Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Perfect Parent or Step Parent?

Over the past 10 years, I have been ask over and over, How do you do it? 

This is an early Picture of our bended family and honestly the only picture we have of us all together. 

 


Parenting is the toughest job you will ever have, but also the most rewarding. Parenting is not something you can practice or even perfect, it is something that just is. You have to work hard at it, you have to use every ounce of patience you can muster and you have to be willing to make time for yourself as well.

When people ask me, how do you do it, they are not referring to being a Parent in general, they are referring to the fact that we have 7 kids, and became a blended family 10 years ago with all the kids. I'm not sure I have ever had the answer most people are looking for because some days I can't figure it out myself.  It isn't easy, and some days , weeks, even months, I find myself in tears just trying to find a Happy Medium. 







I'm not a perfect Parent and so many times I have caught myself saying well "my kids" , and that is wrong. They are all my kids and the biggest thing you can go wrong with is comparing your children. As the only Mother figure in the lives of my 4 step kids, I have found it rewarding, yet frustrating and hurtful. Kids can be mean and say some things you would never expect. Kids can and will break your heart at some point, even unintentionally, and not just Step-Kids.

I have found that the hardest thing for me, is finding time for each child as an individual. I have a 16 year old Special Needs Daughter and she wants to be with me every second she can, so when one of the other kids wants "Mom" time, I have to spend days talking to her about it and trying to make her understand, yet her feelings are always hurt when the time comes. That is one thing that breaks my heart every time because she is an Angel and loves her Mommy and spending time with me.




The biggest thing I am guilty of is letting my kids skip school once a year or so just so I can have my special time with each one without disrupting every one's schedule and allowing us that one on one time with each other. 

I will never be Parent of the Year, and I can admit to playing Hooky from work and blogging some days for a few hours, grabbing a book, and curling up in bed to watch "Ellen", Rachel Ray and Judge Alex until I have to get up. Making time for yourself, regardless if you are a Mom or a Dad, is important, because if you do not take that time as an individual, you will lose sight of not only who you are but become frustrated and identify yourself only as a Parent, never as a Male or Female. It is also super important to make time for your spouse and you as a couple. No couple can go indefinitely without couple time. That is where Chris and I have the biggest problems, is not spending  enough time with each other as a couple. I get frustrated with him because sometimes it seems like he puts every one's needs before mine, but at the same time, I feel selfish because I do the same thing to him without even realizing it.


As my Step-Kids get older, I find that I have to call on Chris more and more for discipline because I frequently hear " you are not my boss"  and Chris has to step in and set things straight.

We have different ideas on Parenting as well, and seem to end up at odds about how to handle different situations. I am the more strict Parent, he is the more relaxed parent. So it always seems like the kids have each a different set of rules to follow. This is not a good thing, so if you are considering blending a family, sit down before hand and decide together how discipline and different situation will be handled and the rules for the household for everyone. I wish I would have done that 10 years ago.


I have to admit, finding out that My Oldest Step-Son was going to be a Father, I wondered what my place would be in the baby's life. Alex and I had a rocky relationship for a few of his teenage years.  I never voiced my concerns or worries though, because I felt selfish. As the due date for the Baby came closer, I wonder if Alex could pick up on how I was feeling. He approached me one day and told me that I was his Mom in every way that mattered and that he loved em and hoped I would be Asher's Grandmother. I cried, happy tears, because I finally realized, I must have done something right. we have had a chance to talk since that day and I also found out some things I did wrong, but the most important thin g I learned is that Alex says he always knew I loved him and cared about him no matter our differences. Now, at 37, I am a Grammy and I am loving every second of it.








Basically, love your kids, don't spoil them and teach them right from wrong. Kids pick up on things, so never argue in front of your children, that is not healthy for you or them. You will make a mistake, as a Parent or as a Step Parent, that is inevitable. The main thing is to learn from each mistake, move forward and stay strong. Make time for yourself and each other, support your children and praise them, apply tough love when needed, guidance and unity. 

Never try to be the Perfect Parent, because the Perfect Parent does not exist. 






