Funny Thing About Being a Step Dad

Being a step dad to a 12-year-old..

Good day example:

He wakes up not too early and goes to school without forgetting to feed his cat, I go to work…I come back from the office at around 6pm, everyone else is already home, my step son asks for help to finish his homework, I help him figure it out, we have supper, we talk about hockey and video games and movies and school, we all sit (all 3 of us, including his mom) and watch a movie and him to bed around his bedtime (9:30pm)… he comes over and gives me a hug before heading off to bed (and we didn’t have to repeat “ok it’s bedtime Maxie”)…

Tough day example:

I’m awakened by the meowing cat who didn’t get fed, I go to work, have a full day (without stopping for a second, not even to have lunch) and when I come back my step son is in a bad mood, supposedly has “4 hours of homework”… (yeah right, he could finish it in 20 mins if he just focused, he’s a little genius but doesn’t know it yet), doesn’t want to eat more than a bite of the great food my fiancé prepared (she always cooks amazingly healthy and delicious meals) and refuses to tell us why he’s grumpy… he forces us to repeat “Maxie, bedtime” about 20 times and finally goes to bed without saying goodnight…

The tough part is in always reminding myself that I also used to be 12, and I used to hate homework, and I used to say no to everything if I was in a bad mood… it’s normal! As an adult, I sometimes forget this and militarily impose my will on the little guy… then remember (when it’s too late) that the way I’m acting is just like a type of parent I had promised myself I would never become!

I COULD just use the fact that I didn’t have the chance to be there for the first 10 years and so I wouldn’t be able to be a good dad (or step dad)… OR I could rather look at some seasoned parents who do a bad job anyway and realize that experience doesn’t necessarily equal success in this field… so I decide to try to always keep my parent hat on and be patient about the uncertainties and focus on the progress that comes in all sorts of doses…

So the sensitive balance between pleasing vs teaching (they don’t have to contradict each other but  sometimes they do: playing war video games vs helping set the table) continues as I prepare myself for my first born (arriving in April 2013)…

Just had 2 write this down…

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