I recently asked my stepdaughter, Emily, to think of several helpful pointers for blended family moms from the stepchild’s perspective. I’m hoping you will take time to reflect on her list, because it is from the heart of a little girl beating inside the body of a woman. It is a list of desires from one who came from a broken, fractured, and fragmented past. I believe the list is very insightful.
- Remember that you are not – and never will be – their biological mother. God has entrusted you with these precious children, so love them, nurture them, guide, and direct; but also be careful not to damage or cause havoc with their mother.
- Build trust and friendship with them. If you say you will do something, do it. Don’t make promises or threats you can’t keep. These kiddos are watching and listening to everything you say and do. Make sure they are seeing your very best. Through time, their trust will build in you, and a friendship will blossom. Be patient; it takes a long time to grow something precious and worthwhile.
- Dive in to whatever they are interested or involved in, even if you have no interest in it. You’ve got to admit – you probably did some things you had no interest in with your husband before you got married – just to be with him – and to have an opportunity to get to know him better. Guess what? The same technique works perfectly with his children!
- Encourage the stepchild’s relationship with their Dad; they may feel like he’s being taken from them. As I look at my stepdaughter and stepson, I see the only constant in their lives has been Dan. They were a part of three marriages; they also went through the dating process with their dad. But between marriages or girlfriends, they always came back to the three of them. You can certainly see why they probably liked the “divorced Dan” rather than the “married Dan;” it meant they had Dad all to themselves. So as you choreograph the time in your new family and marriage, please encourage your husband and his children to spend time together. You may feel like the outsider, but with time and trust, you just might find you are getting invited to share these times with them.
As I opened my Bible today, this verse was highlighted: Romans 8:18 – “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
In 2004, I was going through the sufferings of blending two broken families. Don’t miss your reward.
More than once, Emily has thanked me for being there for her, for being consistent and loving. She said she wanted a marriage like mine and her Dad’s. What a priceless reward!
Hang tough! The glory of God is gonna shine through and the reward will make all the sufferings worth it.
Blessings in Your Blending!!
Emily and I … love this girl!