Yes, you read it right! Imagine a world where you actually like BM and don’t see her as the source of pain and frustration for your family. Imagine that your days of territorial battling, venomous words and blows to each other’s self esteem were a thing of the past. Can you see it even if it’s a flicker of hope? I understand that it is in our nature to find every possible excuse to avoid reconciling with someone who has hurt us. I know you may be thinking, why would I want to bond with BM? What if I told you that it’s the road to healing for your family? Typically, the core of the issues blended families stem around the relationship between the stepmom and BM.
Warning! This applies to those who are mature enough to move forward and who have found ways to dehumanize the BM. If you haven’t already read “Girl, bye”, you are definitely missing out because Naja explains why it’s so easy to treat the BM in your life with cruel intentions by dehumanizing her. Too often, we overlook factors that show us how much we actually have in common with BM. For one, the desire to care for your stepchild connects you both as well as having similar taste in men. Since we are playing on the same team and cheering for the same player, why not explore team-building efforts that are practical and effective? I’m not saying you will be friends like Jada Pinkett and Will Smith’s first wife because it takes time and effort from both sides. Genuine efforts will slice the tension and shatter the stone wall you put in place to protect yourself when you view co-parenting as a daily process. Some days will be better than others but don’t give up. You just have to find what works for your blended family.
Since we’ve established that she’s not going anywhere and neither are you, here are a few things you can do together:
1. Manicure/Pedicure or Spa day: This is a relaxing activity that most women enjoy and allows you to connect woman to woman without the added noise.
2. Going to the movies: Who doesn’t like to be entertained? Besides, most of the attention is on the screen so there is less talking. Who could use some peace and quiet for once?
3. Meeting for lunch or dinner: A good meal and some liquid courage will definitely ease the anxiety you’ve built up from being alone with BM.
4. Crafts: Since it’s extremely difficult to flourish creatively while stressed, why not look for activities that requires attention so you don’t have to focus on the obvious awkwardness between you two? Explore your tastes but try painting classes, scrapbooking, crocheting or knitting, photography, etc.
5. Therapy: Some times we all need a little help getting to our destination. Successful blended families have a strategy and working with a trained professional might be the missing piece to your puzzle.
Consider the list above and more because living in a state of stress and chaos is no way to live. It was your decision to be a stepmom and it’s also your responsibility to have a life full of peace, love and healthy relationships. You don’t want to wake up one day full of bitterness and resentment because you were too stubborn to keep trying. By putting forth conscious efforts, it will begin to change the dynamic of your family’s life. Good luck!