1. I almost said no to marrying your father.
I thought long and hard about how my life would be with you in it. There were days that I almost flung my engagement ring like an olympic disc thrower with the thought of having to deal with you. However, I didn’t. I decided that your dad was worth any pain that you would cause me. When someone asks me if I would ever do it again, I often think, no. Marriage is hard as it is and putting you in the equation makes it sometimes, almost impossible.
2. I don’t have to love you.
You are not my blood or my DNA. In fact, there are days where I don’t like you at all. I have googled, “I hate my stepchild.” I love the feeling of shutting the door to my bedroom and extending my third finger, forcefully in the air like a small flesh skyscraper in your direction. On special occasions, I use both hands. There is not a contract that says that I have to love you. So… when I do show that I care about you, it is me doing it on my own. If you keep taking me for granted, I may stop trying… or, you can meet me halfway and we can build a relationship out of respect for each other. The decision is yours.
3. You don’t have to play sides.
If your father asks about your mother, or your mother asks about your father, tell them that “everything is fine.” You don’t have to give dirt to anyone. This divorce was not your fault and shouldn’t be any of your business. Let them know that it hurts you when your biological parents talk about each other. You are 50% of each and it makes you feel like they love you less because they hate the other parent.
4. I am not the enemy.
I did not break up your parents marriage. I fell in love with a single man. His life before me is really none of my business. So, when you are angry because your parents marriage failed, stop pointing the finger at me. They were broken up before me and they were not going to get back together…ever. Trust me, you could have worse than me!
5. I don’t want to be your mom.
I sometimes think it would be easy if I were your mom and I could actually punish you like a parent should, but then again…no. I don’t want to be your mom. You have parents, a mom and a dad. I am an outsider and I like it that way. If I were your mom, things would be a whole hell of a lot different. Your phone, your car, your computer, your Netflix would disappear when you were having one of your “typical teenage meltdowns.” So count your lucky stars that I did not push you out into the world.
6. Your Social-Media is not private.
I hate that you text, tweet, and Snap about your father, or me on a phone, computer, or tablet that we bought you! WTF! You can vent into this world, but it does come back to me. Maybe you want it to, maybe you don’t, but I see it. Being a parent, even a stepparent, comes with a set of skills. A set of skills that Liam Neeson couldn’t save you from. We are detectives and if we want to find out your information, we will find your information. You are not sneaky, you are not sly. Remember, I was a teenager long before you were one. Your technical skills maybe better, but your common sense will always be one step behind.
7. Give me a break
I am new at this whole step-parenting thing, too. Did we ask for eachother, no. But we are in this thing together. I get it. You don’t want me to be here, pinch hitting for your mom. Trust me, I don’t want to substitute anyone. Do you really think that when I was a little girl, I saw myself running into the sunset with my handsome husband, and his kids? Nope, this wasn’t my plan, but it is my future. You will someday go off to college, and leave the nest. (I am counting the days) Do you really want your dad hanging around the nest in his own bird poop? Or, do you want your dad to be happy? I am trying here. Give me a break. Please!