Monday, September 1, 2008

Mama Drama

So there are many things that still anger me at times. Especially when there's mama drama. Now I know that women create drama wherever they go. I'm sure I've created my share at times. However, I try to steer clear of it whenever possible. I HATE drama. I don't understand why so many women thrive on drama in their lives. It's like they're not happy unless there's some kind of dramatic situation to stir around. So when it comes to the kids, it's sad that they are thrown into the mix whether they know they're doing it or not. There is no way to change a way people parent. We can't go over to their house like Supernanny and tell them what we think they're doing wrong or what they could be doing better. And yes it's hard to know if you would react the same way or if you'd be more level headed about certain things. This is especially true if you're a childless stepmom. We know how we would most likely react but can only speculate. So the way we've learned to deal with it is to simply offer sympathy when a dramatic situation presents itself. However, we try not make a big deal out it by asking lots of questions or talking a lot about it in the presence of the children or the ex.

For example, my stepdaughter brought home her first C on an math test and was really upset because she usually made all "A's". So we were warned that she was very upset and that was understandable. However, instead of lecturing her and asking lots of questions, we simply said that we knew that math was a hard subject and if she needed any extra help to make sure and let us or her mom or her teacher know so she could better understand what she was struggling with. We made sure to tell her that we knew she was capable of making an A because she was a very smart and responsible girl. Then we dropped it. We didn't bring it up again and didn't grill her about the questions on the test or what she should have or could have done to make an "A".

It's especially important to remember to keep things in perspective when it comes to things like this for several reasons:
  1. First, the children are being shuffled from mom's family to dad's family every week or every other weekend depending on your unique situation. So assuming your parents were still married, think of how difficult it was to tell your parents when you made a bad grade or messed up at one point or another. Now think about telling two sets of parents and possibly having two sets of questions, comments, reprimands, etc. They are hearing and dealing with what we've heard and dealt with times 2! That could really weigh on a child if one or both sets of parents dramatize the situation more than necessary. So in our situation, she needed gentle criticism but more importantly, encouragement.

  2. Secondly, they feed off of your mood and attitude and they'll remember how you reacted to situations. If your mom flipped out when you accidentally left your brand new retainer on your lunch tray and it got dumped down the cafeteria garbage disposal, you'll likely remember her throwing something at you while running to your room to escape the wrath. But imagine having four parents reacting that way! I struggle with this on a daily basis since I'm an over-reactor. Why would I over-react? Nobody in my family over-reacts!" - Annie Banks Mackenzie: Father of the Bride I'm currently working on letting things go and not knit picking everything. After all, it's about enjoying the journey so it's important to remember that everyday.

  3. Lastly, try to remember that this too shall pass! This is a test. Just like my mom just told me tonight. Satan is trying to get you angry and mad because he knows you are trying to help other stepmoms and encourage them by sharing your experiences. Don't let him win! Remember what James wrote, "Man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires" (James 1:20).
Everything that happens is an opportunity for you to rise above the challenge and the drama. It's a chance for you to show your character but more importantly, God's character through your actions. Not only your stepchildren, but the ex will see how you and your husband react to the drama and it can speak volumes in either positive or negative ways. It's up to you to decide how you will handle the mama drama in your life!


Anonymous said...

Great post! Its so encouraging to see other stepmoms going through the same struggles.

Anonymous said...

Your so right about the drama! Girls start this about 4th or 5th grade and it gets worse with age. I think that is why women are so bad about gossiping too. Christian women have to be aware that they are prone to drama and let God help them over come. I still struggle with this at times especially talking about people. Thanks for your insight.