Category Archives: Girlfriends

Stepmother Lament: I Will Always Be An Outsider

stepmother, stepfamily, stepchildren, stepmom, stepmom help, marriage, divorce, remarriage
Stepmother Lament: Why Am I Always the Outsider Looking In?

“This family makes me feel like an outsider. I do all this work and I am still an outsider. When will I ever feel like I belong?”

It’s a common stepmother lament. We cook, clean, run errands, pick up kids, buy them clothes and, yet, we feel like a third wheel. It is just this feeling that we are outside of the core family. Some conversations feel as if you have no room to participate. It is this overriding feeling that they just don’t want you there.

Here are a few tips for any stepmother who has ever felt this way.

We Are Not Part of That Family.

For some reason, we do not want to acknowledge that there is a family unit in our homes of which we are not a member. Your partner has children. They have unique experiences that they have shared. We were not there. That’s okay. They know people that we don’t know. That’s okay. They know their mom in a way that we don’t understand or need to understand. They experienced their family’s divorce. We were not there.

It is no different than when we have childhood friends. There is a certain special relationship there because we share so many years and times that few others know about. Think about your times with those friends. You laugh deeply. Reminiscing makes your heart sing. It is just a special feeling. It is the same way for that sub family unit within your household.

Now, think about yourself talking and laughing with that childhood friend and a new, current friend pulls up a chair. You feel the air go out of the room. Although you like and love that new friend, you just want them to go away. Just for that moment, not forever. We are that newer friend who joined the conversation.

Are You Sure That You Want To Be a Part of That Family?

When we have these hurt feelings of not belonging, it feels like rejection. Is it? Do we really want to go back into time and share every experience that your stepchildren and partner have lived? Or, does the feeling of exclusion take us back to times in high school when we needed to belong? Does this feeling of exclusion make us feel unloved? Does it feel really personal and cut like a knife?

Actually, these feelings of needing to belong bring us back to our tribal roots. In nature, if you get separated from the group, your chance of survival is slim. Think about how a predator hunts their prey. They will charge at the group, hoping to separate one out. Once separated, the lone animal is a goner. So, these deep seeded feelings of belonging are quite real. But, in our society today, we really do not need to be a part of every single group on the planet. If you sit back and really thought about it, do you wish that you had been a part of your partner’s previous life? Probably not.

Do you want to give up all of the precious memories of the life you had before you met your partner? Probably not.

There is Another Tribe

There is another tribe that lives in your home. It is the tribe of the stepfamily. This tribe has its own memories. As you travel upon your stepfamily journey, these memories will grow. Time is your leader. As our memory banks increase, the children’s memories with their mom and her new life grow. The memories of life with stepmom grow as well. Life becomes richer and different. The earlier memories fade but will always be treasured. The memories with us will also be treasured. It is a saga that takes a long time. Years and years and years. We are all like a fine wine that takes years to appreciate. You can’t rush it.

Lead your tribe by honoring the past memories and traditions of your sub family units as well as the memories to come. This is what life is about. ~ Amen.

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

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

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

The Stepmother and the Ex-Wife Deserve New Boobs

Do you have those girlfriends who just know everyone?  I have a few of them.  Last week, I attended a charity event and my well-informed girlfriends started talking about the other people.  I must admit that it is fun listening to them, but I never know the people they are talking about.  Here is the… Continue Reading

Best Stepmother Advice! Ever Been Tattled On? Do You Live with a Tattletaler?

Ever been tattled on?  You know what I mean.  Someone tattle taled on you.  Remember tattletaling?  Let me refresh your memory.  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a tattletale is an informer.  Here are the synonyms listed within the dictionary definition: Synonyms: betrayer, canary [slang], deep throat, fink, informant, nark [British], rat, rat fink, snitch, snitcher,… Continue Reading

Stepmom Advice: The Importance of Girlfriends to a #Stepmom. Talking to Debba Haupert of @Girlfriendology on #StepmomToolbox – Stepmom Advice

Stepmom Advice: The Gift of the Girlfriend I would not have been able to survive in my life without my girlfriends. Period.  One of the best stepmom advice is to treasure your girlfriends.  Their silence and their gift of listening is a powerful tool for your stepmom toolbox.  Our girlfriends are our place to vent. … Continue Reading