Over the past year I’ve written plenty of posts about stepmomming and not knowing my role, blah blah blah. I know, it’s a super uncreative heavy topic. But it’s been a huge part of my life for a long time. Every time I’ve started to feel like I’m IN CONTROL finally of the situation, something else happens and I feel back where I started.
There’s been the whole feeling that:
- I need to do everything. It’s my job to teach them everything their mom can’t/won’t.
- They have a mom, so what exactly is my role??????????????????????? Even though they are at OUR house quite often, and even though I’ve been in their lives for 6 years.
- I feel like a failure. The kids have developed habits and beliefs that I don’t think are healthy. I SHOULD have influenced them enough to where they are on the right track. (Obviously MY WAY is the right track. I know.I can see what’s happening as I write this all out.)
Ugh. Can I just say a big fat UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH right now? None of these top 3 things feel good at all to me. In fact they make me feel pretty shitty about myself and my situation.
Believe it or not, I WANT to be in a place of joy and ease.
I love them, and the more that I run around teaching, I am realizing that the absolute most important thing I can do is help them to know/feel that they are loved just as they are.
It won’t matter if I mention to them over and over again to eat vegetables, or to have compassion for others, or to remind them to be polite, or ways they can make friends. What will they really remember by the time they are adults?? The reality is, they will learn what they need to learn REGARDLESS of me constantly making
EVERY MOMENT A FREAKIN’ TEACHING MOMENT.
As I write that I’m realizing how crappy that sounds. Double ugh.
So… new plan.
I will love them.
My intention now, is to love them fully as they are. Which means:
I will ask questions genuinely and listen and remember.
I will play with them.
I will notice parts of them that I admire.
I will tell them what I love about them.
I will ask them to help out, because I need the help. Not because I feel I need to teach them to help.
I will be present in the moment with them and have fun.
I will show up for them, because I want to, not because their mother may not.
I will still be clear about boundaries in our house.
I will laugh with them. Not to teach them to laugh, but because I like to laugh.
I’ve been in this better place for the past couple weeks. Meeting them where they are, and not feeling so much yucky pressure to FIX THINGS. It definitely takes practice. I can feel my stomach tying in knots still when I see or hear something I don’t love. But I’m getting better at saying to myself ‘It’s fine Jackie, just love her.’ And then my voice is full of love and my eyes are full of love. And then I feel good. I want them to know without a doubt how much they are loved for just being them.