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The Wicked Stepmom

The Wicked Stepmom

Ellen Chauvin 

 

I Was A Wicked Stepmom…

 

Ok, so I wasn’t wicked. Just a slow learner – naive and ignorant about blending a family.

I suppose I didn’t think too much about it – being a stepmom. I knew I loved their Dad, and wanted to be his wife. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. But as far as being the kids stepmother, I didn’t give it much thought. Very unusual for a process driven planner like me.

As I look back I can see so many mistakes I made. I probably thought things would just fall into place. But it takes a lot of work and effort to build a blended family. I didn’t realize that back then. Here are a few things I wish I’d known. My prayer is they will help all the stepmoms out there!

 

How to BE a stepmom:

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  1. BE THANKFUL. for the little things. I came home one evening, after a hard day at work, and found all the stuff in my closet…straightened and organized by the kids. How sweet! Honestly, though, my first thought was “Horrors! They went in my closet and touched my STUFF!” I don’t remember my outward reaction. I hope I smiled really big and said “Thank you!” But I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve. The kids were only trying to earn some brownie points to go somewhere with friends. I saw it as trespassing. I’ve since learned to be thankful for small compliments and acts of kindness. And, I’ve gotten over people touching my stuff (well, almost).

 

  1. BE FLEXIBLE. I am a planner and scheduler. I have my days and weekends mapped out. Kids aren’t like that. Things tend to change at the last minute. When this happens, the best thing to do is roll with it. You are not the only one in the family anymore. I learned to plan in pencil and have an eraser handy! Your life will have less stress if you make no plans, and just see what comes up. I know, it’s living on the edge, but go for it! It took some time, but I finally realized I did not have to be Hitler with the calendar.

 

  1. BE ALL IN. Of all the things I learned, this is the most important. I’m an introvert, so I’m naturally “standoffish.” I was even more so with my stepchildren. I was concerned about becoming too close, afraid they would think I was trying to replace their mom. I was concerned that their mom would think the same.

But here’s the thing: You ARE a mom to them, if you are married to their Dad. You have mommy responsibilities when they are with you. Own it. Be all in. Be firm when you need to be firm, but remember to be fun loving, too. Embrace your new family dynamics – it will make your life easier in the long run.

My stepkids have always called me Miss Ellen. WAY too formal! I would recommend that you find a “mom” type name they can call you. Jump right in and suggest names. Have them suggest names, too! Don’t hold back. This is a new season in your life. Be all in!

These suggestions won’t make your new family perfect. There will always be ups and downs, chaos mixed with harmony. Here’s a bit of advice from the apostle Paul that I will leave with you:

Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. Colossians 3:14-15a (NLT)

I will be praying for you, that the love of Christ, through you, will wrap your blended family in harmony, and that His peace will rule in your hearts and home.

 

 

 

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Ellen pens her stories from the Bayou Country of South Louisiana, but her heart and birthplace are in Mississippi. She’s a Southern Belle through and through. When not writing, you can find Ellen digging in the flower beds, relaxing on her back porch, or traveling with hubby John.

Ellen has loved writing since high school, but this passion lay dormant for many decades. When her mom passed away in 2011,Ellen felt the Lord urging her to write her stories, stories that help her see His faithfulness in her ordinary, every day life.

She is passionate about scripture and shares the truth of God’s word at ellenchauvin.com . Follow Ellen on Facebook and Twitter

 

 


 

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19 comments on “The Wicked Stepmom

  1. Carmen Horne says:

    Beautifully written Ellen and so transparent. I have never had a step mom but I have had a step dad. So from a child’s point of view I say, great tips! Blessings friend and blessings to The Laundry Moms for snagging a great writer with a heart for God.

  2. I’m a step-mom … and I can relate to everything you wrote. By the way, my husband wanted my girls to keep calling me Miss Paige, but after we had been married about 2 months, I put my foot down. It took us a week or so to come up with a name that all of us liked, but I do prefer being GiGi to my girls instead of f Miss Paige. It certainly does something to mentally encourage a heart connection with them as individuals and as my children. Five years after I married their dad, I really do think of them as my daughters.
    Great encouragement for all step-moms! 🙂

  3. Kristi Woods says:

    So lovely, Ellen. Your honesty does wonders here, I’m sure it does with the kids as well. Love your ending in the post, too. xo

  4. Such good advice here for step moms, Ellen. Thanks so much. I haven’t seen much writing that addresses this need, which is surely a big one. These are actually great points for ANY mom. I know I have to work on being flexible. Sometimes I have a full day, and my daughter says, “Can we go to the library?” “Can you take me to Target?” I don’t want to be Hitler with the schedule either. Thanks friend!

    • Betsy, I’ll bet you and I would make great Hitler Schedulers 🙂 ! As with any relationship, we do need to be intentional about making time for our loved ones! Thanks for joining me at The Laundry Moms this week!

  5. I think we learn more from our mistakes than our good deeds! Super list for any parent!

  6. Wise words, Ellen. Such a perfect verse for your subject too. It’s a joy to read more of your story each time you share. Much love to you!

  7. I can completely relate, Ellen! I too stumbled through my early years as a step-mom, but I learned some valuable lessons along the way. I love the tips you shared here – spot on! I was also afraid her mom would not approve of the way I parented. I had to learn to let go of that fear and embrace the adventure. I’m so grateful God is patient with me! Thanks for sharing your story.

  8. Ellen, thank you so much for writing on this much-needed topic! Sadly, I was the “step monster” for many years and we blended our family, not in my kids’ eyes, but in my own, as I knew I wasn’t loving them the way they needed me to or the way God wanted me to. The Lord used becoming their mama to work so much out in me as far as selfishness and character, and today, I don’t even remember I didn’t give them birth! The way the Lord blended our family is one of the greatest miracles I’ve witnessed in my life. As a mom by marriage, the Lord has shown me we are to treat one another much like He does as part of His adopted family, loving each other as He loves us. Thanks again for your blog! Shauna

  9. Ellen,

    I appreciate your honesty. Great tips 🙂 And I enjoyed getting to know you better 🙂 Blessings.

  10. […] hate laundry! HAHA! However, I did share a few lessons I’ve learned about being a step-mom. Click here to read the […]

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