Parenting is tough stuff. For those who are a stepparent, the job is all the more challenging.
Three things no one warned me about before becoming a stepparent:
Especially for a stepparent who do not bring kids into the marriage. We take on kids at any given age with no attachment to us. We haven’t been there since day one so we need our spouse to Be Patient, Be Supportive, and Give Grace.
We are continuously seeking a sense of belonging
As the parent you were there from day one. Even if the transition into the family goes smoothly, as the stepparent we are still trying to figure out our place within the family. There often is a feeling of having to prove yourself worthy of being part of the family. This is not easy as there are constant reminders that “you don’t really belong”. These reminders can come from the ex, kids, family and friends. This search for belonging takes its toll on our self-esteem and sense of security.
We experience a lot of rejection
Rejection as a stepparent can comes from all directions. Often it comes from the unrecognized effort you choose to put in every day. It is said the stepparent gets all the grief of parenting, but they don’t get to enjoy the pleasures associated with being a parent.
This is a place where we as the stepparent may need our spouse to step in and ensure there is recognition for our efforts.
God will reward your efforts. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
For the stepparents – You stepped in and DO make a difference; continue to step up even when it goes unrecognized
For the spouses – Step up for the one who stepped in
We may not be able to see our family, friends, and loved ones and our celebrations may be a little simpler. This can bring feelings
When we take care of others perpetually, we can find ourselves depleted, exhausted, and harboring resentment about the caretaking that others come to expect from us. When we give so freely of our time, resources, and/ or energy, this becomes a pattern that we and others come to expect when in relationships.