I have heard this from numerous women lately and I sometimes wonder this myself. HAVE I DONE ENOUGH? As one of those women, I have feelings of being inadequate and not matching up to my own expectations.
The other day I was talking to one of my stepmom friends. She was expressing the pain and hurt that she felt from her stepson. She had practically raised him and now that he's moved out of their home and he never talks to her. She was so heartbroken because she wondered if she had even made an impact on his life or if her efforts were meaningless. It is easy to feel discouraged as a stepmom.
Before I married my husband, I dated men who were quite a bit younger than me with no children. One day I got the distinct impression, "what is wrong with helping someone with their kids"? I knew right then and there that I should start dating men with kids, and soon after that I met the man I would marry. Because of that impression I felt like I was supposed to move mountains and change the world! But what I have come to realize is the best way to change the world and move mountains is by the simple things I can do as a stepmom and mom. I believe that even though I am not biologically related to my step kids, I have been put in their lives for a reason. In a stepmom/stepchild relationship, they haven't known me since birth so it takes time to get used to each other.
There is light at the end of the tunnel! As another stepmom shared with me, she was a stepkid and then later in life she became a stepmom. As a stepmom she reflected back on all the things that her stepmom had done for her. She then understood the journey her stepmom had been on and was amazed at how she had shown her unconditional love and had been there in so many situations.
As a women and especially as a mother and stepmom, we all need to realize that - WE ARE DOING ENOUGH!! The expectations you have today may not be fulfilled until further down the road. Remember to be kinder and gentler with yourselves. Be who you are and know that the simple things you do impact those around you.