Choosing to marry someone who already has kids is a huge decision in anyone’s life. You are consciously making the choice to become an instant parent. With or without experience. And it seems that after the age of 8 it is harder to connect with the step child(ren). It even seems that it is twice as hard to connect with a step child of the same gender (step mom/daughter in my case). But we still make that choice. We choose to still marry our loved one despite the children, cause we are ready to take on that role and challenge. So when I married my husband I married his two daughters as well. Something I thought long and hard about. I don’t regret my choice (known both the girls since they were in the womb), but I am not going to say it is easy. Not by a long shot. Thankfully on my part I only have to deal with one “baby mama”. The oldest daughters mom dipped out on her at a very young age unfortunately (but those are wounds I have to deal with as well being a step parent, maybe I will post how that is hard, sometime, as well). Below you will find the six things I have found that suck being a step parent. They are not in order of which sucks more, just what ever pops in my head first.
6. Dealing with the dirty looks. Sure every parent gets them. But when you are a step parent it is worse. Cause not only is the look a “I don’t really care what your saying” but it is also a “your not my parent so why should I listen to you”. The double whammy really sucks, just trying to do the best by the child. They need structure and I need to let them know that I am a parent first, friend last. And if they get in trouble then hell yeah I am going to sternly talk to them. And from having two step parents (both my parents remarried) I know what that double dirty look is. Bring it on child, bring it on.
5. Figuring out how to punish them. This would be a no brainer if it were my flesh and blood (or homemade child like my trainer says :)). With step children it is harder. I am not sure about other step parents but I don’t feel right spanking them because well, they aren’t my homemade child. So I have to get creative on how to punish them. Their dad is always at work so it is really a drag to bring up what they did wrong when their dad gets home. So I will tell him what happen, what I did and if he has input. And I always add “and I will be talking to your dad about it, he might have something to add so keep that in mind” to a punishment lecture. Thankfully both my step daughters are different, not yet polar opposites but they are getting there. So I know what punishment will work for each of them. The older one is a little harder cause of the way she was treated while growing up so she has learned to go without (can we say treated like a red headed step child, before me). So I take extra curricular activities away along with electronics cause she is in the stage where she likes the Xbox and DS and Ipod. The younger one is easier. She likes money, so I take allowance away. Hopefully as they both get older I won’t have to punish them as much. But it is still hard cause sometimes they deserve a good whooping.
4. Getting looks from strangers. You would think in this day and age that people would be used to seeing blended families. But I guess not. I also look young for my age so I get twice the glances cause I walk around with three children. It is annoying getting a glance that clearly says “wow she was young and dumb having three kids so young”. There is at least 9 years age difference between Monster and Blondie (that is what we will call the youngest daughter), and 10 between Monster and the oldest. I am only 24, so imagine those looks. With the world today things are totally different but they still choose to look at me like we are in the old days. HELLO, blended families are more common today then they were 20 years ago.
3. Trying to connect with them. From experience I know it is weird when another person comes into the picture. And then this new person tries to be our friend or connect with you. You just look at them like ” you the hell do you think you are”. They instantly become weirder then your birth parent and even more embarrassing. Not so much if you come into the picture when they are really young. Things are weird enough when you all are starting out as a family. So when I became a step parent I tried not doing that. It was not very hard but it still sucks trying to connect so your not this stranger. Sure I knew them but I was not with them everyday when they were growing up.
2. Dealing with the “original” parent. Man I think this has been the hardest part about it all. There are parents out there who are totally cool and work together. I guess I was not that lucky. I have a ton of problems dealing with Blondie’s mom. She is ass backwards and never makes sense. Sometimes she doesn’t want to even deal with me cause she knows she will get her way when she deals with Duh Hubby cause he doesn’t want to deal with her crap, there is a reason why they are not together anymore. Most of the time I think she makes things harder cause she can. She never wants to work together on things and we are always being undermined. But I keep the best intentions in the front of my mind, it keeps me from slapping the shit out of her. Seriously.
1. “Your not my MOM” and “Stop acting like your her mom”. Thankfully I have not gotten the first comment yet. But I have gotten the second. Way to much. Now I have something to say about this one. When we marry someone who has children we are accepting that we are going to be an instant parent. Which means we take on that role. Meaning we lecture, punish, do nice things, cook, clean and what not after “your” kid. So suck it up buttercup. We know we are not “the original” and I for one am not looking to replace you. I am here for your child. If I am not suppose to “act” like their mom then what shall I do? No answer? Then shove it. Cause I take care of your child like they are mine. I make sure they treat people with respect, do what they are told and stay out of trouble. So no I am not going to stop acting like her mom. I am her STEP MOM and I know that. I also know that I am her part time mom. So again, suck it up buttercup unless you have a better idea about what I am suppose to do. This one piggybacks on the previous but this one is even more suckage and annoying.
So to all the step parents out there, I know how you feel. And if your one of the lucky few who have the co-parenting down and everything is hunkydory then way to go and cherish it. Things are hard being a step parent. And I know things are hard being the “original” when another person comes in. Just know that we are not there to replace you, we are there to help out and keep some structure. It sucks for everyone involved but it doesn’t mean that we have to take it out on each other.