Maybe it’s because I was basically raised by a single mother.
Or maybe it’s just because I have a more dominant personality than my husband.
Whatever the reason, I’ve come to realize that I tend to think of my two children as my kids first, our kids second, and his kids when I am blaming their forgetfulness on his genes.
When it comes to making decisions about discipline, I am the long arm of the law in my house and I have final say on how poor behavior will be handled. By the same token, when a child is sick or summer vacation leaves me with a 9 year old who needs child care during the day, it’s my job to figure out how to adjust work schedules and make new arrangements.
I’m not saying it’s fair - I’m just acknowledging that it’s how it is.
I’ve talked to other women and other mothers about this territorial instinct and received mixed responses. Some women confirm that I am crazy and being unfair to my husband, while others nod their head in understanding. It seems most of the women who empathize with my possessive nature were raised by single mothers themselves or are remarried and naturally feel the difference between a biological parent and a step parent.
The problem is, I am neither a single mother nor raising my children with a stepfather.
Our children are our children.
OK, OK, more than technically. I know. And my poor husband is an active father and a first rate family man. There’s no doubt that his family and his children are his number one priority. He has given me absolutely no reason to feel like I’m in this alone.
Push come to shove, those babies are mine.
I’m not sure how to let go of this neurosis and fully share parenting - and all that entails - with my husband.