I am a stepmom and a stepgrandma. I’ve been a stepmom for almost 28 years. I’ve been through the good and the bad. I know a little about this subject.
The new phrase is “Bonus Child.” I like it. It fits, but only if you want it to. You see, the dynamic of a blended family can be either miserable or rewarding. It takes work. I made mistakes with my stepdaughters over the years and trust me, you don’t want to live with that guilt.
What I have found are some of the keys to step-parenting: know your place – I’m not their mother, I am their father’s wife; and also, encourage your significant other’s relationship with their children. I give to him, what I expect back. My children come first. After all, they actually came first. Doesn’t it make sense that I would have greater respect for my husband when I witness what a fantastic father he is?
I spent some time with my step-grandkids last weekend. I was showing photos of my bio-grandkids to one of my step-granddaughters and mentioned to her that I have 3 grandchildren when she quickly corrected me – I have 11 grandkids! I’m happy that this sweet child sees me as her grandma. Kids don’t see DNA, they see love.
I encourage you, if you’re in a blended family, support your significant other’s bond with their children. Be a safe place for your stepkids to come and share their lives with you. Do it right from the beginning. It’s worth it.