The only thing anyone person knows about how to raise a kid is using your own childhood as an example. All you can do is look back on your life and either agree or disagree with how your parents did the job. That is it. There isn’t a handbook or a lesson plan. If, as an adult, you think your parents did right by you then typically, you’ll follow in their footsteps. If you think they were awful people, most likely, you do the direct opposite. That is all we have.
I presume that must be the thought process when you decide to have a kid. You unconsciously decide one way or the other and then move forward. Eventually there’s this little crying baby in your arms and you figure that you have a few year before the real tough stuff comes around. You’re given that luxury at least, a few years to really sort it all out.
Not so much for those of us who marry into it. One minute you’re without kid and have no idea what or how you’d deal with a child then BOOM there’s a kid and you’re helping raise them to be the best adults they can be.
And since getting into it, I’ve done what I suggested one would do; I looked unto my childhood for answers. After all, I was raised well. I love my parents. When I look back I can reason why they made many of the decisions they made. When I imagine having a kid, heaven help the lil bugger, but he/she will be raised in a similar fashion; a mixture of me and Burs. But see, here’s where things get difficult – when a child already has two biological parents, who’ve decided on how to raise their child, what does the extra people in this equation do?
Because of course, lil Burs has a step-dad too. (Someone I can’t call cool non-bio dad because, well I’ve heard stories and he seems much more evil step-dad category.) A step dad who is definitely completely not like her dad. Which makes me think the discord that has set between the two of them had to do with his rules.Rules he tried to set for her didn’t go into accordance with the rules her dad would set for her and then, well, what you’ve got is an awful situation.
Of course, I want our relationship to go far better than her relationship with her step dad. Which thankful it has. And yet, in my mind, there are simply certain rules and ways little people (either boy or girl) should be told. Which leaves me, sitting around scratching my head wondering – how do people do this?
As a side note, mom’s are usually the rule people. At least mine was. Don’t get me wrong, my dad was stern but he was very busy cultivating my brother into a man to be the one who wrangled me into my place. But my mother…boy, oh boy, she had us all under control. I was always the best well-behaved, respectful, put together child anyone would lay eyes on. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. But people, it was tough (more on that toughness later).
If we were dealing within traditional standards, this would be my reign. I’d be the person getting her to not interrupt adults as they talk but to say excuse me first. To get her learning how to do her laundry. Making sure that she understands the importance of wearing a bra despite its discomfort. How if you put things back where things belong, you’ll always find them when needed. How, though baking is great fun, one must tidy the kitchen soon after rather than letting everything sit and crust over making it doubly hard to get it done the next day.
But all that makes me seem like a grouch. The annoying one. The unfun one. Which is the nemesis of any one trying to be the super cool and hip non-biological mom. So I don’t. Instead I stay in silence. Or try really hard to stay in silence. Really, really, really hard. Sometimes I fail and speak up. To the following of a long sigh and eye-rolling (and luckily, bio-dad chimes in to my favor). All the while thinking, hoping, praying that I’ll be a helluva lot better at this when I get a couple of years to really sort out my plan of action.