Monday, November 24, 2014

On Stepparenting

I think I've said this before, but having a child hasn't made me understand my parents any better.  But having a stepdaughter has not only given me some insight into how fucked up my parents were/are, it's also given me tremendous amounts of sympathy and understanding for my own stepmother.

So, I'd never dated anyone with children until I met Mr. Adventure.  I wasn't interested in the responsibility, so I respectfully kept myself out of the single-parent dating pool.  I had a pretty rough weekend that kind of confirmed my reasons for never doing it before.  I read in Suburban Turmoil that over 70% of blended family marriages end in divorce.  Those are some freakishly high statistics.  And I can see why.  It's tough on parents who didn't/couldn't communicate well when they were dating or married to communicate after a break-up when there are a lot of negative feelings floating around.  And it's hard on stepparents.  I've kind of viewed my role as one of support.  Because I'm not Little Miss Adventure's (LMA) mom and I know that.

98% of problems stem from miscommunication.  And LMA was going to be with us through Thanksgiving this week, but her mom changed plans at kind of the last minute and it really bummed me out.  The kid loves to cook and I had already planned out how we were going to do all the prep work on Wednesday night and she would help me make pies and how fun it was going to be.  Now it's just going to be me and a bottle of wine, making Thanksgiving dinner and feeling sorry for myself because a kid, who I really have no claim to, isn't there to help me.  Boohoohoo.  Poor me.  Blah blah blah.  If I start early enough, I can always get Hamburglar to help me by pulling all the pots and pans out of the cupboards...

So, Suburban Turmoil wrote a piece called "10 Brutal Truths About being a Stepmom" and number 9 really hit home for me.  You can't fix what you didn't break.  My desire for everyone to get along and be super respectful of each other and be this super collaborative co-parenting team for LMA isn't going to happen any time soon.  And there's not really anything I can do other than be supportive and help out when I'm asked.

So, I'm just telling myself two things when situations come up and I don't like how it is being handled: 1) Not my monkeys, not my circus and 2) You can't fix what you didn't break.

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