Found this great piece over at Stepmothers Milk:
Guest Blogger: Laura Allard of Stepmoms Rock
And now for a perspective shift… Moms dealing with the Step Mom of their children…
Important Note: There are a lot of things at play here, not the least of which is going to be the dispositions of the Mom and Step Mom in question. This post is written with the hope of reaching the hearts of both women while encouraging the idea of working from a place of love and compassion for all involved.
For Moms out there looking for ideas on how to manage a decent and respectful relationship with the Step Mom of your children, the new wife of your ex husband, please do keep this in mind…however you choose to behave and whatever course of action you decide to embark upon, the people who are going to be affected the most are the little ones with small voices…your own precious and adoring children.
This is truly where separation of relationships is key. And of course, there are many different scenarios and reasons for why you are all in the situation you’re in, however, at the end of the day, the adults in this mess should be able to practice a high level of self management and understand that they have to make the best of things while the children still do play an integral role in all your lives.
Marriages end. And new ones begin. Each situation offers the opportunity for new beginnings.
Step Moms…it is incumbent upon us to understand the perspective of the Mom of your new Step Kids (insert gasp), however, make no mistake, just because her bad behavior might be understandable does not mean it is acceptable. At the end of the day, she gets why her marriage failed, she just may not be ready to face the realities of her husband’s new marriage because, well, it stings, and reminds her of what she perceives to be a huge failure in her life. Give her the benefit of the doubt, acting from a place of compassion and keeping the best interest of your new family in mind. You aren’t going to have to contend with her for a lifetime as the distance between you progressively gets larger as the kids grow and wander. Cut her a little slack.
Remember…. she is a woman with a bit of a broken heart who needs time to mend and find her own way…this can go on for years, but it is her own life she is making miserable by not taking the opportunity she has been granted for a little reinvention. It’s a sad state really, for women who remain bitter and cannot move past their divorces, but their choice just the same, so don’t bear their burden, OK?
Moms… you are and forever more will remain the core of your children’s lives. Don’t play with their tender little hearts by waging war on a situation they are going to have challenges navigating through themselves. Your ex-husband’s new wife came along far after the problems in your marriage began. If you need to take someone to task for the situation at hand, dole out the blame equally between your husband, and yourself…just do it out of ear shot of your children. Don’t forget, they have been witness to the demise of your marriage, offer them a little peace and quiet by keeping them out of the line of fire. AND, and this is a big AND, as tough as it might seem, each and every day offers you the opportunity for a new start.
Remember the line from Mama Mia, “Time for a little repair and renovation…”
Make this your new mantra and spend some time doing what’s right for YOU now. Your kids will be so proud to see Mom in a new light, Happy Mom, Surviving Mom….all you have to do is make the choice to make it so. This choice will make it so much easier for you to manage this new level of relationships in your life. You’ll have greater confidence in yourself and it will show in all you do! Take advantage of this time to heal, to reclaim YOU and have a blast doing it…that’s the best possible way to figure out how to handle the new Step Mom of your kids…by being the best YOU you can be!
To both Women…. Just Be Nice. Seriously. Your behavior sets a standard the kids you now share will aspire to…good or bad…consider what you want them to take away from all this, and act accordingly. Be good to one another.
Laura Allard, creator of the Blog Step Moms Rock and the soon to be released line of cards for Step Families “StepSpeak” . Laura is in her 8th year as a Step Mom of 3 and 12th year as a Step Daughter… aka DOFM (Daughter of the First Marriage). Laura’s perspective in this big old mess comes from a place of love, compassion, and empowerment, hoping to reach the heart and soul of the Single Girl turned New Step Mom before she loses her mind.