One of the greatest things I have ever accomplished is being a parent. Seeing how they grow and knowing that you’re the one nurturing that growth is instant gratification. I spent years and many losses thinking that I was never going to have that privilege. I had never really thought much about being a parent until my first miscarriage; once that seed of hope was planted it seemed that’s all I wished from life and I had this knowledge that I was going to be a great parent. We all fear that we are going to be failures and that we are going to mess up our children in some way. All we can do is our best to guide them but they’re pretty much going to take care of the rest; they are inevitably their own person with their own wandering souls. This is the way I have always thought so I never had any fears about being a parent; it’s just something that I felt was ingrained in me.
Being a stepparent on the other hand is something that makes me feel so lost. I am not the one who carried him, birthed him, nurtured him, or watched him grow from an infant into a little boy. I am the outsider who has to learn everything from scratch and I will never know everything. I have had to hear things like “That’s not the way my mom does it.” Endured situations where I thought a things should be handled a certain way but in the end was reminded that I’m not really his parent so I don’t have the final say.
As time passes things get easier; you get a groove and create your own memories. Certain things that you do are preferred and missed when they are away; if your lucky that child will start calling you Ma. But there will always be that cloud hanging there that you are not the biological parent; the third wheel that often feels out of place.
Being a stepparent is so much harder than being a biological parent!
Having my daughter was a huge eye opener of how different things could be. When it comes to taking care of her and what’s best for her I don’t get argued with nearly as much. I hear “If that’s what you thinks best.” instead of “He’s my boy and I know what’s best.” I know things about her that nobody else knows because being a stay at home mom I am her constant caregiver. She prefers me more often than not over others and that feels amazing.
You can try as hard as you might but the bonds between the two are completely different. There have been certain people who have tried to shame me for taking more pictures of my daughter than I do of my stepson; I honestly don’t mean to. Some people just don’t understand and wouldn’t understand unless they were in the same position.
Being a stepparent means sometimes feeling like a glorified babysitter.
I cross my fingers and pray that it gets easier but all I can do is keep trying. Because as the saying goes “A stepparent is a truly amazing person. They made the choice to love another persons child as their own.”