A few years ago, this was me: Defensive, unappreciated, anxious stepmom + wife.
Who enjoyed a nightly glass (or two) of wine.
Who preferred to *avoid* rather than hang out with the whole gang (husband + 4 kiddos)
(if this sounds like you too, you’re not alone!)
Then, I discovered something totally surprising and relieving about the way stepfamily relationships actually worked.
See the part of our minds that is wired for survival actually makes things harder for us in our stepfamilies. (yes. stick with me!): we married a man or woman we truly love, but then there are these *strangers* (the stepkids) who are *intruding* on our romantic relationship + our sense of peace and well-being in our own homes.
My survival brain was flagging my stepkids as legit threats – which maybe would have made sense back in the day when we were literally fighting for our lives, but today, not so much.
Ok so here’s the good news: while part of the human mind is wired for survival, there’s another part that’s more sophisticated. It’s good at things like rationalizing, long term planning.
(otherwise, we’d all just be stuffing our faces, watching Netflix + makin’ babies all day long)
So using this knowledge, I reminded myself that my stepkids weren’t actually a threat – my survival brain was trying to protect me, but it was misguided.
And then I got to work on solving things – I found support, ditched the wine, and learned how to override my survival brain so I could communicate better with my husband, and feel at peace no matter how crazy sh*t got in my house with 4 kids.
And here’s the best news: I’m NOT more capable than you. All you need is a human brain, and the right tools and approaches for overriding your survival brain so you can enjoy more peaceful and connected stepfamily relationships too.