Get help from our network of more than 300 experts on changes big and small, personal and professional.
Sally Bjornsen on Sassy Stepparenting
Sally Bjornsen is a stepparenting veteran. She’s the author of The Single Girl’s Guide to Marrying a Man, His Kids, and His Ex-Wife. Her web site Sassystepmother.com offers informative tips on stepparenting written in Bjornsen’s humorous style. She speaks from experience. She has two stepsons and one biological son and knows what it takes to succeed as a stepparent. Here, she shares her experience of becoming a stepmother and talks about the challenges of stepparenting.
What does it mean to be a sassy stepmother? How does one become sassy?
A sassy stepmother is someone who embraces the stepmother role with gusto, someone who takes the role seriously without giving up her own identity, who makes her needs known and who takes care of herself first while helping her husband to raise his children.
What did you find most surprising about the first 30 days of stepparenting?
I believed that once my husband and I were married, his ex-wife would somehow disappear. She would simply vanish from our lives. In our case, she not only didn’t leave, but she was disappointed that she wasn’t invited to the wedding. In fact, my husband had to call her several times during our honeymoon to check on the kids. And since they are friendly with one another, each conversation included some personal information about our trip too, such as which cities we were visiting, our thoughts, etc. I felt that my space was being invaded, but the truth was, this was someone who was going to be in my life, affecting my day-to-day life, for a long, long time.
Having never been married before, I had a preconceived idea of how my wedding should have been—being whisked away by my knight in shining armor. But the reality was that on the night of our wedding my knight whisked his slumbering seven-year-old over our threshold and I piggybacked the three-year-old into his bunk bed. It dawned on me then that my knight came with an entire kingdom and I had married a whole slew of people, not just my husband.
How did your stepchildren react to your marriage?
My husband’s children were three and seven when we got married. I think that it really hit them after the wedding that their parents were never going to be together again. And, in their minds, it was because of me. The older one punished me in small ways. For example, he suddenly wouldn’t eat the nachos that I made him even though he always loved them before his father and I got married. But their little standoff was very temporary. Taking on the job of parenting children whom you haven’t known since birth is extremely challenging. It’s just that much harder to bond.
What emotions do stepparents experience in the first 30 days?
Many stepmothers report feeling petty, jealous, immature and needy during the first few years of being a stepparent. I remember really beating myself up because even though I didn’t want to feel like that, I just couldn’t help myself. It felt so junior high school to think of my husband, “he doesn’t love her anymore. He loves me.” It was almost as if I were another sibling competing for attention. I didn’t like that identity at all. I hardly recognized myself. The thing to keep in mind, however, is that these types of emotions are normal. They can rise up when you least expect it. And, you need to be prepared for how you are going to feel. It’s very difficult to know for sure how you will react until you have been through it.
What mistakes should you avoid in the first 30 days of stepparenting?
Some stepparents initially work overtime to be the best spouses and parental figures they can possibly be in order to win over their new family members. It’s as if they’re constantly auditioning for the role of stepparent. In doing that, they can wind up sacrificing pursuits in their own life. This may lead to resentment and quite possibly an identity crisis. You do not need to cut out all things familiar and comforting in your effort to become Super Stepmom.
I encourage stepparents to ease into the role of stepparenting slowly. Continue to do the things you loved doing before you were married. For instance, if you liked to workout or cook or spend time going to the movies, don’t suddenly stop doing those things because your life now includes other people. If you do, you will become resentful. Remember, giving yourself time alone does not make you selfish. It allows you much needed space to recharge your batteries so that you can be a supportive family member.
What are the most important things to DO during the first 30 days of stepparenting?
Manage your expectations. Marrying a man with kids and an ex-wife will not fit the all-American-family stereotype that you see in commercials, sitcoms or in the movies. For starters, erase your vision of what you think marriage and parenting is supposed to be. If you model your role and your vision of “family” and “marriage” after a traditional/biological family, your expectations will always fall short. This doesn’t mean that being a stepfamily is anything “less” than a traditional family. It just means that it looks different, feels different and has very different challenges. It’s called creating a new paradigm for what a stepmother is.
