Wednesday, December 21, 2011

5 Things I've Learned from being a Step-Parent

I am now 8 months in to having four kiddos that I'm helping to raise, shape and mold. This is incredible to me, seeing that before that the thought of having kids mortified me and I never wanted any!

It has not been easy. At times, it has been down right hard. But, I would not trade them in for anything in the world. I'm amazed at how easy it was to fall in love with four little people that weren't my own flesh and blood.

I make a lot of jokes, on here and on Twitter, about parenting. But not because I don't love it, but because it's the hardest job I've ever had and sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying! So, today I'm sharing 5 (of the many) things I've learned along the ride thus far!

  • It's not easy – If anyone ever says otherwise, they have either A) never been a parent or B) I would like some of whatever it is they are on! I don't know if I thought it would be easy (knowing me, I probably did), but each day brings with it a new set of challenges. When you love and care for another person that much, it's hard to find a balance between giving them the things they want and giving them the things you know they need. Each day I think about everything I want them to learn and take with them in life. The morals and values I want to instill in them. I want to be the best example I can be... and fail at it at least 3 to 4 times a week! It's a full time job and you have to work hard, be prepared to be hated at times, get dirty, clean up continuously and never stop thinking about the 'what ifs.' 

  • You gotta get in there – In the beginning, after we all moved in together, I would lets things bother me to the point of wanting to explode, but never say anything. I wanted the kids to like me. I didn't want that 'evil step-mother' label. I would make David be the bad guy all the time, while I just sat back and meekly watched. I had to get over that. We all live together and we're a team. So, I found my voice and started speaking up. This means disciplining them, asking them to do things and telling them that they can't do certain things. I back David up and he backs me up and we're a united front.  

  • You have to have a tough exterior – I will not lie, there were times at first that David would come home and find me on our bathroom floor, me in tears, because one of the kids had said or done something to hurt my feelings. I learned very fast that I had to stop being a weenie and toughen up. Kids are going to be kids. The more I paid attention, I noticed it's not like they were singling me out – they said hurtful things to their Dad as well. So, for the most part, I've stopped crying in the bathroom (however, I did cry at Arby's on Saturday).

  • Kids think you're stupid – From our 10 y/o all the way up to the 16 y/o, they all think we are stupid. Doesn't matter the subject on hand, they will always know more and treat you like you didn't make it out of the 3rd grade. Homework - we're ignorant. Getting into college - we don't know what we're talking about. Life lessons and the ways of the world - you better believe we may be as dumb as they come. There's no point arguing. You could present a case with all all the evidence in the world and something in writing from an expert saying we're correct - they would just say the expert was stupid. We just have to laugh about it.

  • You wear many, many hats – I'm a chauffer, maid, nurse, cook, cheerleader, referee, coach, motivator, teacher and lecturer. Every day brings a new hat for me to wear. Most days, I am required to wear more than one at once!  

What have you learned about parenting on your journey? Any tidbits you would like to share with this still newbie step-momma?


  1. I have a little boy and my boyfriend is learning to be a parent ~ thanks for writing this! Such a lovely post, loved it. Xo

  2. thanks for sharing :)

    although not a step parent i can still relate to so many of these things...
    your doing a fantastic job :)

    Claire xox

  3. I'm very proud of you!

  4. The only being I'm a parent to are my furbabies. Even though I haven't had a taste of being a parent, I have helped raise my younger cousin. It's definitely tough, but I know you are doing an amazing job (no matter what the kids may say when they are mad about a punishment). I'm super proud of you, sweetie!

  5. The one thing I have learned as a step parent is to not try and replace their mom. I have 5 kids my husband has 4 kids we have mine 85% of the time and his 25% of the time. I make sure they know they are loved and wanted here when they come home. We still have ups and downs and just keep moving forward. Great Post! Keep it up!

  6. Great post! My boyfriend has two sons of his own and his 16 year old lives with us. I have had many days where I want to bang my head against the wall and my bathroom is my crying place too. I think you said it all perfectly!