Did you know that only about one-third of stepfamily marriages last? The statistic begs the question: What is the deciding factor between the families that make it and those that do not? I propose that if you have a Super Stepmom, your family will stay together.
A strong, focused stepmom can save the family. She is the secret weapon. Why do some stepmoms stick it out while others surrender? A Super Stepmom has three key attributes:
2. A superpower: unconditional kindness
3. A magical uniform: the invisibility cloak
Resilience is staying power. It is the determination that says, "I will stay in this marriage! I will force those kids to like me! I will ignore that last remark!" There are four types of resilience: social, emotional, mental and physical resilience.
Stepmoms with social resilience have an ally -- someone who has their back. The power of spending time with a dear friend who makes you smile and allows you to be yourself gives you superpowers. The Super Stepmom is strong and reaches her goals because she communicates with her BFFs daily.
Strong emotional resilience strengthens your willpower. Can a stepmom ever have enough willpower? The Super Stepmom has a good sense of humor and has a positive view on life. Having one of "those" days? Think a positive thought!
Your mental resilience is tied to strengthening your mental muscles. You do this by tackling challenges. They can be tiny challenges, like, "I won't flip out when I see the kids' messy bedrooms!" or big ones like, "I will run a marathon." Either way, your focus and determination increases. The Super Stepmom screams, "I want this marriage and family to work more than anything in this world. I will commit my time and resources to this end." She knows that goals that command laser-like focus get done.
The Super Stepmom exercises. She doesn't need to fit perfectly in her leotard, but she does exercise in tiny bursts so that her heart, lungs and brain get a workout. When the Super Stepmom is at a family event and needs a break, she goes outside and does a few jumping jacks. She knows the power of her physical being.
Every hero has a superpower, and the Super Stepmom is known for her unconditional kindness. Unconditional kindness means we commit to kindness regardless of swords thrown at us. We are unfazed by nasty comments, rolling eyeballs or gossip. We are confident, and we can smile at anything. No matter what the children or society throw at us, we can repel any negativity with our smiling shields. The Super Stepmom understands that her family's divorce leaves lasting scars, which can make her a reluctant villain.
The final ingredient to superhero status is the cool outfit. The invisibility cloak is granted to every stepmom upon her marriage. She wears it at any event where she is introduced. As soon as you hear the introduction, "This is my stepmom," you will see the recipient's eyes divert away. Conversations will shift to other people, and the stepmom never sees those people's eyes again. Discomfort reigns. The invisibility cloak has come down. Rather than being upset by this, the Super Stepmom embraces her cloak and wears it proudly.
Stepmoms earn their wings by strengthening their resilience, exhibiting unconditional kindness and proudly wearing their invisibility cloak. When you see these qualities, you can be assured that this family is one that will last. They have a Super Stepmom.
Follow Barbara Goldberg on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@StepmomSpeaks