Becoming a stepparent isn't a cakewalk. There are a million and one things you wonder about. You find yourself feeling love, frustration, loneliness, jealousy, compassion, and joy, sometimes all in a matter of a day!
Some of the most common questions I hear are:
“How do I do this stepdad thing when I don’t even have kids of my own?”
“Who does the discipline? I want to be the leader of the family, but I don’t want to be seen as a tyrant.”
“How do I find my place in this family? He and the kids are so close, I feel like an outsider in my own home.”
“How do we make our marriage the important part when she’s so focused on the kids because she’s had to single-mom it all these years?”
These are just a few of the questions couples who are engaged and blending ask. They realize things are going to change in a BIG way and they need to have what I call “tools in their parenting toolbox." These are the fundamentals all stepcouples should have place so they are ready when challenges arise.
Being proactive, gaining insight and strategies, and learning about this new role of “stepparent” one step at a time is the best way to do this. Parents and stepparents want to be a good leaders for their families, but knowing how to do it requires some guidance and a game plan. After all, these kids didn't come with instructions!
Parenting is about learning and growing through all the stages. We don’t naturally have all the answers, especially when it comes to blended family life. Couples need to learn how to blend their parenting styles, build a strong family foundation, develop and nurture relationships, and so much more. One of the regrets I have is not asking for help when I needed it. I believed I had to figure it all out on my own, and things would have been so much easier had I just reached out for help. Now I tell parents and stepparents to ASK THE QUESTIONS... ALL THE QUESTIONS! This is how you become better at the most important role you’ll ever have.