Being a stepmom can get tough at times, so having a strong line of communication with your partner is a MUST! There is no reason to go through this parenting journey alone. Your partner in crime might surprise you with their wisdom. Mine certainly did! I had no idea he put so much thought into how he prepared his children for my inclusion into their lives. When we started dating, my hubby-to-be really made the kids front and center and planned several outings where we all hung out together, and also one on one. Looking back, I believe this quality time with the kids that he purposely built in while we were dating was a total game changer. The children felt included in our decision to become a family and didn’t feel like we were just imposing a new life on them. Children need to feel important and heard, no matter how old they are. I give my husband total credit for this little gem of knowledge because I was clueless when it came to kids before I met him!
This advice might seem obvious but I think it is actually very easy for adults to get swept up in a love affair and view their romantic partner as their business and their decision, period. They figure that as long as the new partner isn’t awful to the kids, they are good to go. But what I’m saying it that it is worth putting in the extra effort in the beginning to build the relationship with the kids and to at least give them the illusion that they are playing a part in the decision making regarding the family unit. Have your husband ask the kids questions in private about how they feel about a new stepmom coming into their lives. Just asking them questions will show them that they are being acknowledged and heard. Listen, we all know that you and your husband are the ultimate decision makers but why not flatter the children and make them feel included? It will only help YOU in the future.
And it is never too late to have quality time with your stepkids. Try to enlist every relationship permutation. Have your husband spend alone time with his kids. You spend alone time with your stepkids. Spend time as a whole family. It is so easy to get lazy but start these traditions sooner than later and you will see it pays off! It can be something as small as taking your stepkids to ice cream every Thursday. Now that is a tradition I would definitely be on board for! Since time with his kids may be limited, your husband may campaign to join you guys but you should really insist that you take the 30 minutes to go just you and the stepkids.
And most importantly, keep that communication between you and your husband strong. Just because your husband might not be a stepparent, he might have some great ideas and input about how to improve relations within the family. Robert has been my stepmom buddha! I call him that and he thinks I’m calling him fat but what I mean is that he is unexpectedly quite wise about this stuff!