Choose a style of parenting that works for you. Some stepparents get very involved in the lives of their stepchildren. They cook them meals, help with homework and accompany the biological parent to the parent-teacher conferences. Others leave the day-to-day operation to the biological parent but are still supportive. Discuss which role you feel comfortable in with your partner so that everyone’s expectations can be met.
What are the phases that a new stepparent will experience in the first 30 days?
The first month may still feel like a honeymoon. The “what have I done?” stage, however, will quickly follow. This is the period of time when you need to adjust to sharing your life with other people, which isn’t so easy for those who are used to living on their own.
Next comes the identity crisis when you may ask yourself, “who am I?” Once you hit rock bottom, the dust will begin to clear. On a spiritual level, you may come to believe that joining your family was meant to be. The process may not have been pretty, but you will be richer because of it in the end.
In your opinion, what is the key to stepparenting success in the first 30 days and beyond?
Having the support of your spouse is key. In the first few years of being a stepparent, I was highly reactive to human transgression. In times like that my husband would remind me that marriage was a long road and if I continued to overreact the way that I was, that road was going to start to feel really bumpy. This gave me some perspective. I also believe that therapy and time spent with certain friends were valuable. You just need to understand that not every friend is going to understand your situation. I had some say, “what do you care? They aren’t your kids. It’s not your responsibility.” But, of course, they were my responsibility and I did care.
Time really is your friend when you are a stepparent and getting used to a new life takes time. Looking back I realize that things didn’t really gel until close to two years into the marriage. That may feel like an eternity when you are starting out, but in retrospect it wasn’t really that long.
What is the belief you personally go to during times of change?
Change is temporary. When you are in it, the process isn’t always fun, but it will make you so much stronger.
The best thing about change is...
What is the best change you have ever made?
Deciding that I didn’t want to live this life by myself. So, when I was 35, I decided to get married for the first time and have a child of my own.
For more information on Sally Bjornsen, visit www.sassystepmother.com.
Real love spell caster that work to bring back ex lover no matter why he left you.
My boyfriend that left me few months ago just came back to me last night crying for me to take him back. After 3 year relationship with my boyfriend, he changed suddenly and stopped contacting me regularly, he would come up with excuses of not seeing me all the time. He stopped answering my calls and my sms and he stopped seeing me regularly. I then started seeing him with different girls several times but every time he would say that he love me and that he needed some time to think about our relationship. But cannot stop thinking about him so i decided to go online and i saw so many good talk about this spell caster called dr unity and i contact him and explain my problems to him. He cast a love spell for me. and after 28hours, my boyfriend came back to me and started begging me to forgive him and we moved in together after a few months and he was more open to me than before and he started spending more time with me than his friends. We eventually got married and now have been married happily with a son. Ever since Dr unity helped me, my boyfriend is very stable, faithful and closer to me than before.You can also contact this spell caster and get your relationship fix .Here’s his contact, WhatsApp him: +2348055361568 or Email him at: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com ,website:https://drunity.simplesite.com
Unite And Get Your Ex Girlfriend/Boyfriend Back Urgent Love Spell, I'm Cassie Tiffany from TX, USA...I just found out about my husband cheating on me with a co-worker! We’ve been married going on two years. 2kids. lots of amazing momments together. i want to leave, but i love him so much. all i can think about is how nothing stopped him. how he has to see her everyday because they work together. we are both still young and very attractive. but i want my husband, my friend, and the father of my beautiful children. how do i get past the thought of another woman having my husband? Not my fiancé, not my boyfriend, but my husband! i still love him even though he thinks i want to leave i really want him to do better and stop me before i walk out! my husband told me that he doesn’t feel loved anymore, just because of this co-worker he has be cheating on with me that he wants a divorce, i was devastated, heart broken i begged him to listen to me that we can work it out like we always do, but he didn’t listen, he told me that he met someone that loves and understands him, i begged him to consider our kids but he’s did listen. he left and i was frustrated, i began searching for help and answers, then i heard about a man that can Cast a spell to remind him of all the things we have been through together, at first I was scared then i decided to give it a try, and like magic my husband came back, apology and begging for forgiveness, thanks to this man, I’m posting this to help people with similar issues.Email him now at firstname.lastname@example.org
Whatsapp him or better still call...+2348133873774
You can also view on his Blogs site...Link
Visit his Web site...Link
Now You Can Get Your Ex back and Stop Break Up, Divorce or Lovers Rejection…Even If Your Situation Seems Hopeless! contact: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com is certainly the best spell caster online and his result is 100% guarantee.
