Babysitter or Stepmom?


The kids have been with us for 11 of the last 14 days. Which is only one more day than our normal schedule but something about it exhausted me. I hit a wall this last weekend.

I’ve spent more time with the two kids than either bio-parent has this summer. And I signed up for it, so I’m not trying to complain. I adore time with my kids and enjoy watching them enjoy summer. But I’ve started to feel run down and more like a glorified babysitter than a parent.

The kids have had a rough few weeks at their mom’s house. There has been a lot of drama, tears and things they don’t understand. Which has left me to pick up the emotional pieces. To try and be a stable source of anything in their lives.

But they’re little. They miss their mom. They don’t understand why she dropped them off a day early. I’m not offended. They only get two days a week with her, missing her is to be expected. But what comes with that is defiant behavior and acting out because of the emotions firing inside them.

So I’ve felt unappreciated.

And tired of saying the same thing over and over again.

This weekend wasn’t my best. I didn’t have the best attitude. And on our way home last, my husband was telling me how grateful he is for me. How much he appreciates my time at home with the kids and what I do for them. How the kids need me and love me.

I shrugged my shoulders and mumbled something about how the kids didn’t really care and don’t appreciate me.

That stopped him in his tracks. “Did you just say that you don’t feel appreciated?” I confirmed that that is what I said. He started to laugh. “Well then, you’re a parent. You’ve made it!”

It was kind of a shock to hear that come out of his mouth. But it made me feel better. It made me think about myself at that age. Did I say thank you to my parents every day and not fight with my siblings? No. I was a kid and didn’t see that far past myself. So they aren’t doing anything to be spiteful or to make me mad on purpose. They’re just being kids and yes, it is exhausting work. Being a parent isn’t easy.

I guess that’s part of the instant mom territory. Not having those years while they’re young to get used to the antics and calm down as a parent. I didn’t expect to be a stay at home mom with them seven months into our marriage. But I’m here and I’m figuring it out.