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The failing stepmom

June 17, 2013

When I was becoming a stepmom I was not prepared. I have no role models in my immediate family or among friends because there simply are few divorces in my social sircles. “Stepmom” was the last role I was expecting to take on. I am, however, one of those who simply love kids. I adore spending time with kids, they are my favorite kind of people. I find most kids fascinating and I usually develop good relationships with kids. Therefor I expected the same with my stepkids.

My expectations were met. The kids and I quickly developed  great relationships. I am not one of those stepmoms who have experienced that the stepkids do not want to get to know you. In our wedding my stepkids were my biggest support. They made the day even more special. Moving in with them was so much fun. I would come home and find flowers picked along the road, that my stepdaugther had picked on her way to her mom. My stepdaughter came to visit me, even when the dad was not there, and just hung out with her friends on weekends she was not with us. Both the kids expected that visitation would happen even though their dad was out working, because I was home.

I think I followed all the good advices I could find in the “stepparent litterature” that exists out there. What I discovered, however, was that most articles and books are about the introduction phase. “Do not introduce your new girlfriend too early. Take time to get to know the kids. Do not move in together too quickly. Do not discipline your stepchildren before you have made good relationsips with them. Be involved with them first, and even then be careful. “, etc,etc. But where is the follow up litterature? Yes, the introduction phase is probably very important because it lays a foundation for further relationships. But lets face it, this is just a short period of the rest of your life. You will be spending the rest of your life having your stepchildren in your family. To me the introduction phase was easy, joyful, fun and adventerous. But then the honeymoon phase faded out. I found myself living with my stepkids, sharing bathroom and kitchen with them day in and day out, eating breakfast, dinner, supper, going on vacations, spending weekends, weekdays, in sickness and in health.

As a stepmom I passed the introduction phase. But it is in the daily life I find the real challenges of being a good stepmom, and having a good life as a stepmom. You never know what it feels like to be picking up other kids`underwear every night after they have gone to bed, before you actually do it every night. You do not know how it feels to plan every single vacation with another woman (or two as in my case), before you actually do plan every single vacation. I used to be a super stepmom. I used to be fun, understanding, patient, loving, generous. I used to be pretty fantastic. But then daily life hunted me down. I disocvered that the introduction phase is not necessarily the same as happily ever after. I learned that at one point or another I will have needs that are in conflict with my stepkids needs. I simply learned that my stepfamily life is not an everlasting Sound of music, where I play the lead role as the charming stepmom. I learned I am a human being, made out of flesh and blood. And do you know what happens? Sometimes I fail. How painful it was to discover this truth about myself. And what a great gift it is as it teaches me to be humble towards others. Life in a step family is filled with pitfalls, and I do fall into them from time to time, sometimes more frequently than other times. My blessing in life is that I have a husband who wipes my tears of failure and never expects me to be perfect nor life to be a musical. My blessing in life is that I have gracious stepchildren, who forgives me when I ask them to. My blessing in life is that my life is build upon a grace that has promised eternal life, and gives me hope that one day there will bea new heaven and earht and an everlasting happily ever after.

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2 Comments
  1. thebabydoctorswife permalink

    This is beautiful and I relate almost word for word. We lead such incredibly similar lives! The day to day is the hardest for sure…The after school homework nagging, vacation conflicts, and date night cancellations due to their mom’s schedule….You seem like you are doing an incredible job and I love following your journey. Thank you for sharing!

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