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I am filled with endless thoughts everyday about my beautiful stepdaughter. I wonder how she’s doing at school and if she’s making friends. I worry about others bullying her just because, I know the world is full of bullies. I pray she knows how much I love her, how much her dad loves her, how much her biomom loves her, and I pray she knows that she can love all of us without ever feeling guilt. I think about how she’s growing up and becoming a young lady and all the challenges she will face.

I wish I could protect her from the pains that come with growing up, but I can’t. She will have to feel some hurt and learn some lessons on her own. It’s part of life and growing up, but there are a few things I can ensure she knows and learns from me.

1. You Are Beautiful! Yes, hunny your face is beautiful, I look at you and see parts of your parents in you and some parts that are uniquely you, but you are more than a pretty face. You have a beautiful heart that bleeds for others at times. You are sensitive, soft, and full of love to give. The beauty within you is more important than your cute little ever-changing face. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.

2. It’s Not Your Job To Make Others Happy. It’s tempting at times to take the weight of others unhappiness onto your shoulders, but don’t. My happiness is not your job. Dad’s happiness doesn’t depend on you. Your Biomom’s happiness is not up to you. Your friends & family should not expect you to make them happy. Others may try to blame you or lay guilt on you because, they are unhappy, but do not let them fool you! YOU my dear are only in charge of YOUR own happiness. If anyone ever tries to make you feel at fault or guilty for their sadness walk away, because that is not on you and those people will drain you of your own happiness.

3. You Can Never Love Too Many People. Your heart is capable of loving infinite people. Anyone who tries to tell you that you can’t love someone is full of crap. Don’t ever let anyone else tell you how you should feel. Love anyone who deserves your love without condition and remember that loving one person doesn’t take away from others you love.

4. Always Be You. You my little Noodle, my chicken nugget, my baby bear, my joke-telling-goofball, you are perfect. It’s hard sometimes to be brave enough to be YOU and standout, but do it anyway! Show the world your unique ways, share your passions, and be different. There are a million little lemmings out there following each other right off the cliff (eating tide pods and snorting things I can’t even wrap my head around) don’t be them! You are smart, brave, funny, and unique! Embrace your sense of self and let that shine! Never let anyone make you feel embarrassed for being you because YOU ARE AMAZING!

5. I Love You No Matter What. We might not always get along or agree on everything, but who does? Our life together has been perfectly imperfect and overflowing with laugher, good memories, love, new traditions, and never-ending adventures. We  have grown close over the years and I love you as if you were my own child. We may not share DNA or eye color, but I share my heart with you.

No matter what anyone every tells you or what we go through I will always be there for you and love you with all my heart. I will always stand-up for you and have your back. I will forever keep your secrets and be a shoulder to cry on. I will probably get mad at you some days, but know that when I ground you for coming home late I will still love you. There’s a place in my heart reserved for you that will always be there no matter what. We are family. ❤️

XOXO,

The Little Stepmom

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Stepchildren have to go through some extra struggles in life. They all handle what life throws at them a little differently. For the children who lose faith in themselves or begin questioning their own self-worth you, stepmom, can help guide them back to confidence with a boost of positive love.

When I see my little sweet pea struggling I help her remind herself of how awesome she is. I let her see me reminding myself also so she doesn’t “feel funny” talking to herself. I stand in front of the mirror in the morning right after I brush my teeth and I say, out loud, some positive self-loving affirmations. Sometimes I casually say them as I brush my hair out or put on my makeup.

For example, I might say, “I am a rockstar, I am happy, I am going to do great at work today” and my little sweet pea might say “I am funny, I helpful, I am going to do great on my spelling test today!” I repeat the confidence boosting affirmations 3 or 4 times.

Here is a list of self-loving, confidence boosting, positive affirmations you and your stepchildren can say…

1. I am a rockstar

2. I am a good friend

3. I am good listener

4. I am important

5. I am loved

6. I am happy

7. I am doing my best

8. I am going to do great on my test

9. I studied hard and will do good today

10. I am brave

11. I am proud of myself

12. I am capable of anything I put my mind to

13. I tell the truth

14 I am generous

15. I like to help others

16. I love my body just the way it is

17. I am beautiful inside and out

18. People like me for me

19. I care about other people

20. I am kind

21. I am loving

22. I am smart

23. All of my parents love me and I love them

24. It feels good to be loved

25. Today is a great day for a great day!

We also like to throw in some funny statements and make each other laugh. One day, I woke up feeling a little under the weather and I was really dreading going to work but hearing my little sweet stepdaughter say “Today is going to be a great day, I love myself, even my stinky farts” made me laugh and smile. I hugged her tight and told her that she makes everyday better and I think hearing that made her day. We both left the house with a smile and had great days.

