Stepmoms: Looking for Respect in All the Wrong Places

stepfamily advice, stepfamily help, stepmother, stepfamily
Stepmoms Looking for Respect in All the Wrong Places per Anne Taintor

One of the hardest parts about being a stepmom is that you work your ass off and get, what appears to be, nothing in return.  This show is not going to be about what we really get in return, it is strictly about how it often feels.  Lack of acknowledgement.  Disrespect.  Small requests not granted.  No thank yous.  No appreciation.  Feeling awkward in your own home.  Sound familiar?

To make matters worse, we often find that by talking to the stepkids or Mom or even our partners, no one understands or is too caught up in their own situations to even start to understand what we are saying.  Does that resonate with anyone?

Now, we can also have a long conversation about how we should be doing this work and expect nothing in return.  We should love and give unconditionally.  Our ego is the one that is causing this discontent.  But, again, this show is not about that.  I want to offer some concrete suggestions as to how to feel better and get your self-respect back.

Instead of fighting the needs of our ego, what if we fed the ego?  What if we got our feelings of attention, respect and acknowledgement elsewhere?  Let’s face it.  We have been looking for acknowledgement/respect in all the wrong places.  Stepfamily members will not give us what we are looking for many years to come.  In the meanwhile, stepmoms should try one of these:

  1. Work
  2. Charity/volunteering
  3. Teach Something
  4. Become a Student
  5. Form a support group/Bunko group/Book club where you just drink wine

When you do some of these things, it helps you to detach a bit from the family drama.  And, as we know, that certain detachment is the spiritual key.  When you can see things from a third party perspective, you can see things more clearly and you are not as emotionally involved.  Let’s be real here.  Why would the opinion of a teenage child or a woman that you barely know knock you off your stride?  Make you depressed?  Make you feel worthless or awkward in your own home?  When you look at it objectively, that is truly ridiculous.  When you find fulfilling aspects of your life, you become less needy from the family members who are not quite ready to offer what you need.

Run your life as if you have other things to do because you do have other things to do. You will be surprised at how the kids are watching you.  When they see you doing interesting things for ‘just you’, they’ll consider doing the same for themselves.  Believe it or not, the adults around you will have the same reaction. And, funny enough, that respect you have been craving starts to happen.  Look at the irony, if you do less, you gain more.  Think about it.

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