What Life Neglected To Tell Me

15 Jul

Parenting is hard. Being a step-parent is quite possibly even harder.

Lately things have not been easy…at all. We are simultaneously trying to handle the toddler years and the preteen years and I am fairly sure we are failing miserably at parenting our way through hell. We may have even reached this place beyond hell. It is so hard to see your child hurting and not know how to handle it. I would give anything to be the one hurting instead.

The worst part is that I know I play a major role in why she is hurting so badly. She wants her mommy and daddy to be together and she feels like it is partially my fault that she is from a broken home. I am the evil step-mom who stays up at night with a lump in my throat because I want her to be happy and she isn’t. I am the evil step-mom who goes out of my way to make her feel comfortable. I am the evil step mom who does crafts with her and braids her hair and takes her shopping. I am the evil step-mom who has made her mommy lonely and sad and angry.

No one warned me that it would be this hard. I got plenty of warnings about becoming a mother. About giving birth. About your biological child screaming that they HATE you and HATE your house. No one warned me how badly it would hurt my feelings when a step-child said those things.

A part of me wants to scream back. A part of me wants to just give up and tell her that if she hates us so much she can just live with her mom. But the biggest part of me? The biggest part of me wants to prove her wrong. I want to make it through these years with optimism and I want to know that sometimes tough love and discipline will give her the foundation she needs.

Maybe someday she will thank me. Maybe someday she will know that I didn’t break her parents up. Maybe someday she will know that I really do love her.

2 Responses to “What Life Neglected To Tell Me”

  1. Grandma July 16, 2013 at 5:27 am #

    Lizzy, You and Tom are doing what you can to help her without babying her. Just be consistent and loving….and firm. Don’t forget you deserve respect from her; she needs that stake in the ground that dictates boundaries. Jordan will come through this and love you for it. Keep remembering what it felt like for you. I’ll keep you guys in my thoughts. Love you.

  2. Grandpa Charlie July 16, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    Elizabeth, I’m sorry to hear about your problem, but just wait another generation, when you have been through all this, and you have a grandchild who curses you because you were fuddy-duddy enough an old geezer to suggest that she perhaps should not use the f-word in her public postings on the web and she then goes out of her way to show her contempt for you. That actually happened to us but we never gave up on her and eventually that little girl turned out to be one of the nicest people you’d ever want to have for a granddaughter.

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