The many levels of step families – Nacho Grandparents
Of course when you get married to someone with kids, most the time their mother and father or mother and step father or step mother and father (you get the picture) are involved in some fashion. This dynamic, just as all others in blended families, can vary significantly by the age of the children, the amount of time the NachoKids spend with their grandparents, the proximity in which you live from them, just to name few.
The in-laws can have a great influence on your NachoKids and their reception to you. If the NachoKids go to their grandparents complaining about you, more than likely grandma or grandpa are going to worry about the kids and even agree with them (which is never a good thing). Grandparents spoil their grandkids. Most of them do. If the grandparents have helped your significant other with care of the kids when they were a single parent, they may look at your role as pushing them out of the way.
In the reality of NachoLife, you learn that people don’t and can’t be expected to treat everyone the same. Yes, it makes you mad and it isn’t right, but its life. My “real” grandmother spoiled the mess out of my older sister and despised me like I was a demon child. Christmas time was quite obvious she didn’t care about being fair. My sister would have a trillion things (ok maybe only 15) from her and I’d have one or two. Made me mad at that age, but I came to expect it from her and only harbor a bit of resentment towards her. Just kidding, she passed away when I was eight but honestly, she didn’t “love” me and that’s ok.
My older sister is my half sister but my dad adopted her before I was born, so she had her “bio grandparents”. They were the best! They loved me and I knew it. They didn’t have to, they wanted to! They weren’t my grandparents, they were “hers”. All of us grandkids were their favorites! So, it can happen, but it rarely does. My “bio” grandmother didn’t treat my older sister the same as she did me. But, I do have to say of all the grandkids, I was her favorite. So, my point is, regardless of whether family is blood or not, you can still have those that don’t treat the kids equal.
My son came to me one night and was upset because he was left out of an activity and felt like it was because he wasn’t “really her grandkid”. He is really close with my husband’s parents – they live down the road from us. His other grandparents do not see him but a few times a year. Due to my in-laws living so close to us, he spends a lot of time with them and around them. Anyway, he was upset and proceeded to tell me things that he felt justified his feelings of not being a part of the “family”. He doesn’t see pictures of him in the in-laws house. The password or codes they use on things the kids also use are related to the “bio” kids and not him. It broke my heart for him but I am not going to sugar coat life for him. I told him that MuMaw and PuPaw are his “Nacho Grandparents” and I think they do a good job keeping him involved and trying to be equal with gifts, etc. but the reality is he isn’t theirs. I told him the pictures they had were older and we could get her some new pictures with all of the kids in them. I told him that even MuMaw has her favorites with her real bio grandkids. Just because we are human, we can’t love everyone the same, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love him. I truly believe they do love him but there is a difference.
I can’t make my son’s life perfect no matter how much I would like. He is part of a blended family and is having to realize at a young age that life isn’t fair. People can’t always bond the same with others and the best thing we can do is focus on the good things that his Nacho Grandparents do for him because they do love him and they aren’t bound by “family blood” to do anything.