~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!~

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Part Time Parenting

I've been needing to blog for a while, but haven't been able to organize my thoughts into anything that would be readable or make sense. So I decided to make some lists because that always helps me organize. Here's my pros and cons (as they come to me) of being a part time parent--meaning, kids are with us 50% and over at bio mom's 50% (more or less).


1. Hubby and I rarely have to find a babysitter. We can plan all of our alone time around the girls' schedule.

2. We get to travel a lot more than we would with full time kids.

3. Having a few days "off" lets me get my head right and be more refreshed and less frustrated and irritated at every little thing they do. (Sometimes, after they've been with me for a week straight, I feel like all I do is correct them by the end of the week.)

4. When I am missing them, I always think about what I love about them. It helps me focus on the positive things.

5. I get to have the occasional "lazy" day where all I want to do is stay in my yoga pants, drink coffee, and surf the net, without worrying about laundry, dinner, taking kids here and there.

6. The kids are always more happy to see us after being away for the weekend. If they were here every day, I don't know that they'd ever be happy to see me.


1. I'm missing 50% of their childhood.

2. Parenting conflicts with other household. (Example, this week Kate's teacher told us that she needs to not be so exclusive with one other friend. They need to include other girls in their friendship. I agreed and talked to Kate about what she can do to work on this. Bio mom thought teacher was out of line and is encouraging Kate to be even more exclusive with the friend.)

3. Having to constantly coordinate with the other household for scheduling events, parties, recitals, games, buying things. (Another example-- we just booked Kate's birthday party on a date that was formerly agreed upon by both houses. Six days before the party, the bio mom wants to move it because of a conflict, when we already paid a deposit. We have to work together to book summer trips. We have to constantly communicate about who is going to send money to the class mom, who is buying school photos, who is buying books from the book fair, who is getting volleyball and basketball shoes and uniforms, who is paying for voice lessons, who is paying for musical costumes, etc. It's constant coordination, and if one side is upset with the other, communication gets dropped, and the kids hurt for it.)

4. Sometimes not knowing what the kids have been doing for the last five days makes me feel somewhat alienated when I pick them up, almost like we have to get to know each other all over again and get back into our routine every time they've been gone longer than 2 days.

5. Losing nice stuff we buy them. This has gotten a little better as they get older, but it can be really upsetting when we buy them nice clothes, toys, books, whatever, and they wear/take them over to bio mom's, and we never see it again. (Jane this summer left a brand new outfit on the floor of their hotel in New York. Kate let her brother play with a nice electronic and he broke it. I could go on and on.)

6. Feeling like the "mean parents". Hubby and I have rules--strict rules I suppose. We are always present and involved and know what the kids are up to. They know exactly what they can and can't do. And they know there are going to be consequences for crossing the line. At bio mom's however, there is zero supervision, zero rules, zero accountability. Whatever goes. I know in the long run, our rules are safer and better for them. However, in the present, it stings when they call me "mean". I also wonder what it does to the girls to not be allowed to do something or act a certain way for a few days, and then other days, they can get away with it. Are we really teaching them anything? Do our rules do any good if they're only for 50% of their lives? I don't know--maybe 50% of the lessons we teach them will stick!