiness indicates that you aren’t thinking straight, which leads to craziness. Craziness leads to bad decisions and insane thoughts. Since our brains are leading this charge, we totally believe what we are thinking. Next thing you know, the evil stepmother becomes real. Not only does the world hate us, but we hate ourselves.

Time is the key to our sanity. Time can be our friend or our enemy. When we look at time, we can count the hours in a day and do calculations like we did in the prior paragraph. 24 hours in a day minus 6 hours of sleep minus 10 hours of work minus 2 hours or parenting minus 2 hours of driving minus 1 hour of house stuff. As this math equation shows, looking at time as a 24-hour clock usually means running, running and more running. Our success is measured by how many errands we can get done in a day. No time to think. No time to ponder. No quality time for ourselves or anyone else.

The good news is that time is not a fixed measurement with a clear beginning and ending. Time is relative and totally dependent on the person experiencing it. Yes, it is true. We can control our time. Per the book, The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor, he writes the following:

Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, many of the inviolable laws of the universe become altered based on the observer. Who ages faster? A person who remains still or the person who is moving at the speed of light? The person standing still will age faster because time dilates (expands) with motion, relative from the stationary observer. Time is not fixed and immutable is relative to motion. So everything is relative from distance to time to length…it’s all relative.

Remember that brain with all the crazy thoughts that lives in our heads? We believe that brain and it controls our perception of time and relative understanding of our world. In other words, our understanding of the world is based on how and where we observe it. The great news is that we can change that perception or understanding of the world around us. It is called a mindset change. Here are some examples:

Old Mindset New Mindset
I don’t have time. I have too much time. I can find any time that I want.
My deadline to pick the kids up is 3:00pm My lifeline to pick the kids up is 3:00pm
I can’t take the time to read or play word games. Napping and/or playing games are a priority. It is a productive way to spend time.
I am dreading the arrival of the Skids. I can’t wait for the Skids to get here!
I have to run these errands. I want to run the errands. I don’t have to do anything.
No one appreciates how much time I spend. I don’t need anyone to notice my time. I control my time.

The language that you use has a huge impact. Consider taking a look at your language and the verbs that you use. Could there be another way to look at it? You have the power to expand your universe and your time. As crazy as it sounds, give it a try. After all, it’s all relative.

The language that you use has a huge impact. Consider taking a look at your language and the verbs that you use. Could there be another way to look at it? You have the power to expand your universe and your time. As crazy as it sounds, give it a try. After all, it’s all relative.

The Stepfamily and Life: It Is All About the Playground

It’s the end of the year. There have been holidays, custody changes, vacations and aggravations. There have also been feelings of extreme joy. Some of us have received notes of love and appreciation from our stepchildren and/or our partners. Some of us feel peace in the knowing that we are making a home base for…Continue Reading

Stepmothers: Are We Too Harsh on the Ex?

Did you ever wonder why the ex-wife just can’t get over it?  Maybe, you are a stepmother who has been a part of the family for years, yet you still feel as though the ex-wife hates you.  You just don’t understand it.  As you know, we study the art and science of stepfamily management here…Continue Reading

A Stepmother Asks “How Do I Stop Myself from Asking about the Ex-Wife?”

Do you ever find yourself asking your partner: “What did she/he say?” “No, really, tell me what happened.” “I don’t care what she does.” Next moment. “Tell me what she did.” Do you feel as if you can’t seem to stop yourself? Does it feel as if you are addicted? So, why are we talking…Continue Reading

STEPFAMILIES: CAN YOU REALLY CO-PARENT WITH HIS EX? by Holly Robinson

This is a guest post by Author and Stepmother, Holly Robinson There was a moment last spring when I poured a cup of tea, carried it into the dining room to read the newspaper, then froze mid-sip when I noticed the date above the headlines. At that very moment, my husband’s ex-wife was enjoying the…Continue Reading

Who is that Stepmother Woman?

It is easy to think of the stepmother as that woman your ex partner married.  If the stepmother is just that woman who is in the house, it lessens the pain of the divorce and the consequences that failed relationship has brought.  After all, the worst part of a divorce is the consequences wrought upon…Continue Reading

Stepmothers and Mothers Are Back In High School

Have you ever felt as if your stepfamily life mirrored your high school years?  Girls talking about one another?  Never feeling as if you were good enought?  Pretty enough?  Smart enough?  (Sounds like the SNL character Stuart Smalley) Life in high school was stressful. It was like you were uncomfortable in your own skin, right?…Continue Reading

HOW TO TRANSFORM FROM DESPICABLE ME (THE STEPMOTHER) TO HAPPY!

  Music can make all the difference. Music is one of the great mood lifters in our arsenal. Not only can it change our attitude, but it can change the attitudes and moods of our family members. Here’s a life changing tip: Every stepmother should have her earphones in 24/7. Keep your ipod full of…Continue Reading

I Hate the Way My Stepchildren Are Treated and There’s Nothing I Can Do.

Is that true? Is there nothing that you can do to affect your stepchildren’s life? If you feel powerless, I want to remind you of The Pygmalion Effect. The Pygmalion Effect is a scientifically proven phenomenon whereby the greater the expectation placed upon people the better they perform. Another way to look upon it is…Continue Reading

Where Do I Draw the Line? I Am the Stepmother, After All!

One of the most annoying things about being a stepmother is that it brings hard subjects up. Often the thing that we don’t want to do, comes up in stepparenting. You know what I mean. Issues like: Drawing the line on issues like self respect, your role in the family and in life, how you…Continue Reading