By the time I became a stepmom, one of my besties had been one for almost 5 years. During the 5 years between the start of her “in-step” adventure and mine, I heard her, laughed with her, commiserated with her, but I did not understand her. Not really. Not in that, “I’m going through the same thing and you don’t even have to say another word because I got everything you meant in that single grunt” way. I look back in embarrassment at how Pollyanna-ish I was at times. That “me” from 15 years ago gets on my own nerves!!! In retrospect, it’s a wonder we’re still good friends.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, go get help except get help from someone who can help. It’s good to talk to friends but I want the reality of 2 Timothy and Titus in my life (older women teaching younger). But, what do you do if you can’t find help? What if the woman who has walked where you are now walking hides better than Waldo? My friend had me but I was still married to my first husband when she got married. I got divorced about 2 years into her marriage. What did I know? I could listen, pray, and offer a little bit of insight based on generalities but the nitty gritty, I know how you feel stuff was beyond me.
If you’ve listened to the “Cheryl’s Journey” video on this website, then you know I was looking for stepmom resources and found very little. What I did find was helpful, but I wanted more than a book. I wanted a tribe. The people who could comfort me with the same comfort they had received (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). A group of chicks like me, navigating stepfamily life, who would get me. I wanted you. But I couldn’t find you. So the Lord impressed upon me one morning, in not so many words, “If you build it they will come.” Not really. What I heard in my heart was, “Cheryl, I want you to help stepmoms.”
So here we are. There were a few other reasons too:
WE NEED HELP
I like to think I’m reasonably intelligent and have a bit of common sense. My EQ is tuned in. At the very least I’m smart enough to know there’s a lot I don’t know. “Stepmoming” was something I didn’t know. As the children age, enter new stages, get married, have children, etc. there will be more I don’t know. I will need to adjust and learn how to relate to them in new ways. We don’t always know how to do this. Much like with our biological children. Why do we more readily accept our imperfections with our bios but feel as if it’s a cardinal sin with our steps? Duh! What mom knows what she’s doing at all times?! We need help. As we build community we will naturally learn from each other and grow in wisdom.
WE NEED SAFETY
One of the prayers I pray consistently is, “Father, make me a safe place for the people you send my way remembering these are people You love, and for whom You sent Christ to die. Help me to move out of the way so that it is Your wisdom and not my opinion I give when asked. Holy Spirit, empower me to extend grace where it is needed, speak the truth in love, and honor You in all things.”
In my opinion, the worst thing that can happen to us in a friendship is to unload deep hurts, unspoken desires, or unsavory thoughts, only to have them dismissed, used as a weapon, judged, or misunderstood. We need a place where it’s okay to be real. One of our core values at Stepmom Sanity is be a judgement free zone. So feel free to take off the masks.
WE NEED EACH OTHER
The Bible tells us two are better than one because if one falls the other can help them up (Ecclesiastes 3:9-12). There is not one aspect of our lives meant to be lived outside of community. Not one. Although some aspects, like our marriages, are more sacred than others and require a greater level of exclusivity, none are beyond the reach of wise counsel, prayer, friendship, and support.
Good reasons all. But the God reason for Stepmom Sanity is His reason for everything He does: Y.O.U. He loves you. You are the reason He died. You are the one He came to rescue. You are the one He has redeemed. You are the one He has anointed to mother all your children. And Stepmom Sanity is all for you!
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And if you haven’t already, download our free 25 Stepmom Truths pdf.