There is a lot of pressure on parents to be a good example for their children. To teach them how to think for themselves, and how to problem solve. To help keep them out of trouble, but also to let them fail some and learn from their mistakes. To instill a strong work ethic in them, foster creativity, and allow them to pursue their passions.
As a stepmom, having a blended family and 50/50 custody, there is even more pressure to be the best you can be. When you only have your kids half the time, you want to celebrate and have fun the whole time… but you can’t. You have to provide structure. You can’t just be a “fun parent,” because we all know that the “fun parent” is never the “good parent” in the long run. Even if you haven’t seen your kids since Friday morning when you took them to school, when you pick them up Monday after school, you have to go home, sit down, help with their homework, cook dinner, give them baths, and put them to bed at a reasonable time for their age. You don’t get to celebrate, “Oh, I’ve missed you so much!!” and take them to the playground and to ice cream every day. You don’t get to take them to their grandparents house every day after school, no matter how guilty the grandparents make you feel about it.
You have to maintain your structure. Because your structure is your example, and your example is what is going to make the biggest impact on your children’s’ future long term.
Now don’t get me wrong… we enjoy ourselves every week day, and we have a blast every-other weekend… but the example my husband and I show our kids every day is vital.
Additionally, I feel pressure to show my SD’s what a successful, career-driven woman looks like. To show them that you can be a #GirlBoss at work without sacrificing your family time at home. To push them to get a good education, pick a career, and do whatever it takes to succeed.
Parenting is hard, but co-parenting is even harder. Does anyone else feel like there’s more pressure when you only have your kids half-time? I’d love to hear your perspective.