Thursday, March 16, 2006

Blindfold is on....

I was a step parent when I was married. It is a very hard thing to be. I never thought I was very good at it. I tried but it is harder than people who LOVE kids could ever imagine. I still talk to the girls once in awhile and they will always be my son’s sisters and I love that. They all love each other very much.

Before we got married we lived in an area that was an hour away from where the girls lived. That meant my ex had his girls every other weekend. We bought a house near them and after we were married it was finished being built and we moved in. Then we had the girls 7 out of every 14 days.

Several months after moving into the house Steve was born. Now I was a new mom, a step mom and my ex was busy going to school and working. I don’t know that I suffered post partum depression but I do know I was a very nervous and anxious first time mom. I remember feeling like all I wanted to do was to take care of my baby….how could I have enough time and energy to take care of the girls, the house and my husband all at the same time. At times things were so overwhelming.

We are given babies for a reason, we learn how to be tolerant, and we learn about the child, who they are, how they are, how they react to situations, and what they respond to. All these things happen as they grow and we grow with them. At each age there are new challenges but knowing about them I think parents have more knowledge of how to deal with each issue. Each child is so unique and how they grow and learn is never the same. Loving them was easy; it was the rest that was hard. I took my queue for the girls from their father and that did not work so well since his moods were all over the place.

The other thing I did not know or even slightly understand is how it was for them being in a split family. Dealing with living with their mom and then their dad, and then there was me and stranger now in the home with their dad. She we had spent a lot of time together and I had cared for them before. But this was different this was a home; they each had their own room, their things and their clothes all in two places and not with just their parents but with me.

When I went through my divorce there was a mandatory parenting class that I had to take. Steve’s dad was supposed to too…but because he took one a few years before during the settlement of the non-married child case he got out of it. Sad because I think he really needed a reminder. It’s a short class, does not take a lot of time. But I spoke volumes to me about how and what the kids go through. I took one online and then took another one in person. I heard other people tell their stories and I learned some things that could be felt with the divorce and again with the parent’s new relationships.

If and when I ever get into a relationship and that person is going to be involved with my son…..I am going to ask that they take that class or one like it….if they say no then I will feel like they really don’t want to be involved with my son and I was wrong about them. I wish I had taken a class like that before being a step parent I THINK it might have helped a little. Either way being a step parent is very hard.


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