Friday, September 7, 2012
Life has no users manual. Here's how to wing it.
I rarely post links to other blogs. So believe it when I say this is on point. And, of course I have my own stuff to add because I can't leave well enough alone. I have a few favorite parts like the one about how parenting isn't a contest you are winning. Really no one cares about that. Beating someone at Mommy-ing is impossible because everyone rocks and sucks at different things. You can only really lose at parenting ( in so many ways and then its a whole new blog post) and at that point no one wins, especially your kiddo.
Read and enjoy if you want to feel a bit validated about following your gut instead of a book. Best advise I ever got; "If it feels right in your gut, it's right for your baby. Don't let other moms or even some doctors opinions sway your gut feelings about YOUR baby." And boy did that come in handy a lot.
I think I will write one for all the new step moms out there. Because there isn't a users manual for that either and it is new and scary for the first couple years. It's a role that will make you feel insane and self doubting constantly but I have found some honesty in parenting through my adventures with step kid. She was my crash course. And she came first.
Some real honest truths from one Step Mom to the next.
You will ALWAYS have moments where you feel like the island of reality in a co-parenting cluster.When the Bio parents are in it deep, sometimes they can't see the big picture and get fixated on the he said she said. It sucks. And, you are in the middle just as much as the kid. And, bummer part, your voice of reason may not be recognized. It's just the way it is.
You may be your step kids best friend. Because you are the closest thing he/she has to a friend that is not a snotty kid down the street and you didn't give birth to him/her. It's a really special bond that can be a double edged sword. I mean it creates parent jealousy whether they want to admit it or not. You may be the only one who "gets them" or the one who listens to feelings and emotions or the one who plays with them the way they like. I don't know exactly why this is really. I am guessing it's because you jump in at a certain point and get to know them starting then. No baby memories sometimes, no hanging on to when they were four sometimes. Who knows. It is just amazing and awesome and a very important place to be.
You get to do all of this. NEVER forget that part. You didn't have to. You chose to. It's a bigger responsibility than choosing to create and give birth to a person. I am serious when I say that. You are influencing someone elses kid. And periodically the parent you didn't marry will remind you of that. And you chose that too. And periodically ( hasn't happened yet and I think it's because she knows I know I am not her mom. We have that talk a lot. Because I am nothing like her and I parent completely differently) the kid will remind you of that. But you chose that too. It's a huge plate to step up to and it is most often a thankless job. But you get to do it.
Step kids are not baggage or a burden. They are automatic family. Most step parents feel like this. Most marriages to singles that see baggage, don't last. Fact. Look around. The Step community is growing and pretty well accepted.
Step parents do not really have Mommy groups. But if you have a Mommy who is in the same boat, hit happy hour and talk. You will feel soooooooooo much better and less alone. I promise. And you don't even have to talk about the crazy ex. The kids are the fun talk. With your single friends the crazy ex is the fun talk. That's where the step mom bond is unique. Find at least one. It is so worth it.
My best advice I can give is not to put your judgmental opinions/questions on THENEST. :) The blended family forums are not your friends. Trust me. Maybe I will post that story another day. But lets just say there are a lot more Bio Moms trolling for someone to yell at in there than there are Step Moms looking for social comfort. I may or may not have caused a ruckus. I may or may not have cared.
Back to the wee man. His new EI teacher comes today. New house, new teacher.........I hope this goes well. He has new skills to talk about and I really just need Deb or someone like her in our lives. Wish us luck.