Monday, June 28, 2010

Birthdays in a Blended World

As a Step Mo I have mastered the skill of biting my lip.  Step mothering and mothering in general is about continuously choosing my battles and negotiating relationships.  I believe with step families it is a tad bit more difficult at times because there are so many "extra people" loving the children.   I have always labeled all that extra love as a “good thing” of blended life. 

I’ve experienced a personal blip on our blended family life and it is a difficult one for me to process.  Birthdays and holidays are one of the more stressful items on the blended family agenda.  Negotiating all those “extra people loving the children” during these momentous occasions can be a challenge.  I have found it is usually best to smile and be gracious and kind.  I think I do that quite well.  I am a peace maker, rule follower by nature so it isn’t my wish to rob someone of their special moment to shine.  For example, we all packed into church this weekend to celebrate our daughter’s confirmation.  I was a proud and very teary Step Mo.  I love when our family makes or should I say shares “history.”  I like that we have been together for many of life’s special moments and it is certainly a joy to see our young Catholic girl become an adult in the church.  “We’ve got history, baby!” Is one of my favorite lines to the World’s Greatest Husband.

So here is the deal.... This week there is a birthday party for the entire class at the other house.  The party includes all children in the blender, which is progress.  All the girls in the class are invited to party and sleep over once the moon bounce, swimming and cake are done.  All except my daughter (who is not only in the family but in the class too!)  Maybe I am just a cranky Step Mo but having to explain to my heart broken little girl why she can’t stay and sleep over is making me a little nutty.  I must admit, she is a trooper, my daughter has handled this with style and grace publicly, but in her mother’s arms she has been all of what a hurt nine year old should be….mush.  I understand we all have limits and this is obviously one of those limits for the parties involved, I am trying to respect that but at the same time, I am not sure a 9 year old has the capacity to begin to understand.  In her mind this is simply her sister…..

To add salt to this wound… last’s nights phone call to say good night was all about calling the girlfriends to remind them of a date change for the sleep over…. Couldn’t that have happened at the other house? As to not call more attention to the fact that there will be one special guest missing….

It's not all cupcakes and ice cream in a blended life, I am going to work on this in my head so I can be that woman of grace and style that my daughter is so bravely being…. flexibility is the key to a sane and happy blended life.  I am being challenged on this one!
Have a great Back to Work Monday.


Joyce said...

Awww, that sucks. Hugs to your girl. We love her lots!!

Julie said...

There is never any doubt - you are a woman of grace and style, always.

Paper Mom said...

Thanks for the love. I spent the day with my two kids and had that overwhelming I want to swallow them up whole and "love'em big" feeling all day long. We had a nice day.


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