What’s in a name?
Just kidding – my English teacher let me skip Shakespeare in high school so I could go write instead…
How much power does a word have? And what does this have to do with you as a Stepmom?
When most people hear the word “Stepmom,” they immediately have some kind of association to that word.
Whether it’s because of Disney’s connotation of the Wicked Stepmother, or because of personal experience, I’d guess that a large majority of people get a bad taste in their mouth when they hear the word, Stepmom.
Throughout this article, I’m going to be talking about why holding the identity of Stepmom may be holding you back in life, and I’m also going to give you strategies to move forward. And no matter where you are on your stepmom journey, whether you’re completely unhappy or you think, I am already so happy in my life, you are going to want to read all the way to the end.
Most of us don’t even realize that there are places in life we’re being held back. Don’t worry, it’s an easy fix, and I’m going to deliver it at the end of this article.
I’m going to explain to you what the F “identity” is, and how your identity may be preventing you from showing up fully in the world.
Before I tell you what the hell that means and how you can use the identity of Stepmom to mean some REALLY powerful things, I want to tell you a story.
A couple of months ago, I was at a business conference in California. Surprise, surprise, I spoke a few times, so everyone at the conference know that I am “The Premium Stepmom Coach.”
At almost the end of the second day, a very sweet lady came up to me and said, “Oh, you’re the stepmom coach, right?” to which I of course confirmed. Please take note that when I say what I’m about to say, I recognize that she had only the best of intentions.
So, she says to me, this very sweet lady… she says, “Well, I’m a stepmom. BUT. Me and a group of girls prefer to call ourselves ‘Bonus Moms.’ We find that it’s a lot more gentle than the word Stepmom. And maybe you could call your clients bonus moms instead of stepmoms. It might feel better to them.”
I thanked her for her advice, and I carried on my way. After all, I wasn’t about to go opening up a big philosophical discussion that I wasn’t getting paid to facilitate, because, hashtag – #KnowYourWorth.
BUT. I will share my thoughts with you here.
The simple fact is this. This very, very sweet lady, who had only the best of intentions, felt like she had to assign herself a separate title from other stepmoms. She decided that she had to set herself apart as the “gentle” kind of stepmom.
This is a problem for me. And not for the reason you might think.
Listen, I don’t care if you want to call yourself Princess Consuela Banana Hammock. You do you.
But, what was problematic for me was this. Stepmoms have been, are, and will continue to be perpetuated as “The Bad Guys” until something changes.
I talked about this last week when I touched on beliefs and where our beliefs come from. And when everyone says, hey stepmom, be more of this way but not too much of this way… then we plant a root about that.
So, in the context of today’s article, and in the context of the Identity of a Stpemom, which we’re discussing today, my problem with the Bonus Mom title as well as the good things about that are as follows.
First of all, we have this stepfamily totem pole. And, whether or not people realize it, stepmoms are often found at the bottom of the totem pole.
Then, when people start calling themselves Bonus Moms, they go and place a divide between the lowest rung of the totem pole and themselves. The Bonus Moms want to put themselves above the Stepmoms. And all of a sudden we’re travelling back in time and people are trying to prove that they’re more worthy than someone else because of an arbitrary title.
Why are stepmoms segregating themselves from themselves?
Today’s article is all about the identity of a stepmom. Now, identity is a hugely important topic and one I haven’t seen any other stepmom coach even hinting towards.
(No tea, no shade.)
But from my own personal and professional experience, real lasting change doesn’t come from doing more things, or doing things differently, it’s much deeper rooted than that.
It’s not about DOing, like I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. It’s about BEing the person you want to be.
Stay with me here.
Your Identity is created by everything other people have said and done to you, mostly up until the age of 8, but also after that as well. Your Identity is your programming.
So, if you grew up with Cinderella’s stepmom as your first encounter with a stepmom, then believe it or not, you hold something somewhere inside of you that says stepmoms are jealous of their stepdaughters.
If you personally had a stepmom who was horrible to you because she refused to take the time or invest the money into clearing up her own shit, so she threw that shit onto you, and your personal experience with your own stepmom was horrible, then guess what – you’re probably still holding onto that.
You’ve caught all this in your programming. And until someone breaks the cycle, the cycle repeats.
Every single thing we do in life comes from the roots of who we are. And our roots are planted in our IDENTITY.
Our Identity is the SOIL. And whether you grow flowers of health, wealth, and abundance, OR, you grow weeds of resentment and living paycheque to paycheque and feeling trapped, both are rooted in our identity.
Every single thing you have in life, whether you’re a stepmompreneur who has 7 figures in her bank account, whether your relationship is rock solid or holding on by a thread, whether you’ve been yo-yo dieting your whole life, and yes, whether you’re a joyful, happy, thriving stepmom…
All of these things come from your identity.
