Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Modern Day Samaritan Woman

Step – Mothering – The Familiar Outsider- Six ways to cope with being on the outside…

 Step – Mothering – The Familiar Outsider- Six ways to cope with being on the outside…

I am a step-mother !!!

(Just typing that makes me feel alien or unnatural)

Never ever in my wildest imagination did I ever expect to find myself in this position so I have no experience or even imagination to draw from.

Step – Mother….I don’t even like the word…

Whoever came up with that word? 

Step – Mother literally sounds like step (on the) mother…and sometimes that is precisely how I feel. Naturally, my own children also “Stepped on the Mother” a few times; but somehow that experience was different in that I was an “insider”, the “MOM”, so I had every right to react and deal with whatever the situation was, decisively and as I saw fit. My authority was never questioned – Not even by me.

As a Step Mother I very gradually realized that I am very much the outsider that joined a family that was not my own. This realization sort of crept up on me slowly and then it pounced and rudely smacked me hard in the face…

My home is filled with familiar furniture and ornaments that I have lovingly carried around with me for years. I should feel at home, secure and have a sense of belonging, but I find myself invariably feeling very much like a hamster rolling around in my little plastic ball…

A part of the household - but still very much isolated from the rest of the family.
Some of the things I experienced that led me to this understanding were:

Decisions and requests are made without my input or knowledge. This was one of the hardest things I had to acknowledge and face. It is perfectly natural for my step – children to approach their father with requests and desires. They have been doing so for years, all their lives in fact and although I am now married to their father I am really just his wife…not someone of relevance to them.

Discipline and planning of future goals are not in any way similar. My hubby and I differ so vastly that it’s really like the east from the west.

When hubby comes home in the evenings I have to step aside and wait my turn to say hello and share my day. Usually, this time only occurs when we are done with the usual supper routine and retreat to our bedrooms. On many an occasion I am so tired by that time that I no longer feel the need to share my day, so things of importance/interest simply pass by without being communicated.

However, I do believe that God was very instrumental in this marriage and He therefore equipped me for the challenge. My hubby and step – children are my treasures (even if I am looking at them through the plastic ball) and they therefore deserve my best. Just as my own children received my best so too will my step children. As the adult it’s up to me to overcome the obstacles and be understanding.

How to cope and press into the goal!!!!

  1. The most important part is that God must be in control. . Psalm 127: 1- 2

“ If God doesn’t build the house, the builders only build shacks. If God doesn’t guard the city, the night watchman might as well nap. It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don’t you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves?” The Message

2.  Proverbs 22:6 was my favorite verse when my children were young. I prayed it,             meditated on it and chose to believe in it. Ultimately the only thing that really matters is that I am going in the right direction and can point the way to my step children.

Point your kids in the right direction—
    when they’re old they won’t be lost.” The Message

3. Praying always without ceasing.  There is power and comfort in prayer.
4. My step – children must know that I am available and present but I must remain consistent in values and principles. Never wavering from the values instilled by God.
5. I must love my step-children unconditionally just as I love my own.
6. I need to remember always that blood is thicker than water and although I am now a part of this new family, I am still never the less still the outsider and only time and patience will change that. 

In the meantime I am the familiar outsider…

What about you? Have you re-married or had some other life altering experience with all kinds of dreams and hopes only to find things aren’t quite as you imagined? Share how you made things better? How did you cope?

*Hugs* till next time.