The Little Tikes BlogA growing trend in society, blended families vary considerably. Despite the variation in parental approach and involvement, the well-being of the child is most often a mutual goal. Sometimes it’s the means to achieving that goal that proves problematic. After all, you are not only welcoming a child into your marriage, but also his or her parent or at least their influence.
Once upon a time, I was set up on a blind date with my husband, Mark. Prior to our first date, I knew that he had a daughter, Alyna. I think it’s fair to say that I was nervous about where my relationship with Mark would lead and ultimately how Alyna and I would impact each other’s lives. My nerves were unfounded because we became emotionally inseparable from the moment we met. Despite her daily absence in our home, she has never been absent in our heart.
Almost 8 years later, I am still learning how to be a stepmom. Truthfully, it’s difficult for me as a parent as well as it is for Alyna as a child. There are fundamental differences between both of her families – the definition of appropriate behavior, discipline, culture, religion and responsibilities. Along with her 3 siblings on her father’s side, she has 4 siblings on her mother’s side. It’s a challenge - Alyna tries hard to blend into both of her families.
Although I love Alyna as my own, I am not her mother. I don’t want to usurp her mother’s authority and position and ultimately confuse her. I have found it in Alyna’s best interest to assume a role similar to that of an aunt. I am still mom to her, but allow her biological mother along with my husband to have a greater impact and influence on her life.
Is being a stepmom hard? Yes. Is it worth it? Definitely. Several years ago, Alyna asked me if she could call me “mom.” I told her that it was her decision and that although I’m not her biological mother, I love her as though I had been the one to carry her for 9 months and bring her into the world. Since that conversation, she has called me “mom.” I cannot imagine my life or our family without her.