If you have step-kids, you could argue that your spouse made the “mistake” of marrying the wrong person instead of waiting for you, just like Abraham. Once the two of you have children together, if you haven’t already, you’ll be able to relate to Sarah’s mindset even more. The mama bear instinct kicks in, and you want your babies to have it all and not have to share anything with another woman’s child. Blended families is weak verbiage to suggest unity among disparate members. Vinegar and oil families would be more appropriate terminology. So, why are step-kids such a bitter pill to swallow?
STEP-KIDS DO NOT SHARE YOUR DNA
No matter how much you love your own children, they can still drive you bananas. However, when they display their quirky side, you recognize traits from your own family and can easily overlook them. The unconditional love you feel for the fruit of your own body covers a multitude of sins. Not so of step-kids. Never will you see them mimic anyone from your family tree. In fact, you probably find yourself zeroing in on all the behaviors that mirror your spouse’s ex, which seem intolerable. Maybe it’s an attitude, a mannerism, a physical attribute, an ailment, an opinion—it doesn’t matter. When you see the ex shining through your step-children, you can’t help but turn a cold shoulder. For example, if you ever dreamed of dressing up a little girl with sparkling shirts, fru-fru bottoms, hair bows, and lacy socks only to find your step-daughter prefers to look like a ragamuffin street urchin with no class like her mother, it’s just another reminder that your DNA will never enter the equation. If you’re the June Cleaver type who loves to cook, but your step-children turn up their noses at your nutritious meals because they are pre-disposed to the fast-food, processed meals, and junk their mother has infused into their systems, it’s an up-hill battle you won’t win. From the start, step-kids will always share the DNA of the person you detest. Even if your spouse’s traits peek through from time to time, those traits will be eclipsed, making it impossible for you to feel connected to them on a crucial, foundational level. Though your spouse might wish for you to become the substitute mother to his children to sock it to his ex, it’s a shoe that will never fit.
STEP-KIDS ARE POISONED AGAINST YOU FROM THE START
Dream on if you think the ex is going to encourage her children to call you mom. You are the enemy, and the ex will paint you as such. Any physical ailment her children contract will be blamed on some contagion she insists you carry. Any rash they develop will be blamed on your cooking or an allergic reaction to something you’ve introduced into the home environment. You will be labeled a stranger their father married, an outsider who destroyed their family, an infidel who must always be opposed. Like the Salem Witch Trials, you will be relentlessly accused of the most imaginative sins. Even reasonable children who might want to give you a chance under ideal circumstances will find it difficult, if not impossible, to betray their mother. They might think she is crazy and blame her for their parents’ break-up, but they will always seek her love and acceptance and will not turn their backs on her to favor you.
STEP-KIDS ARE NOT LOYAL
When you have your own children, you will understand the bond that exists between a woman and her child. There is an unspoken pact that is formed while they are yet in the womb and culminates in a cemented relationship that will stand the tests of time. Even when you and your children don’t always agree, they rarely consider jumping ship. Your children will be loyal to you and never stab you in the back like a step-child will. To avoid the hot seat of confrontation, step-kids find creative ways to point the finger elsewhere. For example, your step-kids might thoroughly enjoy the movies, music, and books offered in your home, yet if they find their mother disapproves of your selections, the kids will act like you held them at gunpoint and forced them to engage in those activities. Step-kids will tell dad one thing and mom another to focus the battle between the two adults while they sneak away quietly. No matter how sincerely a step-child might seem to be in your corner, when push comes to shove, they will tell their mother what she wants to hear and paint you as the bad guy. She has programmed them to be loyal to her, and it goes against their nature to buck the system she has created.
STEP-KIDS SHOW DISRESPECT
While in your home, step-kids often show disregard for your house rules because you are not their mom and they don’t have to listen to you. Ever heard that one? One step-mom related the story of how her husband’s children refer to him as “Pops,” “Father,” or by his first name, all with the smack of disrespect. Why do men allow this in their homes? The answer is simple. Men do not feel comfortable with emotional drama. They would rather pretend there is no problem than have to deal with the issues. Husbands want to please their new wives without compromising the relationship with the children from their first marriage.It’s a delicate balance that is difficult to maintain and usually results in a husband’s passivity. If your step-kids live with their mother, chances are, they will always view you and your husband through the same glasses—and these are NOT the rose-colored variety!