Have you ever felt alone? Misunderstood? Have you ever felt drained, like no matter how much time, energy, or love you give it just isn't enough? Have you ever felt used or taken advantage of? If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are, your probably a STEP-Parent. Don’t get me wrong, yes there will be hardships but there are also many joys. The blessing is that you will receive an abundance of love & happiness and experience memorable moments and the joys of your mate and step children knowing they have you too turn to. I became a STEP-parent 3 and a half years ago, however my relationship with my STEP children started about 9 years ago. I met my STEP-son back in 2006 when he was 2 and a half years old, running up and down the steps in a red Elmo towel. It was love at 1st sight for me it was, him not so much. Every day at 8pm he would remind me that it was time to go. 

I met my STEP-daughter when she was 4months but didn't start building a parenting relationship with her until she was 4yrs old. She wasn’t really around as much in the beginning of me and my husband’s relationship and it wasn’t until my husband gained custody of her that our relationship begin to blossom. Unlike my step son and I’s relationship, our relationship started off a little rocky. I’m not sure if it was because of the age difference or because she was so attached to her mother’s family. I’m her best friend now though and our bond is really strong. 

Step-parenting has been an amazing, sometimes crazy journey for me. When it started, I had no idea what I was getting myself into or realizing how much of myself I would have to give. While also not understanding how to parent some ones child without crossing boundaries. I grew up in a home where my parents were married since birth and are still married. I am the oldest child with 2 younger sisters and no outside siblings. I don’t have any other mother or father figures. I figured as long as I treated my step children as if they were my own everything was fine and that was all I needed to know. I learned really fast that this was not the case. There is a huge difference in step parenting a child whose mother is involved and a child whose mother is not in the picture. 

I’ve learned so much over the years, so many ups and downs. I’m the step-parent who had to learn by trial and error. The step-parent who found the invisible boundaries and learned not to cross them. The step-parent who is not perfect but still growing. The STEP-parent who removed the STEP and just parented. Step-parenting is not for the weak. It takes a strong individual to love, guide, and raise someone who would rather have their bio-mom there instead of you. You must be strong enough to see that these feelings have nothing to do with you and you have to love them anyway. I say all this to say, every step situation doesn't always start off smooth. But if you put in the work, it can end that way. It took a lot of time, love, understanding, respect, and patience to build the relationships I have with my step children and I wouldn't trade them for anything. 

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