Thursday, June 2, 2016

Stepmothering: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Although blended families are beautiful blessings, there can be disastrous days along the way. There are numerous speed bumps and pitfalls on the journey to a happily-ever-after. When you put two separate families in the same house, there are bound to be trying times ahead. I wanted to share a little list of the biggest failures and hardships that I have experienced over the last few years as my little blended family has tried to make it work:

1. Jealousy—Having my guy so present in his ex's life was really hard. I battled with guilt over feeling this way and failed to tell him how much this bothered me. It ate me up and caused many arguments between us. I finally got the balls to speak my mind and tell him exactly what bothered me. It took a lot of reassurance and patience from my husband for me to begin to be understanding and respect the way that they put their feelings aside for the sake of their son.

2. Parenting styles—Differences in parenting styles really caused some tension between us. My kiddos are teenage girls. His little one is a toddler. So, basically, I have been there and done that. I tried everything and figured out what worked for my girls and me. Having already been through the toddler phase, I have fairly strong opinions on things like pacifiers, potty training, and time-out. We have argued over just about everything having to do with all three children. And then we argued some more. We had to learn to trust each other and know that we both have the best interest of all the kiddos in mind. We also have to compromise a lot.

3. Stepping on toes—As a stepmom, I believe that we have to respect and value the relationship between the baby and his mother. We split time with my guy's ex fifty-fifty. We try and co-parent him so that he is able to grow up with his mother and his father. Because he is important to me, I try to respect her and her role in his life. I may not always agree with her, but I want to be a positive role model in his life.

4. Discipline—This is a strong topic and most people have adamant opinions on how to discipline their children. I have found that in order to have a peaceful happy home, we have to respect how your partner feels about it. In our house, we do not physically spank the other's children. We will reinforce the rules and support each others decisions.

At the end of the day, two little broken families have been made into one big, crazy, badass family. With the ups and the downs, with the hurt feelings and compromises, with the tears and the hugs, you make it work. There are days when I have wanted to quit, but the fact is that I love my guy and his kiddo both beyond words. So, I suck it up and find a way to make it work. I gained the very handsome little boy that I never had (but always wanted), a wonderful man, and my girls have a strong male role model in their lives. 

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