Come To Reality
You’re not a nuclear family. There are bio parents involved. You can’t expect your family to behave like a nuclear family, because they aren’t! It’s the “round hole square peg” thing. Stop trying to make it be something it’s not! Once you come to terms with the fact that you are not, nor will you ever be, a nuclear family, your life will be so much better.
What’s In A Blend
Many stepmoms say they don’t feel “blended”. They don’t feel like a cohesive unit because they aren’t involved in the parenting of his kids. Being able to parent someone’s kids or have more control over them, is not what makes you a blended family, or you and your partner a team. I think the issue is more of not having control over that aspect in the home. They want to have control over things in their home, so it’s difficult to realize that’s not their place. Just because we married him, doesn’t give us “rights” to parent his kids. Just remember, the kids have two parents, they don’t need a third. Create your own non-parental role in their lives. Be a mentor for them instead. Be a supporter of your significant other’s parenting.
In a non-nuclear family, you have so many different variables. There are so many people and different dynamics involved. People in stepfamilies try to compare their blended life to what a nuclear family is supposed to be like. Why? Because that’s what “life” taught us. A family was one mom, one dad, a kid or two, and two sets of grandparents. Back in the day, many families that split up that had kids, the “new man” would adopt his wife’s kids. That’s not how things are today. It is rare to find someone that is not part of a stepfamily or blended family nowadays. There’s a new wave of blended families and many don’t know how to navigate through the journey and are struggling to stay in the blend.
Love Them Like Your Own
When bio dad wants stepmom to love his kids “like her own”, that’s putting unrealistic expectations on stepmom. At best, he should be hoping for a cordial relationship between stepkid and stepmom. Everybody thinks everybody should love everybody. And yes, it can happen, but it takes time. A fairly good amount of time… 8 years seems to be the average time where a stepfamily can say they feel bonded to each other in a special and unique way. Some stepparents never bond with their stepkids, but that doesn’t mean their marriage has to suffer.
Don’t Get Mad at the Truth
You are your stepkids stepparent. This means you have no biological ties to the stepkids, nor any legal ties to the stepkids, and they don’t become your kids because you are in a relationship with their bio parent. They are Nacho Kids. Listen to that again… “They are Nacho Kids!” And no, they don’t become your kids through osmosis. They are your significant other’s kids and some other chick often referred to as bio mom. Your stepkids have parents and you aren’t one of them.
What Are You Supposed To Do?
Your responsibility is to be there to support your significant other and help them when and/or if they need it. It’s not your responsibility to take over their parenting role. The most important and biggest responsibility is to take care of yourself and set healthy boundaries. And, your significant other’s ex is also his responsibility. That’s his baggage, not yours. She is Nacho ex! Nacho her out of the space in your head and life. Don’t get all tangled up in their responsibilities.
Things To Stop Doing
You’ve got to stop thinking of the blend with any expectations. Stop judging your significant other for how he does or doesn’t parent his kids. Quit putting your focus on what his kids do wrong. Let go of the need to control everything. The power you have is not in the control of things. The real power is when you learn to control how you let things affect you.
Enjoy the Nacho Role
Treat the stepkids as you would a friend’s kids. Do fun things with them. Leave the parenting up to the bio parent. Allow the bond to form naturally with the stepkids. Don’t force it. Don’t let your significant other try to force it either. Put your focus on your relationship with your self-care, your significant other, and your bio kids if you have them.
The Gung Ho Stepmom
Many stepmoms go into the blend all “gung ho”. Before long, “Gung Ho Stepmom” is drowning. She’s overwhelmed, unappreciated, and pissed off! She wants to give up. Sure, she can give up. However, the likelihood of her ending up in another blended relationship is quite high!! If you are just starting the blend, don’t go in like this. Remember, treat them as a friends kid. Start off Nachoing and avoid the suffering we other “Gung Ho Stepmoms” went through.
If you WANT Help
If you feel like giving up on your blend, please look into the Nacho Kids Academy, it can truly be your blended family lifesaver! Our mission is to help you have a healthy and happy blend.