Well, I stand corrected. It is the most difficult role in the world in my opinion. Some one once told me that it is a whole different layer of love. Isn't that the truth. And, loving them like your own takes time. They don't love you like their biological parent either. They don't respect you like their biological parent. I felt like a horrible person that I didn't love my 4 step-children like my own. I thought, "What is wrong with me?" When my husband and I finally admitted to one another that loving your step kids like your own did not come instantly or natural, it was actually a relief. It made things so much better and we weren't as hard on our selves. However, cleaning up fecal matter, urine or vomit is much less pleasant when it isn't your biological child.
I think the hardest thing for me is sometimes the house gets chaotic when there are a lot of kids in your house, your kids plus the kids they have over to play and it is soon dinner time. You get to a point where your nerves are shot and you want all the neighbor kids to go home. You want to just have a quiet dinner with your own family. When you are a step mom, the neighbor kids never go home. This may be different in a divorce situation where the kids would go to visit thier mom and I would get a break. In our case, my step-kids lost their mom. What a horrible thing for a child to have to go through. I simply can not imagine. However, I never get a break.
The other thing is that I love to serve others. I love when I get to participate in service projects. I also think it is a great service when someone serves two years as an LDS missionary. But guess what? There is an end to service projects. There is an end to a mission. There isn't an end to being a step-parent. At least not for several years! It is exhausting.
For the year after my husband's first wife had passed away, he had a lot of help. He had people clean his house every week, do his laundry, do grocery shopping occasionally, bring him meals for months and months, and had people help with the kids. For all those hands that helped him get through that year I am truly grateful. He was able to continue to work and I think he did an amazing job being a single dad for nearly a year.
The problem, you see, is that then he and I got married. Guess what happened to all those helping hands? They were thrown up into the air and the people said, "Oh good. Now he has a wife that will do all that." Guess what? 6 1/2 years later, I am still trying to find my way to fresh air beneath this huge mountain of responsibility that was dumped on me. It is a mountain of endless physical and emotional exertion...I don't even know if that makes sense but I feel like I literally have to get up and run a marathon every day of my life.
I have had my face spit upon, I have been yelled at multiple times, been called "Fat Face", been slapped on the back because that child thought I turned out the lights on them when it was someone else, had the van door ripped open going 80 miles an hour on the freeway with the whole family in it, had my back hurt by a child kicking the back of my seat SO hard, one that knew better too. I have had flour thrown and dish soap squirted all over my hardwood floor from my kitchen sink around my island to my pantry. It only took 6 times to mop my floor to get it up. I have had brand new fresh flowers from my husband been thrown in the garbage by step kids and lamps thrown down and broken by a step-child throwing a fit. I have had step kids say, "Sometimes I just want punch Mom in the face!" And the latest, "I hate you! No one wants you here! You should just leave! This is all your fault! This is all because of you!" I realize they miss their mom. It just doesn't seem fair though that I am the one they take their anger out on. It isn't fun being the target when I am giving my everything to raising these kids. I am trying to love them. I am trying to be there for them. I am trying to nurture them.
I have never been so exhausted in my life. I work 2 part time jobs which is easier than the 4 part time jobs I was working about a year ago. Not even for any extras. Just to make ends meet. The amount of laundry I do is insane. I run my dishwasher 4 times a day when all the kids are off track. I am constantly cleaning and picking up the house, helping with homework or some project that is due tomorrow, grocery shopping, taking someone to some kind of appointment, constantly picking up a sick child from school, taking someone to get stiches, cooking, playing barbies in between all this and let me seriously tell you about one of my days last week. I actually wrote everything down that I was doing at once. While trying to brown some hamburger for dinner I was also trying to shove a snack in my face because I hadn't had a chance to eat much lunch. I was also fixing a snack for my 2 year old and my nephew whom I was watching because my sister just had a baby. I was changing over laundry, ran down and did 2 haircuts, my son ran down and said he might need stitches because he cut his finger while opening a can of pears. My 19 year old daugher ran him in because I still had to do another haircut. As I re-read that it doesn't sound as busy as it felt but it was seriously comical. I don't think I have ever multi-tasked so much in my life.
Being a step-mom is the most thankless job in the world. Please, please, please. Whatever you do. Don't be critical of a step-parent. They are doing the toughest thing in the world. I will get off my soapbox now and my poor me pity party is over. Thanks for letting me vent.