As a Stepparent, Some Days are Harder Than Others

  I knew my stepson had been having gastrointestinal problems for several weeks and we encouraged   him to make a doctor’s appointment. Since his mother died of colon cancer,  he knows his risk factors for that disease.

But  it hurt my feelings to learn he had  gone to the doctor and never even  mentioned it to me. As a mom, I’m usually the first one to instruct the kids on insurance cards, co-payment amounts, etc. when they go to the doctor. But instead, my stepson confided only in his dad regarding details of the appointment.

In the early years of our marriage, I would have berated myself for doing something wrong that was keeping my stepson at a distance. But after several years of stepparenting, I no longer blame myself when my stepchildren choose to leave me out of what’s happening in their lives. I know I have done my part to be an involved and loving stepmom along the way but cannot force positive reactions from them.

After a recent disagreement with my stepson, he said to me, “I love you Gayla, but you’re not my mom. My real mom would have given me her approval on this.” I had voiced my opinion on a choice he was making that I didn’t agree with, and he let me know that my opinion didn’t matter. The disappointing words still ring in my ears.

Loyalty issues run deep with stepchildren and can keep them from loving a stepparent because it feels disloyal to their biological parent. Sometimes as kids grow older, they work through those feelings, allowing a close relationship with a stepparent. But sometimes they don’t.

If you’re having a hard day as a stepparent, don’t lose hope. Persevere in your relationships even when your stepchildren don’t. Draw near to the Lord for guidance and comfort. Be assured that He sees your efforts and will bless them.

“Come near to God and He will come near to you.” (James 4:8)

Are you experiencing challenging days as a stepparent? Where do you look for hope?

Related Posts:

Hope for the Future in Your Stepfamily

When Stepfamily Life Gets Messy…

God is Enough for the Stepfamily Struggle You Face


9 Responses to “As a Stepparent, Some Days are Harder Than Others”

  1. 1 Jan June 8, 2012 at 1:21 am

    I really needed this wisdom and encouragement to persevere and love, and stop seeking approval from my step kids! If I love them, god will bless our relationship in time, even when it’s different from my expectations. Love you sister!

    • 2 Step Parenting with Grace June 8, 2012 at 2:56 am

      Glad it was helpful! It’s so hard to stop seeking approval but you’re right, God will bless your efforts. His timing is often different from ours and that’s what’s hard to wait on. Thank you for your comment!
      Love you too sis!

  2. 3 Amy June 8, 2012 at 2:06 am

    Thank you for sharing…I have a stepson (15yrs old) who has made it clear that he doesn’t like me and I have to be ok with that. He lives with his mom and I can only imagine what is being said….all I know to do is pray for him and that more than anything he knows God’s love! it’s so hard

    • 4 Step Parenting with Grace June 8, 2012 at 3:04 am

      Amy, I know it’s hard to continue to pour out your heart when you’re rejected. I’m sure loyalty conflict with his mom is part of the equation that keeps him from accepting you in his life. The teen years are VERY hard with stepchildren and my stepson was so difficult during that period. But now at 22 years old, he said to me on Mother’s Day, “Thank you for your guidance and being a part of my life. I appreciate the hard times and the good times.” I can’t promise that your stepson will change but if you continue to show him you care, God will bless you and your efforts. Never give up on a relationship with him. It can happen when you least expect it.
      Thank you for your comment.

  3. 5 Guy Helmert June 23, 2012 at 12:13 am

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  4. 6 Pedro Kellie July 7, 2012 at 1:12 am

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  5. 8 Lisa July 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    I’m sending you hugs because that comment must have hurt your feelings. And knowing what a kind and gentle heart you have comments like that are hard to hear.

    Being compared to a parent/spouse that is no longer with us is a difficult thing.

    His mom will always support/encourage/agree with ___________ whatever he can fill in the blank with, because she’s not here to say otherwise. And that doesn’t mean she would really have agreed with him on everything.

    It probably brings him comfort to view her in a supportive light.

    I’m knee deep in the teen years with my stepkids, and it is the most difficult stage.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. It definitely helps me a lot.

    • 9 Step Parenting with Grace July 18, 2012 at 11:18 pm

      Awww thank you Lisa. Yes, that comment hurt my feelings but as a stepparent, that wasn’t the first time it had happened! I feel your pain as you’re knee deep with teenage stepkids. It is NOT EASY! But I know you’re doing a great job. Hang in there.
      Thank you for your comment. God bless you. Gayla

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