I adore all of my kids. Being a step mom is actually one of the easiest things I’ve done in my life. I think people in general just assume that being a step parent is hard. It’s not. Sure, there are situations when it is but I honestly think that those are few and far between. The hardest part has been the few times that I’ve had to deal with the ex-wives (Thayne had been married twice before me). But I mostly stay away from that because it really is just not my place to be arranging things for the kids with their moms. All in all, being a step mom is one of the greatest things I’ve ever done and I can’t imagine my life without any of the kids in it. Here are a few things that I have learned from being a step mom (a lot of these also apply to being a mom):
It is possible to love someone else’s child like they are your own.
Kids just want to know that they are loved unconditionally and supported.
No one can replace a child’s mom or dad.
Kids like having a parent that they know they can talk to about anything.
It is not ok to yell at your kids or say mean things to them.
Kids understand that parents make mistakes. They just want their parents to own up to them and apologize when they are wrong.
Kids are easily influenced but parents should never take advantage of that.
Kids want to be allowed to be their own individual person. You can’t force them into being someone they are not.
They start out as kids but all you have to do is blink and they are suddenly adults.
They don’t always make the decisions that you want them to but you have to let them make their own mistakes and hope that they can learn from them quickly.
It is never fun to watch your kids suffer in any way.
No matter how old they get, you never stop worrying for them and hoping for the best possible life for them.
The best thing you can tell them is that they are loved.
When they seem like they might be in trouble you should always try to help them in whatever way you can. It may be a conversation or something you can physically do but no matter how awkward or uncomfortable it is your job as a parent.
Every parent wants their child to turn out better than themself.
Telling your kids that they shouldn’t make the same mistakes you did doesn’t make you a hypocrite, it makes you a good parent.
The standard minimum parent time schedule issued by the state for non-custodial parents is crap. It is impossible to be a completely involved parent when you only see your kids every other weekend. It is best for kids to have equal time with both of their parents.
A non-custodial parent that wants to go to court to get equal time with their children had better have an unlimited amount of time and money and patience for a never ending and ridiculous court battle. And an incredible (and expensive) attorney.
The good always out weighs the bad... no matter how much crap you have to deal with, the kids are always worth it.
I have had some headaches to deal with but there is no limit to what I would do for these kids. They make my life full. I am so blessed to be able to be a part of their lives and to see the incredible people that they are growing into. I have learned so much from them about life and everything that is really important. They are my family and they are my friends. And I really do love them like they are my own. Kyle, Tristyn, Kassidy & Jakson, thank you for being the best step kids anyone could ever ask for!