Blog for stepmoms
Not sure what happened to this post - but time does march on. If you need help with your stepmom issues, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Your husband and his kids may be hurting from the divorce and all that has gone on since. You may wonder how you can help. I know I did. But jumping in to fix something or make it better isn't the right answer. I've learned that using some validating techniques is much more helpful.
When you validate how someone is feeling, you can help empower the person to be a problem solver. This is not an easy skill to learn, especially for someone who is prone to be a “fixer” like me.
There’s a great book called “I Don’t Have to Make Everything All Better” by Gary and Joy Lundberg. If you’re inclined to trying to fix other people's problems, the book can be a great help. I've learned a great deal about validation in the last few years, and this book sums up many points very well.
In future posts, I'll touch on a few elements I've learned about validation. For now, I thought I'd focus on one key principle -- the art of listening. Unfortunately most of us think we are better at listening than we are in reality. When we can truly listen to people and understand their concerns, we can validate their feelings.
Action: Have one conversation today where you focus all your energy on listening. You can ask questions to clarify what you are hearing, but your one and only goal is to listen well. Pay attention to what stops you from listening. Do you want the person to speed up and get to the point? Do you start thinking about your own experience and stop hearing what is being said? Are you formulating what you think is a good answer or story that fits with what is being said? Or are looking for an opportunity to jump in with a response? It’s hard work to not do those things! What gets in your way?
Are there days you feel being a stepmom is hard? Or that you are in a thankless role? You’re not alone.
In my Stepfamily Foundation of America training, I learned that over 75% of career women who had married men with children said “If they had to do it again they would NOT marry a man with children.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement for the role.
Until I became a stepmom, I didn’t understand the challenges facing many stepparents. I realize now that many of these challenges are normal. Here are some comments I’ve heard from other stepmoms:
Action: complete my survey to help me capture the issues you’ve been encountering so I can priorities the issues I cover here. If you’re encountering a serious issue that you think you need help on now, email me at email@example.com.
Hello, I’m Barb. Steadfast Step Coach.
I’m a trained coach, adult educator and communications professional. I’m also a certified coach with the Stepfamily Foundation of America.
I’m also a wife, daughter, sister, aunt (12 times over), friend and stepmom. And there’s no doubt the latter is the toughest role of all.
My Steadfast Step Coach business grew naturally from my professional and personal background. I've seen stepfamilies dealing with dynamics that have them frustrated, saddened, perplexed and stumped. And yet, most of these dynamics are quite normal. We may not recognize them as normal when we’re engulfed in the situation.
I’ve started this blog to help describe what is “normal”. We'll cover topics that happen in step families. And with each entry I'll recommend action associated with these topics. I will focus mostly on stepmoms, because I believe they are in a pivotal role. I'll use your comments and questions to help drive out future topics.
Join me as I set out to help demystify all that is stepfamily.
Action -- mark this page as a favorite. If you're a stepmom, complete this survey to help me collect some research.
My name is Barb...
I am a certified coach with the Stepfamily Foundation of America, a trained coach with the Coaches Training Institute and a stepmom. Join me as we explore some solutions to deal with the dynamics of stepfamilies.