And now you know the rest of the story: Blended Families
You wake up one day and are in love with this incredible man, the catch is he has kids. You do too and you’re just not sure how all that will work. Do you want an extra headache? But everyone comes with some kind of baggage right, even me!
There is always more to the story than we know, so now you know the rest of the story for a step-parent/ step-child: #2
Thoughts of the biological parent:
- Why can’t they all understand how tough this is. My children don’t like my new husband, my new husband has no patience with my kids.
- He thinks my kids are bad, but his are perfect.
- My kids think I should have just stayed single but I just couldn’t do it on my own anymore and I love him.
- Does bringing a new parent into the home have to hurt the kids, shouldn’t it mean more people that you can count on when needed?
- Showing the children what love is like with a partner is just as important as giving them my love as a parent? Don’t they need a good example of that as well?
- How will we work out holiday events? Who will go where? I do not want to give up time with my own children.
Thoughts of new stepparent:
- So I wanted more children but did I really want more this way?
- Is she treating her kids better than mine, or am I imagining things? Am I doing the same thing?
- I want my children to respect her but I also want her to respect my children. How will we find that balance?
- Will I have to discipline her children sometimes, and what do I do if we discipline differently?
- At least, I will get help with all of the responsibilities: from housework to dealing with the children to paying bills, so it is better than being single….I hope?
- How will I navigate being at home with the stepchildren when I am alone with them?
- Will they ever call me dad, or want to hug me? Will we ever blend and become a complete family unit?
Thoughts of the stepchild:
- Why did dad have to go and marry her? What was wrong with our family just the way it was?
- She is not my real mom, she can’t tell me what to do. I wish it was just me and my parents again.
- I have to share a room with a stranger just because my dad fell ‘in love’, yuck.
- Now he won’t have as much time for me and he will have to take ‘them’ with us when we go to the park or beach
- Will he even remember my birthday now with so many others in the house.
- Will she treat me the same as her own children are or will she be tougher on me?
- What do I call her? By her first name? I’m not calling her mom, so what role is she going to try and play in my life? She better not try and act like she is my real mom? I better never be left alone with her.
- She better not try to have “the talk” with me, that is something only my mom and dad can do
- I don’t trust her and I don’t like having them around. It was just us two for a long time and I enjoyed that. I will try and push her away from my dad. She isn’t needed in our lives
- It is confusing, what if I do start to like her. Should I hug her? Is it ok to be affectionate? Will my biological mom get jealous if I form a strong relationship with my stepmom?
- Am I expected to acknowledge her on mother’s day or other holidays like Christmas? Hey, I will get double birthdays and Christmas, so there is some good in all of this.
Thoughts of the step-siblings:
- I need to get them in trouble to assert myself as the “good” child and they better not invade my personal space and privacy
- Are we all going to be held to the same standards? Will we all have the same rules?
- My mother better not get too involved in their lives and they better not get too close to my mom. Mom will always love me more, right?
- They better listen to my mom and do as she says. They better respect her.
- Do they see me as a brother? What kind of big brother/role model do I want to be? Will we have similar interests? Will we get along?
- Can we come to each other with our problems? Will we be able to rely on each other for support when needed as biological siblings do?
- How do I explain our relationship to others? Do I call them brother/sister or stepbrother/sister?
- If our parents split up will we keep in touch? Do they want that? Is that acceptable?
- I have to protect them as an older brother should
Thoughts of the step-grandparents:
- So now I have more kids I have to remember? Do I buy presents for them?
- Am I going to be expected to have them over for sleepovers like I do my own grandchildren?
- She better be as good to my son’s children as she is with her own.
- Does she even know how to cook like my son and grandchildren like?
- How do you even treat step-grandchildren fairly when I don’t know them, they don’t know me, and we will never spend time together?
- Do I let them call me grandma?
- How do I treat the ex-daughter-in-law? Do I call her, acknowledge her birthday?