Over the weekend I blogged about how day trips can give me a new family perspective, and how much I enjoy that fresh approach.

I want to apply the same idea to stepparenting.  I often find I am sorely in need of another perspective, sometimes when I least expect it.  This happened a few weeks after my stepson recently moved back into our basement.  We all believe this is temporary, but it started as “May I crash here for a night?” Because I didn’t realize that a night would turn into weeks, I hadn’t been down to the room that my husband had set up for him.

I walked in there yesterday and saw something that I firmly believe in and yet it made my stomach do a flip-flop.  He has two pictures of his mother (deceased now for 16 years) up in the room.  My head knows this is good — good for him, and healthy to keep connected.

That doesn’t change how my insides reacted.

I mentioned my experience to my cousin, who has always been very honest and truthful with me, and is a psychologist to boot.  She said, “I’m guessing that having you in his life in such a supportive way has allowed him to also cherish his Mom and his memories of her.”

Wow.  Why didn’t I think of that? (V-8 bonk-on-the-head moment.)

Or how about the time when the kids were in elementary school and I was whining about them calling me Diane.  Another mom told me her son (not her stepson) calls her by her first name. When she asked him to call her Mommy, he said, “but you’re my Dee Dee!”  It triggered a memory of Brittany telling her friends that I was “her Diane.”  I guess that wasn’t so bad!

So, try it.  If you’re struggling with something in the stepfamily arena, cast out for a fresh view.  That which you reel in may be just what you needed to hear.

Mama J is frequently saved by fresh perspectives.  She writes, parents, and stepparents in Northern Colorado.  To learn more about her book, Stepparenting the Grieving Child, check out her website at www.dianefromme.com.


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