I've made mistakes.
We've all made mistakes.
You make a lot of "mistakes" as a stepmom.
As I've heard from the considerate and compassionate, you also make a lot of mistakes as a parent.
Are they really mistakes if you didn't really know, have never done it before, and you're just trying things out? In retrospect they are mistakes, but at the time you were doing what you thought would work. Knowing you made a mistake does not send you into the bad stepmom category, just like mistakes as a parent or spouse, adult or child are a part of life.
I know of my "mistakes" even though I know that it was just what I knew what to do. It's who I was, or it is who I am. I was a different person back then, back when I first started my marriage and stepmom life. I am a different person now, as we all age and grow, whether we're parents or stepparents.
My mistakes weren't really that bad. They were just judged as horrible by people who had no right to judge, and by kids who really don't know what a stepmom should or shouldn't be themselves. Every kid would like to dictate to their parent how they would like their parent to be, but I'm fairly certain that even if a kid was able to do control their parent in that way, they still wouldn't be happy. It's just common to not like your parents, and it is even more common to not like extra parents you never expected to have. And if you do like your parents, you still wish something would change or they could be different in some way... There's always that. It's a part of growing up and the development of independent thinking.
My mistakes were not pivotal. Sometimes I wonder if they were, and after discussion with my husband or friends, realize that they were choices or mistakes made with others in tow (a joint decision with my husband, the real parent), with others in agreement, or with others providing the feedback that they also wouldn't know what to do. Frankly, most stepparenting decisions, although they have been encountered by many others in some way shape or form, do not have step-by-step guides. Some people post things of that nature out there (thanks, stepmom life coaches for finding that niche market...) but nearly any time I read a "how-to-stepparent/mom" list out there, there are fatal holes in it that just do-not-apply to me. My actions truly related to whatever was happening at the time, whatever my stepkids were like at the time, whatever my spouse wanted at the time, and our general environment. So, that's just the way it went.
I've mentioned some of these historical mistakes with apologies to my husband. He usually laughs them off, immediately stating that it was either a mistake that was called for or not a mistake at all. He used to often say statements of "it was what we needed to do at the time." He's right, and we need to keep that in perspective. My minor mistakes (yes, they were minor) were without future information that no one would have. No one would guess or know what would happen 1 year, 2 years, 3 years down the line. We're still guessing, and we still have no idea.
We have to keep living in the world we're living in, and not living in a past world of choices we couldn't know the result of.