Day 4: Life in the Stepmom Trenches.

As a stepmom, I often have to choose to laugh at the situations I find myself in and the issues I find myself dealing with on a daily basis. If I didn’t laugh, I would probably cry. This doesn’t mean I don’t take things seriously but that I choose to find the silver lining in the storm clouds of stepfamily life.  

While I often laugh at the small things, there are many issues that I face and that many stepmoms face that are no laughing matter. Dealing with issues of abandonment that are rooted deep in the hearts of my two stepdaughters, figuring out how to approach a sensitive topic with my ex-husband without negatively impacting our great co-parenting relationship, dealing with last minute schedule changes with my ex-husband are just a few of the things that can really suck the emotional energy out of me.

That’s why my husband and I have a rule. When we feel the air in the house getting heavy and issues weighing down on us, we insitute a funny movie night!  We put in a funny movie and just laugh and enjoy each other’s company. It breaks the tension and helps us restore our depleted energy levels.

Putting in a funny movie certainly doesn’t erase the problems we are dealing with. The laugh tracks don’t minimize our commitment to solutions. But taking a break from thinking about and dwelling on (and sometimes obsessing over why, why, why,) helps keep our stress levels in check. It just makes us feel better.

As a stepmom, I already feel that I live in a real life dramedy! Pieces of drama, comedy, some tragedy and mystery are interwoven into the fabric of our stepfamily script. I always say that each of our lives would make an incredible reality show because you just can’t make this stuff up!

We have a few personal standbys that we purchased for our video library for those unplanned – we need one tonight – laughter nights. Because some days we just need a break and we’ve learned it’s wisdom and not weakness to take one. Here are the movies we can always count on to make us belly laugh:

Stepbrothers. It’s a bit raunchy but when you live in a stepfamily, you will laugh your butt off at the outlandish things they deal with. Most movies with Will Ferrell make us laugh.

Blues Brothers

Legally Blonde

Ferris Beuller’s Day Off

National Lampoon’s Christmas (at the holidays)

And I’m a big fan of the 80’s movies. So I’m always up to watch Back to the Future, Breakfast Club, Footloose & Dirty Dancing (OK, not comedies but I love them none the less), Sixteen Candles (anything with Molly and crew), Tootsie and Mrs. Doubtfire.

Can you tell by my choices that I am not up to date on the latest releases? I’m also a big fan of old movies especially Black & Whites. In fact, one of my favorite comedies of all time is Some Like it Hot with Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon.

The other day I picked up Coming to America with Eddie Murphy at the library. I know we will be needing a funny movie night within the next three weeks.

Lesson from the stepmom trenches: when life gives you lemons, make some lemonade and put in a funny movie. When life gets tough, it helps to take a break. When you are done laughing and sharing, your issues will still be there to deal with but you’ll have a refreshed spirit and a renewed energy to tackle the topics at hand.

Challenge: think about some movies that you and your husband love watching together and that help you forget the worries of your day. Have those on hand when times are tough and you need a break. Consider having a funny movie night this weekend.

Share your movie picks! Let’s help create a list of movies together that will make us laugh!


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