There are many of you out there who have many different types of families maybe some are divorced and some may even be with other relatives. I want to talk about tonight how meeting someone on a common ground on a parenting level is probably one of the most challenging things. If you were possibly in a relationship and had a child then you and your child’s dynamics have a flow to them. When you incorporate a new relationship with more children then likewise their dynamics have been set for everyday routine and behavior, rules, etc has already been established and sometimes there are huge clashes. In my house I have a rule and personal guideline I followed as I learned growing up with many other kids coming in and out of foster care from my in-laws was that every kid was treated fair equal no matter what. I believe that stuck to me this day because even when one child wants more attention than the other I make sure everyone is receiving the best possible love and care I could ever provide for them. I am a step mom and my step kids love me and they have came a long way from where they were when I first met them. The mother in the previous relationship was and is still addicted to pills which makes co-parenting difficult. The kids would tell me she nods off and mommy burns holes in the floor with her smoking it has been a very sad journey for them but I am grateful to be here for them. I know that without me it would have been a lot more painful for them. I do not feel like I always get the credit I deserve for being a stay at home mom but at the end of the day I’m not looking for a pat on the back. I just want it to be acknowledged that those kids mean the world to me and I do everything for them and their love. They fight and tease like brothers and sisters and I remind them that when they are not here and visiting how much they miss each other every moment. However the hardest and most awkward part for me is when the other parent is spiteful and tells the kids things and only buys their love leaving my son confused. There is no rules at the other house they do whatever they want they talk to their mom however they want stay up late eat junk until they feel sick. This irratates me beyond belief as I’m sure many of you. They actually didn’t establish a normal diet until I was in the picture and still revert back. Sometimes its hard now not to feel like I’m parenting alone anymore. My best advice to any of you co- parenting at the moment is no matter how hard and awkward the situation is please listen to one another. I sat down fourth of July and had fireworks with the other parent and her parents even though we don’t get along. I didn’t mind after awhile because no matter how much pettyness goes into making it a drama fest, its never about you its about the best for the kids. The kids will and do reflect what they see from each parent and I have grown to learn and see that there is no respect on her side because she let’s them and at our house when they come back they have respect and they know they have rules. It is hard and you will undoubtedly disagree on a lot but you will also find a happy middle once you break through that tough awkward barrier!

Don’t give up and always have hope!

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