3 Steps to Being an Effective Stepmom – When You Don’t Get Along with the Children’s Biological Mother

Is your new life as a stepmom not what you thought it would be? You’ve been raising your own children (wonderfully, you might add), you’ve read all the books, perhaps you’ve even sought counseling to help you navigate the transition to step-motherhood with grace.

Ok, I’m ready, you think. I will be the mother that these children need me to be.  

But then, despite your best efforts, you cannot get any traction with your new kids. They remain closed to you, or perhaps they outright challenge you. In the majority of cases where the best intentions of the new parent are met with indifference or outright resistance, the source can be traced back to the biological mother. 

Help, I Don’t Understand My Step-Children!

Any parent will tell you that each child is unique and that you can recognize a child’s individual traits very early on: some cry a lot, others need constant attention, while some are perfectly content to play by themselves for hours. But a step-parent likely doesn’t have the advantage of having known their step-children since birth. You are required to “step in” and parent with little knowledge of how your step-children operate, or what’s known as their temperament.

Temperament is the inborn nature of a person. It’s the way God wired us. Notice I didn’t say “personality,” which is really just the mask or persona we put on for ourselves and others. Personality gets a lot of attention in our culture, which prizes the individual, but it’s not nearly as accurate a depiction of how we truly work as temperament is. 

How to Not to Hate Your Husband’s Ex

If you are reading this, you are probably part of the small percentage of step-mothers who do not have an amicable relationship with your new children’s mother. Put another way, you’ve got baby mama drama. Despite all of your efforts and attempts, this woman cannot seem to move past whatever issues she is reeling from and see that you have her children’s best interests at heart.

It can be incredibly difficult to not have a good working relationship with your step-children’s biological mother—logistically and emotionally. To make matters worse, her constant attempts to berate her ex—your husband and your step-children’s father—are causing tremendous damage on the children’s precious hearts. And it’s fueling a righteous indignation in your heart.