Childhood. There are so many things to figure out. So many questions.
Children from blended families may have more to deal with, but there are some things no child should have to “figure out.” Things like love and acceptance shouldn’t be a great mystery. Unfortunately, sometimes things get confused in divorce situations – whether it’s because of things said or unsaid.
I could drive myself mad worrying about everything my step-children face and trying to control things beyond me, or I can control me. I can do my part in contributing to the healthiest situation possible for them.
I’m not trying to replace their mother.
I actually told my step-children this when we first met. I’m not sure if they remember.
But they have a mother, and it wouldn’t benefit them for me to be where I don’t belong.
I’m not distancing myself from them when I introduce them as “my step-children.”
This actually goes along with my first point. They are my step-children. It’s a fact. Somehow the words “step-children” and “step-mom” have a negative connotation, like there’s something wrong with calling people that or even with that person.
To call my step-children anything else would be a lie. I haven’t adopted them. Their mom is still very much in the picture, and she deserves to call them her own. I don’t.
With that being said, the word “step-children” doesn’t really do my feelings justice. There doesn’t seem to be an adequate way to get the essence of my heart for them across in a word.
We’re not in a competition.
I do realize that my very presence – as a step-mom – can be threatening no matter the circumstances. There can be this “us” and “her” mentality, but they are not in a competition with me over Randy’s attention. We hold very different roles in his life and neither is more important than the other.
I don’t hate their mother.
Dynamics between a mother and step-mother can be … interesting in a lot of blended families. And, as I mentioned earlier about the words “step-children” and “step-mom,” pressure or preconceived notions can be felt. The same can be true in mom/step-mom relations, but they’re not true for me. I don’t hate my step-children’s mother. I couldn’t because she’s part of them. I envy her.
I love them, and I always will.
I didn’t really expect a ready-made family when I envisioned meeting my soulmate. Now I can’t picture my life without all of them – my husband and my step-children. As long as I’m on this planet, I’ll be here for them.
I haven’t said all these things to my step-children. You might have guessed from the title. As is typical of my personality, I tend to hope my actions speak louder than any words I could say. After all, many times blended-family kids have more words floating around than they can handle. I certainly don’t want to add to that, but I don’t want to cause more confusion by not speaking up when I should either. I never want them to doubt how loved they are… by everyone in their lives.
What’s your experience with step-families? Are you a child from a blended home? What do wish you knew during your childhood? Are you a step-mom or step-dad? Or maybe you’re the mom/dad. What are your thoughts? I would love to hear from you (courteously) in the comments.