I absolutely hate being a step parent! Sound harsh? Hear me out. I started dating my husband in 2009 it was meant to be a casual fling. I knew he had two young children. However, at 23 I never knew what a life together would look like as far as being married and a vital part of their lives.
Fast forward to 2013 as our relationship got more serious (after some break ups and make ups). My husbands kids lived in his hometown, 4 hours away from where we lived. He was the every other weekend parent, so it was always easier for him to go to Tyler, and spend his weekends there as opposed to spending majority of their time on the road bringing them to and from Austin. It’s important to note though, that even with being a “weekend parent” the relationship my husband has with his kids is much more similar to a mother and her kids (no disrespect to my husband intended) than the typical part time dad!
I’ve never been a kid person.That coupled with the fact I knew their mom preferred them not be in my presence. It never really bothered me that he was keeping those lives pretty separate. I didn’t know, though, that it was laying the bricks for the wall between us that still exists today.
In 2015 we got married and pregnant two months later. Immediately I wanted a home, a place for my little girl to have space and a backyard! I pictured a beautifully decorated nursery that the condo we inhabited at the time could not provide. I started to see us as a family.
My step kids, however, weren’t in that vision.
Although not commonly discussed and God bless you if you’re not one, but most women, married to men with children don’t picture their life with another woman’s kids FULL TIME. Children are a lot of work, they’re burdensome and not always easy to deal with. When they’re yours, though, you build an unbreakable love and bond that typically sustains you through the tougher times. Now, that same bond or a version of can be formed with step parents and step children but it takes time and effort. The very time and effort we skimmed over in the beginning of our relationship.
My step children are fundamentally good kids, so it’s not about them. It’s about the structure that has been inadvertently set for my role as their step parent that I despise. For instance, if I wake up tomorrow and Slade is getting on my nerves. I can yell from a mountain top “Slade is getting on my nerves” and no one would question my love or intention for him. But if I say one of my step kids is getting on my nerves; my husband goes into protection mode and feels my tolerance for them is lower than that for my own kids. If I post a picture without my step kids to social media, I’m subject to a comment asking where are the two older kids. As if their absence is some reflection of neglect and disdain! It’s frustrating taking the same test over and over.
I’m very much a control freak. As a mom, I just do! I don’t check with the gate keeper (my husband) on what’s right or wrong. I confidently execute my ideas and structure without second guessing. My husband actually expects that when it comes to our boys. The exact opposite of our step parent dynamic. That plus disparaging differences in how we were raised and parent muddies the waters in our marriage.
Tyrell spent his kids younger years over compensating for not being in the home. He was the fun dad that fulfilled all their WANTS unconditionally. This made the transition to full time parent, in 2016, when the kids moved in, trying on him as well as me. I parallel my experience with step parenting to getting a promotion at work with more responsibilities, less pay while your manager constantly questions whether or not you like your new job, or want to be at work!
It’s not all him, though, based on my personality and our experiences, I’ve set imaginary boundaries for myself as well. Im the step mom I would want for my boys in the unfortunate case that became a reality. I guess it’s safe to say there’s no one person to blame. As much as I’d like to put it all on my husband (hehe). Im have to figure out how to step up, step out and maybe even over step in what’s become my new reality.
What’s your step parent dynamic? Am I way off or can you relate? Let me know in the comments, I love seeing your input!
I’m excited you’ve come to this platform to hear from all this incredible moms, this is only the beginning of my Mommi chronicles. Be sure to follow me on Instagram and read Stepping Up, Stepping Out and Over Stepping: Step Parent- My least favorite title! PART II