We have a large shabby chic picture frame in our guest bathroom. It has an individual picture of each of us (husband, myself, my stepdaughter and stepson), and one of the four of us, with the words Together, We Make a Family. Let’s be real: I bought the frame because it was cute and matched the bathroom decor. But now when I see it, I am reminded of two things: that each of us bring something unique to the family that no one else does, and that it takes all four of us to make our stepfamily work.
As a stepmom, it’s easy to feel like the third wheel. More than a few times in my marriage, I have questioned if my husband and stepkids even need me! But if I believe that – if you believe that – we are believing a lie.
Since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t. – Romans 12:4-5
Just like the body of Christ, each member of your stepfamily has a marvelous role to play. Even if you are feeling unwanted, know that Jesus says you are needed!
Bring yourself. One of my favorite experiences as a stepmom is when I see a piece of myself in my stepson or stepdaughter, whether it’s a shared passion or fun character trait. You have so much to share with your stepkids! Take them to your favorite places, make your signature dishes, and tell them about your best memories before joining the family.
Don’t compare yourself or your stepfamily. You can’t measure your success as a wife or mother to your stepkids’ mom, nor can you expect your stepfamily to be like the family unit that dissolved. You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), so don’t try to be – or wish that you were – someone else. Be the woman that God has called you to be!
It takes all of you. Every member of the family must do their part – including your stepkids. You and your husband can hold them accountable to be respectful and actively engage in your home. Parental alienation can make this messy, but stand firm. Remind your stepkids that they are an important part of the family and you are better together.