I was raised in a blended family. Maybe not in the traditional sense of the term, there weren't always children added from both sides, just the one, but it was still blended none the less. At age 8 my parents divorced. Within the next two years both were in active relationships with other people. Back then, at 8 years old, it was extremely confusing why my parents were not still together. I had these new people that everyone referred to as my 'new' mommy and 'new' daddy when they spoke about them without realizing I was listening. It was a mind-fuck pure and simple.
I never ever stopped to think about how much of a trip it had to be for my new prospective step-parents. Actually until now, at age 30, I just now stopped and thought about that for the first time. Learning how to love your future spouses' child(ren) as they are your own is not an easy task. The myth that just because the step-parent and biological parent LOVE each other the child(ren) involved are going to instantly LOVE the new step-family is ridiculous. Sometimes that bond takes a LONG time to form, if ever. It doesn't mean that there is going to be an instant connection, it takes a great deal of work to form a new family structure with a child that has had their family life ripped to shreds. It takes perseverance, determination, and a great deal of love for the biological parent to make it work. These people are amazing for trying. AMAZING. They take on a whole new world of responsibility that they DO NOT have too and reshape a family that isn't their's to include them and in an ideal situation they take the time to get to know and form a relationship with the other biological parent, a.k.a. The Ex.
There are step-parents out there that live in hell with their step-child(ren) at times. Some of these kids are left with anger issues and act out, or on the flip side they are left in states of great depression, disconnected from everyone. The step-parents are left stuck in the middle having to go to meetings or receive phone calls from police. They stand by the child(ren)'s side and still call them their own right along side the biological parents because over time that child has became their's no matter the behavior shown by the child(ren). There are step-parents that have absolute EVIL to deal with in the form of their spouses' ex. They fight with the step-parent over everything that they can find to argue with them over. They grossly misuse the system to get what they want. Money, donations, child support in excessive amounts, food stamps, etc. They lie thru their teeth all the time, even going as far as to make accusations against the step-parent that loves their child(ren) so much. They call CPS numerous times to report neglect at the step-parent and biological parents' house though there is NO need too. It is just a nightmare. These amazing step parents do NOT leave though. They stand by the child(ren) that they have grown to call their own.
Every once in a while you find one of the irreplaceable step-parents, the ones' that not only stick by the child(ren)'s side but they impact the child(ren)'s life. The ones' that walk into the child(ren)'s lives as a stranger and become someone that has ALWAYS been there. The one's that not only do what they HAVE to morally do as a step-parent but they do what they would with THEIR OWN child(ren), the ones' that teach their step-child(ren) to how to not only become adult's but to become GREAT adults. Those amazing step-parents that earn the right to be called NANNY or PEEPAW when the step-child(ren) whom they started to help raise so many years before become parent's in their own right. The one's that you cannot imagine your life without by the time you are my age.
My mother is one of those step-mothers to my step-brother and step-sister. She happens to be one of those step-parents that deal with EVIL everyday, but she still stays by those kids sides'. She never sways, never falters. She is there for the two of them at any hour of the day for any reason at all. She teaches both of them on a daily basis and tries her best to help them ready themselves for adulthood. She has had her name drug through the dirt numerous times and takes it with a level of grace and dignity that their biological mother couldn't find deep within herself if both of her children's lives depended on it. She deserves WAY more recognition than she receives on a daily basis from any of the parties involved in the situation. In ten years when the kids have started their own families they are going to look back to now and realize how lucky they are that she is in their lives.
My step-mother taught me how to put on eye make-up and what they value of a dollar is. She taught me what a savings account is and what I could have if I actually utilized the account. She NEVER bad mouthed my mother to me and dealt with extremely difficult situations brought about by my little brother and myself. She had a child with our father and did NOT one time treat me any differently than she treated her own son. She was there when I went from Elementary School to Jr. High, Jr. High to High School, Graduated High School, got married, and had my babies. She is my other mother and I realize just how freaking lucky I am that she took the time all those years ago to reform my life when we were with my father. That she took the time to form a relationship with me and ALWAYS expected the best from me no matter what I was giving her at the time.
I just DO NOT think that these people get enough recognition for the job that they do! They live in impossible circumstances, sometimes, and do it all in the name of love. This Blog is for all the rock-star step-parent's out there! You do the job of 50 for nothing but a little love. Not only that but you choose to take on the job, it isn't something you have NO CHOICE but to do! A vast majority of people who grew up with step-parent's will tell you- you all are irreplaceable! So... Here's to you! Thank you!