I never thought I’d be a stepmom. I never dreamed of loving another woman’s children like my own and figuring out how to parent children that live in two houses.
Two different houses with different rules.
Now, if you’re a parent in a dual-household situation you know what I mean when I say: transition day.
Transition day is Friday for us and usually, by Saturday morning, things are settled down and the kids are in their routine with us. The last couple of weekends though, it’s been more difficult. Transition day has bled into Saturday. We’ve been re-teaching our rules and re-explaining the expectations. We had a rough day last weekend and all of us were tired and cranky.
It made me think about when I was a kid and dealing with two drastically different houses.
How did I feel?
I was older than my littles are when my parents got divorced but the heartbreak and the grief that comes from losing your family as you knew it isn’t lost on them. They’re resilient kids and very loving to their new parents BUT that doesn’t take away the sadness they have over the loss of their parents being together.
Also, I thought about how hard it was to have two sets of rules - two sets of expectations. I felt like I had to be two different people. I saw my siblings struggle with the same thing. It doesn’t make it any easier just because our kids are younger. Those feelings still exist.
So, Sunday morning I got up with the early rising boy and when both of them were awake, we talked. We talked about the fact that they have different rules at their Mom’s and different rules at our house. We talked about how hard that can be and how it’s hard to remember all of the rules. But I told them that I knew how they were feeling, that I lived through it myself.
We all agreed to try better that day. Me to be more patient and them to use their big kid words and minds to remember what we expect of them.
And you know what? It wasn’t a perfect day but it was a good day.
I didn’t grow up and think, “Wow. I have experience in a blended family so I should be a stepmom!” But now that I’m in this role and loving on two kids who aren’t mine by blood, I realize how lucky I am. Lucky to be able to relate to them, to be able to know how they might feel. Lucky to be looking at things from my perspective.
Lucky that they are my kids too. So when transition day becomes transition weekend, its okay.