Stepbomb: I often debate what my role in my stepdaughters' lives should be. And that is why I write this post. I'm looking for and value your insight and welcome your opinions -- even the ones that are especially hard to hear.
Since becoming a stepmother, I feel as if I've been on an emotional roller coaster. As I put it in the first post I ever wrote, it's like a bomb has gone off. Since I'm a stepdaughter myself, I thought I had an idea of what was in store. I felt I had a perspective that could help the children and help facilitate a healthy relationship with their mother. But I realize now that nothing could have prepared me for this.
I write about my interactions with my husband's ex, and your feedback, often, is that I'm overstepping my bounds -- which of course is a worry of mine, and something I do not want to do. It makes me wonder if I'm supposed to be more of a wallflower in most situations. There are many nights that the girls are here and we all sleep under the same roof. Things come up; questions are asked. As their stepmother, am I to remain a bystander in their lives? Watching, but not weighing in? Listening, but not offering? Is that my role? I married their father and am now called a stepparent, but am I essentially nothing more than his wife?
Despite what it may seem in the posts I've written, I really have tried to do my best. My goal has always been to be another person who loved these girls. But now when they ask for help with their homework or come to me with a question, I find myself second-guessing my instincts. Wondering if it's my place to quiz them on their vocabulary or to give them my two cents about the kid who has been mean to them at school.
What is the role of the stepparent? It's a big question, but one I'm weighing seriously. I know I've made mistakes; I'm not perfect. And the girls' mother has made mistakes, too -- because, of course, she's not perfect either. But her idea of my role and my idea of my role need to get in line, so we can coexist peacefully.
I guess the bigger question is, how do we get there?