Hi there friend!
I’m the new kid on the block here at the Stepqueen Palace. So let me start this one off by introducing myself:
My name is Sarah. I’m currently working as a stepmom coach through the Stepmom Story with Brittany Lynch. I live in Ontario, Canada with my partner Luke and my two step kids. Let me tell ya’, being a stepmom has been a RIDE.
Becoming a stepmom was one of the greatest gifts this universe could ever have given me. *Insert your major eye roll, I know.*
My journey that took me from miserable stepmom to becoming a stepmom coach all began when I met the love of my life through work. Our relationship was new and fun. We lived in a honeymoon stage bubble and we never wanted it to pop. After a year of pure bliss it was time for me to meet his kids.
But if you’re reading this, then you probably know how wrong I was. That’s definitely not how our story played out.
Do you remember lying in bed as a little kid with growing pains in your legs? That’s what my new stepfamily felt like. Aching growing pains. And there was nothing I could do to make the pain go away except endure it and hope I woke up taller the next morning.
I’d been to Luke’s house thousands of times. Hell, I helped him move into that house. I decorated it, I lit candles, I even took over a portion of the closet. But I had never been there on a Tuesday, a Thursday or an odd weekend…
The first day I met the kids I showed up with a box of Timbits (donut holes!) and chocolate milk. When in doubt, bribe, no?
My stepson, the eldest, was definitely feeling some weird changes were about to happen in his house. Changes almost as weird as his mom and dad not living together anymore.
Luckily, with my stepdaughter being so young at the time, she was fairly easy to win over. Half an hour of water colour painting pictures of minions, and of course taking a grand tour of her Barbie Dream House, and I was in. My stepson on the other hand was not too sure about me. For the first three months I was a part of their lives, he was definitely not the happiest camper.
He was feeling uncomfortable with, and confused by the huge changes in his life, and he was letting it be known in the only way that children know how to communicate big feelings: tantrums.
Not yet understanding the brain-based reason for tantrums, I’d make his tantrums mean terrible things about myself, and I’d leave feeling defeated. (Spoiler alert: I was also usually in tears.) I wondered if he’d ever be able to accept me, or if I had just ruined his life and put a parent trap style target on my back.
About 6 months later Luke got notice that his landlord was taking back possession of her house. We had a month to decide if we should move in together, or if he should look for something for the three of them again.
Something must have taken over my good sense, because I decided to jump with both feet into full blown step-mama life.
We found a beautiful 3 bedroom townhouse with an unfinished basement that I knew I would turn into a playroom. But I can’t lie, I was filled with sheer panic moving in with my new crew. I was terrified of giving up my space and sharing my life with two kids I had no biological connection to. I was grasping helplessly for information, reading stepmom book after stepmom book. According to Stepmom For Dummies, I needed to implement some cold hard rules with these kids by yesterday. But that’s a whole other story for another day. (Full disclosure: I do not recommend this approach!!!!!)
We moved into our house, and then THREE days later, CUE THE LOCKDOWN! Yup that’s right folks. Three short days after making the biggest change of my entire life, the world went into Covid19 lockdown. I can picture the universe having a bad day looking at me going “let’s make this shit storm harder!”
I packed up my work desk, and turned our new dining room into a makeshift home office. A week later, Luke was laid off and the kids were out of school. All of a sudden, instead of having the kids on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and every other weekend, we shifted the schedule to be nearly 50-50… and I repeat… the kids were not in school and my partner was not working.
That’s a big transition all at once. That’s a lot of step-mom-ing all at once.
I’m generally a pretty passive person so I didn’t initially define my new role as stepmom… at a cost I’d never pay again.
I was gradually losing grip of my mental and emotional health. I was not transitioning well to my new life and lack of personal space and privacy; my boundaries were all out a whack causing all sorts of conflict in my relationships; and I was spending about $300 on alcohol a month to (unsuccessfully) try to cope.
Like Facebook mommy groups, I came across a Facebook step-mommy group. It was filled with exhausted, worn out, boundary-less, stepmoms. I found my people! (Or so I thought.) I’d oftem post, venting about my problems, hoping someone would have the magic wand to bippity-boppity-boo my stepfamily woes, and make all my heartache disappear.
Until one day, someone did have the magic words to make me feel better. I stumbled across the podcast, Queen of your Castle hosted by Brittany Lynch. Brittany talked about basically every single issue and feeling I ever had. Shortly after, I began my Stepqueen journey and enrolled in the best virtual support community for stepmoms in the world: Your Stepmom Story.
I’ve now become the most confident version of myself in all aspects of my life. Along with that realization came the realization that I too want to help other women navigate this strange, scary, wonderful world of step-motherhood, and that’s why I chose to continue my evolution and pay it forward by also becoming a stepmom coach. I’m so excited to, in the words of Brittany, show other stepmoms that they, too, can have it all.
And not just on the outside.