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Friday, November 25, 2005

Calling All StepParents

First off, I should know better. I went out last night with my friend to an annual sale at a really cool store called The Cross. The products they sell are largely antique look sundries and assorted French thingies, so I was in! You name it, they pretty much had it. There was some food set out and some wine being served, so we nibbled and browsed and had a glass of wine. We had plans to go and get a cocktail after, so we went off to George in Yaletown and each had a pomegranate 'tini. It was divine and we revelled in our free time from babes.

Except for some reason, once I have a drop of alcohol in my system I magically forget that I can't mix different types of alcohol without suffering. I woke up with a headache this morning and cursed myself. You'd think I could remember something this simple. But it was all in the name of "mommy gets a break", so it's all good!

So, is anyone out there a step-parent? My husband is step-dad to my oldest daughter and I am having a struggle with the dynamic between them. This has been going on for a few years and I am becoming increasingly anxious about it. There is no denying that my husband loves my daughter and he is very good to her. But then there are the times (daily) where he is annoyed with her for some infraction or another, most of which are pretty petty in my mind. And then there are the times where he automatically blames her for something before investigating it thoroughly. And the more irritable he gets with her, the more I try to compensate. Teenage-hood is difficult enough without someone breathing down your neck constantly. I grew up with a step-dad and there was many a day where I plotted his death. It was especially bad when he would get into conflicts with my twin sister because I love her more than life itself and it made me crazy when they fought. But back to the current situation. The more hubby is sarcastic/rude/snippy with her, the more she is starting to be back to him and the more I try to over-compensate for it. And the more he complains to me about her behaviour, usually when I have not been around to witness it and feel powerless to do anything about it. The fact of the matter is that she is fourteen, pubescent and hormonal and trying to carve a place out for herself in this world. I remember fourteen with flinching and a little nausea. What I don't know is this: Is he picking on her, etc. because she is not his own child, or is he just being a grumpy old man? I probably won't truly know until the two little ones are this age then I will be able to see. So if anyone out there has a similar dynamic, by all means contact me and tell me how YOU cope with it!

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