38 comments:

  1. So sweet <3 My husband is part of a blended step family that brought total number of kids for that part of the family to 9. I can tell you now that they are all older and out of all the houses they remember the special moments far more than the ones the didn't quite work out. We actually lay to rest his step-siblings' mother tomorrow afternoon and although she wasn't at all related to my husband she was always kind to us and even watched our oldest a few times when she was a baby. You are making a difference in those kids lives everyday, as I'm sure you know. So, BRAVO to you for taking on one of the hardest/toughest/best/most rewarding jobs ever <3

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  2. I absolutely love this. You are right it is hard but so rewarding

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  3. I love that you let your kids skip school once a year for special time.... i think thats a great idea because its hard to find time that can truly be one on one without distractions

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  4. This is adorable. You are right though. The perfect parent does not exist. I was 19 when my son was born and the father(still together) was 17. It was rough and a lot of people thought our son would be a child with nothing. We got him the basics and he survived. He loves us unconditionally and is about to be 5 and now has a 6 month old sister. They both have everything they could ever need and they know who their parents and caretakers are. I don't think it is about being "book perfect". I think it is all about being what is perfect and right for your little family!

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  5. You are am amazing parent. No parent is perfect, and we all make more mistakes than we care to admit. It's how you handle them that really makes all the difference. Thanks for sharing such a touching post.

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  6. You sound like you are an amazing mother! It's not always easy being a parent but I love it. I've got two daughters of my own who I love so much.

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  7. Being a parent is a hard job and anyone that claims they are perfect is full of it. We all make mistakes and that is okay as long as we love our kids everyday.

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  8. Congrats on being a grandma! You are doing wonderful!

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  9. I am SO excited and happy about your new tiltle..Grandma! So much joy ahead of you!

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  10. I can't imagine trying to make special time for 7 kids! A free day off School is a great idea! And it is true there is no perfect parent and I always tell my boys it is ok to mistakes but learn from them and I find that true in parenting! It is a hard for sure but like you said most rewarding! I have a step mom and 2 step dads and I love then both! Couldn't imagine them not part of the family! I call them mom and dad cause that's what they are :)

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  11. Your a great mother! and a great grandmother! keep up the great work!

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  12. Looks like you have a truly awesome family and whatever your doing looks like your doing it right!! Congrats on the new grand baby also, they are a most precious gift from God :)

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  13. YOUR FAMILY SOUND GREAT KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

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  14. I love the saying that step parents made the choice to be your parent, and the discipline issues are not just step parent related, my husband is the easy going one with our girls and the youngest is ours.

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  15. That gave me goosebumps reading this and him asking you to be the babies Grandma. That is awesome! Parenting is difficult and just last night my daughter told me with having 3, her son was complaining of not getting his one on one time. She made sure they went to a movie together, out to dinner, to game stop, etc. She said it is so hard working some days 12-13 hours a day, getting 2 days a week off, cleaning house....well...you know only too well. I loved this story. When our kids grow, they realize who really did love them and why things were done as they were. Sometimes, it doesn't happen until some years after they are raising their own.

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  16. i have a step daughter who is 11 and i didnt think about it before i read this, but i do sometimes say "your daughter" to my husband about it. thanks for opening my eyes a bit

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  17. Love the pictures looks like such a happy bunch

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  18. Congrats on the grand baby he is adorable hope mom and dad are adjusting well

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  19. Elizabeth KassonApril 7, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    We have a blended family that brings together six kids. Three boys and three girls. It can be a challenge at times but I wouldn't trade them for anything!

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  20. Elizabeth KassonApril 7, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    I also must say that you inspire me. Not only do my husband and I have a blended family but it is a big one with six kids! Seeing that you have a blended family and are doing so well makes me realize I am not alone!

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  21. I love reading about ur family an I love the photos

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  22. I love your read about your family. My husband and I blended our 3 kids together. His 2 daughters were 12 and 15 and my son was 4 when we got together. It has not been easy, I will say that. But even though we have had some rough times, we have had way more good than bad. I wouldn't trade any of it. The kids are now 31,28 and 19 and we have 5 beautiful grand children. It is a wonderful life! Thanks for sharing your story!

