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

Category: self

There is No Destination. Being a Stepparent Is Never-Ending, Always-Evolving.

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Time. It changes things, if you let it.

So much time has passed since my last post and – as they always do – things have changed. My perspective has changed.

Rather than go into all the ways our situation has shifted (in a good way), I’d like to pause for a moment to reflect and give thanks.

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Mother’s Day for Childless Stepmoms

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As a childless stepparent, Mother’s Day is all about celebrating my mom, my sisters, my friends, my husband’s mom – all the amazing moms in my life.

On Mother’s Day, I want to shower the moms in my life with the love and appreciation they deserve. I wish them a day full of laughter and peace.

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Returning to The Childless Stepparent Manifesto

Cultivate Your GardenI’ve been away from the blog for a while. It was a mindful decision not to analyze my situation but simply to BE.

My husband’s daughter is thriving. My husband and I are happy and close. It’s been a good time for us.

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Give Your All As If It Costs You Nothing

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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.”

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Give Yourself Permission to Have an Off Day

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Many parents – including my own! – have told me that sometimes they need time away from their kids. My husband has told me that, too, about his daughter. They all say it without guilt. They don’t think they’re bad people for needing space. They’re just parents who need a break.

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

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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.

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Reflecting on a Previous Post

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One of the benefits of writing things down is that we can go back and check in with ourselves.

Today, I’m reflecting on this recent post: The Hardest Thing I’ve Done As a Childless Stepparent.

I’m reminding myself to step back, breathe, and let go.

If You Can Change It, Do. If You Cannot Change It, Accept.

self This post is inspired by reader Trigirl, who commented on my recent post The Hardest Thing I’ve Done as a Childless Stepparent. I wrote about how I must accept that my husband will deal with his former wife in his own way and that whatever dynamic exists between them does not involve me (Manifesto #5).

Trigirl asked: “How did you come to accept that you will not have a child of your own? For me that is the hardest issue to come to peace with.”

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Transition Days for Childless Stepparents

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Every other Monday, my husband picks up his daughter after school and brings her home to begin her week with us. He wakes up excited on those days and can’t wait to see his daughter.

My experience is different. I’m often ambivalent on what we call “transition days.” I used to avoid admitting this to myself. I felt like a bad person for not being filled with the same joy my husband feels. But how could I feel that same joy? She is not my child. Some weeks I look forward to seeing her, other weeks I dread the intrusion. And that’s okay.

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What Happens When I Neglect My Manifesto

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Yesterday, I neglected my manifesto. I allowed myself to get annoyed by something my husband’s former wife did (Manifesto #5). I inserted myself unnecessarily into a parenting decision (Manifesto #1). I was too harsh toward my husband’s daughter when he and I talked things through (Manifesto #6).

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