What is family?A different way of looking at step-kids.

I went to therapy recently. My lovely friend helped me with some of my issues regarding my step-kid’s mom. She opened my eyes to a few truths I was having trouble seeing, and it helped.

But that isn’t what this post is about. This post is about an epiphany of mine that happened quite recently.

It was another day in blended family land. There I was, once again trying to conglomerate us into a family. Trying to persuade my step-children that they are part of our core, and that we were supposed to do everything together when they were here ( which is two days out of every six..) to help establish our tribe. I was thinking through my filter of ” these are my step-kids, they are just like my kids when they’re here and they belong to me.”

And then their mom stepped in. And we didn’t end up working as a family. There wasn’t cohesion as a whole. We were once again fractured into ” mine and hers”. And I just decided I was done with it. Tired of putting my heart on the line to once again have it trampled on by kids who had no idea that their choices were hurting me and confusing my children. These poor step-sons of mine were once again caught in a loyalty battle between their mom and me, and naturally, she won.

So in my heart, I quit. I stepped back. I didn’t want to do it anymore.

And then, this quiet thought entered my head. ” You used to be a foster mom…what if you shifted your lens to look at the boys as foster kids instead of step-kids.” And it clicked. And my head shifted. And my heart came back online.

When you are a foster mom, you do all the things you do as a regular mom. And you love those kiddos as if they are your own flesh and blood. But you know the decisions that are made for your foster kids are outside of your control. You know there will always be another mom who is more important than you, no matter if she’s a good mom or a bad mom. Because she is their mom. And you don’t take it personally.

I really, really, really struggle with the decisions my step-sons’ mom makes. She is constantly trying to undermine our family, me, and G. She makes choices that we believe are setting our step-kids up for an unrealistic life style. And she has done terrible emotional damage to the hearts of her children, and continues to do so.

Which sounds an awful lot like the situation my foster kids were in.

Somehow being able to shift from a lens of “they are my step-kids and we will be a whole, complete family” to “they are my step-sons who I will I love to bits, but who I chose to think of as foster kids” has helped me tremendously.

I have different expectations of their behaviours and responses. I have a different picture of our family. And the pressure of being a step-mom who molds and shapes us into this tight nuclear family has been removed from my shoulders.

I feel like I am able to love them more freely, without the expectations of what our family should look like.

I guess we all fall victim to the “shoulds”…..https://youcandothis.blog/2019/03/20/the-should-word/

They boys are coming tomorrow for their regular two day stay. I am going to put this new way of thinking into practice and see how it goes. I’ll let you know.


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