Let me just start off by laughing at my title, “Independence in Step Parenting,” because this is not a thing. It’s so far from being a thing, I can’t believe I even typed it out like it was a thing.
Step Parenting is hard because yes, you love your kids. Yes, you care for them. Yes, you financially provide for them and might even be their health care supplier. You wake up with them in the middle of the night, pack their lunches, check their pockets before you wash their clothes, make them dinner and remind them to brush their teeth at night. But you can’t really do any of that on your own.
If you care for them differently than their biological parents want them to be cared for, you are wrong. You are inferior. You are the wrong. It is not ever the fault of the terrible teen or the moody pre-teen. It is not appropriate to share your disappointment in the failure of the kids, even if the rest of the world is disappointed, too. You are to be the friend and never the parent, unless the parent wants help. You don’t really want to be their friend though. You want to parent because you are a parent. Maybe not by birth, but you are a parent.
Just like normal families, mom and dad come from different backgrounds and have different parenting styles and different techniques. But you are step, so it doesn’t matter. Your upbringing is wrong. Your family is wrong. Your ways are wrong.
When it comes to celebrations, they are done in the way of the biological parent because, haha, after all it is their child. Not yours. And this is how it’s always been done.
If you don’t agree, it is appropriate to stop talking and to submit immediately.
We are throwing 9 a 10th birthday party against my wishes. We just moved. We’re finally in a month that doesn’t have a lot of extras- you know, like Thanksgiving and Christmas. We have seen an entire month of bills at our new house and can set expectations for what we need to shell out in order to operate. I can’t justify spending $125 on a party for someone who has 3 friends and is an hour away. I could justify doing a big, giant, fun present for this birthday but, who am I?
I say no. Then eventually just say f*ck it, do what you want. We’re having a party. It’s listed at $125, but I know it will not cost $125. We already have to pay for us to bowl + the older kids if they show. We will have to pay for food for the parents who come. We’ll have to pay for 13’s friend that his mother invited but didn’t consult us about. Us who is paying for the party and planned the entirety of it without an ounce of her help.
13 who is failing his grade for the second time and still has a tablet, a cell phone and a girlfriend. 13 who has an attitude and drives me up the wall. 13 who thinks he is 19 but refuses to take on any responsibility. 13 who took 2.5 hours to wash 1 sink of dishes on Saturday. 13 who cried when I gave him his SECOND chore of the day- to clean the small bathroom. Which he deep cleaned 2 weeks ago, so really will only take 6 minutes in its entirety. 13 who is a pompous as*hole.
I am tired of my opinions not really mattering, even when my prince says they do. I am tired of their mother having more weight than i in my own house and in my pocket book. I am sicked that she can call FOC and demand an evaluation, 30 days after we move to our new house. Why can’t we have ANYTHING to ourselves? The kids are happy. Let it be.
I am so irritated and so beaten down by this parenting gig.