Blended families. Marrying into a family with children is a big step.
Being a stepparent is an opportunity for blessings and confusion. I feel it is a gift to enter into someone else's family-- like the prize inside that comes with a marriage certificate. However, as I enter my insta-family, I realize my dreams about family fly out the window--like gently tossed brick. Surprise! I have entered another family's fully operating system. Apparently, applying my own template of family is absurd. Once I get over the whiplash of this realization, I have to figure out how to hop on what is essentially a moving train. Bull riding would have been the perfect training!
It turns out the best tools of survival are those I have always used for self esteem--my hobbies, work, and date night with my husband. Yea! I am thrilled to have justification for self care! Otherwise, I would feel like a Medusa-haired woman on a gerbil wheel trying to catch up with my illusive perfect step-parenting goals.