Coaching Column: Ask Stepmom Warrior 

Dear Stepmom Warrior: How can you get over the resentment? I chose this man and he was a package deal, so I own my choice, but I didn’t expect to feel so frustrated over sharing my house, my money, my time, my husband, not to mention giving up the notion of peace for many years because of Bio-Mom’s BS. All of this without a true say in my stepchild’s life. I am asked my opinion by DH but it is always disregarded in the face of BM’s mandates.             ~Building Resentment

Dear Building Resentment: First off, I commend you. This stepmom role is incredibly tough and you must be a strong woman to handle it.

In stepfamily life we are inundated with strong feelings and energies like resentment, anxiety, and anger. There are many factors we cannot control in our stepfamily life and we wish we could. As angry as we can get, accepting the fact that you don’t have control over everything will allow you to work on achieving peace. The best part is that everything you need to do this is already inside of you.

There isn’t a simple fix to such complicated feelings and scenarios, but there are things you can do to try to decrease the feelings of resentment.

1. Release: As Madonna said, “Express Yourself.” Expressing your feelings verbally will allow you the chance to release some of the energy connected to them.
“I’m feeling pissed off!”
“I’m feeling really disappointed.”

Find other ways to release your energy too. Writing can be very therapeutic in expressing yourself. You can journal when you are overwhelmed with these feelings or just journal to creatively express yourself. It gives you an opportunity to release and express this energy.

What other things will allow you to release your energy? Singing, dancing, working out, or riding a motorcycle? Find a healthy way to express yourself and release the energy.


2. Recognize: Recognize the role you play with the feelings that are in the driver seat. We tend to allow the negative feelings to take over. A way to combat the resentment energy is to forgive yourself. Forgiveness isn’t easy to do, but it’s important to forgive yourself for allowing this energy into the driver seat. Yes, I know, other people have caused these feelings but you are held captive to this toxicity when you harbor feelings of anger and resentment. Forgiving yourself allows you the freedom to move forward.

3. Ground: Now I’m going to ask you to take a risk and embrace this idea for just a minute.

Think back to a time when you were truly happy and at peace. Close your eyes, go back to that time and place. Breathe.
Where are you?
Who are you with?
What do you feel?
What do you see?
What do you smell?
What do you taste?
Activate your senses while your mind takes you back to that happy, peaceful time.
At times, this can trigger a happy emotional response. Embrace it.
What does your body look like?
What does your face look like?
What does your heart feel like?
Just absorb that moment of peace and happiness.

Now open your eyes. This exercise will help ground you when you’re feeling out of balance or your resentment energy is trying to take over.

There are so many things out of our control in stepfamily life, but the one thing in your control is YOU. There are so many frustrations, challenges, and strong energies that present themselves, but how you respond to these energies will shape your stepmom journey. Everything you need is already within you.

Be Loving. Be Open. Be Vulnerable. Be Empowered.

Nicole DiLorenzo
AKA Stepmom Warrior

Click here to check out the Stepmom Warrior- Stepfamily Lifeline Services.

  1. This is great advice. When we as step mothers, and in my case full time, take on this role the dynamics along with the feelings of each party change. Bm might be jealous because now there is a real sign of her replacement, sks and bio kids might act differently due to changes in bms behavior. There is no guarantee things wont shift once you become a step mom. There is no step mom handbook that would suit each situation either. Saying, “you know what you got into”, is a pretty ignorant and topical statement. I had to go through some pretty hardcore self-awareness after becoming a sm myself. I went through so many emotions regarding my new responsibilities and my place within my own new little family. Ive come a long way, I think the most commendable thing to do in this situation is to be completely honest with yourself and those who are your support system. I specifically remember calling my mother in law saying, “i think im jealous, this is my family, and she keeps appearing”, my mother in law was so shocked that i was so bluntly honest, but thats a huge reason why she loves me so much, my self-awareness. In social work they really push self reflection, and i think thats where it comes from. Whatever the case, its growth. And being a sm is all about self reflection, self awareness, and growth.

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    1. Amen! Well written. I couldn’t agree more about the SM journey being all about self-reflection, awareness, and growth. And owning your own sh*t helps move along the process. Thanks for your feedback.

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  2. I find step parents/mothers to be exceptional. And I found this advice to be extremely helpful. If we do the mental clearing and laying the groundwork we can have a beautiful life. I have 2 parents that loved each other and when they moved on things fell apart pretty quickly. I wish they were at that time 90’s more equipped with this knowledge. So many ppl we were around were living dead people. Now that they are looking at 29 years later I’m a mother myself. Life goes by fast. Time is the most precious thing. I wish they had courage to marry again. I wish there were good people in the world to marry them marriage is a piece of paper it’s the thoughts and actions of the individuals that what those endeavours bring forth.

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