As I mentioned in one of my earlier post, my parents are divorced. I’m totally okay with it and they have been divorced since I was little, so I couldn’t do much about it. I have about two stepmoms including the one my father is still married to, which is not bad, but I have my fair share of feeling like the stepchild to someone. You start comparing how the stepparent raised you to their own children. They act like their children are treated the same way as they treated you. This is untrue.
I have seen countless times the things I wasn’t allowed to do, but all of sudden it’s acceptable for her children. I wasn’t allowed to have an email until my junior year of high school, but my 12-year old sister has an email in middle school. No social media, same girl has an Instagram. I was criticized for sleeping in until 12 p.m. on holidays and weekends, but for the 12-year old she’s “a growing child.” I understand it’s a mother’s instinct to protect their child, but every time I bring up how she does a lot more for her girls than she ever did for my brothers, sister, and I, she either gets quiet or tries to justify it. Here’s one example, every morning my stepmother lays out the 12-year old’s and 8-year old’s lunch out, when I pointed how I always had to pack my own lunch every day, my stepmother’s response was “I laid out your lunch until you were in second grade.”
SECOND GRADE! The 12-year old is in middle and still getting her lunch laid out! The house computer always had a password, but when I was smaller no one knew the password, but her children can use the computer whenever they want. Anytime I was sick, I was forced to go to school, but the smallest headache from her children, they MUST stay home.
I can ramble on and on about the differences in how we were raised, but it’s annoying to walk around a house where you don’t feel like family. Like they have created their family within themselves. And that’s not how it works. You married a man/ woman who already has children; you decided that you wanted to be a part of that life, so treat the children like they are your own. Sure, there will be rough patches with the whole “you aren’t my mother” bit, but later they will appreciate what you did for them.
Children today are raised differently than children from the 90’s (shout out to all the 90’s babies). Now people don’t smack or yell at their children. Also, they are more privileged with technology being stuffed in their faces to keep them entertained instead of learning how to occupy themselves with books or their imagination. Nothing challenges these “growing” children.
All I’m saying is if you are going to be a stepparent just know you will treat your children differently from your stepchildren. You might be saying to yourself I won’t be that parent and I hope you are right, but when you have been proven wrong, own up to it and apologize. There’s no point in explaining the reason because they already know the answer. It’s hard to raise children, when they aren’t yours, but they will warm up to you.
This is something to think about on this rainy day.