In my 24 years of life, I’ve done a lot of hard things: giving birth, overcoming a 2 year battle with post-natal depression, giving up caffeine (lasted all of 3 hours).
The role of being a step-parent is up there with the hardest. Who knew how much time you would spend making an effort to be liked, wanted and respected. Although almost 3 years down the line, the initial sh*t storm of transitioning to a step-mum has thankfully passed. But it is still, I feel, one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.
Although Rob and I aren’t yet married, I would consider myself as a step-mum – I look after them, clean them, feed them and most of all have a pretty good relationship with them both. I don’t think marriage would make any difference on how I treat them.
There are ways which a step-family work that would hint
dysfunctional trouble if it were to happen in any day-to-day normal family.
I have learnt to accept that although I feel entitled to give an opinion when health or behaviour is concerned, there is another parent who has hand in some of the big decisions which affect our family and also impact our home. Whether that be rules, discipline, or even schedule which doesn’t always work for us – we make it work for the children.
As a step-parent – I like to think I am someone to listen, someone to give advice and most importantly, someone to put a smile on your face when you’re feeling down. But where biological parent VS. un-biological parent is concerned, I’m a bit of an outsider too.
The relationship you have with your biological parents is understandably stronger than a relationship you would have with a step-parent, but that’s OK. In a biological family, both parents have an equal say and decisions are made by the couple. As a stepfamily, however, decisions are made by the biological parents.
In the life of a step-parent, although you’re trying your best to be accepted by the children involved – it’s a tough time accepting new children into your life who know you aren’t someone of authority. As they’re my partner’s kids, of course, I am going to make the effort to care for them, love them and accept them into my life – but it’s not always as easy as it seems.
Being a step-parent means you have to make a lot of compromises, especially when you have your own children to think about and speak for. There has been many fall outs, ‘he did this, he did that’ scenario on a daily basis. Of course, with your own biological children – there will be a sense of protection towards them which can sometimes come across as unfair.
Sometimes you have to overlook how you feel for your own children to make it a fair party for each individual involved. There has been times when I’ve noticed I have, without realising, treated my children differently to my step-children. It’s natural to come to terms with that, in some ways, you could never love someone else’s children as much as you love your own – but that’s OK too.
Being a step-parent is a big adjustment to anyone’s life, even more so if you’ve never experienced having children. It’s taught me a lot about my own step-dad who despite always loving me and being there for me, he had the privilege of dealing with my teenage rebellion and hearing “YOUR NOT MY DAD!” shouted in his face each time he tried to discipline me. (I’m sure myself and Rob will be hearing the same in years to come.)
Despite the ongoing struggle with being a step-parent, and coming close to being permanently deaf due to 3 boys continuously screeching and shouting – it’s not only the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but most importantly the most rewarding. Laughing until our tummies hurt, curious adventures and beating the buggers on racing Sonic is some of the things which I am grateful for.
Alfie and Holly have not only gained two brothers, I’ve also gained two children to love and look after. It may not always be a picture perfect, normal family. But it’s our family – and it’s perfect to me.
First seen on meetothermums.com