By Mommy Mimi
Playing the role of mother and stepmother can get overwhelming for me at times. The dynamics of a blended family can get complicated at times making it hard to understand that under all of the adult bureaucracy there lies a child who inevitably didn’t ask to be here. Over the years, we have learned to make our family work as cohesive as possible but the summer always brings anxiety for me, this summer is no different.
My stepdaughter comes to stay with us every summer. I love having her, but if I might “keep it real” when she comes I am always in a contemplative state thinking about whether or not she feels comfortable and welcome in our home, and when I say our I mean hers as well. My son at times compounds my issues. Her arrival means things get shifted around a bit, and he has to share the television amongst other items and at times the words that come out of his mouth are downright hurtful. I have tried my best to explain to him the situation as best as a child can comprehend but he seems not to get it.
When my daughter was born, I thought of how my stepdaughter might feel coming here. We live in a three-bedroom house, so what was once her room was transformed into a nursery…with a bed in it. I tried to accommodate both but seeing that the baby would be here permanently, it only made sense to create a room conducive to a baby.
The other day I felt really bad as I went into the room and noticed she hadn’t unpacked because I hadn’t made room for her things in the dresser that she has to share with the baby. Then I noticed that instead of putting her dirty clothes in the hamper she put them in a plastic bag. I felt horrible. What have I done or not done for that matter for her to feel welcome here…or maybe I’m overreacting. My son is headed out to Las Vegas for the next month to spend time with my father, and I plan to use the time he is away to bond with her and try my best to let her know that she is one lucky girl. Not only does she have a primary home but she also has a vacation one.
Have you dealt with this? I’m taking advice!