In our case, I have two step kids, and then add two kids living in the house that neither of you are parents to? An even more daunting task, to say the least. There is always the underlying fear of treating others differently, or playing "favorites", and it DOES happen. Don't let anyone lie to you, it does. No matter how perfect the family may seem. It is inevitable, you will always have a stronger bond with children that you gave birth to, it's human nature-get used it.
As much as you would like your SO or husband/wife to love your children as much as they love their own, it can't happen. It's not a bad thing, so don't go getting your panties in a bunch. I love ALL of these kids. I do for M's kids as much as I do my own, I love my niece and nephew more than words can ever explain, but it is NOT the same as my own children. Don't get me wrong the love, the dedication, the worries are all there, but not as much as it is for your own children.
Then there is the unfortunate part of dealing with the "other half" when the relationships are not so great. In our particular situation there are 7 "other" parents. We have one in prison, one on their way there, one who just got out, one who is bound to end up there sooner or later, another who isn't there for who knows why, and one that is just plain lazy. Now that sounds a little crazy I know, but it's true. Out of these seven other parents there is only one who pays a minimal amount of child support...the others...well they just don't help out at all, physically, mentally or financially.
I'm sure I know what you are thinking..."WHAT WERE YOU THINKING???" Well, I was young...so I wasn't thinking. I didn't get a resume from these people, nor did I contact a psychic to tell me what kind of parents any of these people would be. It happens, but to be honest most of these "other" parents weren't so bad way back when.
- T's dad was a high school graduate, that took classes in Accounting grew up with a mommy and a step daddy who doted on him his entire life. He grew up in a nice neighborhood, went to a decent school, played baseball and football with his step daddy as his coach.
- D and Little M's dad, more or less the same, he didn't graduate from high school, but grew up with his mommy and daddy, Daddy coached his little league teams, nice house, nice neighborhood, good school, etc.
- Big C and H's mom, I don't have much to say about her because I didn't really know her all that well. From what I understand she was kind of a wild teen, lived with her grandparents but both of her parents were involved.
- N and Little C's mom, grew up in a single parent house hold (I know this because she is my sister) she had a bit of an attitude growing up, but did not have a bad childhood by any means.
- N's dad has tried to live a bit of a "thug" life, which seemed to be my sister's preference in men, he has been in and out of prison as long as I have known him.
- Little C's dad, the same as above. Wanna be "G", and it got him a one way ticket to the slammer for the next 15 years.
Sooo...how id we end up here?
I can answer this in one word: DRUGS! Most of them got involved with drugs for recreation at a young age, a few in high school, some in middle school, and one not until later in life. Smoking marijuana to start off with, and as with most addicts, it got worse over the years. As a society we are all faced with the reality of the new Pill Mill problems, "Legal" marijuana, bath salts, posh, etc. People get sucked in very quickly. Which is the case with 5 of our "other" parents. The other 2, just grew up that way and it was acceptable, one's father was a convicted bank robber, and enlisted his son at a young age to help rob houses, and such...I'm a little sketchy on the other's childhood, but I'm guessing it wasn't so hot, considering his brother and sister are in the same boat he is.
The sad part about all of this is our children have been the ones to pay. I get angry on a daily basis, I feel sorry for all of the kids...and at times, I even feel sorry for the parents for what they are missing out on. I push myself daily to try and be the best parent I can be for each of them. Sometimes I fail, sometimes I completely suck, but I try.
The worst is when one of these "other" parents want to cast judgement on either one of us. We have given up, sacrificed and bent over backwards to give these kids the best life we possibly can, with little or no help from any of them.
While they walk up with new shoes, when I haven't had the pleasure of purchasing a new pair for 6 years. While the both of us work our butts off, while they live with and sponge off of others because they could never maintain a place of their own. They are sporting new tattoos, while we struggle to pay the electric bill, they are taking road trips while I am saving pennies to make sure I have enough gas to get them all to practice and doctor's appointments. While they are thousands upon thousands behind in child support, but aren't willing to help with school clothes or extra curricular, while they go without buying their kids anything for Christmas but have enough money to buy drugs or buy for their other kids. Sorry a short vent here, but I'm sure some of you deal with this as well.
I'm done venting,
Until Next Time,
My Mixed up Family of 9