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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Step W-h-a-t?


When you are a little girl and growing up and dreaming of the man you'll marry and what kind of house you'll have and how many kids you'll have and what you'll do for a living you never say "I want to be a step mom." *flash to Cinderella with her wicked step mother and equally wicked step sisters*

I've found it's something that just sort of happens to you. My Mom was a step mom. My Dad was married previously and my sister is ten years older than me. I watched my Mother struggle with step mother hood.. trying oh so hard to get it right. I'm not saying it's a bad fate, but talk about coming with some challenges- it absolutely does and it has remained my greatest concern for mine and MB's marriage. I could totally screw it up and live up to the Cinderella image...

Shortly after Marketing Boy and I became engaged, rather than ordering an ettiquette book on throwing a second simple wedding ceremony, I filled my Amazon.com cart with titles like " Stepcoupling" and "The Working Girl's Guide to being a Stepmom" I watched Stepmom with Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon and sobbed. Never thought I would be a stepmom. I guess I thought I would get a divorce and it miraculously it wouldn't happen for me. Boy was I an idiot.

Close to 60% of American Families are what we affectionately call "Blended Families" and it certainly feels that way. Insert "his" and "hers" and the two of you into blender and press "blend" and that is very definitely how it can feel sometimes. No one is right or wrong- we're just all different.

We have sought a great deal of coaching on how to blend a family. We talk through issues with a professional and get suggestions or ideas about how to make our life in a blender a little more smooth. Then comes step 2 :Try to spend as much time together as a family unit as possible. This will make the transition after marriage a little easier. I'm learning, that there are good weekends with the kids and there are challenging weekends with the kids. Weekends where you think: I can totally do this- I'm a step mom super woman. Then there are those weekends where you feel like you've been through nuclear war and you have grown a wart on your nose and you suck and they hate you. These are the weekends where I happily bound into the office on Monday morning for a little solitude and peace that comes with a 9x9 cube.

Here is why I think it's harder for women to swallow this "step" craziness. Women are very often responsible for the nurturing of the kids. The setting the stage of the home life, the family dynamics, and really they (like it or not) are the center of the family unit on a lot of levels. It's so easy for me to nurture Cole: I know every wound, every hurt, every issue and I've been there from the beginning. I know what he needs before he even needs it. I don't have to learn: I know. With stepkids it constantly changes. You get to have an impact 25% of the time and with Marketing Boy and I, we know they aren't getting the most positive picture of us when they are with their Mom. I can never be prepared enough for the emotions that come to us every other weekend. So it's a constant experiment in trial and error. Trying to understand what's going on with them and learning to be the sounding board they need.

Step families get a bad rap. Nuclear families are best, but in my day to day life I hear a lot of really positive things about step families (if done right). There is a lot of influencing that can be done. It warms my heart when Abigail and Hudson share secrets and thoughts with me that they don't even share with their biological parents. Jay tucks Cole in most nights and "upside down on the bed" is the usual routine and he absolutely treats Cole as if he were his own.

There is the struggle of being the complete opposite of their mother in terms of parenting style and expectations. But what I'm learning, when I allow myself too, is God put me in their lives and them in mine for a very specific reason. While we're still figuring that out and there is craziness, chaos, and emotion.. There has been a lot of growth and strength that comes when two people press "blend" and trust each other enough to hold on for dear life.

Stepmom... My life suddenly hit fast forward and I've been thrown in the deep end with a six year old and eight year old. Luckily, their Dad is always willing to throw me a life raft.

11 comments:

f聖傑陳文盧筠 said...

安一估~你也安一估哦~............................................................

涵FHJK連韓E5131E育連韓瑋 said...

當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。............................................................

林琇 said...

It takes all kinds to make a world.............................................................

新順 said...

工作,是愛的具體化~~~~努力吧!............................................................

吳婷婷 said...

人不可以求其備,必捨其所短,取其所長............................................................

郁雯郁雯 said...

部落格很棒唷~ 支持你歐^^..................................................................

盈廖生家秀蔡 said...

感謝不吝分享您的心得............................................................

蔡靜芳蔡靜芳 said...

Gather roses while you may...................................................

雅俊芬凱陳許 said...

Good mind, good find...................................................

雅莊王edgd春2蕙婷余惠其 said...

在你一無所有的時候 是誰在陪伴你 他便是你最重要的人............................................................

王李秀樺姵君 said...

人不能像動物一樣活著,而應該追求知識和美德............................................................