Childless Stepparent

for stepmoms + stepdads with the unique challenges – and gifts – of creating a family with their spouse + their spouse's child(ren) and no child(ren) of their own

Month: February, 2013

Give Your All As If It Costs You Nothing

self
One of my favorite feminist writers, Simone de Beauvoir, says this of true generosity: “You give your all, and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Letting Go Is Letting Happiness In

spirit
We often experience “letting go” as resignation. Passively letting something slide through our fingers. Passive letting go feels like loss.

Read the rest of this entry »

Creating Independent Time and Space at Home

stepchildren
It’s Saturday, and my husband’s daughter is with us. My husband is meeting a friend for lunch, and I’m in our bedroom, getting some much-needed down time after a very busy work week.

I asked my husband to let his daughter know that I’m writing and enjoying a quiet morning, but that if she needs anything, I’m here. My husband wants to encourage his daughter to be more independent (co-dependence is a direct consequence of narcissistic parenting). So this is a good opportunity for her.

Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Expect Gifts from Your Spouse’s Child

stepchildren
When your spouse’s children are young, do not expect them to make you cards or gifts on the holidays. Not in the way they will for their parents.

Read the rest of this entry »

What To Do When Your Spouse’s Child Manipulates

stepchildren
The short answer is: do nothing.

Let your spouse handle his child when she manipulates or otherwise misbehaves. Remember, this is his relationship to manage and you are not a parent.

This becomes more complicated when the manipulation involves you.

Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrating the Little Things

spirit
This morning I took a hike with my neighbor and our dogs in the forest that opens up behind our house.

It was gorgeous out, the ponderosas rising up from the snow, the dogs running ahead happily, my new friend and I talking about the history of this old mining town and the eccentric people who make this place so special.

Read the rest of this entry »

Letting Go of the Little Things

spouse
My husband refers to his former wife as “Mommy” when talking to his daughter. I think when parents are married and children are young, referring to each other as “Mommy” and “Daddy” is natural. When the parents are divorced and the child is almost 10 years old, it seems odd to me.

Read the rest of this entry »

3 Ways to Put Your Marriage First

spouse
For the past two years, I made the mistake of spending way too much time with my husband talking about his former wife and their daughter. I realize now how important it is to step back, breathe, and let go.

While my husband has let me work through this in my own way, it’s what he wanted all along: for us to enjoy our life together while he manages those relationships.

Read the rest of this entry »

All You Need To Do Is Be

spirit

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.”

~ Tao Te Ching

Read the rest of this entry »

Recognizing a False Sense of Connection

stepchildren
I stepped back this week and had a big realization. When it comes to my husband’s daughter, I have often experienced protectiveness as love.

Trouble is, it’s a false sense of connection because she doesn’t need protection. No one asked me to involve myself in that way. Not my husband, and certainly not his daughter.

Read the rest of this entry »