14 January, 2014

Being a parent is tough work. But worth it.

My kid is 12. A preteen. A middle-schooler.

At 12 I was super shy and very reserved and could not care less about boys or anything disgusting associated with those stinky jerks.My kid is none of the above. She's a cheerleader. She is outgoing. She is pretty (but don't tell her that, please; we're hoping to keep it a secret from her until she's 30). She is smart. She is boy crazy. She likes to shop. Well, she likes to spend money in general. She has the desire to be a popular kid, where I wanted nothing to do with people knowing who I was.

And yet, even with all those differences, sometimes I see myself in her. Her taste in music, her taste in food, her taste in clothing. Sometimes I watch her and see little bits of me shine through. And you know something? I honestly never thought that would be the case. We've always had a good relationship but never did I think this kid, who has no pieces of my genetic code, would ever follow in my footsteps, even just a little.

It makes me incredibly happy. I take those moments and keep them tucked in a safe place in my brain so that on the bad days, days when I want to just run away from it all, I can remember why I choose to be her stepmom. I can remember, that even though step-parenting might be the hardest thing I've ever chosen to do, it's still worth it.

I remember being 12. And I remember how not too long after that, I decided that parents were the worst idea anybody ever had. I remember wanting to spend the entirety of my days locked in my room where I wouldn't see or hear them. I remember wishing they wouldn't be so mean or strict or just plain terrible. I remember sometimes thinking that I hated them, even though I really didn't.

All I can do is hope that things are different with her. I wish there was some sort of guidebook for me to create a bond with my kid that can withstand the pressure of her being a teenager. I want her to see me as someone that she can go to and confide in. I want her to never not say goodbye and hug me. I want her to always make me bracelets and be excited to play games with me. I want her to want to spend time with me. I want to always be her Mommy. I am just not sure I know how to make that happen.

10 comments:

  1. Kendahl, I have so much respect for you for being a stepmom. It's hard. And middle school is a REALLY REALLY difficult time. But it's also an amazing, potential-filled time too. People always talk about how little kids are so impressionable. But I loved working at a middle school because they were in the process of becoming little people. There were so many changes happening. And as much as it drove me crazy sometimes, I desperately hoped every day that I was making a difference in these kids' lives, even if they never recognized it, even if I never got a word of thanks. As a stepmom, even if it doesn't seem like it, you're a really important female figure in Punk's life, even if she doesn't realize it yet, or ever realizes it. You're an awesome person. Punk is lucky to have you :)

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    1. Thank you Marilyn! That means a lot to me, seriously.

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  2. Gah, this post made me cry! Punk is so lucky to have you, and just wait until she's a little bit older and it all starts to make sense to her. Sometimes I wish that I was given more of a chance to be more involved in Henry's kids' lives, but he so rarely got to see them that I would usually bow out and let him spend time with them alone. Or they'd be off with their friends on the weekends they were at our house.

    I wish we were closer. :(

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    1. ♥ I got lucky that she was only 4 when I came into the picture, it's given me a lot of time to be there before she gets to the stage where she wants to see friends more than us.

      I wish we were closer, too! We'd have a hell of a good time together.

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  3. Things will be rough sometimes (I was a snot), but they definitely get better. If I had a nice, non-judgemental stepmom like you there would have been far fewer fights. As long as you treat her like an adult, I think you will be just fine!

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    1. Aww, you are wonderful. Thank you!

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    1. :) ♥ I think you are awesome, too.

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  5. Love this post. Being a mom in general is hard, but even harder being a step-mom. I dont think I would ever see any of my personality in my step daughters, but after reading this I guess its always possible. My step Daughters were 2 & 6 ..it's crazy how fast that time has flown by! I hope someday I can be as good as a step mom as you are and that we can connect like that before they get past that stage in life! You are awesome!

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    1. Honey, you are an amazing stepmom! You are definitely dealing with a harder situation, with two different mothers and girls pretty far away. You are a rockstar. They will realize how great you are at some point, I promise. ♥

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