I met Leilani as a fellow Mommy blogger. I asked her to share her parental insight with us, and she writes about being a mom and stepmom.
Unfortunately, movies and television often portray Stepmothers as not so nice. Let’s turn that perception around, because there are a lot of awesome Stepparents who are loving and caring. Please welcome Leilani White!
How many out there are stepparents? I’m a mother of 4. Trinity is 15, Leonard III is 11, Alana is 5, and LaRae is 3. They definitely keep me on my toes (especially the 5 year old), but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I’m a stepmother to the older two, but I’ve always worked very hard at making sure all four kids feel equally loved, nurtured, and pushed to excel in their strengths.
The job of a stepparent is a very thankless job, and not everyone is cut out for the task. Being a stepchild myself, I believe that there are two kinds of stepparents out there: the kinds that treat the kids as if they’re their own, and the kind that don’t.
Growing up, I had a stepdad who always provided for me, but he never took any real interest in me, or anything that I took interest in. So when I met my husband and eventually met his kids, I made sure that I didn’t push myself on them. I gave them the respect they deserved, and they gave me the same in return. That was seven years ago, and now I have a total of four kids.
I make sure that each child knows independently that I love them and why I love them. I point out little differences that set them apart from my other kids, so that they know they’re unique, and I love and admire their uniqueness. I acknowledge their strengths, and help them grow from their weaknesses.
Whether you’re a stepparent or not, it’s important to make children know that they’re loved and that you’re always in their corner. It’s never to early to teach them what unconditional love is. Children need stability, a firm foundation to build on, and love poured into them. It takes a special person to be an awesome stepparent, and even though I’ve been one for seven years, I’m still learning new things everyday. There have been plenty of times that I’ve had to apologize for not handling something the right way, even with my own kids. But they all know that I love them to the end, and they know that they’re all an intricate tool that makes our family run smoothly. It’s definitely a full time job, but the love I have for all my kids in the end, make it all worth it.