Step-parenting could be a very tedious task and most times they receive little to no credit for this. Even though some stereotypical myths like; Evil stepmother or abusive parents are fading out, there are still a few misconceptions being spread around.
1. Step-parents already know what they are in for.
There is no reason whatsoever for anyone to agree to this. Most Step-parents have never parented a blended family before, and have never been parents before. They only became step parents because of their decision to enter a relationship with a partner that already has kids. But this doesn’t mean that they know what they are in for. The media often portrays blended families as an easy to navigate situation, meanwhile they fail to show the parts that are difficult and the challenges that comes with parenting a blended family.
2. The step-parent is trying so hard to be the biological parent
No! This isn’t true.
At first, it might seem like a new step parent is trying to replace the actual parent, but this is just because there are a lot of emotions are flying around at this new stage; it could be due to the break-up of the relationship, the fact that their ex-partner has gotten someone new, or because they feel resentment that the new person is competent enough to be a step-parent to their kids.
All these mixes of emotions will make them feel like the new person has replaced them.
However the step-parent is just trying to connect with their step kids in the best way they can. They have no bad intentions towards the biological parent.
3. The biological kids and step kids will get on easily
A lot of Step-parents will definitely want their kids to get on with their step children easily. Most of the time, this doesn’t work out.
Things are different between the two sets of children, as they have two different parents. An example is the step child having two homes, and the biological child has just one. Things can be confusing.
In the process of all this, the biological parent will still want to spend time with their biological child when the stepchild isn’t there, which can make the child feel left out.
4. Step-parents don’t respect boundaries
In some situations, a biological parent might feel that a step-parent has overstepped their boundaries. That’s where good communication comes in. Boundaries have to be expressed extensively so that the other parent will be aware and careful. In all sincerity, the step-parent might not mean to be too forward. They can just be making parenting decisions to the best of their knowledge.
People handle things differently, and not everything is going to be your way all the time. Good Communication is important so as to prevent anyone from getting hurt.
5. The step-parent is doing okay, she doesn’t complain
Step-parents have a whole lot on them. They might seem good on the outside, but really they have a lot they are juggling. They are doing a lot of them, and according to studies; stepmothers are the most vulnerable members in families. Most of the time, the step-parent can be seen as an outsider in a new family and while trying to figure this out, the children could be nursing resentment against them. They are also saddled with the task of being a counselor/ therapist in the house, by trying to protect the kids from getting caught up in situations that might arise.
It’s important for Step-parents to have a close person they can vent to from time to time and their partners should also check on them.
When you start a blended family, a lot of myths will be passed around. You have to remember that what you’ve gotten into is a step by step process, and harmony takes time. Do not compare yourself to other families or let society dictate how you should handle your family.