A person will never truly know the person they marry or their children until those vows are taken, the honeymoon ends and routine life starts. All those things you know about your new family through the dating and courtship process are amplified when living together.
Not only do you promise to love your new man for the rest of his days, but his children, too...and those children have great power within your new home. Their mood can affect the tone of the family, their schedules must be honored, their space and preferences are already established.
When there are problems with his children, I'm not exactly sure where to fit in, how to assist. Their bio mother is still active in their life and she has more history and authority than I do. For me, I find it most helpful, at least for now, to support my Mr. Wonderful in his parenting. I can be a safe place to express disappointment and fear. I can be a trusted sounding board for his thoughts.
Still, it feels like an uncertain place - a new dynamic which I've never experienced before. Sometimes things seem to be clicking along just as sweetly as possible and then something changes. I sense it, but I can't say what caused the change nor can I fix it. It would be easy to allow distance and resentment erode the connections we've created in our blended family, but I'm fighting that!
As a step-parent, it is easy to think that I am an outsider in the relationships between my bonus daughters and my husband. I are not an add-on. I have always been part of God's plan for their lives. It's one of the ways He makes something good out of what seems bad. We are truly serving on the front lines!
Did you have a step parent who played a positive role in your upbringing and adulthood? Are you step-parenting today? I would love to hear how others are doing in this role. Have a great week!