During a counseling session as a last-ditch effort to save our marriage, the counselor told me 812 times, “they are not your kids”. It hurt my feelings at first because I knew they were not my kids. But I really cared about them, so I thought he was crazy. But then it hit me after leaving the meeting! I was creating my own misery! If my husband didn’t care if his kids brushed their teeth, did their homework, etc., why did I? I cared because I wanted what was best for them. But my caring was only causing issues.
The problem with my trying to parent the stepkids
My telling them to brush their teeth, do chores or homework, etc. caused major issues in our blend. In the kids’ minds, I didn’t have the right to tell them what to do. They were complaining to their dad about me telling them what to do. I was complaining to their about them not doing what I told them to. The stepkids were complaining to the in-laws about me fussing at them and always telling them what to do. It put my husband in the middle of the battle between me and his kids, his parents and me, his sister and me, him and his ex, etc.
What I learned
I realized and learned several very important things during this time of enlightenment of them “not being my kids”. First off, I can’t expect more from the stepkids than their own bio parents do. If their dad didn’t care if their teeth fell out of their head, and didn’t tell them to brush nightly, then why was I making myself a target of everyone’s anger? Secondly, the bio parents will never parent like I think they should. The third thing I learned was they had two parents and didn’t need a third. Of course, I actually already knew this but it came to light during this time. My trying to parent them only caused problems that created a cycle of anger and resentment between me, my husband, his kids, the ex, and the in-laws. In order to stop the cycle, I stepped back completely. It was the best thing I could have ever done!!! Nachoing, and what as soon to become the NachoKids method, saved my marriage, sanity, and allowed me over time to build relationships with the stepkids. I even learned to “Nacho” other things in my life that cause me stress. It’s not easy, takes time and effort on your part, but it truly can be life changing! So, if you are trying to parent the stepkids and it’s causing you stress, your marriage stress, or your significant other stress from his kids and everyone complaining… STOP! Stop now!
My husband did care
Throughout my nacho journey, I realized it wasn’t that my husband didn’t care about his kids’ hygiene or school grades, it was more of my jumping in trying to “help” that basically prevented him from parenting or resulted in him not needing to because I was “taking care of it”. Yeah, I was taking care of it alright, while putting a big ole bullseye on my head to be the target of everything that was wrong with the blend.