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It’s Not All Poison Apples

Wicked StepmotherWell, I was going to post a recipe today – my insomnia has been bad again this week, I’m very tired and the recipe I was going to post is very easy (it’s coming tomorrow).  But I’ve had the thoughts for this post rolling around in my head ever since this post last week and I need to get it off my chest.

Being a step-parent is not easy; there are ALL sorts of challenges and obstacles and frustrations that come with the job.  I can certainly understand the desire to not want to do it – trust me, I really, really can – but if you’ve married a man with children from a former marriage or relationship, you’ve got to put on your big girl panties and face facts.  The ex-wife or girlfriend and the kids are a part of his life, and always will be (or always should be) and it’s something that you’ve got to not only learn to live with, but deal with in a mature, responsible manner.

After my little rant last week about Ex-husband and Current Wife and the little games that are apparently being played, I started thinking about how very fortunate I am in another respect.  I’m not talking about Beloved; I believe I’ve made it more than clear that he is not only a marvelous father to his own daughters, but a great step-father to my kids.  No, I’m talking about The Young One’s step-mother.

Good Ex, as he’ll be referred to henceforth, met and married a lovely woman from Trinidad a few years ago, and they have a son who is almost 3.  Now Good Ex and I have had our problems and moments of frustration over the years, but we’ve always done our best to be the best parents we can be to The Young One.  In our efforts to continue to co-parent despite our separation, we’ve discovered that it’s not all that difficult to be civil to each other – we’ve even managed to remain fairly good friends.

Good Step-Mom has been just that – a good step-mom.  In fact, I thinks it’s safe to say she’s been an exemplary step-parent.  Oh, she’s made a mistake or two, but what step-parent hasn’t?  I can say, though, that when I’ve felt that there has been an issue I have had no problems talking to Good Ex about it, and any problems there have been were resolved quickly and with as little angst and drama as possible.

Mostly because she seems to understand what her role in The Young One’s life is, and she makes an effort to fill that role without any undue resentment or emotional baggage.  She seems to understand that Good Ex and I are the parents, and she lets us parent.  She is there for The Young One when he needs her without being interfering or badmouthing me.  She welcomes my son into her home and is kind and loving towards him while he’s there, but never tries to assume my role.

While Good Step-Mom and I will probably never be the best of friends, she does not seem to be threatened by my friendship with Good Ex and I appreciate that a great deal.  I wonder how many second wives understand how very, very important it is for the parents of their step-children to remain on as good of terms as possible, and how important it is that they do what they can to facilitate that relationship –  or at the very least, not to hinder it.  Good Step-Mom is mature enough to understand I am no threat to her marriage – we’re no longer together for a reason.

At any rate, I am grateful to Good Step-Mom and am glad she is part of my son’s life.  She is doing a great job of being exactly the kind of step-parent I myself try to be.  I can only hope that I’m as successful at it.


The Young One is very lucky!

When my ex remarried, his wife was very very cool toward me at first. It was several years of receiving the cold shoulder, before my efforts to be friendly paid off. She is now fairly pleasant when I see her. All that doesn’t matter. What is important is that she is a good step-mom to The Boy. I can clearly see the love they have for each other and I’m so thankful that The Boy has a good stepmom in his life.
.-= Nothing Fancy´s last blog ..Like I Don’t Have Enough To Do Already… =-.

Jane Gaston says:

OMG, how lucky you all are Jan, to have a relationship that DOESN’T include putting that child in the middle of stupid squabbles! I’m sure you realize that this is NOT the usual ex relationship, nor is the fantastic stepmother the rule!

.-= Jane Gaston´s last blog ..The Fall =-.

LPC says:

That is really good to hear.
.-= LPC´s last blog ..Safe In Harbour =-.

LindaP says:

Here’s to everyone taking the high road and playing nice!
.-= LindaP´s last blog ..Friends, Boating & The Tiki Hut =-.

Huh, if I didn’t know any better, it sounds like Good Ex married someone like you.. 🙂
.-= Sprite’s Keeper´s last blog ..Little Bunny Spew Spew =-.

I agree with Sprite’s Keeper; your ex has good taste in women.
I’ve always been secretly relieved my ex hasn’t remarried and I didn’t have to deal with someone else parenting my kid, yet that issue will be there for grandkids too, I guess.
Nice post.
.-= Maureen at IslandRoar´s last blog ..Spin Cycle: Kids =-.

Good Ex spouses are few and far between. Glad the young one has hit the lottery on this one.
.-= Midlife Slices´s last blog ..But They Said It Works! =-.

Anne Gibert says:

A really thoughtful post, Jan. I had step-parents, and I have been a step-parent. I think it is the most difficult relationship there is. (Way harder than being a mother-in-law.) But that’s another post, perhaps.

Your son (and you) are lucky that that particular ex’s wife is a reasonable and loving person.
.-= Anne Gibert´s last blog ..Cat prints =-.

Di says:

So nice when adults can act like adults, isn’t it. After all…. the children are watching our actions and learn from them.

The Blue Ridge Gal
.-= Di´s last blog ..And For My Next Trick =-.

stoneskin says:

Sounds like the lot of you are doing a great job. TYO is fortunate.

andy says:

oh, i totally hear you on the trying to be civil with your ex.

it is certainly hard at times, because he’s an ex for a reason!

but i put our kids first which usually allows for a good flow of communication and co-parenting.

it took my ex 4 years to display a girlfriend…and all i wish is for her to be kind to our children. nothing more or less.

i like to think that he has good taste based on him marrying me all those years ago;)

.-= andy´s last blog ..crack can make you stay awake for days which i could really benefit from but you also get skin sores so i don’t think it’s worth it. =-.

Beth says:

I totally relate to this! My husband’s ex-wife is good to me (the vast majority of the time). She isn’t perfect but she has always included me in family events. No matter what went right or wrong in the relationship between my husband and his first wife, they have two awesome girls between them. I’ve been lucky to be part of the journey.
.-= Beth´s last blog ..Wild Freakin’ Kingdom =-.

It’s so nice when people make an effort to get along for the well being of the kids. Kudos to all of you!
.-= Twenty Four At Heart´s last blog ..Random Shit =-.

Lori says:

Taking the high road is so much better then stooping to low levels. The kids reap the benefits when all the adults involved act like adults instead of imature over grown children. I am thankful that the young one has this! Good post!
.-= Lori´s last blog ..Summer Time Thoughts =-.

You may be lucky to have the good exes but the exes are blessed to have YOU as an ex.
.-= Smart Mouth Broad´s last blog ..MY THEME SONG =-.

Pseudo says:

I like the way you book-ended the other story. Nothing like a bit of balance. Happy for TYO. All that plus two doting older sibings makes him a very fortunate boy.
.-= Pseudo´s last blog ..Happy Birthdays Nephews… =-.

Jason says:

You said a mouthful! I’m also very fortunate in this respect.
.-= Jason´s last blog ..Agnostic Blessings, Episode Eleven =-.

Tricia says:

Step families can be so complicated, if we let them. Sounds like you guys are doing a great job of keeping your eye on what’s important. It’s really very kind of you to recognize TYO’s step mother this way.
.-= Tricia´s last blog ..Creating Her Own Moment With a Renewal of Vows =-.

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