Alexa play “Loyalty, loyalty, loyalty by Kendrick Lamar ft. Rhianna…” How the heck will I ever form a bond with my stepchildren, asked no blended mom ever! Sike!
Loyalty, a seven-letter word that can make or break your blended family transition. I consider myself loyal, but man oh man these children take it to the next level, and can you really blame them?! There’s no love like a mother’s love, a phrase that often rings true. Can this be hindering the bond and relationship you are trying to build with your stepchild? Yes!!! I don’t think many of us blended moms approach our blended family with the intent to takeover as the “new mom”, so why is it interpreted this way?
- You Took Their Dad.
Now while I certainly hope this isn’t true for you, this is most definitely what my stepchildren thought. When I married my husband at 22, it had been yeeeeaaaarrrsss since he had any ties to his children’s mothers. I mean obvious gaps, like him having 3 whole baby mommas before we got married. Do you think his kids cared about this lapse in time? Heck no! All they saw was me, and each and every one of them, ALL four, at some point or another expressed their desire for THEIR parents to get back together.
- Their Mom Doesn’t Have Anyone.
This may not be the case for your blended family, but it was for mine. This is absolutely a weight that you shouldn’t carry but empathize with your stepchildren. They see their dad newly in love and they want the same for their mom. It’s difficult for them to truly embrace this “new family” when they don’t see their mom in a happy and loving relationship at home.
- Someone Tainted Their View
That someone could very well be YOU! Either in your overzealous approach or coming on too strong, children need time to warm up to things. If you are contributing to the lack of relationship with your stepchild explore your blind spots to help close the gap.
If the mom doesn’t like you, prepare for an uphill battle. It’s unfortunate but some biological mothers encourage their children to hate the stepmom. I hate when adults involve children in adult situations, *Cues Kendrick Lamar’s Loyalty* remember the kids are only honoring what their mother told them. Work with your spouse to explain how this hurts the family and how hurtful it is to you. Honesty goes a long way here.
Never underestimate the influence of family, this could be both the biological mother’s family or even your in-laws. Trust me they are loyal to the ex too. Obviously, your spouse has history with his children’s mother(s), which likely means his family does too. Even when the families aren’t especially close with the biological mom, they may find common ground once you enter the picture. Nothing brings people closer like a mutual enemy or in my case, an outsider.
Whatever the reason every relationship is fixable. Building loyalty takes time and believe it or not your stepchildren can also share these same sentiments and loyalty to you. Along your journey prepare for some hurdles, this will involve hurt and disappointment. It’s natural to feel rejected, you may withdraw from your stepchildren, and even your husband. As difficult as it may be, resist the urge to withdraw. Our protective responses tell us to isolate and retreat. I encourage you to acknowledge your emotions, face them head-on because they are valid.
Continue to act in kindness or start if you haven’t. Remember the famous Michelle Obama quote, “When they go low, we go high.” Well fly birdy, fly…because they will go low. We all know that hurt people, hurt people and this applies to children as well. They want to live out their dreams of their family being mended and unfortunately you are barrier to this reality.
Work with your husband to uncover what’s hindering your ability to effectively bond with your stepchildren. Be open, whether this means individual or family counseling. And pray! Pray that your love for you husband extends to his children and that their love for their father extends to you. And remember you’ve got this momma!
Is loyalty preventing your stepchildren from bonding with you? How do you handle that? What has worked for you and what hasn’t? Leave a comment and ask questions below.