Tips for Stressed-Out Stepmothers: How to Reclaim Your Confidence
Boosting your confidence and nourishing your self-esteem is not just good for you, but it’s also critical to the success of your marriage and your relationship with your new stepchildren.
As a stepmom, having good self-esteem can help insulate you against many of the inevitable challenges that you’ll face as a new stepmother.
But what does it mean to have good self-esteem? Does it mean that you must suddenly become an extroverted or a type-A personality? No. Having high self-esteem doesn't mean walking around with a big ego. Good self-esteem is all about being happy with who you are and gracefully accepting all of your imperfections.
While modern day first marriages have a 50/50 chance of success, the odds seem to be stacked against blended families.
Did you know that, on average, second marriages have a 75% chance of falling apart?
Here's a list of famous stepmothers who exude confidence and charisma:
- Anna Paquin
- Salma Hayek
- Barbra Streisand
- Megan Fox
- Catherine Zeta-Jones
- Jada Pinkett Smith
Committing to a few simple lifestyle changes is the first step to raising your confidence so that you can face your new role as a stepmother with poise, and maybe even a bit of panache! Here are some tips to boost your self-esteem when your role as a stepmom feels overwhelming.
Seek out the company other female stepmothers. Find a stepparenting community (online or in-person). Being able to talk to other stepmoms will help reduce your feelings of isolation and self-doubt. There’s nothing wrong with reaching out to other stepparents for support and a little bit of reassurance that what you’re feeling is normal.
Make sure you find time for regular exercise. Of course, you know that exercise is good for your body. Exercise can boost your energy levels during the day and improve your quality of sleep at night. In addition to incorporating exercise into your daily routine, use it anytime you need to deal with an ‘acute moment of sensory overload’ (also known as stress). Going for a brisk walk around the neighborhood is a great way to clear your mind and create a few minutes of 'me time' when you need it!
Use positive affirmations to boost your confidence and reduce stress. Come up with some nice things to say about your best friend. "You look fantastic today! I appreciate how much you do for me! You matter to me!" Now, practice saying these nice things to yourself every day! After all, if you wouldn’t say something cruel and unkind to your best friend, why would you say it to yourself?
Cut down on your daily media consumption. Mainstream media doesn’t seem to have too many modern-day representations of strong stepmother characters and positive stepmom role models. It’s difficult to find the unique challenges that stepmoms face portrayed in healthy, realistic ways on television and in movies. The news media isn't always kind to stepmoms either. When was the last time you heard a positive news story about a stepmom? That's why it's important to be aware of how much screen time you are using up each day. In order to limit your media consumption, you could start by choosing one day a week to unplug from the internet, turn off the television and power down the techy devices that keep us chained to our week, night and day. Making time for real, face-to-face conversations with your husband, your stepkids and your friends is important if you want to build the kind of meaningful relationships that can sustain you through life’s ups and downs.
Be aware of how much time you spend with pessimistic people, but do so without judging them. People who are always worrying or lamenting how bad everything is in their life are most likely in need of your compassion and empathy, rather than your judgment. Pessimistic people may be coming from a place of fear, lack, and self-doubt. It’s impossible to know what someone else’s true story is. You can still be empathetic and supportive without letting negative people drag your mood down.
Many of these esteem-boosting tips can be implemented starting today and will result in greater self-confidence, higher self-esteem and lower levels of stepparenting stress. As a stepmother, you have a challenging job to do within the blended family. Some days will be incredibly rewarding and joyful. Other days will be frustrating and tiresome. That’s why taking care of yourself on the good days so important.
How do you relieve stress when being a stepmother feels overwhelming?
© 2014 Sadie Holloway