I feel very strongly that starting the day off saying positive affirmations sets you up for a good day! I believe that you get what you give. I give my best, positive, kind self to the universe and that’s what I get back. The more love I give the more I receive.

Give it a try even if you think you found silly at fist keep going! Shout it out loud for the world to hear! You are a freaking rockstar who’s going to have a stellar day filled with happiness! Now get out there and kick butt today!

You got this mama!

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Today’s Featured Question

Dear Little Stepmom,

My stepson is 5 years old and has been living with his biological mom for most of the past year (she refused to follow the court orders). His Dad has been fighting for custody or more time (enforcement of the orders) but, during the court battle his mom has kept him away from us. We finally have a set schedule and get to have him half the time. We are so happy to have him back in our life. It’s been painful to have him away.

The problem is since he moved back in with us he has started wetting the bed at night. He had not been wetting the bed before his mom took him from us. His mom says he wasn’t wetting the bed at her house and she says he isn’t wetting the bed at her house now either. I have a hard time believing her because my stepson says he’s been having accidents at her house too.

It’s been about 5 weeks now and he has accidents once or twice a week here. Do you have any suggestions on how we can help him or why he’s started having problems? I know it hasn’t been that long but we do not want to let the problem get out of hand by ignoring it.

Sincerely,

Concerned & Running Out of Sheets

After digging a little deeper with Stepmom Sue, I found out that her stepson was almost 2 when his parents separated and it wasn’t very amicable. His father left when the biomom’s drinking got out of hand. He took his son with him and filed for a divorce.

Biomom has been a handful to say the least, filing false claims, alienating the child from his father & stepmom, and refusing to follow court ordered schedule. She’s also been fairly emotionally abusive to her son telling him his dad left them, doesn’t want him, doesn’t love him, etc. All the horrible lies jealous biomom’s tend to fill innocent children’s heads with.

When children go through a traumatic experience it can cause them to regress in different ways. Some children cry more, seek more attention, act out,  resume thumb sucking, talk like a baby, or wet the bed.

I would recommend taking your stepson to his pediatrician first to rule out a urinary tract infection or other medical conditions that could be causing his bed wetting.

Secondary enuresis occurs after a patient goes through an extended period of dryness at night (roughly six months or more) and then reverts to nighttime wetting. Secondary enuresis can be caused by emotional stress or a medical condition, such as a bladder infection

If the pediatrician can’t find a medical reason behind the bed wetting you can try a few things to help your stepson.

*Stop drinking fluids about an hour before bedtime.

*Make a trip to the bathroom right before bed each night

*Avoid any caffeine intake- I know he’s a little young but this applies to everyone with bed wetting troubles.

*Utilize a moisture/ bed wetting alarm. You can find an affordable one here Wet-stop 2. This is an alarm that senses moisture and will sound to wake your child. This trains the brain to recognize the signal of a full bladder.

*Offer support to help resolve the emotional stress your child is feeling

The most important thing to remember is that your child isn’t at fault for his bed wetting. He’s not being lazy or doing it on purpous. You should avoid doing anything that makes him feel belittled or embarrassed for the accidents.

If the emotional stress of your husbands divorce and the change in his routine has caused his bed wetting then it should resolve on its own but you can help your child by reassuring him that he is in a safe place and loved by all his parents. It’s hard at 5 to know what the little guy is thinking but talk to him, be open & honest, as you try to figure out how he is feeling.

Emotional support, love, encouragement, and open dialogue will go a long way in helping him over come his bed wetting. Be patient with him and never let him see your upset over the sheets being wet.

Do you have a question for The Little Stepmom? Submit your question here. If selected your question may be answered in the featured question of the week.

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You can send the wrong message by using words and phrase that sounds negative even if you don’t mean to be negative. It’s hard to make changes many of us have been talking however we please for our entire life and now all the sudden we have to think before we speak? Well, it might not like a pain in the ass but, you should have been doing it all along, so try.

When your speaking to your step children it’s important to never make their biomom  or her home sound like a negative thing, even if it is. When my step daughter cries because she’s about to spend a weekend with her biomom I cheerfully remind her of how much fun they will have or ask her what’s something she likes to do with her mom. Once I get her talking and looking forward to something the transition is pretty easy for her.

Try thinking of some positive phrases you can incorporate into your conversations and share them below.

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Raising children isn’t easy but, throw in divorce, feelings of resentment, fear, jealousy, custody schedules, and shuffling between homes and your children can start to feel like they have lost their family.

