ADJUSTMENT AND ACCEPTANCE
Gift of Acceptance Over Resistance.
I finally concluded that the only way I could be happily married would be to ACCEPT MY SITUATION…and be the best wife, mother and stepmother I could possibly be. I noticed I was beginning to get used to having him and his kids around the house. I was ready to give it my all, whatever that meant. I no longer needed my marriage to be something it would never be – just the two of us. It would always be a stepfamily.
The reality was …HELLOOO – we now had five kids to raise together. We had a lot of work ahead of us. I had a lot of growing up to do.
The first step for me was a major attitude adjustment. Since his kids would be part of my life, I thought I’d better get to know them rather than wishing they’d go away. How did I do this?
Instead of waiting for them to reach out to me, I went to them with an open friendly attitude. I frequently asked if I could do anything for them. I took them places, cooked meals they liked and bought them things they needed. We began to have inside jokes, tease each other, talk, laugh, all of which loosened the barriers. My husband did the same thing with my sons. He helped them with sports and school projects and showed them how to work with tools. He took them fishing, while the girls and I shopped.
There were times when my expectations about who my stepkids were and how they behaved got in my way. There were times when I felt badly that I couldn’t understand, sooth, and love them the same way their bio parents could, but I learned that it’s a process that develops over time. After all, they weren’t my bio kids. My husband and I were delighted during the happy times. We were disappointed when we fell down on the job, which by the way, we did often. Mistakes were made for sure. There was always something…
We frequently took time for ourselves. We loved our date nights and getaways, during which we were A ROMANTIC TWOSOME.
This was a long time ago, and we’ve come a long way. I still remember how hard it was to go from that romantic twosome to a full time functioning stepcouple and stepfamily with five kids in tow. It was a shock! While it was the hardest thing we’ve ever done, it was also the most rewarding!
COMING NEXT: How we stayed strong as a stepcouple during rocky times. We’ll touch on the importance of healthy communication and cooperative coparenting within the stepcouple.