You matter. Yes. YOU. Really take in what I’m saying. You. Matter. Now take a deep inhale and feel that in your body. I know that there are days when you feel like no one sees you or appreciates you. Those are the days that it is vitally important for you to recognize that you are enough. Your contributions matter, even if they go unseen.
Being in a stepfamily can be one of the biggest challenges someone can have in their life. It’s an undefined role. It can be a mine field. Just like when babies are born, no rule book is given to you, but you can be assured that you’ll receive a lot of unsolicited advice about what you’re doing and how you are doing it.
You’re walking into a dynamic that was intact, children were created, the relationship fell apart and now here you are arriving fresh on the scene in a phase of rebuilding. Despite the timing of your arrival into this relationship it may be much to the displeasure of an ex partner and maybe even the children, but it is the beginning of a dance of navigating a complex, but rewarding dynamic for all involved if you choose to allow it and be in the flow.
When you begin to question your worth I have learned that this is the time you need to step away and focus on you. Just stop everything. This is not selfish, but necessary so you don’t deplete yourself or worse criticize your partner or children. The maternal instinct is a primal one that cannot be discarded. You may or may not have your own children that you’ve brought into your new partnership, or created together, but you are helping to raise children that do not share your DNA, but you love and care for as your own. This can cause some distress if you are not taking care of yourself and instead are putting your attention on everyone’s needs, perhaps even over perceived by you, before your own.
Believe me I know what it’s like to want to be the organizer, the healer, the advice giver, and so on, but you have to be prepared to give with no expectation of receiving in return. Give freely, but while doing so be sure that you are not over extending yourself into a state of depletion Energetically you can become so involved in trying to manage, or control, your household that everyone is negatively affected and detachment and distance can replace connection and flow of the relationships.
One mantra that helps me through trying times is: I am enough. I can’t recall the original source where I first heard it, but it resonated with me. Showing up in an authentic way in the present moment of the craziness of your life is a beautiful thing. It will be messy, you will say and do the wrong things, but if it’s authentic and you are willing to grow and learn; what is more beautiful than that. Recognize that in these moments you are enough.
You are a woman who is sensitive to the world and who is a caretaker. If you are comparing yourself to intact families or other step families do yourself a favor and stop. You, my friend, are enough. Plant the seed, water it and see what beautiful moments blossom in your life.