Friday, March 26, 2010

I made a mistake

Sometimes, I fail. The characteristic that sets me apart from most is that when I fail, I admit it.

Being a step mom is hard. Being the primary caregiver for a child who has two biological parents involved in his life is even more difficult.

My circumstances growing up were different. I had a biological mom and a stepfather, so whenever a choice had to be made, they made it together. Chris’s circumstances growing up were different. He had two divorced biological parents, so when a choice had to be made, whomever he was staying with at the time made that choice. Brytin lives with his father and his stepmother. He also has a mother who greatly desires to be involved in every aspect of his life. Logistically speaking, it is difficult for two people to make all the decisions for a child together, much less three people.

Because Brytin is in my custody most of the time, I make a lot of decisions for him - what he will eat, wear, when he will do his homework and when he will be allowed to play video games. For various reasons, there is no communication between Brytin’s mother and me, so all information is given to Chris and then he is entrusted to relay the information to Adrienne. Sometimes the telephone line works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Last week, I made the faulty assumption that the telephone line had a kink in it, and made a decision for Brytin without input from his father or his mother. I enrolled him in an after-school activity because the deadline had arrived and I had not heard from either of his parents about the science class. At the time, I was considering Brytin and only Brytin. He wanted to participate, and the after-school activity came with many benefits.

After a conversation with my Bestie, I realize, that I was incorrect in enrolling him in an activity without input from his father, my husband. As Chris’s wife, and Brytin’s STEPmom, my first priority should be my marriage. Even though I adore Brytin as though he were my biological son, the truth is that without my marriage, Brytin would not be in my life. It’s a strange cause and effect dynamic that I failed to see until today.

As Brytin’s primary caregiver, it is my responsibility to make sure he is safe and healthy and happy. But as Chris’s wife, it is my responsibility to make sure that I am supporting Chris in all aspects of his life and that includes raising his son.

Like I said, being a step mom is hard. But hopefully with God’s wisdom and Chris’s patience and Brytin’s undying love, I will succeed.