The Perfect step-parent is a Mythical being

via Daily Prompt: Mythical

Yesterday, my best friend posted a live rant on Facebook about Nacho Kids. She is a mother of 3 with 3 bonus kids. Her take-away from the Nacho Kids theory was very negative. She believes that anyone believing in this is in the wrong relationship and needs to find a partner with no kids.

I had never heard of this term and had to look it up. From what I read I did not take away such a negative reaction as she. Becoming a blended family is hard and exhausting at times.

According to the theory, it says its okay to not love your Steps as your own. While I love my bonuses as my own… I think its acceptable to say someone else may not. We all have bonded with our own in a way that is impossible to do with a child not ours. Now if you hate your Step… if you resent your step then yes you are in the wrong relationship and it’s selfish for you to stay.

There is a degree of distancing yourself in this theory. It mentions things treating the children differently. Your kid is punished and rewarded to your standards and your spouse takes care of their kids their way. This is where I think I see failure arising.

To a degree, I do agree with each parent handling their own child’s punishments. If the Step-parent seems to be doing the punishments resentment arises. The issue I have is if one set of kids has certain expectations and the others do not, blending a family will never happen. I like the kids to have routines, I like to make the kids try new foods, I like to teach the kids life skills. It’s not been easy with my bonus daughter. Her father was a single dad for 2 years and made excuses for her behavior.

To some degree, her mother is at fault she has no routine. She’s doing homework and eating dinner at 8 PM. Her mother either has her Sunday through Tuesday night and pawns her off on my in-laws Wednesday night so she can drive 2 two hours to see her boyfriend or she will keep her Wednesday, making her do homework in the car and not getting home til after 9. When the child acts out she refuses to punish her instead she calls my husband to punish her.

There was A LOT of push back when I moved in. She has had no structure and didn’t like the changes. Every punishment was too harsh, my husband would say, I was the bad guy. I got sick of hearing “It’s not her fault her mom let’s her or her mom tells her she doesn’t have to listen. BULL-SHIT a nine year old is old enough to understand that once she walks into our home the rules are different. I don’t think it’s a lot to ask a child to throw her trash away, scrape her plate, learn to tie her shoes (yes, at nine)  .I finally got fed up a few weeks ago and made a change. We now have popsicle sticks with random punishments, they will be placed face down and she picks one. She may get a 15 min early bedtime or and entire weekend of going no where, or the four others in between. Since we started this… not a one punishment has been given! No back talk… into bed the second she’s told.. she knows the stakes.

The theory states that the reason for needing to separate yourself is because you seem to notice the Steps bad behavior more and it irritates you more. My husband and I have talked about this and there is truth to the noticing more and the irritations. The thing is it’s not her that I’m actually irritated with. I’m irritated with her mother for not caring. I’m irritated with her father and my father in-law for allowing excuses… my mother in -law actually has my back on the excuses. I get it she has been through hell. Her mother ripped her out of this house and in with a boyfriend. In the last two years she has BEGGED for her mother to keep her for a weekend (we have her every weekend) her mother has “kept” her two weekends in the last two years only to pawn her off on her older brothers dad (yes, instead on keeping her or telling us she didn’t want to keep her she dropped her off with her brother’s dad.) Now her mother wants to move her two hours away which my husband is not allowing for a boyfriend she has known four months.

I understand some anxiety, some resentment towards me but at some point she is going to have to understand that we are not to blame for her mother’s actions and she can’t be allowed to use her mother as an excuse to be completely babied. I want this child to grow up to be successful.. I want her to own up to her actions. I do not want her to play the victim card her entire life. As a mother, I can not just sit back and watch this kid fail, I know none of it is her fault.

I think that if I separated myself from her my marriage would fall apart. We do argue about what each of us expect from her but we talk it out and compromise. I would never be able to ignore things she does. It would have me completely pissed off if I had to choose between making my kids pick up after themselves and do things that she didn’t have to do or just end up being everyone’s maid.

I will never be a perfect parent… I will for sure never be a perfect step-parent. There will be epic fails on my part as a mother and wife. All I can do is try.. try to do what I feel is best for our family.

That being said, to each their own. I can understand how everyone handles stress differently. Everyone runs their homes differently. I want our kids to see our house as more than mom or dads house… I want them to feel at home.

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