Building bonds with your step-children doesn’t happen all at once. It builds slowly, sometimes when you don’t even realize it. How do you know if a bond is forming? Your inner Momma Bear will let you know.
Mine came out last weekend, on Mother’s Day oddly enough. My step-son went to visit his mom for Mother’s Day and she wasn’t home. She’d made other plans. Just writing about it is making my Momma Bear instincts rage. He was so hurt, and it was caused by the person who should have the strongest protective instincts of all.
I don’t get it. I’m not going to speculate on what she thought was more important than spending Mother’s Day with her son. I’m not here to gossip or judge. I’m sharing this as an example of a circumstance that made me realize how much I care for this child. He’s not really even a child anymore. But I know he’s becoming more and more a part of my heart because I don’t ever want to see him hurt the way he was hurting last weekend.
Step-parenting teenagers is tricky business. I don’t always know when push in or when to step back. I’m sure I come off as mean & demanding for assigning chores and emailing teachers about missing assignments. Yes, I’m all up in my kids’ business. All my kids. Whether they’ve always been mine or not. It’s part of how I bond.
“You spend years wishing your parents would get off your back only to realize they’re the only ones who ever really had your back” -Unknown
Does a part of me want to call up this mom and let her have it? You’d better believe it! But I can’t change her, and it’s not my job anyway. My part is to love him, teach forgiveness of others, and model good choices in my reaction. Not easy! But hopefully in learning this lesson I am able to share it with you in a way that will make us all better parents.
So today I am thankful for the bond that grows stronger with each passing day. May all my children know that this Momma Bear will always have their back.
(archived from May 14, 2013)