~Welcome to my personal story as a first time wife and stepmom. I use this space to share real life happenings in a blended family, funny stories, my personal frustrations, failures, and occasional victories as I journey through this life with two beautiful and challenging stepdaughters. Thanks for reading, and I hope you find something to help you have a better day!~
Monday, December 9, 2013
I've been thinking lately... what is it that makes us stepparents so insecure? Why do such little glitches in our blended families' routines send us into a frenzy with a thousand different "what if's" running through our heads? I've read enough from other stepmoms to know that I'm not alone in this, and I keep coming back to one thought: unconditional love. Do we have that from our stepkids? Do we give it to our stepkids? We all know 99% of kids will love their bio mom throughout life, forgiving her faults, and always knowing that she is "home" and will be there no matter what. What about us? Every little mistake I make with the kids, I worry if they can forgive me and still like me. Why? Is it just in my head that their love for me is conditional, or is it in fact a love only there based on my actions and behavior towards them? Are children capable of loving two sets of parents equally and unconditionally? It seems a lot easier for my younger one. If I lose my temper with her, she is over it and forgiving me and cuddling five minutes later. The older one, I'm not so sure about. I wonder sometimes if she is keeping track of all my mistakes in her head to use them against me one day! Maybe I'm paranoid. Then, there is also the fact that they will always have another mom to run to if they decide they have had enough of me and can't put up with me any more. Children with only bio parents don't have that luxury. I think that knowledge sometimes makes stepmoms more insecure; the fact that our kids don't really NEED us. So the question is, are we judging ourselves too much and assuming our kids do the same? Or do stepkids love stepparents conditionally? It seems every answer these days is, "Well, each case is unique and different." (I guess that is another way of leaving questions unanswered). Now for the second question: Do we love our stepkids unconditionally? How dare I even ask, right? But let's be honest. The minute they start talking about "My other mom isn't this mean. She doesn't make us do this. She let's us...", don't you hear those ugly thoughts pop in your head too? You know what I'm talking about. "Well fine then. Maybe you should just stay with her all the time." Or "Really? If she is so nice, why did she cheat on your dad?" Also "Well if she is so great and I am so mean, maybe I'll just stop doing ALL the things I do for you, and then maybe you'll see. I'll stop buying you stupid little trinkets. I'll stop doing your laundry and fixing your dinner and getting you treats and bending over backwards to make sure you are happy at our house!" Tell me you've thought it too! Is this exhibiting unconditional love? Do we only love them when we are sure of their love for us? Are we so scared of being hurt by them that we hold back? If one day they do decide to stay with their mom, will I still feel the same towards them? These are answers I need to figure out of myself before I can expect unconditional love from them. I have to make sure I'm giving them some "no strings attached, I love you whether you like me or not, no matter who you live with later, I'll always be here for you" kind of love first.