Step-mom Journal: Left Out

I can’t think of anything that I’ve done or accomplished that is more difficult than blending families. And I think the role of “step-mom” may be the hardest thing I ever do. I truly do try my hardest stay grounded, rational, and considerate. However, some things, usually small ones, just throw me right off track and down the steep embankment into the rubble of hurt feelings. Things that from a another person’s perspective maybe would be a non-issue. But somehow for me, these small things point to the larger picture.

Un/Fortunately (I’m not sure if this is a blessing or a curse), I tend to find meaning in actions that others may not be aware of. I also have a very strong sense of right and wrong and what I consider to be “fair”. Not being included in decisions that impact our home are one of those things. A “yes” answer from a loving Dad to a pleading little girl turns into a disregard for my feelings about our house. I find myself on the opposite end of that with a frequent “No” to my own kid, trying to prevent for others the kind of feelings I sometimes experience. This is likely a mistake on my part, and I’m on the track to fixing that.

This week has really driven home this point. I realized that maybe I need to say yes, more, and also understand that there is no amount of talking or agreements that are going to change the way a Dad feels about pleasing his little girl. I need to get with it, or get on, as they say. My bestest life friend Boo Boo used to tell me you can’t fight a need. And I know the PF and his girl really need to forge their bond. Where I’m getting lost is where my needs/wants are in this.

I’m not sure what I need, but I sure do “need” to do something different.  I’m truly tired of feeling like I’m the Evil Stepmother, just because I want boundaries and fairness. I imagine some amount of “letting go”, to be cliche, is in order. But that’s the problem, I keep trying to maintain this balance and fairness that I’m so aware of.

At this juncture of my life, I feel a pang of regret for my own stepmother. In our eyes she was Evil. I think I understand quite a bit better the challenges she faced when we lived with her and my Dad. It must have been a pretty thankless job–all of the responsibility of a mother, but none of the love or even courtesy afforded to a Mom. And Dad didn’t help. He didn’t offer her a place of honor next to him, making her his partner and the two of them being the leadership of the the family, unified. But rather he acted as a mediator and treated both factions like warring parties negotiating a cease-fire. I think right now we’re in the later category. It can’t be easy to be even the mediator, but I don’t think I want to spend the foreseeable future at war with a child, or teenager. I don’t have an answer for this, maybe I never will. Maybe the answer is to just not do it. I don’t know. But today, I’m not happy.

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About Rachel "Ginger" Lazarus

I'm a post-feminist, ex-showgirl, looking to make a fulfilling life in the country with my fella, our girls, our dog, and "the ladies" our dozen chickens.
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4 Responses to Step-mom Journal: Left Out

  1. Taty Guedes says:

    Hey sweetie
    I struggled with that too, and unfortunately I don’t have the answer, or even advice or anything.
    I am not a stepmum anymore, now that him and I separated, but part of me is very sorry I did not find a solution for this.
    Love,
    xx

  2. Cake Hole says:

    One thing that helped me through the mire of what we call emotions, is that my stepsons (although I was way to young and dumb to consider them anything but my sons, sometimes dumb is a good thing) were first and foremost the brothers of my own son. It helped me. And their relationships as grown men is a beautiful thing to see. You have the best intentions lady and that will win now and in the future. **kisses**

  3. sloberger says:

    I can so relate I just left a long blog of my own saying how hard it is. Your situation sounds almost identical to mine. My husband treats his kids like he is scared to death they will stop loving him and treats mine with oh IDK, he actually treats her like a dad should (sort of, mine gets on his nerves.) but my point is.. treat your own that way too, don’t correct mine in a harsh tone than do everything but breathe for your own. When he is upset with his own kids he says nothing to them,instead he acts all “puffy and angry” around me and my kid) They never have consequences, they don’t do chores (16 and 17 years old!) they sit on their rumps all day and when they are asked to do something, they do it in their own sweet time. Goodnes I could go on, but why? I am so tired too. I am just going to continue teaching my child and supprt her, have her do chores, hold her responsible for her choices and allow her to grow and learn from her mistakes.(she is really an amazing individual). I can’t change people, places, or things. Period. I need to stop trying so hard. Hang in there. I’m on your side, just stay true to you and yours, remember your child didn’t sign up for this but we have to keep them headed in the direction we want them to. Ours ,we can do something about, I focus on mine. Take care

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