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Do you want to look at the feathers?

July 14, 2013

Both my stepkids have been away on  a two weeks vacation with their mom. Yesterday the oldest one called her dad to tell him about her trip. There was no “say hello to my stepmom”. 

Today my youngest stepson was returning from his vacation. I have been excited all day to see him. I have put on new sheets on his bed, packed his luggage for our vacation tomorrow, bought him a summer present but most of all been looking forward to seeing him again. 30 minutes before arrival someone was at our door. It was him and his mom. I followed my husband to greet them. I don’t expect the mom to say hi. But I do expect myself to be polite and welcome my stepkids when they come to our home. The result is that I am just standing there being completely ignored.

My stepson shows excitement in a typical Boy’s way. He jumps and climbs on his dad. In the meantime I just have to wait. Sometimes this wait is hurtful. Sometimes it hurts so much that I choose not to be there because it is clearly I am far down below on the kids’ hit list. I know they will come around. I know I just have to be patient. I have to give them space and I have to endure being a nobody in that special moment of being united again. 


Today I chose to retreat to house chores as I often do in those situations. I often start preparing a meal. I do it with mixed feelings. A part of me feels reduced to a house maid. Another part feels that I am actually playing a part. I stood there cooking dinner while having a lump in my throat. My sensitive husband made a few efforts to include me in the reunion which just usually makes it worse and make me feel more vulnerable and rejected. My eyes felt soar. Then I heard a little voice calling my name “would you like to see the feathers I have collected With dad?”  And there he was proudly presenting the three feathers. From there on the connection was reestablished. I do matter.  That means a lot because my stepkids mean the world to me. 


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  1. I can relate to all of those feelings at times definitely. I think though its easier in the long run to not expectantly await the arrival of the child. Continue the activities that you were doing & the child will come to you when ready. Alternatively don’t be in the house when the child arrives. Come back later & greet the child accordingly. Pickups and dropoffs are designed to cause a strange unsettling atmosphere. Remember that the child is in control of developing relationship and the ebb and flow of it all. Forcing any potential issue is pointless and may make the situation worse. While its understandable the feelings you have it may be worth moving forward from them by accepting & releasing because they have the potential to become toxic if harboured over time.

    • I think being honest about your feelings will bring you the furthest. For me that means being very excited to see my stepchildren again and to acknowledge those feelings. I think it is okay to put yourself in a voulnerable position as long as you know that that is what you are doing. So in other words I don’t completely relate to how you deal with the situation. It is important though to not impose on the kids but wait patiently for them. For the kids to greet the father first and have some bonding time is natural. But also natural situations can evoke feelings.

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