Loving someone with kids requires mindfulness.
There are more than two hearts involved.
Being a step-parent is a tough, yet rewarding role to fill in a child’s life. Tough because of the roller coaster of emotions; rewarding because of the love you will receive.
We all know that falling in love is a magical time in one’s life. It’s exciting getting to know someone that you could spend the rest of your life with; creating a bond that will last a lifetime, creating memories that you will treasure for years to come.
If that someone you are creating memories with has children, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed in the beginning of your relationship, especially after you meet the kids. Maybe these tips will ease your overwhelming hopes, or doubts, and bring you back to reality.
1. Let the relationship evolve naturally.
As I said before, there are more than two hearts involved, so don’t rush it unless it happens naturally. Not only will you be getting to know someone romantically, you will probably all be getting adjusted to the idea of becoming a new family. In some cases, it takes a long time for kids to open up and trust the new partner in their parent’s life.
2. Know where you stand.
Because you are not the first person your partner will love in your relationship, you should me mindful of this. Until you are both seriously invested in each other, kids will most likely come before you. Going on a date? Probably not, he/she has the kids.
3. Be patient and understanding.
Same as you should know your place, or where you stand, you should also learn to be patient and understanding. Because sometimes kids are not capable of understanding why their parents are moving on, it is important that you give your partner the time they need to let their kids adjust to your newfound love.
4. Be supportive.
In addition to patience and understanding, you have to be supportive of decisions your partner makes in raising his/her kids, even if you don’t agree with them. Note: it’s okay to give your opinion, but not to control.
5. Leave jealousy out of it.
Being straightforward – if you chose to be involved with someone who still has to communicate with their ex because of kids, you cannot be a jealous person. While it can sting to be on the outside looking in, try to remember that their kids need them to communicate to demonstrate healthy relationships. Maybe you could join them in being a good example of what that might look like.
Overall, becoming a blended family is a beautiful thing. Every relationship has it’s problems, but kids are not a problem. They are a blessing. I couldn’t imagine my life without my step-kids; knowing them has truly made me a better woman, wife, and mom.
Are you a step-parent? What was it like for you in the beginning of your relationship? Would you add any tips to this list?