Being a parent is not easy.. I would say the hardest job in the world (don’t get me started on my view that mothers or whoever a primary caregiver should be paid for what they do- hands down the hardest work on the planet.) As much as you try and look at the positives of parenthood, there are times when it all goes south. Those days when so many things go wrong and all you try and do is right the ship and keep it from drowning. As a step-parent, my role is different than their parents. We aren’t married but I still have the responsibility to keep shelter over their head which also has allowed them to be in one of the best school districts in the state. I get the back talk when they don’t want to shower, do their homework, go to bed, get off the phone or gaming system, or help out around the house/do chores. I also get to also get to be the tail end of any failings from the other parent that is not around. Anything they did either before or currently, you aren’t allowed to do the same.. to any degree. As my stepmother once told me “step-parenting is a no win position”. You get flack for putting too much authority in the house, but also get flack from others for not putting enough. You are judged before you even do anything and then judged after you do something. Your mistakes are magnified 100x and you aren’t allowed to find yourself as a parent. This might sound negative but for step parents and also a lot of parents, you know it is not easy.
So you might ask “Why do you do it?”.. well I think the article kind of sums it up. The author names it the Sweet Spot. She has her own definition of it, but I would add the Sweet Spot can really be any moment where you feel connected.. when you feel loved. Even if it is fleeting. Sure the youngest loves to give me attitude when I ask her to do her anything and I get all her anger and hatred that she is too scared to express to her father for how he treated the family. But all that anger is worth it when she gives me a kiss and a hug and tells me that “Nicky, I love you” as she hands me a flower she made out of duct tape (which is quite impressive by the way).. Or when the middle one, when she is not trying to handle those teenage girl emotions, crys on your shoulder when you try and help her navigate her first attempt at teenage love. Or as she holds my hand and squeezes hard when she was getting stiches from a tumble down the walk way. Or the oldest, who has seen way more then any 14 yr old should regarding relationships and tries his best to understand what he sees, when most of the time it doesn’t seem to make much sense. But as a 14 year old boy he still hugs and kisses you goodnight. Thats what makes it worth it, even during the hardest days. Its those moments.. glimpses of The Sweet Spot.. that fills your heart and soul with love..