Being a stepparent means following a lot of “rules” society has set forth. You know the ones I’m talking about:
Be nice to your stepkids’ mom.
Be nice to your stepkids.
Oh, and the biggest rule of all: Don’t treat your stepchildren differently when you have children of your own.
Seems like a no-brainer, right? But, I can understand why people would have trouble with their stepchildren relationships once a child of their own is in the picture. However, I see it from the opposite side because… well… confession?
I’m terrified that I will love my stepchildren more than I love my own child.
Wait! Hear me out! I know I sound crazy, but when my own husband has confessed to feeling the same, I get a little bit of validation.
Right now, when my stepchildren are here with us, I am 100% in “mom” mode. Sure, I get impatient every now and then or lose my cool, but I am also eager to play Candyland a thousand times, eager to bake cookies, make messes, go on bike rides and read half a dozen bedtime stories. I miss them like hell when they are gone, so when they’re here? I make the most of it. I go full on and do everything I can with them. I answer every question, no matter how many times I’ve been asked, and I work hard to keep them happy.
The reason I’m terrified of loving them more than my own child? You guys. What if my own child, who will be with me 24/7, gets on my nerves?
I’m worried that my stepchildren will be the “golden children” in our home. I’m worried my own child, when he/she is old enough to notice, won’t feel as special as Chloe and Trey. I’m worried that because we’ll plan most of our family outings on weekends the big kids are here, that our littlest will think it’s because he/she isn’t as much fun.
I’m scared I won’t have the patience for a kid with me all of the time. I’m scared I’ll get frustrated after ten games of Candyland and will demand for them to do something else, but when my stepchildren are here? I make it to fifteen rounds before I start suggesting a new activity.
My husband and I have talked about discipline as well. We discipline when we need to with my stepchildren, but because most of their infractions are so minor, we usually just give them a talk and let it go. Why? Because we haven’t seen them in almost two weeks and the thought of making them sit in their room for ten minutes while we all go outside to play? Ugh. Heart broken. But, in my husband’s words? “The kid home with us all the time will always be in time out.”
“Yeah,” I joked. “Not because they did anything to really deserve it, but because MAMA NEEDS A BREAK.”
Oh you guys.
Of course I know this is all just silly. I know that I will love my child and cherish it just as much as I love and cherish my stepchildren. But give me a break. I’ve gotta have something to fret about while I’m folding onesies, right? It’s the stepmama way.
Do you think you would treat your biological child differently than your stepchild? Why or why not?