It Drives You Crazy. But Does It Truly Impact You?

by childless stepparent

Recently, another stepparent gave me some wise advice: “Be honest with yourself about what impacts you and what doesn’t.”

I decided to try this. When I did, I was surprised.

So much of what I have found upsetting or disappointing has no real impact on my life. I imagined it did, but really, it doesn’t.

When I’m honest with myself, there’s very little about my husband’s life with his daughter and his former wife that truly impacts me. These are my husband’s relationships to manage.

Even knowing that, things drive me crazy. So I made a list and decided which things truly impact me.

Financial arrangements with my husband’s former wife? Yes, that impacts me.
The fact that my husband & his former wife call/text/email 200x/month? Nope.
My husband’s former wife repeatedly canceling weekly visits? Yes, that impacts me.
The fact that my husband’s daughter rarely bathes at her mom’s? Nope.
My husband’s daughter’s reluctance to spend time by herself? Yes, that impacts me.
The fact that my husband’s daughter is nonchalant about school/activities? Nope.

The list goes on and on. Yes, sometimes, but mostly – nope.

The beautiful thing about this exercise that is that once I realized that most of what frustrates me doesn’t really have anything to do with me, I became free to spend my time and my energy on things I love.

Try this: Make a list of all the things that drive you crazy, things that you want to change about your situation. Then identify those things that impact you directly, that truly have to do with YOU. Let go of the rest.

Manifesto #2 | I am a wife first and a stepparent second. I will enjoy being childfree. I will create time and space for myself.