Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wife Swap

I often feel like I'm on an episode of Wife Swap. You know, when some rich woman from the suburbs swaps lives with a woman on a farm who lets chickens roam around freely in her house? Yeah that's my life. Except i was never rich, and livestock isn't involved. But essentially, I was thrown into the middle of someone else's family and forced to follow their rules.

And just like on the show, when it's time to try things my way, everyone drags their feet and insists their real mom does it better.

In the end, everyone gets together and agrees a middle ground is the best way. Or they scream at each other, and everyone walks away unchanged and even more solid in their beliefs. It can go either way.

Most people say that parenting is nothing like they imagined it would be. That goes double for me, I think. There are so many things I'd do differently if I could. But my hands are tied, and in this case there is no swapping back.

So, I just have to learn to live with the figurative free-range chickens.


  1. You are lucky you have the kids 50/50, you at least have a possibility of making a difference. We have standard visitation so any chance of making a significant learning difference in their lives disappears the moment the leave my car and go back into their mother's house (approximately 48 hours after we just picked them up). It is exhausting and makes me feel like I shouldn't even try. But I just hope that what little discipline we give them will help make them into functioning normal adults in the long run. Plus, I'm pretty sure once they have their own kids they'll be coming to us for advice and not their entirely self-seeking, manipulative mother.

  2. I have 3 bio kids that go to their dads on the weekend, and 3 step kids that live with us full time now. yes, 6. I totally get what you mean about feeling like your hand are tied! I feel unsure how to parent the step kids, because they are "mine" but I don't feel like I have control of parenting choices, because in a way they are not fully mine. and even with my own kids that I feel like should be fully mine, I feel like every move I make and every choice is under a microscope from the ex. it's like any rules and boundaries I have struggled to erect here are compromised and forgotten every weekend, and everything takes twice as long to teach and implement. potty training is real FUN with only one household doing anything productive. and the fake smile and friendliness is tiring when you keep trying to be nice and civil and all that with the ex. thanks for being a step mom and sharing your experiences.