Week 8’s goal was Pages 90-99 of the Mindset Makeover Journal (link HERE). It was a pleasure to read and journal this week because every single page turn was new food for thought and all of them made excellent topics (such as how being a stepchild helped mold you as a stepparent, stepmom shaming, stepmom martyring, bio mom lingo in a what she said versus what she meant format).
My biggest struggle this week was picking ONE and ONLY ONE topic to blog. I decided to tackle this topic because Hubster has checked me on this soooooo many times. Naja says “Not all kids with a HCBM take on her temperament. Be careful not to isolate a stepchild that actually desires a relationship with you”. AGH y’all. This. Is. Such. A. Challenge.
In my situation, the oldest stepchild absolutely has HCBM’s temperament and is literally her Mini Me. Which is fine. That’s her character, nature, behavior, temperament, DNA and birthright. But it’s not a good blend or fit with my makeup, nature, behavior, etc. It also proved to be very destructive. I developed a protective barrier and made the mental note that extending my hand would result in wounds so I stopped extending it. Boundaries. Also fine. But I also began approaching the other stepchildren in a “you could bite the hand that feeds you any moment, so I’m going to approach you with caution as often and as long as possible”. In fact, I would tell my husband “don’t trust anyone… or, oh just wait…”. WAITING for child X, Y or Z to prove my theory correct. And THAT drove my husband crazy with me!!! I was not mean or rude, I was just distant. I didn’t isolate the child, but I isolated MYSELF. If Child X, Y or Z wanted to cuddle and watch TV or desired affection, I sort of treated them like a potentially vicious dog that could be prone to biting at any minute. Like, I’ll pet you and cuddle you but I’m going to be very very careful with it. I certainly didn’t approach it with the same affection and openness I’d had with my littles. Not because I didn’t want to but out of protection to self and an abundance of caution.
With TIME and PATIENCE and PRACTICE I have gotten a little better about this. I’ve began to see the other stepchildren as individuals, as Hub’s offspring and DNA, and they honestly do have A LOT of their dads behavior, temperament, demeanor and character. Yet, still … I find myself guarded very very very often and I hate it. I wish I was more open. It’s just difficult for me, ya know.
Is this something that you also struggle with? If so, does it drive your spouse batty?
At the end of the day we are all a work in progress. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. There are times we can run and times we can rest. On this topic, I’m just going to rest for a few and let it marinade some more. Acknowledging this is the first step and baby steps work for me.
Coffee cheers your way.