How I’m Going to Do Better as an Ex-Wife & Stepmom This Year

Better Ex-Wife & Stepmom
Audrey Cade

By Audrey Cade | Jan 22nd, 2018

The first few months of the year are like a blank canvas. Many of us experience cold and snow at this time of year which, in itself, is like a clean slate draping the earth in endless possibilities. It seems that anything could spring to life when empty pages of a calendar unfurl before us and the events of the past year are now firmly in the rearview mirror.

Besides new diets, haircare routines, and plans made to travel or start other exciting ventures, what other good use could we make of a fresh start? I happen to think that this is just as good of a time as any to consider all the bad habits and negative attitudes that I have developed about all things related to my divorce, and try to get them under control.

I am a co-parent, stepparent, and remarried wife. You might say that I have my hands overflowing with divorce-related energy that often brings drama to my day and results in making me more grouchy and impatient more often than I would like to admit. So, if the first step is recognizing that I need to improve, then the least I can do is resolve to draw up a plan to better myself and rearrange many of my thoughts. Feel free to join me if you find yourself in a similar boat to mine!

As a stepmom

I can acknowledge that this past year has been a transformative in my attitude toward stepparenting–good in some ways, probably not so good in others. Early in my stepparenting journey, I inserted myself right into the front seat of parenting my husband’s children and was very gung-ho about our newly-created family. I was enthusiastic and assumed everyone else would be too. I found myself repeatedly frustrated and feeling rejected when they weren’t as receptive to my vision as I was.

I laid down some pretty rigid boundaries to protect myself from further heartache. Boundaries are extremely important; but, I can see that my wall may have been built a little too tall, and it’s time to relax my rigidity. Where once the pendulum of my emotions swung too far into their borders, and before they were ready for me to be that involved, I allowed it to swing too far the other direction to the point that I have become too distant and removed.

Somewhere in between lies the right place for me to land so that they can still sense my care and concern, but where I am not overstepping my place as their bonus mother. A stepmom often has to know when to “step” to the side versus when to “step” up. It’s a work in progress!

This year I will focus on:

Celebrating kickass single mom moments.

As a co-parent

I recognize the value in keeping the peace and respecting each of our rights to parent and operate in our own homes as we see fit.

Sometimes that’s easier said than done because I, of course, always care about my children, no matter where they are! This past year was one of my co-parent and my best so far in terms of cooperation and communication, but there is always room for improvement. The progress we have made thus far is a product of the hard work we’ve put in over years to create a system that works for us.

This year I will focus on:

As a remarried wife

My husband and I carry a heavy load of our exes and our blended family on top of the demands that exist within any marriage. I am so thankful that we work and love so well together so that we can endure these trials without it affecting our relationship. What I know from my divorce experience is that even a happy marriage requires continued effort to keep it strong and healthy.

This year I will focus on:

After an honest assessment of your past year and the opportunity to of a blank canvas ahead, what will you do different or better in the coming months? What small or big steps could you take to improve your outlook, make amends, or strengthen your relationships?

What qualities in yourself do you recognize a need to improve? All of us could be better about something (more patient, forgiving, compassionate or less reactive, judgmental, or worried about what others think), so why not take on one of your less desirable qualities and make a goal to turn it around?

There’s no time like the present to take positive steps toward a better you! Our lives can become very complicated, and we often don’t feel like there’s time to take the extra steps to be the best version of ourselves, but even a few moments each day can contribute to healthier relationships and more satisfaction in our lives! I’m looking forward to seeing where some subtle changes in my routine will lead me by this time next year. Won’t you join me?

Audrey Cade

Audrey Cade

Audrey Cade is an author and blogger focusing on the interests of divorced and re-married women, stepmoms, blended families, and co-parents.


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