It’s Not Fair!

2 07 2009

Let’s just put it out there today, ladies. Sometimes this thought crosses our minds: (say it with me out loud) IT’S NOT FAIR!!!!!

There are many parts of stepmothering that don’t feel fair and it feels like there’s not a damn thing we can do about it–if we plan to stay in our marriages.

So as we head off to celebrate our country’s Independence (for those of you in the U.S.A.), I thought I would post some thoughts on what we can do this weekend as our families gather. Refer to this list if you have one of those moments that feels like you’re getting the shaft yet again.

  • Throw a tantrum. To your best friend, in private, in your journal, in your car. It is not healthy to carry anger around in your heart. You have to get it out and sometimes throwing a good, old-fashioned tantrum is the best way to do it.
  • Beat something up.And I don’t mean your husband. A few months ago a friend gave me a rage doll. It’s this stuffed faceless doll that I can beat the hell out of and scream. The first time I tried it I felt like an idiot. The second time, it felt really good. My stepkids have used the rage doll when they’re mad and they now carry it around like a loving friend.
  • Cry. Because it ain’t fair, sister. But you’re strong enough to handle it and you will handle it. But for right now, just feel sorry for yourself and cry.
  • Buy yourself something that’s pretty or smells good. I know, I know, I shouldn’t promote blatant consumerism especially during these trying economic times, but sometimes a new perfume or a gorgeous new (reasonably priced ) handbag are just what the doctor ordered.
  • Find allies.A dear friend of mind is also a stepmom but we’ve known each other since we were kids. Recently we hung out for an afternoon and I commented on how negative we seem to be when we’re together lately. She summed it up beautifully. “There’s no one else I can talk to about this who understands and I have to get it out.” Amen, sister. We decided to wrap up our conversations with positives but the negative crap has to come out first.
  • Refuse to suck it up.If things in your marriage or stepfamily life are hurting you, pissing you off, or making you feel taken advantage of, do not just suck it up. I often hear from stepmoms that their husbands wish they would “suck it up” and just deal. And that’s great if you want to have a divorce later on. But you can’t continue to suck it up over and over again without filling yourself up with anger that will come out in devastating ways later on. Instead, do what you need to in order to be proactive. Find a counselor well-versed in stepfamily dynamics, read every book you can find, communicate with your spouse, create strategies that will help you all live together in greater harmony.



7 responses

2 07 2009

AMEN!!! Couldn’t have said it better myself. Happy 4th of July!

Love the rage doll idea!!!

3 07 2009
amy mattila

You are the most refreshingly honest person I know! Keep it up girly!

3 07 2009

This is exactly what I’ve been desperate for lately – affirmation that it’s OKAY to experience HUMAN emotions of anger, disappoint, frustration, etc, and more so that it’s OKAY to express ’em! Thanks for the boost!

7 07 2009

Here’s something hard won. There are a lot of reasons to suck it up. But don’t do it. Do not suck it up because you are in love. Do not suck it up for unity (against a crazy bio mom). Do not suck it up because you admire the man for fighting for custody rights (in a world where so many men walk away). Do not suck it up because you confuse sucking it up with being rational. Do not suck it up to keep the peace. Do not suck it up because it makes you feel superior. Do not suck it up because you’re not sure if you have a right to feel what you feel. I sucked it up for 9 years then exploded it all back in one very ugly one–the year of the divorce. Then I cratered because there nothing left of the marriage or me. Sucking it up sucks.

7 07 2009

Tina: Wow, thanks so much for your post. The list of reasons you mention about why we suck things up rang so true for me. Thank you so much for sharing your hard-won wisdom.

8 07 2009

I really appreciated hearing the “Do NOT suck it up” statement.

13 07 2009

This is exactly what I needed to hear to help me feel normal! I don’t have friends/allies I can talk to about being a step-mom so it’s nice to have a blog that reminds me that I’m not alone! Thank you!

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