I want to talk about something that’s been on my mind for a while. I’m in many groups on Facebook about parenting, co-parenting, blending and step parenting. Yep, I’m not a step parent yet, but I have friends that created those groups and added me in them as I date men with children. So, I have a lot of involvement with this idea of blending.
One of the things that inevitably comes up in every group is women who say that they are told by birth moms (BM’s) to stay in their lane when it comes to their step children and they want to know…what is their lane? Now, before we go proceed I must tell you this disclaimer…everyone has a lane. Whether you choose to stay in it is up to you.
But, I decided to give you some help in understanding what your lane is and what it looks like. Your lane is your lane. This could be the stepmother’s lane or the girlfriend’s lane. It is the lane that you were driving in when you decided you loved that man enough to be a partner in loving and raising his offspring.
So what does staying in your lane actually mean when it comes to being a step parent? It means that you recognize your role as the wife of your husband and a partner in your house when it comes to raising your step children. You are your husband’s rib and you establish the rules in your house. You love your step children but you allow the parents to parent their child. I’m not talking about your husband making decisions that have an adverse affect on your household, but them deciding what they want their children to do.
Now, let me clarify…if you are raising your step children full-time you are not part of this group of stepmoms that need to stay in your lane. You are excluded from this group. You have no lane because you’ve taken on the role of being a full-time parent to your spouse’s children and therefore, you two make decisions as one.
However, when you are in a blending situation whereby you don’t speak it will always feel like you’re being excluded. My advice…don’t take it personal. If it doesn’t sit well in your spirit or something is being asked of you that you don’t want to do, take it up with your partner. Let me give you an example…if you are a teacher and the biological parents of your step child decide that your step child should stay home with you for the summer instead of paying for summer camp, you have the right to push back and say no. I wish I could get summers off so I would completely understand if you want to not deal with kids full-time in the summer. Your home. Your choice. Everyone should respect that. That includes bio-moms.
Now, for the rest of the women that are part-time parenting their husband’s children you need to understand that you are your husband’s spouse first and foremost. His rib. The order is God, your husband and then the children. That is the natural flow. He’s the head of the household and you’re his help mate. Being that for him doesn’t mean that he can’t parent his child anymore with their birth mom or he should delegate that responsibility to you. They created this child. They still need to be parents. Don’t let him push you in the middle of their chaos.
If there is no conflict, I’m so super happy for you. You all can co-parent effectively I would like to take the time to pause here and say that if your man has told you all these horrible things about his child’s mother then how do you think you can fix this situation? Do you really want to extol the mental energy into their chaos. Protect your peace. You didn’t create the situation. They did. Let them figure it out.
Repeat after me…not my monkey and not my circus. Protect your home. Your home should be peaceful. The drama that may or may not surround them is not for you to worry about. Keep living your best life and stay in your lane.
What’s your lane? The lane of your husband’s partner. Your husband still needs to parent with the child’s mother whether he wants to or not. Don’t let him drag you into their drama. Recognize your role and stay in your lane to keep your stress levels down because eventually it will burn you the hell out.
It doesn’t mean that you should nacho the kid or not love them. It just means that you should recognize that the child has two whole parents that were there before you. They were raising their child before you and they can and should still be able to do so now that you’re a part of this dynamic. Your husband has to let you know what he and his child’s mother decide for little Jimmy or Janie. They have to get to the business of co-parenting their child.
Because once a relationship ends that is all there is…business. The business of raising the children to be productive citizens. This shouldn’t stop because other players are introduced.
Let me tell you why…
-To Be Continued-