Desert Sand Mica

Whatever, just crash it Bob...


This has been kind of a rough week. They'd scheduled Mark 11-12 hours each day, in anticipation of being really busy, which they haven't been. He is gone from early in the morning, until it's time for Emma to go to bed. Emma is out of school, which makes for very long, boring days - with just me and her here. I have no relief, no support, no break. A lot of single parents would say "hey, I don't either - so there.." Well, something to remember..this isn't my child. I will never have that devotion, that deep internal love that you do for your own children. I felt like a single parent within my marriage sometimes, but I never felt this particular way, because the kids were my own children. Natural parents have an unconditional love and adoration that no one else has - or can have - for their own children. I can never attain the feeling for Emma that I have for my own kids. Unless you've been in a step-parent type role, you cannot relate.

I have to weigh my own selfish needs over what is best for Emma, and I believe that 99% of the time, I mesh the two very successfully. But once in a while I start feeling a little more selfish than usual, and I have to take a moment to step back and get back on track. Emma doesn't know the difference of course, she's never the brunt of any frustration. She gets all the attention and devotion that I truly do feel, and it's plenty. But my real feelings get internalized, which for anyone who knows me - knows I don't do very well. It eventually gets vented out to people and things that are unrelated to the issue, and that's not fair.

But I would never choose not to do this. Mark has shown me time and time again how grateful he is that Emma and I have the great relationship that we do. Through the research I've done into blended families, there are a lot of folks that have constant friction between step-children and step-parents. The natural parents are forever fighting, worrying and wringing their hands over how the step-parents treat their kids, and in 3 years, that has never happened in this relationship. There are women Mark came close to making a permanent committment with, and I cannot even imagine what would have happened to Emma if they had been the one in my shoes. I don't believe any outsider could love Emma the way I do.

I know things will continue to improve, and I am SO blessed that Mark listens to all my frustrations, fears, and failings with an open heart and mind. He never blames me for how I feel, he is ultra understanding and will walk over hot coals to find a solution that makes everyone happy.

I am confident that things will get easier over time and we will find answers to our issues that work for everyone. We just have to take each incident and problem and work it out one by one. We can't ever let the frustrations build up until they are unmanageably huge. That's one thing Mark and I are very good at, is resolving issues completely, one by one.

The meltdowns over the tv have not gotten any better at all, and in fact she had one this morning after being asked to turn the tv off that caused daddy to remove the TV from her bedroom altogether. Gone. It would be super dooper easy for me to just relent and let Emma watch as much as she wants, because it becomes a wonderful babysitter. Relief! A break! She gets so glassy eyed and mesmorized, staring open-mouthed at whatever is on at the time. We don't hear a peep out of her the whole time she's watching.

But I can't do that. The issue is way too important, and we've been plugging it for far too long. (unplugging it? lol)

It's a very fine line to walk, the "not the mom" line. I frequently see opportunities for change and improvement, and sometimes I see warning signs of big problems ahead - but often I keep quiet because some issues are strictly parental. Part of what makes a mediocre parent into a good parent is learning along the way. Making the huge mistakes, and then rectifying them. How would anyone ever learn for themselves how to be a good parent if they constantly had a "been there done that" coach on the sidelines? You have to let people stumble so they can see the rock that tripped them up.

Bottom line, however - I love this family. It's "yours mine and ours" - and we have the drive, loyalty, and strength to make it work. It's just hard sometimes. But the most worthwhile things are the most difficult, aren't they.

Anyway, that's where I'm at this morning. Thanks for listening.


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