- Family and Parenting
Becoming the Stepparent
Let’s face it, everyone’s first impression of the step parent isn’t becoming the stepparent themselves, and if it is then you have somehow managed to dodge meeting or obtaining a stepparent in your life, which in this day and age is a complete shock. No... we all experienced some situation with a stepparent whether it be in our lives or someone we know. It’s about 50/50 with what the outcome to that story is too.
Now I think we should talk about becoming the stepparent.
If you have low self-esteem you though couldn’t get any lower, be prepared.
Depending on what age you’re introduced to the child, the likelihood of a negative result is huge. I was introduced to my stepdaughter when she was 3, even after a year things were still very… well walking on eggshells is a way to put it. You will be ignored, even if you tried to play the part of a ‘fairy godmother,’ and even if it’s not true and your spouse has been separated from his ex for years, the term homewrecker might even be added to the list of what people have ever or will call you. Take this all into consideration, as insecurities can affect your decisions.
You cannot avoid the ex.
And that is something you need to be 100% okay with. Things in your relationship will be affected by what the ex does, or does not, do. The ex-doesn’t go away, if you can even find a way to make nice with him or her, then do so because when everyone gets along things fly by smoother, and remember you’re not only doing it for your spouse, you’re also doing it for their child.
Parenting isn’t always instinctive.
Especially when you don’t even have children of your own. Instincts don’t just ‘kick in,’ and sometimes even when having your own children, it doesn’t happen. Learn as you go, even the biological parent is not perfect.
Where is the balance?
Obviously, there are grounds you may tread on and grounds you may not. There are perks, and there are not. Sometimes, being the stepparent, there are things the stepchild can come to you about that maybe they just can’t go to whichever parent about. Accomplishment! Or… is it? Where it’s nice to finally have a sense of trust, and you may feel like you are betraying the child, there will be things they tell you that may be concerning or that the other parent has to know. Bittersweet.
What happens when they choose you over their parent?
Can I say accomplishment again? Yes, I think I can. Accomplishment! You’re in, for now.
Don’t call me cold, you don’t have to love them.
Love isn’t just some automatic thing, you do not have to love their child. You can strive to act loving by being kind and respectful. Love can be developed, which is beautiful.
Children don’t understand adult relationships.
My parents split up long before my stepmom became a part of my life, did that matter to me? No. Most children do not understand relationships, and at one point or another will blame you for the reason their parents are not together, regardless if it’s been 5 months or 5 years.
Parents are meant to be parents. You are not.
For the growing up portion that is. Sometimes what the stepchild needs is a friend, and not saying that in some situations does it arise that the stepparent really does need to be the parent, but more times than taken in to consideration does the stepchild need someone who has their back and an adult they can trust. They don’t need a replacement parent.
Half sibling resentment.
This may not always happen, it is something that can happen. There may be a time period where your stepchild doesn’t accept their siblings as full, but majority of the time that period will pass and there will be such a wonderful feeling when they accept them as a full-fledged sibling.
…What if you divorce?
Divorce is never easy and if you truly have some sort of relationship with the stepchild, well that just doesn’t make it any easier. Unfortunately, it is not in your control or the parents control on if you get to see the kid (and this is fully on what my opinion is from personal experience and asking friends and family). It’s the stepchild’s interest if they spend time with you or not.
Your partner comes first.
Which also should be considered even if you aren’t the oncoming stepparent, your partner is there to work with you and sometimes people get a little misguided. You should not put the needs or your relationship last.
Truly being loved for being yourself.
Because that’s all they really will see, you as yourself. What feeling is better?