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Friday, September 17, 2010

Some Days Are Harder Than Others as a Stepparent

I knew my stepson had been having gastrointestinal problems for several weeks and we encouraged him to make a doctor's appointment. Since his mother died of colon cancer,  he knows his risk factors for that disease.

But  it hurt my feelings to learn he had  gone to the doctor and never even  mentioned it to me. As a mom, I'm usually the first one to instruct the kids on insurance cards, co-payment amounts, etc. when they go to the doctor. But instead, my stepson confided only in his dad regarding details of the appointment.

In the early years of our marriage, I would have berated myself for doing something wrong that was keeping my stepson at a distance. But after several years of stepparenting, I no longer blame myself when my stepchildren choose to leave me out of what's happening in their lives. I know I have done my part to be an involved and loving stepmom along the way but cannot force positive reactions from them.

After 15 years as his stepmom, my stepson recently said to  me, "I love you Gayla, but you're not my mom. My real mom would have given me her approval." I had voiced my opinion on a choice he was making that I disagreed with, and he let me know that my opinion didn't carry much weight. The disappointing words still ring in my ears.

Loyalty issues run deep with stepchildren and can keep them from loving a stepparent because it feels disloyal to their biological parent. Sometimes as kids grow older, they work through those feelings, allowing a close relationship with a stepparent. But sometimes they don't.

If you're having a hard day as a stepparent, don't lose hope. Persevere in your relationships even when your stepchildren don't. Draw near to the Lord for guidance and comfort. Be assured that He sees your efforts and will bless them.

"Come near to God and He will come near to you." (James 4:8)

Are you experiencing challenging days as a stepparent? Where do you look for hope?

Related Posts:

Finding Hope in the Midst of Uncertainty

Hope for the Future in Your Stepfamily: Part One

Hope for the Future in Your Stepfamily: Part Two

 Coping with Stepfamily Storms

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At September 21, 2010 at 9:56 AM , Anonymous sue said...

Thanks for this encouraging post--I really needed it today. I don't always comment, but I do read your posts and appreciate you sharing your experiences and wisdom.

At September 22, 2010 at 6:31 AM , Blogger Step Parenting with Grace said...

Thank you for your comment. I'm glad to know my posts offer some encouragement for you. Stepparenting is not an easy road, is it?

At January 10, 2012 at 1:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

whew, this post caused tears to flow! I have a now 19 yr old stepdaughter (15 when I married her father) and how I can relate to this hurt. Thanks for the encouragement to not take it personal.

At January 10, 2012 at 5:25 PM , Blogger Step Parenting with Grace said...

Thank you for your comments. I like to say that our stepmom mantra needs to be: "Don't take it personally." Hang in there. God will bless your efforts. Gayla


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