Dear Unhappy Stepmom,
I’m sorry to hear your wedding did not go well. It sounds like you tried hard to include your stepchildren. However, it’s quite common for kids, especially teens, to feel upset by a parent’s remarriage. Most kids don’t want their parents to get divorced or remarried. In general, kids don’t immediately start feeling comfortable with their stepfamilies or stepparents. It takes time. And they often feel like they are betraying their mothers if they are fond of their stepmoms.
Try to view this situation from the eyes of your stepchildren. You say their dad left the family. I’m sure this is hurtful to your stepkids. If you want to learn more about why stepfamilies are so difficult when they first form, visit www.stepfamilytalkradio.com
and listen to the audio, “Why Stepfamilies Are So Hard At First.”
I’m wondering if your husband’s ex-wife is playing a role here. Sometimes an ex-wife can stir up trouble by trying to turn her kids against their new stepmom. To learn more about this topic, click on www.stepfamilytalkradio.com/products.htm and check out the audio, “Stepmoms and Their Husbands’ Ex-wives.” The audio provides many ideas about how to reduce the tension between stepmoms and their husbands’ ex-wives.
I also recommend you read the book, “7 Steps to Bonding with Your Stepchild.” It provides some nice tips for getting closer to your stepkids. But again, you need to be patient.You say you’re afraid you made a mistake. Your biggest mistake, I think, was a common one: You thought that blending families would go smoothly. It generally does not go smoothly.
It’s helpful for adults to learn as much as possible about stepfamilies before they tie the knot. They need to begin their lives together with realistic expectations about their new family.Please keep me posted.
Lisa Lisa Cohn has written for the Christian Science Monitor, Parenting, Mothering, Your Stepfamily Magazine and other publications. She writes an advice column for Philly Women (www.philly.com) and is the co-host of Stepfamily Talk Radio (www.stepfamilytalkradio.com.) She is the co-author of One Family, Two Family, New Family: Stories and Advice for Stepfamilies and The Step-Tween Survival Guide and Lisa has been quoted about divorce and stepfamilies by the Associated Press, Washington Post, Time Magazine, msn.com and other media outlets.