This blog is, like, weeks late. I read this blog where a blogger was asked to give her thoughts on step parenting. It stemmed from this post from another blogger, Drollgirl. I don’t want to re-hash what they said. I agree with points in both blogs. Just want to add my two cents, before Lailah wakes up from this catnap she’s taking. Her sleep schedule is a whole other blog in itself. LOL! Anywho…
Like Drollgirl, I grew up with my siblings and both my parents. There were no step parents and no step siblings. I had no direct exposure to the blended family, though some of my friends did.
One of the lines in Drollgirl’s post stuck out to me. She said that her boyfriend told her, “…I would never be a mother to his kids — they already had one.” That’s pretty much my approach. I’m not here to be CH’s mom. She is alive and well and very much a part of his life. He lives with us because he’s at the age where he needs his dad’s
foot up his butt guidance.
I remember trading teen stories with a coworker who has a teenage son the same age as CH. At one point, he was basically telling me that I should refer to CH as my son. To which I politely told him, but he’s not. To me, referring to him as my stepson is ok, because he refers to me as his stepmom. We know our roles and assume them accordingly. I always love how people who have never experienced step parenting have the most advice. Not. LOL
CH calls me by my first name. I’m ok with that. If he’s talking to one of his friends on the phone, I’ve heard him refer to me as his “stepmom.” That’s what I am. I have no complaints. He comes to me to talk about relationship questions, same as he does to HH. We talk about school. When I direct or ask him to do something, he does it. We’ve never had that awful “you aren’t my mother!” moment. Does he get on my nerves? Yes. Do I get on his? Probably. But I think that happens in all parent/child relationships.
I do think it’s important that all the parents are on one accord. CH also has a stepdad, as his mom is remarried. I’ve never heard him say anything negative about him. If I could change one thing, it would be that his mom and I communicated with regard to him. I think that’s where Jada Pinkett Smith’s story is rare, and may have folks thinking that step parenting is a cake walk. Kind of like The Brady Bunch and Modern Family.
One thing I noticed at Thanksgiving, and even now when we’re talking about them, he refers to my mom as “Grandma” and he calls my siblings “Aunt” and “Uncle.” He refers to their kids as his cousins. I found out the other day that he called my niece to talk after he broke up with his girlfriend. To me, that means we’ve done a pretty good job with the “blended family” notion.
It still throws me off when he calls my mom “Grandma.” I always think he’s talking about my mother in law. Then I realize the context of the convo and figure out that he’s not. I think he does a little better job at the blended family than I do, at times.
Step parenting is up and down. One week it’s easy, and the next week you’re over it. That’s the best way I can sum it up.