Finding your Tribe

When my husband worked out of town during the week, I offered to drop my stepson off at his mom’s for a few hours on Thursday evenings.  She lived in the city, and I found a stepmom group in the area that happened to meet on the same night.  On one particular Thursday, my stepson’s mom asked me to bring him to a local restaurant.  It turned out to be very convenient (the stepmom group was having dinner across the street), and I told her as much.  In what is quite possibly my funniest stepmom memory, she looks at me incredulously and says, “What??  You people are organized?!”

Yes, we are.  Community for stepmoms is on the rise.  Instagram feeds, Facebook groups, online support forums, life coaches, bloggers, and retreats…in addition to local meetups.  Hear me:  you are not alone.  The social stigma of being a stepmom may not be gone (God help us) but living it out in isolation is.

Online + in person.   The plus sign was intentional: I believe you need both online support and in-person meetups.  I have had the rare opportunity to connect with stepmoms across the country, sharing our collective brilliance to find the best answers to some sticky situations.  But nothing beats meeting another stepmomma face-to-face and hugging her neck!  If you can’t find a stepmom group in your area, start one!  Emily Jordan and The Joyful Stepmom have a list of local chapters, as well as helpful guidelines for starting a chapter (or church ministry) of your own.

Venting vs. bashing.  It might not seem like it, but there’s a big difference.  We all need to vent, or as my best friend says, spill our junk to someone else who understands.  A healthy group or forum will have an active administrator monitoring and redirecting discussions.  Bashing is inherently gratuitous and self-serving, rather than stating facts or detailing a situation.  We all slip from time to time, but find a space where you can genuinely seek wisdom and counsel – rather than simply commiserating.

Retreats.  Do you set aside time to meet with God, and other women?  A stepmom retreat can be invaluable for resetting and re-focusing in your stepfamily journey.  Most agendas include expert speakers, practical workshops, and individual time to plan and dream.  And just like other women’s retreats, you will make new stepmom friends from across the country!  Check out the retreats hosted by Sisterhood of Stepmoms and Stepmom Sanctuary for more information on these events.

A friend loves at all times, and a [sister] is born for adversity. – Proverbs 17:17

God wants a relationship with you, and He wants you in relationship with other women.  Through transparency and authenticity, we have the unique privilege of making each other better.  Stepmom friends can provide wise counsel, emotional support, and most of all, love.  You were created for community – step out and find some!


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