Helping your children remember that they will always have a Mom & Dad even if they don’t live together is important for them. It can be difficult at times to remind them and encourage them when their other parent is not your favorite person to put it nicely.

That is where my number one Golden rule comes in, Your feelings come last. Yes, I know it’s crazy hard, maybe one of the hardest things you will ever do but it’s also one of the most important rules to a successful co-parenting relationship and raising happy, healthy, children. Their needs and feelings must come before yours.

Once, you have started practicing the Golden rule you can begin focusing on raising your children in a setting that supports family. I remind my stepdaughter on a regular basis that we are all a family even if we don’t live together. This concept was very easy for her to understand at a young age. She related it to her grandparents being family but not living with her. So, why wouldn’t Mom, Dad, Stepmom, Grandma, and Grandpa all still be family? They would. They just don’t share a roof.

We also created a family tree to show her how we are all connected to her as a big happy, complicated, but awesome family. She really enjoyed making it and being able to look back at it when she needed to remind herself how many family members she has that love her.

Another good way to encourage and remind children of their family is to create a photo album. Encourage them to include pictures from their “pre-divorce” life and “post-divorce” life. I found some photos of my stepdaughter with both her Dad and Biological Mom to include in her album. I also try to take photos of her with both her biological parents at special events like the first day of kindergarten. This might not be the easiest thing for me to do but Golden rule says my feelings come last and my step daughters feelings come first. I know its important for her to know her parents are both there to support her so if I need to swallow my feelings for her I will. As her Stepmom it’s one of my responsibilities to help foster a positive healthy relationship between all of her parents.

Do you have a unique way of reminding your stepchildren they are part of one big family? I would love to hear your experiences and ideas! Please, share below.

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When I met my husband I was all cheesy, love at first sight, head over heels, butterflies fluttering, couldn’t catch my breath, giggly school girl. I know I know YUCK! But it’s true, I knew I wanted to marry him the first time I saw him.

Sounds amazing right? Well, it was amazing and complicated and a little scary because mixed in with all my butterflies fluttering around me was my ex-husband, his ex-wife, a beautiful little girl, a whole slew of in-laws/parents, a gaggle of people’s opinions, court dates, rules, a lot of emotions flying, and a freaking cute dog.

I had to be very honest with myself. Should I even go on a first date with this man? What if it is amazing  and works out? What if it works out so well that someday we want to get married? That would make me a Stepmom and I didn’t know if I could do that. Can I love a man and his child? A child I didn’t make who won’t look like me. Will I be able to treat her like my own and keep her from feeling like a stepchild or outsider in my life? What if she doesn’t like me? What kind of life will we have if his ex-wife is always around? Will she cause problems? Will we get along someday? These are just a few of the questions that flooded my mind as I got ready for our first official date. Some pretty heavy shit compared to the normal what dress should I wear. 

Well, obviously, I didn’t chicken out on our first date but, I did think long as hard about all my questions. The question that kept coming back to me was “what does it mean to be a Stepmom? ” The answer is different for all of us.

For me, I knew the kind of Stepmom I would be because I already knew the kind of Mom I would be. I grew up watching my Mom “be a Mom” she taught me how to treat people no matter how they came to be in my life. I knew I could love a child even if I didn’t carry her around for 9 months. That part felt easy.

But knowing what kind of Stepmom I wanted to be didn’t answer my question. What does it mean to be a Stepmom? Does it mean …

To care for someone else’s child?

To sacrifice your time, money, energy to a child that you didn’t bring into this world?

To spend time playing games, making messes, and learning about each other?

To share your husband with another women?

To combine households?

To have to communicate with a woman you might not like?

Introducing his, hers, and mine? How will your children and his children get along?

Having less? Will you be able to afford a child?

Having more? More fun, more people in your life, more adventures, more love, and more laundry!

Giving up your privacy?

Dealing with jealousy, hate, lies, and drama?

Sharing your life with your new family, growing together, and making each other better people?

Now I know, It means all of this and so much more. Honestly, it is what you make of it. You can truly make a complicated unappealing arrangement into a wonderful situation. Will you be helping to care for someone else’s child? Yes, but it’s a child that you can love. Is there a big chance that child will push back or tell you a 100 times they don’t love you, maybe but don’t let that stop you from loving them.

When you make the choice to become a Stepmom make the choice to be the kind of Stepmom that makes a positive impact on your newly blended family. Don’t let the bad days ruin everything. All families have bad days: nuclear, step, foster, blended, adopted, or some combination they all have bad days. You are going to have great days, good days, and bad days but choose to focus on the good, stay positive, make a choice and stick with it. It won’t be easy but YOU can do it and I’m here to help you.

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