Update to Step-Parenting in Today’s World
I have really enjoyed reading all of your comments on this article. It inspires me to keep writing about the difficulties in being a step-parent in today’s world.
Well, I have been enjoying being a Grandmother. My fiancee’s youngest is now nearly nineteen years of age, and well, as a result of her fathers’ refusal to step in a be a father to her, she is now living with the father of her beautiful three-year-old daughter, and has a one-year-old daughter, with yet another one on the way.
She has turned out to be a great mother, but because she was left to figure things out on her own struggles every day in an adult world that she wasn’t as prepared for, as she had originally thought. She has not graduated high school due to the demands of being a teen Mom, but she has been learning to cook ethnic foods and has become quite proficient at it. She has learned also that just because you didn’t like to have to do it at your parent’s house doesn’t mean that you will be able to skip out on it when you’re on your own, or living with your baby’s daddy’s family. Everyone pitches in when you are a multi-member family with no excuses as to why you can’t or shouldn’t have to do the same thing. She digs right in now and does a very good job.
I am so proud of her even though I worry constantly about her future. Gone for her are the days of hanging out with her friends, going to the movies whenever she feels like it, or just playing her dance dance revolution game all day long. She now has a big responsibility and that’s no thanks to her Dad. He still doesn’t say much about that,but is there for her whenever she calls to just unload as I am too.
One thing I have never done is tell her “See? I told you so? It’s not as easy as you thought, is it?” Well, I do say that it’s not as easy as she thought, but I am completely empathetic with her and she is very appreciative of that now. We have become very close, and whenever she has a problem, I’m the one she comes to.
As for her older sister, she just turned twenty and is a mother of a nine-month-old baby girl as well.
I am a little bit more worried about her, since she is still a bit too impatient with her child and often speaks to her in a way she should be doing when the little girl is in her toddler stages or more to the point when she’s nearing her grade school years. But when I see this, I let her know the proper way to speak to the baby and she backs off and takes another approach and it seems to work now. She struggles every day with an income, so she is out and about every day, either finding a job, or finding a better way to survive in this ever changing world where the welfare system is not as reliable as it was years before. She has had to be creative and is so far, doing fairly well for herself, though it’s not easy. Her confidence seems to be lifting up, and she smiles more often than she did before,and isn’t so aggressive towards me as she was as a younger teen.
And believe me, living with her, was, to say the least, scary at times. She was a thief too, but has stopped doing that, and I no longer have to worry about leaving her too close to any of my personal possessions.
She has graduated high school with a diploma, so that is a blessing too. I am so proud of her in that accomplishment.
We still haven’t lost hope on the oldest boy, but he is working now, and doing much better than before.
He’s funny, articulate, and has a passion for writing songs and poetry. He’s not half bad really.
There is still a problem with the Dad with communication, but at least the teen years are now over, and we can finally enjoy the kids at a distance, except for the occasional visit or two.
So hang in there, it will work out with patience, work, and love. If you find it’s just not working, then do what you feel is right for you. We all have our limitations, so make the best of it, whatever it is.