Friday, March 10, 2017

The UnFavored Parent

Unfavored Parent, step parenting, blended family
Do you ever feel like your kids favor the other parent more than they do you? Well, you’re not alone. Not only do I feel like my step kids favor their mother over me and my husband but even my own biological kids favor their father over us.  That was a hard reality that I have been feeling for a while and last night it really hit home to me that I am right, unfortunately. We went to both of my daughters choir concerts last night and after it was over us three were standing side by side when both of my girls came running up after they saw us in the crowd of people and both went running into the arms of their Father, while me and my husband stood there standing, never did they greet us either other than just a “Hi”.  At that moment I felt really hurt that they were so excited to see their Father, but not us. They completely ignored us like we weren’t even there until they asked about a friend spending the night this weekend.  Even, after all, we do for my daughters and all of our kids for that matter, that the other parents are their favorites. Even my stepkids have done this plenty of times, especially my stepdaughter.  It made me realize how my own mother felt when we did that to her at school events with my Father. It’s not a good feeling at all. In fact, once we all got into the vehicle to go home I had to say how I felt. I said to my husband, at least now we know who the favored parent is and it’s definitely not us. Then I went on to say, next year there will be no family vacation, it will just be about us and us alone, no kids.  One of my daughters spoke up and said well we didn’t see you. I said “how could you have missed us we were right next to your Father as you both came running up to him and hugged him. Where was our hug at?” After I said it I immediately regretted it, but I couldn’t take back how I felt. My stepdaughter did this to me and my husband last year at my stepson’s baseball game; she even sat right in front of us but didn’t acknowledge we were there at all. Then halfway through the game, she turned around and asked my husband a question.  She only did that after her Mother stepped away to take a phone call is when she finally turned around to talk to us.  It really hurt both of us, that she couldn’t at least say Hi to us when she got there.  My stepkids have done this plenty of times, to the point where we both expect no recognition anymore, but to get that kind of treatment from my own kids just hurt me more than it did when my stepkids have done it to us.  I honestly don’t really blame my stepkids because I know their mother would make them pay if they treat us nice in front of her. I hate to see them punished for recognizing a parent and greeting them.  In my case, my ex-husband and I are on great terms with one another unlike it how it is with my husband’s ex-wife.
All I did was think why is that? The only thing I can say as to why is because we are the more strict parents then both of our ex’s. We do have more fun with all of the kids and take them on vacations every year and still get that treatment.  I have come to the realization that kids really like the lenient parent more because they like no structure and no rules and so on.  They will appreciate what we have done when they are older. For now, we have to grow a thick skin and let things they do and say bounce off of us and not take things so personally since after all they are kids that don’t really know what they do or see things like we see them.  We have to wear protective armor and just let it bounce off of us.  I know it’s easier said than done. I come from a blended family myself and favored my mother over my father. I mainly did that because my mother had fewer rules and less structure than what it is was like when I went to my Father’s house every other weekend.  But now as an adult, I have a better respect for my Father and I also know how children should be raised because of my Father and his strict rules. I also learned valuable skills from my Mother too but I learned to be a respectful, peaceful, structured adult from my Father. My sensitive and spiritual side I got from my Mother. Learning how to be respectful is something that isn’t being taught with today’s kids enough, not as much as it was when I was a child, but that’s for another blog post for another day. LOL 

How do we get over being the UnFavored Parent?
  • Lots of praying
  • Growing thick skin – a suit of armor, a shield
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff – let some things go, but bring up important things. If the thing they did affects who they might become as adults, then have a talk about it with them.
  • Children need to be taught that you appreciate and recognize everyone that comes to see you at sporting or school events because they took time out of their busy day to help support them in their event. 

I plan on sitting down with my daughters and letting them know I was hurt and why I was hurt and how to treat those who come to see them at events.  This is a lesson that can only be taught by us parents. They need to treat everyone equally and to become more compassionate, appreciative and sensitive to others when they come to an event of theirs. No one should ever get the cold shoulder even if they do favor the other parent; they still should honor and recognize the other parent too.
Have you ever dealt with this before?

Friday, January 27, 2017

StepMom Wins

stepmom wins, stepmom, stepmother, step mother, blended family, step family, special memories
There are times in your blended family where your step children will do something, say something, or get you something for you that melts your heart.  When these special moments arise you need to document them in a notebook. Also keep cards, keepsakes, or crafts they made you at school in a folder or box.  As they get older when hard times come, you can look back on these special moments where they melted your heart. When you save these special moments or things it will help you get through those hard and rough times where they may say or do something that is very hurtful to you.  In a stepparent to stepchild relationship there will always be ups and downs, where one minute they love you and worship the ground you walk on, then in the next minute they can’t stand you and don’t want to be around you. When the hard times come all you have to do is open your notebook up and read the special moments you shared with them. When you document the special moments in your notebook be sure that you write down the date of the special moment.
If you don’t have any yet, there’s always still time to create those special moments with them.  Create a special time with them or speak great things into their life.  I remember when my stepdaughter was twelve years old and asked me if she could go with me to get her nails done too.  It made me so happy that she wanted to go and spend time together like that.  Then there were many times she would ask to go run errands with me instead of staying home with her father.  Then there was this time where my stepdaughter made me a jewelry tray out of pottery at school that was Hawaiian themed because she knows how much I love Hawaii. Then there was this time when my stepson was twelve years old and he said that he didn’t want us to get a divorce because he loved our family the way it is.  My stepson when he was in middle school bought me a Christmas tree ornament with his own money at the Christmas shop they had a school, it really touched my heart that he thought of me like that.  It’s so important that you hold onto these special memories somewhere because over time you will forget them.  Then as the stepchildren get older and become teenagers it will not be easy to remember those memories if they are not written down somewhere.  One day when the stepchildren become adults you can show them your notebook along with a box of the special memories as a reminder of everything that happened with them when they were a child. For example, a special moment could be when they first said they loved you or when they first called you Mom.  The time they bought you something on their own for Mother’s Day or the first homemade card or craft that they made for you from school.  Another special time would be when you first took them to a spa and they got their first massage or pedicure.  It could be the first night they asked you to read a story to them instead of their father. 
What are you waiting for? Start today and make your own Stepmom Win notebook. Try to hold onto those positive memories for as long as you can before you forget about them. You’ll be happy you did later on down the road.