In a world where almost half of all marriages end in divorce; it blows my mind that people still get so defensive at the slightest mention of step-parents. Collectively speaking, shouldn’t step-people be more accepted by now?
I’m a step-parent. I currently have 2 step-sons. I have a former step-daughter that I still refer to as my daughter. My boys have a woman that they viewed as their step-mother, even though their father never married her. As a child, I had step-parents. I have a step-mother that is no longer married to my father. So…an ex-step mother? Maybe. Dysfunction at its finest? Definitely.
The point is, I have a lot of step-things going on in my life. And I have for a lot of years. My parents divorced when I was 3 years old. Divorce and step-families are completely normal for me. Normal doesn’t mean easy, of course. This shit is hard.
I’ve said many times that step-parenting is the literal definition of a rock and a hard place. A damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation at it’s core. A no win situation for sure. After all, the unwritten rules can change at any given moment and not one expectation is ever made clear. Amiright?
The only thing harder than being a step-parent is being a step-child. I have the credentials to make that statement. I’m not wrong. And anyone with the well being of their child as a priority won’t need an explanation for it.
I’ll even follow that up with another bold statement…
Parents; get it together. Step-parents; stay in your lane. Figure your shit out. Quickly.
Because here’s the real deal…like it or not, we are all on the same team. We all have the same goal. The same end game. The same best interest at heart. And I have to believe that the sooner everyone realizes that, the easier things will be for everyone involved.
As parents; let’s stop complicating things. It’s going to be difficult enough. As step-parents; it’s going to require compromise. Tears will be shed. Frustration will be felt and eyes will likely roll. We need to just accept all of that and stay the path. Together. Keep an open mind and even more open heart. Maybe it really does take a village?
I have to believe, for my own sanity…and for the sake of all of the other parents in shoes like mine…that the heartache and disagreements will be worth it when the kids are happy, well-adjusted adults that can blame us for their shortcomings even after our sacrifices. It’s just what they do. At least there will be more of us to carry their blame?
Glass half full.
Until then….therapy and a stiff drink.
Cheers, fellow parents and bonus parents. We got this.