In full disclosure: This blended families post is for a limited audience.
I hate to do this, because I generally like to have my blog be something that we all can relate to – something that every mama and daddy can relate to. I like to focus on how our family, though comprised of different players than your typical nuclear family, is no different than any other family out there. I like to focus on all the aspects of family life that unite us. Parenting is a difficult endeavor, and we’re all just out there doing our best. I like to focus my attention on the topics that are universal to all families.
But here is the thing: All families are not created equal. The reality is that the dynamic of a blended family is just different than any other family. It. Just. Is.
How so? Let me break it down for you.
Bathroom time is full of awkwardness With your own little babies, you remember powdering their backsides, scrubbing them in the tub, and toweling them off after a bath. Modesty is not something that you think about when you’re dealing with your own little ones, whether you need to deliver an emergency roll of toilet paper through the bathroom door or you accidentally have your kiddo barge in as you’re toweling off after your shower. Your step kids though? They’d rather use their sock to wipe themselves than ask you to deliver a roll of toilet paper and accidental shower burst ins will result in years of therapy. (For you and them.)
You will feel like a crazy person OH sure, you might think you’ve got a good grasp on your parenting style. You might think you have a strong grip on your values as a member of your family. Forget it. All of that goes out the window when you become the stepmom or stepdad to another person’s children. Things that you used to have no tolerance for suddenly become negotiable. You find yourself agreeing to things that your sane self would NEVER would DREAM of in your mentally stable moments. What kind of crazy things? I once seriously considered buying a puppy at the suggestion of my stepdaughter one day after she had been picked on at school. Puppy. (Thankfully my husband talked me off the ledge, but for a moment there, I was picking out breeds.)
You are varying levels of evil Well, maybe not evil, but there are certain things that no matter how long or how hard you try to correct them or how out of your hands they are, you will always be blamed for. There’s no clean towels? Your fault. There is generic peanut butter in the fridge and she only likes name-brand chunky? SUPER your fault. Daylight savings time? You guessed it. Absolutely your fault. As a matter of fact, just assume that no matter what happens in your house, it is somehow your fault.
There is a certain pressure placed on the stepparent that separates blended families from any other variation out there. That’s not to say that each family doesn’t come with their own unique sets of challenges, we all do. But when you try to mash up two fractured families into one cohesive team, it can get bumpy, lumpy, and occasionally insane.
…and we wouldn’t have it any other way.