Step-parenting definitely comes with its own set of challenges. We are all familiar with the infamous Cinderella step-mom. She was cruel. She was no one’s favorite. And she gave almost every step-mom a bad rep.
Step-moms are not the bad guys!
I grew up in a blended household. My parents had step-parents. I have a step-parent. I have become a step-parent. My husband is a step-parent. And two of my children have step-parents. It happens. It’s not as unheard of as it once was.
With that being said, I have experienced several points of view when it comes to step-parenting. All of them unique, but all had the same goal: the happiness and well-being of the babies.
One hard thing about being a step-parent is trying to find your place. You have children. Your spouse has children, and they bring them into your life. You want to love them and give them everything you give your babies. And you definitely don’t want them to feel out of place.
But technically they aren’t your child, and sometimes you have a small voice in their lives. You are expected to take on the role, without the actual title. You don’t want to step on any toes or have yours stepped on either. It is a scary and uncomfortable place to be.
As parents, most of us have experienced unconditional love. Our children love us just as unconditionally as we do them.
Being a step-child and being a step-parent can feel the same. We want to love freely, but we have our limitations.
As the child, you don’t want your biological parent to feel that their place is being taken, yet you also don’t want to be treated differently than your other siblings. As the parent, you experience the same confusion. Am I showing them enough love? Am I crossing any boundaries?
Coming from a step-child, I never wanted my step-parent to treat me like I wasn’t their own. Coming from a step-parent, I never want to treat my step-child as anything other than my own. Finding the common ground early on is key!
My advice to blended families is to sit down and make sure everyone involved is heard and comfortable. There are so many miscommunications that can happen when there is a lack of communication! At the end of the day, everyone wants the same outcome: happy kids.
To all of my fellow blended families, hang in there! You are not alone! Sometimes, being a step-parent means taking a step back. And sometimes it means taking the word “step” out altogether. Either way, we got this.
Originally published July 2020.