5 Step Parenting Confessions

Truth About Step Parenting
Step parents come in as many variations as any other kind of parent. Some are good and some are bad. Just like all other forms of parenting and child rearing, step parenting is often highly misunderstood, under appreciated, and over stereotyped.

I have been a primary parental figure in my oldest child's life since he was around 18 months old. I wasn't officially his step mom for a few more years, but I have always taken a motherly role in his life.

I have always hated labeling myself as a step parent because I don't feel like it justly represents my role and all that I do. As we've all grown together as a family and issues have come and gone, I've thought of the realities of step parenting.

Step parenting is lonely.

My husband can't really understand. My closest friends cannot relate. The other step parents I know mostly play a secondary parenting role. In my experience, sometimes it is really lonely being a step parent. People can't really understand, unless they've been there.

Even if you know other step parents, they might not take on the same role in their step child's life that you do. Therefore, they can't understand your struggles or they're completely baffled by the issue(s) you face.

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Confessions of a Step Mom

People second guess you.

Even though I've been a step parent longer than I biological parent... And even though I loved my step child since before I had biological children... Well, sometimes people second guess my intent, my love, etc. when it comes to my step child and decisions I make or my actions. Now, I've been around for a while, so this isn't as common now. However, it still happens. It's still as aggravating as ever.

You second guess yourself.

Given my previous point and the judgement that can sometimes be passed after somebody perceives I've miss stepped, I have found myself second guessing myself. Or evaluating, after the fact, whether or not I gave the impression that all my children are loved fairly and equally. I know that love them all! But it's sometimes hard not to second guess your decisions when people seem to be so critically evaluating them.

Step Parenting Truths

You're extra hard on yourself.

With all the passed judgement and sometimes second guessing yourself, it's not too much of a stretch to believe that you're extra hard on yourself when you're a step parent. I have found myself beating myself up over minuscule meaningless things and really just making a big deal out of nothing because I want to be a perfect parent (whether it's step or bio parent, who cares?!).

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It's worth it!

This post isn't suppose to just be all Debbie Downer on step parenting! It really is a beautiful, wonderful privilege with it's own set of rewards! I am so grateful for all my children and really step parenting prepared me for the children I later conceived and has taught me so much I wouldn't have otherwise known. I'm blessed that my heart if fuller because I am blessed with more than just the children I created!

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10 Awesome Pieces of Parenting Advice

Great Parenting Advice
Recently, I posted about some terrible parenting advice incidents of fellow moms and dads.  However, not all advice (no matter how annoying it is) is bad advice.

Sometimes, someone gives us the golden goose of information.  Parenting advice may, often, be annoying but it can be wonderful!

Some of these gems are very cliche and heard again and again.  However, when taken to heart, they really are gems and wonderful parenting advice!
10 Awesome Parenting Tips

10 Simply Awesome Parenting Advice Gems

  1. Pick your battles.
  2. Do what works, until it doesn't.  Then do something different.
  3. Don't sweat the small stuff.
  4. The days are long, but the years are short.
  5. Follow your instincts.
  6. Do what's best for your family, no matter what everyone else is doing.
  7. It's important to take time for you (the parent).
  8. Don't force the potty training.
  9. Don't listen to all the advice.
  10. Let Daddy be part of the team, too!
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Advice for Parent

See? It's not all bad!

What is the best piece of parenting advice you've ever received?

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20 Pieces of Terrible Parenting Advice

A Collection of Terrible Parenting Advice
Personally, the first piece of advice that I give to first time parents is to be prepared for all the unwanted, unsolicited parenting advice from everyone.

Some of it will be good.

Some of it will be downright awful.

Much of it will be given with good intentions. And just as much will be unwanted or unneeded, regardless of the intent.

So, with people handing out advice like candy on Halloween... How are overjoyed, overwhelmed, first time parents suppose to know what is good advice and what is terrible?

 Better yet, how is any parent (because the advice doesn't stop whether you have 1 or 10 kids) suppose to know?

You don't.

You just don't.

I have a love/hate relationship with parenting advice.

So my second piece of advice (yep, I'm somewhat of a hypocrite) to parents would be that there is no right way and to make educated decisions about their own child(ren).

The other day in a group I'm in, some moms were sharing the best and worst advice they've ever received. It was so terrible and wonderful, that I've compiled this awesome list for you of the worse ones! Feel free to laugh hysterically and/or yell 'WTF!' at your screen.

Baths and Potty Advice

1. When you bathe your baby, don't get too much water in the creases or they will get moldy.
2. Babies are self cleaning for the first year.  No need to bathe.
3. Put poop on her thumb so she'll stop sucking it.

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Feeding Advice

4. If you don't drink cow's milk everyday, your body won't make milk for your baby.
5. Vegans can't breastfeed.
6. Your newborn is gassy from too much breastmilk.  Give them some water
7. Nurse on a schedule.
8. Breastfeeding after baby is 6 month old is pointless because baby doesn't get any benefits after that and it's for your own sick pleasure if you continue to do so.

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Babies Are Self Cleaning and other bad advice Sleep Advice

9. If you can't handle your baby crying it out, turn off your baby monitor.  If (s)he pukes, you can clean it up in the morning.
10. Put your preemie on her tummy to sleep.
11. Give your kids benadryl if they won't sleep. 6 weeks old? 6 months old?  Who cares?
12. Give your 6 week old cereal in their bottle, so they'll wake up less to eat.

Related Post: Weaning & 6 Nursing Triggers

Miscellaneous Advice

13. Children are to be seen and not heard.
14. Don't pick up your baby every time they cry or they'll be spoiled.
15. Holding your baby too much will hurt her.
16. I've already raised this many kids, so I know better/more than you do.
17. Babies need daycare so they can socialize.
18. Spank your kids who disobey.  Spank them harder.  Spank them until you break their spirit.
19. Loosen his car seat straps, so he can move around more.
20. It is a disservice to your child to homeschool.

Best or worse parenting advice you've ever received?

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