I’ll be the first to admit it.
It totally sucks when our stepkids ignore us, exclude us, or treat us like second class citizens.
It can make us feel rejected and humiliated like no other.
And of course we feel that way. We’re trying to build a bond with them. We feed them, bathe them, help out with homework. Buy them gifts.
And then we get treated like an outsider in our homes.
Being treated this way can come with the territory of being a stepmom sometimes.
BUT the good news is that there’s something we can do to make it better right now – and it doesn’t even depend on the kids changing their behavior (which will take time, and patience).
See the reason their behavior can sting so much is because we personalize it. If we get ignored or excluded, we make it mean we’re not important, or there’s something wrong with us.
So making things better starts with a simple reminder: It’s not personal.
When our stepkids treat us unkindly, it doesn’t mean we’re bad parents, or unimportant and unworthy of respect.
What it means is that the kiddos are feeling insecure, jealous, or threatened, and we’re an easy target. The stepmom always is. We could literally be any other woman, and the treatment would be the same.
We don’t have to condone their behavior, but we also don’t have to make it mean something horrible about us.
And this is something we can do all on our own, and instantly experience more peace.
All it takes is a little reminder: it’s not personal.