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  23. You are so right about there not being a perfect parent.kids don't come with handbooks..lol. but for the years I have know you chick you have always done such a great job at balancing it all..
    congrats on your first grand baby :-)

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  24. I love this post! Thanks so much for sharing:) The pictures of your blended family are absolutely beautiful.. my favorite is the one of you and your daughter.. your both gorgeous! And the baby pictures are sooo precious. You are one lucky lady!

    I also turn to Derrick when it is time to discipline.. for some reason the kids take him more seriously than they take me.. but that's ok:) I am not a strict parent, but my kids make it easy on me.. thank god!

    Moms always need some alone time to balance out our lives.. I'm glad I'm not the only one who is guilty of curling up in bed with a book, or watching a marathon of my favorite TV shows! lol Your children and husband are lucky to have you (as I'm sure they know), and I love reading your blog and learning more about you...

    babydjs_mom@yahoo.com

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  25. Parenting is hard but the rewards are worth it. There is no handbook on how to parent. I go to my mom for advice a lot being this is my one and only child. But i learn something new everyday.

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  26. CONGRATS ON YOUR GRAND BABY I SOON WILL NAVE ONE!

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  27. Your family picture is beautiful! We haven't had a family picture since our oldest was 1! We now have 2 more children:/ I know it's terrible... especially when my mom is a photographer! lol I love to scrapbook family moments and definitely need to make time for a new family picture.

    babydjs_mom@yahoo.com

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  28. i my husband is a part of many families and he dosnt even know some of his step siblings or 2 of his half siblings, my inlaws are all about the "my kids" stuff....its hurtful to my hubby....its great that you work on not being like that! shawna baird scott

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  29. It hurts my feelings when.my husband says "your kids" about his step children. I know he loves them and I don't know what its like to be a step parent. I'm sure its hard and I commend you on making it work :-)

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  30. What a wonderful parenting article. I used to let my kids skip once a year, too

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  31. No the perfect parent doesn't exist but being the best patent I can be does I try

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  32. Nice family pictures

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  33. I sometimes get anxiety over weather I am raising my kids right. I wonder if I'm to easy on them now, will the turn into terrors by the time they're teenagers? Or I worry about them taking the wrong path in life, or turning into bullies.. it is seriously a never ending worry of mine! I just do my best and pray that they will stay innocent, and make the best decisions in every situation. I talk to them all the time, and tell them they can tell me anything. Hopefully they know they can trust me enough to lean on me for support when they really need it:)

    babydjs_mom@yahoo.com

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  34. step parent adoption one of the most common form of adoption. It permits the stepparent to legally adopt the child of his or her spouse. This further eliminates the non-custodial parent from all the rights and responsibilities of the child which also includes child support. The sole obligation lies within the hands of the newly legalized parent and his/her spouse.

    Like any other form of adoption, step parent adoption is also governed by the state law. However, it may vary from state to state in terms of ease. Some of them comforts out the entire process if the documents favor the name of the desiring couple. Most common example is excluding the need of the couple to be represented by a lawyer. Some states may also omit the necessity of a home study which is quite indispensable in other types of adoptions. Though even then you may have to pass through a criminal background check.

    The time duration requisite for a successful step parent adoption also depends on the state. You may have to be married to your spouse for one year before you can even apply for the adoption. Conversely it might not be necessary in other states. No advert effects are generally applied to the legal rights of the child who is concerned in a normal run. The child may inherit from the birth parent or even the family members.

    What is an indispensable thing is the consent of the spouse as well as the other parent. A legal step parent adoption can never take place if one of the both disagrees to it. It can be a difficult task however. Also, the ways of gaining the consent may be different in different states. The non-custodial parent may just provide a written statement, he/she may have to appear in the court for the same, and a state may even ask the parent for receiving counseling about the subject.

    Different laws are being applied by different states. Therefore if you want to understand the requirements for step parent adoption, you must first go through the laws of your particular state and consult a lawyer if needed. This will evade you from being a victim of something you did not know about in the beginning. Some states may also provide you with free legal help if you are not financially strong to afford a lawyer of your own.

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  35. I find myself as a parent that not only is there no such thing as a perfect parent but also that you learn from your children just as they learn from you. I love being a parent and wouldn't have it any other way

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