My Husband left me with so many pains and since then I have been heart broken and shattered. I have emailed so many sites online looking for a good spell caster till i was directed by one Mrs Wendy Dustin from a forum to email Unityspelltemple@gmail.com At first I never believed him, it took him some time to convince me and something occurred to me and I said let me give him a trial. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a Love spell for me. I was very shocked when my Husband called me 11 hours after DR.UNITY were done with the love spell casting . My Husband was crawling on his knees for what he has done wrong and i am very happy that we are together today because now he love and care for me and my kids like never before..If you have any problem i will advise you to contact Dr.Unity because he has done wonders in my life and i believe he can help you out.Email him at: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com ,or Call/WhatsApp him on:+2348071622464 ,his website:https://unityspelltemple126848969.wordpress.com ,
URGENT LOVE-SPELL TO GET YOUR EX BOYFRIEND/GIRLFRIEND BACK FAST!!
I’m so excited! Thanks to Dr.Unity for bringing back my Ex-husband and brought great joy to me today! Unityspelltemple@gmail.com is certainly the best spell caster online,if you need your Ex lover back fast!and his result is 100% guarantee..
After 12years of marriage, me and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me and moved to California to be with another woman. I felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a (Love spell) for me. 28 hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me and the kids so much, So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and the kids. Then from that day,our Marriage was now stronger than how it were before, All thanks to Dr Unity. he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that Dr.Unity real and powerful spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are here and you need your Ex back or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact this powerful spell caster now. Here’s his contact: Email him at: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com ,
you can also call him or add him on Whats-app: +2348071622464 ,
you can also visit his website: Link .
My name is Jessica Luis, and I base in USA...My life is back!!! After 1 years of Broken marriage, my husband left me with two kids . I felt like my life was about to end i almost committed suicide, i was emotionally down for a very long time. Thanks to a spell caster called Dr Mohammed, which i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet,I came across allot of testimonies about this particular spell caster. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he restores womb,cure cancer,and other sickness, some testified that he can cast a spell to stop divorce and so on. i also come across one particular testimony,it was about a woman called Sonia,she testified about how he brought back her Ex lover in less than 2 days, and at the end of her testimony she dropped Dr Mohammed's e-mail address. After reading all these,I decided to give it a try. I contacted him via email and explained my problem to him. In just 48hours, my husband came back to me. We solved our issues, and we are even happier than before Dr Mohammed, is really a gifted man and i will not stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man... If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster to solve all your problems for you. Try High email@example.com anytime, he might be the answer to your problems. Here's his contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call him +2348134493948
My love life has changed for better since the interference of the most powerful spell caster on earth called Dr.Atase in my relationship, My testimony today is in regard of the help that Dr.Atase render me when my lover departed from me. My name is Anabel from USA and it gives me joy today in writing this testimony as a way of showing my appreciation to Dr.Atase and at the same time i am using this opportunity to advise those that are finding stress and pains in their relationship or marriages to contact Dr.Atase who is the best spell caster in the world through these contact details via email: email@example.com or his number +2348112796070.Because Dr.Atase is the only one that can restore your marriage or relationship with love. He can also help to win lottery spell,contract,sickness and more.
GOD BLESS THE DAY I CAN BE-LIVE THIS WHAT DR OGUMEN HAVE DO FOR MY LIFE
Hello my name is GLORY FRED from USA, My life is back!!! After 8 years of marriage, my husband left me and left me with our three kids. I felt like my life was about to end, and was falling apart. I contacted you and after I explained you my problem. In just 3 days, my husband came back to us and show me and my kids much love and apologize for all the pain he have bring to the family. We solaed our issues, and we are even happier than before you are the best spell caster Dr OGUMEN i really appreciate the love spell you castes for me to get the man back to my life i will keep sharing more testimonies to people about your good work Thank you once again at (firstname.lastname@example.org ). in case you are in any problem you can contact this man for help he is always there in his temple to help you solve your problem Contact Email is (email@example.com )