You’re Not Alone.
In my work with stepmoms, I’ve heard one word come up repeatedly: control. So many stepmoms have told me how they feel like they don’t have control over their lives. They feel like they can’t speak up and they can’t make parenting decisions. In fact, they feel like major life decisions, such as where their family will live, are out of their control. Sound familiar? If you’re feeling like this, you are definitely not alone. It’s one of the challenges that we face as stepmoms. The challenge is figuring out what we can control and accepting what it is outside of our control. Also, we have to learn when and how to speak up and set healthy boundaries to meet our needs. If it sounds like a lot to navigate–you’re right, it is!
The Link Between Control and Wellbeing
I’ve often wondered what kind of toll this is taking on our emotional wellbeing. Recently, I read an interesting study in Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression and the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari that may correlate with what we experience in our stepmom role. Michael Marmot, a European psychiatrist, conducted a study of British civil servants to find out what kind of effect a lack of control has on the wellbeing of employees.
Michael and his team interviewed workers within the same civil service band, but who had differing levels of control within their job. Their findings were striking. If you had a higher degree of control within your job, you were a lot less likely to become depressed than your coworkers with a lower level of control over their work – even if your coworkers earned the same salary and had the same status within the same office. This study is just one example of the profound effect that a lack of control can have on our life.
You’re not powerless. Take control!
So, we know that it’s completely normal to feel this way, but what can we do about it? To find out more about how you can set healthy boundaries, speak up, and make changes that will have a lasting effect, commit to doing the work in Stepmom Bootcamp: A 21-Day Challenge. Stepmom Bootcamp has daily challenges that help you transform your stepmom life. In fact, Day 17 is all about accepting things that are outside of your control. Take a step in the right direction and get your copy here.