How To Accept Your Role As A Step-Parent, My Journey

How To Accept Your Role As A Step-Parent, My Journey

I can’t be a parent, and I certainly can’t be a step-parent.

That was without a doubt my fear when walking into my relationship with my now husband. His son L was nearing his first birthday when we first got together. B, being the fantastic father that he is, kept us separate for a while. Wanting to make sure it was a sure thing before I was really part of L’s life.  He had 50/50 custody and I was living in another city at the time so it was relatively simple at first. It became obvious quickly that B and I were both “all in” and that L and I were going to need to meet on more than a passing basis.

I have known a few people who had a step-parent over the years. Most have relationships filled with animosity. People trying to replace their parents. people pretending they don’t exist. So I came up with some “ground rules.” I didn’t share them with anyone but myself but I had them there. – Keeping in mind I was 21 with not even a lot of babysitting experience. I have no idea what kids wanted or needed from a parent. –

  1. L was NEVER going to call me mom
  2. I was not going to take the role of the “active” parent

L had his own mom. He would call me Jenn. I also figured that by not being the “active parent”; I could rule out the resentment that I was sure would come into play later in life.

Things Changed

The first time I spent the night with B while L was there was interesting, for both of us. I woke up with L in the morning and let B sleep – come to think of it this is probably why B still doesn’t wake up to anything in the morning. – We approached the morning, and each other, cautiously. Ate some breakfast and watched some TV. We managed just fine if I do say so myself. We managed to carry on that type of relationship until December. That is when I moved into the step-parent role. 

Just 4 months after we got together, I had moved to town to be with B,  and we were technically living together, although we shared a house with his parents. I say technically because I was sort of in denial about the whole thing. December is when things started to change. The mother of all stomach flu hit the house. Somehow L and I were the only ones who weren’t sick!

This, of course, left me to take care of him while avoiding the vomity sickness. We bonded over cheese strings and Elmo.  Of course, everyone started to feel better and then L and I were sick, but if it wasn’t for that one awful flu L and I might have a very different relationship now.

Where we are now

I got pregnant with Big H a few weeks later and that quickly changed my outlook on being the active parent. How can I parent one child and not the other?  I still have my ground rules, but they’ve shifted a little with my perspective. 

L can call me whatever he wants. He chooses to call me Jenn. Occasionally he slips and calls me mom. That’s okay, sometimes he calls me Madame Mazur – his teacher – and I don’t read into that. I’m not trying to replace his mom, but it’s nice to know he is comfortable enough with me to acknowledge me as a mother figure. Step-parent is still a parent and he recognizes that.

L and I choose to love each other. That is love I will never have with Big or Litte H. I tell him that my love for them grew in my tummy, but my love for him grew in my heart. He is my Levi, and I am his Jenn.  Nothing is ever going to change that.

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How To Accept Your Role As A Step-Parent, My Journey
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How To Accept Your Role As A Step-Parent, My Journey
Posted by Jenn in Lifestyle, 9 comments
A Comprehensive List of the 40 + Job Titles of Being a Parent

A Comprehensive List of the 40 + Job Titles of Being a Parent

It’s no surprise that being a parent is a lot of work. Day in and day out you wear a ton of different hats. My job title is official “Mom”, but unofficially, it carries many more job titles than that.

  1. President: My husband might argue this point a little, but even he phones and clears things with me before planning things. I run the household.
  2. Secretary: Yes, I carry both titles. If I don’t make the schedule things just won’t happen.
  3. Chef: Maybe not gourmet, but any day that I don’t cook boxed macaroni and cheese or serve cereal for dinner I am probably winning. 3 kids; 1 who is going through a stage where everything has to be plain, and an adult male under my roof mean it’s hard impossible to please everyone most nights.
  4. Cheerleader: Kids in sports (or any activity) means that I am at EVERY game, and EVERY practice cheering them on and cheering them on loud enough to make sure they hear me. Especially those where my husband isn’t able to because of work. I never want them looking into the stand and wondering who is there for them.  I will always be there.
  5. Housekeeper: Cleaning the entire house every day. Sweeping, mopping, dishes, laundry it literally never ends.
  6. Laundromat attendant: All the laundry, all the time. With only one washing machine. At least I get all the pocket change out of the dryer.
  7. Maid: Different than a housekeeper, I am expected, it would seem anyway, to wait on my children hand and foot.
  8. Janitor: Also different from the housekeeper, I also get to clean up all the spills and messes.
  9. Taxi Driver: I have to drive everyone everywhere, usually with no time to spare.
  10. Judge: When all the little arguments happen, guess who decides who is right.
  11. Referee: Scraps happen, I’m the one who has to climb in the middle, or hopefully diffuse them before they start.
  12. Secret Keeper: While we don’t keep secrets in this house, they have found a loophole when it comes to “surprises”
  13. Personal Assistant: Forgot something? Need something done? Don’t worry mom will get it done.
  14. Teacher: Colours, ABCs, spelling words, all of the above.
  15. Coach: In all things sports. Even if you know next to nothing about them.
  16. Art Critic: Of course that looks like a dinosaur!
  17. Potty Trainer: Two kids down one to go.
  18. Bum Checker: Even though they are potty trained, wiping is still something that needs working on.
  19. Diaper Changer: And counting down!
  20. Search and Rescue: A toy or a blanket always seems to be missing.
  21. Tickler: My boys loved to be tickled
  22. Tickle me Elmo: Who needs the toy when I can tickle mom?
  23. Day Care Provider: Someone has to take care of them.
  24. Government: Someone needs to make the rules.
  25. Police Woman: And then they need to be enforced.
  26. Stylist: No you can’t wear shorts when it’s -30 degrees
  27. Personal Shopper: Groceries, clothes you name it, I buy it
  28. Dentist: Gotta make sure all the teeth are clean.
  29. Breath Smeller: How else am I going to know if they actually brushed their teeth?
  30. Volunteer: Field trips, councils, hot lunches, as often as possible.
  31. Play Date Organizers: Back to that scheduling we talked about.
  32. Event Planner: Birthdays, and holidays.
  33. A Conductor of Sleep Studies: Overnight, in a bed that is far too small
  34. Monster Patrol: Under beds, behinds doors, the works.
  35. Librarian: Complete with storytelling.
  36. Singer: Specialising in nursery rhymes and theme songs.
  37. Doctor: Kisses and cuddles are my specialities.
  38. Paramedic: Breaking out the big guns with fun band-aids when needed.
  39. Nurse: I administer the medicine when they’re sick.
  40. Cuddle Expert: Because sometimes all you need is a good cuddle session.
  41. Speech Therapist:  There are a lot of words to learn how to say properly.
  42. Councillor: For the days when being young is just too much to handle.
  43. Barber: I can’t be the only one who has had to cut their kids’ hair.

There is no sugar coating it, being a parent is hard work. My job as a mom is ever changing and ever evolving. Would I give up any one of them? Not a chance, they bring be closer to my kids and that makes me a better parent. It is rewarding in a way that you will never be able to explain.

Are there any job titles you feel you carry as a parent?

A Comprehensive List of the 40 + Job Titles of Being a Parent
A Comprehensive List of the 40 + Job Titles of Being a Parent


Posted by Jenn in Lifestyle, 10 comments