Blended Family Summer Update

Phrases I’ve noticed flowing easily from me in the last few weeks:

“…My stepdaughter….”

“…Our girls….”

“…All our kids….”

“….Those are our girls over there…”

Things I’ve noticed happening over the last few weeks:

Lots of laughter.

The making of memories.

An easy, comfortable flow.

Inside jokes.

Family moments.

Not every day, every moment is perfect, of course, but the happy, wonderful, comfortable moments are by far the majority. It’s surprising to me how quickly we’ve fallen into our own little family groove together; it’s like Rugrat has been here all along. The longer she is here the more comfortable I feel in “step mothering” her.

Truth be told, she’s pretty easy to stepmother, and I find myself wondering what I was so worried about when the summer began. This step mom thing may not have come to me easily, but like any good relationship, it sometimes the ones that require the most work that are the most fulfilling in the end. I find myself enjoying being with her — she is bright, funny, and just weird enough to fit in with the rest of our family.

One of the things about step parenting that no one really tells you is that you don’t automatically love the other person’s kids. I’m not saying that I hated CBG’s kids or anything, far from it. But while I’ve held an affection for them quite for quite some time, I’m not sure that “love” is the word I would have used to describe my feelings for them. While the love of a partner may come swift and easy, the love for their children may take some work. And that’s perfectly okay. I realized that by just leaving myself open to the possibility of love, that it came on its own — slowly, genuinely. Love for step children can’t be forced, it needs to grow from the slow creation of a mutual relationship.

It took over four years, but I finally “get it”. I finally feel the love.

I’m even thinking that I”m going to miss her when she’s not here.


4 Responses

  1. I tried explaining to my last bf that his relationship with HJ wouldn’t immediately happen, like any relationship you have to work on it. He figured it would just happen automatically…bet you can guess why that didn’t work out?

    • I think it’s a dangerous myth that the step child/step parent relationship is supposed to be “easy” or supposed to “just happen”. I remember in the early days of my relationship with CBG, being worried because his relationship with my girls took time to develop….I saw everything as a “red flag”. I think the real red flag is someone who doesn’t want to work on the relationship, and give it time to develop and deepen…not that it’s not automatic.

      The step child/step parent relationship is very complex, I think it’s likely one of the most challenging relationships that can be encountered. But if you love the parent, then working on the relationship with their kid is what you do….for everyone’s sake.

  2. Hot single dad is definitely the way to go. Worked for me. 😉

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