A Healthy Stepmother . . . practices.

Did you read last week’s post and practice your standing scans while waiting in line at the market? Maybe you noticed that you had some trouble staying in touch with your experience, that your thoughts kept drifting and shifting and before long you were thinking of issues at home and the laundry that was piling up and the homework you promised to help with. It’s easier to go over the list, again and again and again, than to pay attention to how your feet are connected to the floor.

It might be true that it’s easier to notice the “to do” list than to notice how you are standing. But, that’s just a habit. It’s your old habit and you can create a new one and then you’ll have two habits and at least then you’ll have a choice. Two habits are better than one because it’s likely your old check-out habit doesn’t cover you in every situation any more. You need a back up. Of course, three or four habits would be better because then you’d have honest-to-goodness choice, it wouldn’t be a this or that, it would be a full-on, bona fide choice. You’d be able to slow down the decision-making train and take a look around at which option would best suit the situation. When you’ve arrived at that point, indeed you have choice.

For most, it takes some serious practice before we get to that point.

Campfires aplenty for most tomboys.

It’s easier to go with the status quo even when that status quo is damaging your health, your posture, your relationships, your ability to function easily and clearly and with gusto. The status quo, just another name for the old habit that has no brothers or sisters, is the bane of your existence as a stepmother. It’s what tosses you over into the “agggghhhhh” pile and makes you want to pull your hair out.

You see, almost all the stepmothers I know, and I can’t believe how many of them I know, are problem-solvers. They are non-status quo women. In normal circumstances, you  would want one of them beside you on the lifeboat. They know CPR, they know their 10 Essentials, they know how to take care of emergency situations. They are very McGyver-esque. Maybe it’s coincidence, but the stepmothers I know are very resourceful. Many of them were tomboys as girls and they can rough and tumble and make the best out of almost any situation. You definitely want one or two of them as friends.

When these very women were put in the “family-family-I-only-want-to-love-my-family” cage with extended stepfamily members, they have been known to have momentary lapses in judgment and succumb to the desire to fit in. They have had reported cases of amnesia for a few months or years and forgot that they were once amazing and resilient creatures with the ability to nurture and promote dozens, hundreds, or thousands of others, depending on each woman’s story.

If you are one of those stepmothers who has momentarily forgotten who you are or been lured into thinking you’re something that you’re not . . . take heart. You can recover your previous level of resiliency and sense of competence. Sit back, walk down memory lane . . . or, walk down an actual lane and go feel your feet on the ground. Quit worrying about those laundry lists of “to dos” and focus on your next goal. It’s just around the corner, waiting for you to remember that it was not the status quo.

And it all starts with practicing how to find your feet.

One thought on “A Healthy Stepmother . . . practices.

  1. I can’t thank you enough. Whoever you are, where ever you are, you have changed the course of my life and marriage. I feel so empowered and optimistic thanks to your advice and wisdom. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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