Today my husband and I went Halloween costume shopping for my bonus child (aka stepdaughter). This was the first time I went shopping for my favorite holiday, in one of my favorite stores for someone other than myself. If you knew me personally and how much I love Halloween, you’d understand. We had so much fun on our mission to find the complete Elsa costume. It may be early September, but as big of a hit Disney’s Frozen was, some places are already sold out. After driving out of town and to the opposite end of the city from our home, the mission was accomplished. Luckily the Party City team was very helpful in our search and was the main reason we found everything easily.
Something happened today though. After all the laughter, fun, and excitement, there was pure silence between my husband and me on our way home. I wasn’t sure if he was angry, upset, or sad. Come to find out, it was all of the above. I think it finally hit my husband that he (we) are not a part of many big events in his daughters life. Sure we have summers, holidays, Face time, Skype, and pictures. But that is not the same as walking her to the first day of school, waking up at night because she is sick, taking her trick or treating, and going to school plays. Divorce and living in different states changes so many things between parents and their children.
This is my second time being a step mom; it is very challenging. I am grateful that my step daughter’s mother and I get along; everyone is on the same page when it comes to behavior issues, and we are able to speak with her daily. Everyone’s relationship has changed drastically in the last couple of years and for the better. There are just some things as a step parent that you have no say so in, feel like your opinion doesn’t matter, and most of all fix things to make them easier for everyone.
Being a step parent, as much as you’re involved, you are still an outsider looking in. It was hard for me to see my husband so down and out today. Not only did he miss out on many things in his daughters earlier years, now that he has spent time with her and misses her, it’s harder to not be a part of her everyday life. Sadness filled his face as he told me we were going to miss out on Halloween, we will always miss the first day of school, and there’s got to be some way we can change that to where we can all get to enjoy those things. As his wife and the step parent, I was quiet and listened. I told him he needs to be honest and if he wants more information, time to talk to his daughter, pictures, and Skype time; it’s OK to ask for that.
I am all about communication to change things for the better. He was not raised that way and is learning that is how things get solved. Eggshells are constantly walked on in situations like these because the feelings of very different people are involved. I hope we can somehow make this separation not feel as rough as it has been for him. As a spouse, it’s hard to see your other half sad and missing his child. Like I said, being a step parent is very challenging. I plan on sharing my step parent stories to reach out to other step parents. I want them to know they are not alone.