So, if you say, money is hard to make – then you probably identify as someone who lives paycheque to paycheque.
If you say weight is hard to lose and keep off, or I’ve been the same size since I’ve been 20, or I’ve always had trouble eating healthy, then those are things you’re subconsciously holding in your identity.
If you say, I’m not a stepmom, I’m a bonus mom, because I’m much more gentle than a stepmom is, then what you’ve actually gone and done is created your own kind of identity that serves you and who you are.
Now here we go, pay attention to this:
If you believe that it is hard to be a stepmom, that stepmom are wicked, that most stepmoms are unhappy, that most stepmoms have to struggle and slog along — then guess what?
That identity is holding you in similar places in your life.
Ev. Er. Y. Thing. You have in your life is a reflection of who you are inside. Everything.
As my mentor has said to me 100 times: Life does not test you, life reflects you.
Life reflects your identity.
So whatever you have or do not have right now in your life, whether you’re a 6-figure stepmompreneur trying to get to 7-figures, or you’re a brand new stepmom just trying to survive each day,
You cannot have outside what you do not have inside.
Most stepmoms make the mistake of not even realizing the role their past experiences play in their world today. You might have also not realized that the ways you believe the world is, is the way the world shows up for you.
Plain and simple, happy or unhappy, successful or not, trapped or free, these are based in your identity.
And most people don’t recognize just how powerful the role of societal conditioning is. This is the power of words. This is the power of identity. This is the power of calling yourself a bonus mom versus a stepmom. This is the power of saying, “I can’t get my business to the next level.” This is the power of saying, “It’s so hard to be a stepmom.”
But I have good news. You’re officially ahead of 90% of the world by listening to this podcast, because most people have no idea what an identity even is and they just live their lives on autopilot.
Most people will never understand that, everything they have in their lives that they SAY they don’t want is showing up because their identity is subconsciously proving to them that they’re supposed to have that.
So most people slog around and grumble and complain and worry about their bills and Facebook stalk their partner’s ex wife and dread when their stepkids come around. But you’re not most people. Which is why you’re listening to this podcast.
Have no fear, I’m here to serve, and I’m here to get you shifting your identity. But I won’t call you a bonus mom, ok? Us Stepmoms have to stick together!
So, at the beginning of this article, I promised you that I’d show you how you could make the word STEPMOM mean some really fucking awesome things. So here we go. Let’s shift this.
Here’s a quick UN-mindset shift you can make so that being a Stepmom gives you wings to fly instead of bricks to weigh you down.
If you’re not driving, then grab a pen and paper. You can DM me on Instagram @thestepqueen so I can see what you’ve been up to.
Here we go.
#1: When I hear the word “Stepmom,” what are the first 10 things that come to my mind?
It might take you a while to come up with this, it might not. Don’t judge it and don’t censor it. Just let it come out.
For example, when you hear Stepmom, do you think: wicked, drama queen, unappreciated, not welcome, invisible. One I hear lots is second-class citizen. Runner-up. Punching bag.
What do you think of when you hear the word Stepmom? 10 things.
#2: Where else in your life do you feel the characteristics associated with #1?
So, if to you, the identity of a Stepmom is unappreciated, where else in life do you feel unappreciated? Do you do a ton of things for your employees and then get bitter when they don’t appreciate you?
If the identity of a Stepmom is undervalued, then look at how much money you’re earning and ask yourself – should I be earning more for the work that I’m doing?
Now, don’t fret, we are going to shift this in #3.
#3: What parts of the Stepmom identity aren’t serving me and my highest purpose?
For example, if you feel unappreciated as a stepmom, you could replace that with, say: I can make the choice to do something kind for someone without expecting something in return.
Or, if you feel like you can’t make as much money as you want, ask yourself, when am I hesitant to invest money in something that will help me make more money? Are you hesitant to hire another employee? Are you hesitant to invest in a coach? Where else am I being short-sighted?
I’m really inviting you here to pull on all the things you’ve heard about being a stepmom or being a woman that are keeping you from living an even better life.
And really, that’s what the Bonus Mom at the business conference was doing. She said, I’m gentle. I’m not wicked, so I’m going to create my own identity. I’m going to call myself something else.
But what I really hope for you is that you can find a way that being a stepmom becomes a badge of honour.
That it means you take hardships and turn them into power.
That you take places that society has limited you, and you find a way to plow through them.
It means not accepting salaries that are so far below what your brains and experience and skills dictate you should be making.
Being a stepmom means looking at all the places in your life that have been hard before, and being given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get rid of them.
As stepmoms, we are literally given a magnifying glass into every single place we’ve been told we couldn’t do something.
It’s your choice whether you decide to take it and run.