finding confidence as a stepmom

I feel like mothers in general struggle with confidence. And honestly, it makes sense. Mothering is hard work. There's no performance review or real boss to evaluate you. Instead your left to constantly evaluate yourself internally. Am I doing enough? Am I doing this right? Do my kids know I love them? How am I supposed to do this?

When you start your motherhood journey as a stepmom like me, finding the confidence to mother is even more complicated. Your position as a stepparent in a blended family automatically renders you less confident. At least that has been my experience thus far.

I've struggled a lot with not feeling like a "real mom". There are no popular mommy blogs devoted to stepmothers. Hell, don't even get me started on Disney. We're completely villainized in that arena. How's that for a confidence booster?

From the very beginning, my husband has been wonderful about honoring and pointing out my strengths as I navigate step-motherhood. But until a few months ago his confidence in my mothering is where my own confidence started and ended. I'm happy to say that is no longer the case.

Through some tough experiences and subtle moments of joy I've discovered (for myself) that I'm a good stepmom. I know it and I've even felt it in the moment with my kids. Finding my confidence as a stepmom is a huge gift. And that doesn't mean that I don't still doubt my role and abilities. I totally do at times. The difference is that now I know, deep down, that I'm doing a good job. My boys have shown me with their words and actions.

When your stepchild comes up to you completely unprompted, puts his arms around you, kisses your cheek, and says "I love you"--it makes EVERYTHING worth it. And I mean everything. All of the uncomfortable feelings, self doubts, disapproving glares, refusals to acknowledge your presence, and whispered comments. Those all melt away because at that moment you know that your stepchild knows that you love them. And honestly, for me, that's all that really matters. I don't need approval or acknowledgement from anyone else.

As long as my boys know that I love them, I care about them, and that I will never stop showing up for them, I'm doing my job as a stepparent. This Sunday will be my second Mother's Day as a stepmom. It's crazy to think I've been on this journey for almost two years now.

I'll be the first to admit that I never expected to be a stepmom. That wasn't how I dreamed my journey to motherhood would start. But I am incredibly grateful for the privilege of getting to be a positive influence in the lives of two very special boys. Our visits every month are the best thing that I do. I wear my stepmom badge with pride.

Happy Mother's Day to all moms and stepmoms! Stepmoms count too. Don't ever let anyone tell you differently. Wear your stepmom badge or cape with pride.

image via Rifle Paper Co

1 comment :

  1. This is wonderful!
    And I totally agree with you that fairytales need to stop it. Why does every parent have to die or be evil?