Tuesday, 18 July 2017

To All The Biological Mums- Would You Rather We Didn't Care?

Something amazing has happened.

I have finally realized, I am not alone.

Last night, I made the momentous decision to post on one of the step parenting groups. I posted for support, to see if anyone else out there was in a similar situation. And the response was overwhelming! I finally realized I am not on my own. There are other step mums out there. Some my age! Some who have their step children full time! Even some who's step children have ASD. I almost shed a tear, it meant so much to me.

But you know what else I realized? There are so many hard working step mums out there who seem to have the hardest of times from the biological mother. It seems to be the most common of issues, and it must be so soul destroying for everyone involved. So it's got me thinking, would they rather we didn't care?

To all the biological mums out there, this is my question for you: would you rather we didn't care about your child? Would you prefer it that when they were with us, we did nothing with them? We didn't pay them any attention, didn't take them out or buy them things? Would you rather we made no effort at all? Would you rather they felt awkward and unhappy around us?

Because I'm not sure you would.

Your kids aren't always easy to love. Sometimes they talk to us like crap, they scream, shout, make a fuss over something we can't change. They disregard our rules and belittle our efforts. I'm sure you've had days when they've been naughty and difficult for you too. But unlike you, we can't always tell them off.

We never came into their lives to make things worse. We came into their lives because they came with the man/woman we love. And making them happy, some where along the line, means making you and your kids happy too. It must be about as pleasant for us as it is for you.

We aren't evil. The step mother in snow white is a bit out dated, and most of us don't want to play up to that stereotype. In fact, all most of us want is for the time your kids spend with us to be as pleasant and stress free as possible.

Sometimes we treat your kids because we don't see them that often and its a special occasion. We aren't trying to threaten you here, trying to lure your children away with sparkly days out and magical gifts. We can do this because we don't have the monotony of day to day life with them; the school runs, homework, friends birthday parties, lifts here there and everywhere. If we did, we'd probably be just like you and not have the energy/time/money to make every weekend a fairy tale adventure.

Do you think that they will end up loving us more and that we might take them away? Some days they might come home and tell you they would prefer to live with us, and I'm sure that's absolutely heart wrenching to hear. Probably about as hard as it is for us, when they walk in the door and tell us they hate us and wish we would leave. We watch our partners faces contort as they hear those words, see how hard it is for them to be torn apart like this. We wonder how much more we can do to make it better.

See, unlike you, your kids don't automatically love us. We have to make quite the effort for them even to like us most of the time. We take them out, cook their favorite meals, watch their favorite programs on repeat constantly all just so they like us. And sometimes, even all that effort won't work.

Perhaps one day, your kids will meet someone who already has children. I hope if they do, they feel supported. I hope they don't have to face nasty comments and bad mouthing when all they are doing is trying their best.

So cut us a bit of slack. This is the hardest job we've ever had. We don't know your kids like you do. We're learning on the job and trying to make your kids feel welcomed, safe and cared for in our homes (when some of the times they make us feel the complete opposite). We might have different rules from you, different life styles and different approaches to things- but we are still human.

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