When someone responds to a stepmom/stepdad, who is struggling or complaining about their blended issues (usually it’s about the stepkids), with “You knew what you were getting into”, it can result in the stepparent having the feeling of the exorcist taking over their body. Seriously, it’s a major trigger for stepparents who already feel like they are “failing” at this blended mess. And who says that “you knew what you were getting into” crap to someone? How is that helpful? Do they have a crystal ball? I mean come on! “Blending” is hard. Stepparents (stepmoms more so than stepdads) are expected by society and other stepmoms/stepdads that don’t have a clue what struggling in the blend means, to “love those stepkids like your own”. And if you don’t love them like your own, you are an evil witch and should just get out of that relationship now! Those are unrealistic expectations to place on anyone! You can’t make yourself love someone. You can’t make yourself like someone. You don’t hear people preaching to the stepkids, “You better love your stepmom, Suzie, like you do your own mom!” or “You better treat your stepmom the same as you do your “real” parents. In fact, it’s expected the stepkids will hate/dislike their stepparents. Interesting, huh? Oh, wait, their just kids! Their “being kids” is an excuse used for kids for everything that people don’t want to deal with.
When we decided to blend, we “prepared” for it the best we could through reading, research, talking with others, etc. My husband will even tell you, nothing could have prepared us for the turmoil we were going to experience! NOTHING! It was like the weatherman calling for scattered showers, so you take your umbrella with you to work that day in “preparation”. You walk outside at lunch and all of a sudden it’s a dang tsunami! How could you have prepared for that?!?!? You couldn’t have! Exactly!!! It’s like with stepkids. You prepared for some setbacks and learning curves/growing pains. What you didn’t know was they were going to make up crazy lies on you. You didn’t know they were going to try to destroy your marriage. You didn’t know they were going to intentionally destroy your things. You didn’t know they were going to bully your kid like the red-headed stepchild. You didn’t know they were little monsters that planned your demise as you slept. If you did, I guarantee you, you would be a millionaire because you’d also have known what lottery numbers to play with your shiny crystal ball, you lucky thing you! No one ever goes into a blended family saying “I know this is going to be a completely chaotic, resentment-filled, mostly uphill journey, but I’m doing it all for the sake of Love. Our love will get us through.” Nope. Until you experience it first hand, you don’t have a clue what it’s like. Oh, and for those who think their love will get them through, your love won’t be overflowing when you are miserable, everyone hates you (and doesn’t mind telling you), and you feel no matter what you do, you can’t win! Those things don’t cause “loving” feelings. On top of that, we all know marriage, in general, is hard! Blended marriages are like black diamond ski slopes compared to the bunny slopes of a first time “nuclear family”. Blended families have to learn as they go and it’s challenging! So, if you are one of those “you knew what you were getting into people”, don’t say that crap to me unless you want to hear my 15-minute spill of how wrong you are by saying that.