I see so many stepmoms like you suffering in their marriages.
And the main reason?
Because their spouse is too permissive. Because he or she lets the kids get away with too much.
And listen, I know it’s hard. And I know what all the parenting experts say about how to parent.
But I also know something all the stepfamily parenting experts haven’t considered. Knowing the SOLUTION to the problem doesn’t actually solve the problem. Because most of us know the ‘right’ and ‘most effective’ ways to parent, but have trouble implementing those strategies in a unified way.
And so to actually solve this problem, we have to get to the root cause of the issue. Here’s the root:
We THINK that our partners don’t respect us when it comes to our parenting preferences. Because they haven’t changed. No matter how many times we’ve tried or asked them to change. And because we BELIEVE this, we continue to argue with them. We think that in order to feel respected, our partners have to change.
But here is the truth: Our partner’s parenting style actually has nothing to do with us and it has everything to do with how they are FEELING about the divorce.
And they are most likely feeling a lot of guilt and shame about the divorce. Deep down, they think they’ve ruined their kids lives. And guilt and shame beget the permissive parent.
So you’re probably wondering well great….what can I do about this?
You can start by reminding yourself that the way your spouse parents isn’t about you – it’s about them and some unresolved emotions. Give yourself some grace here.
And if you fill yourself up with grace, then you’re in the position to give some to your partner. And that’s where the chance for real intimacy and connection lies. Because what your partner most likely needs right now is some grace too. Grace for being human. Grace for trying their very best. Just like you.