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Saturday, May 22, 2010

On Being a Stepmom

We have an unusual custody arrangement. We get The Children every other weekend, and every weekday evening from 5:30 - 8:30.

And of course vacations and random other times like others do.

This is one of those "random other times". The Children's Mom and Stepdad are out of town for two weeks, and The Children will be with us.

Having them with us, for regular every day weekdays (as opposed to vacations I mean) has definite pros and cons.

Pro - don't have to drive them home at night!

Con - have to get up earlier to get them to their various places and still get to work at a reasonable time.

OK - so I realize that "regular" parents have to do this all of the time, but they get to have some say in the schedule and the locations of places the kids go. Because we don't do the daytime stuff, The Children's mom chooses places that are convenient to her - as we would were the siutation reversed. It's just not necessarily convenient for The Mr and I. Fortunately we live reasonably close so it isn't that bad. Still, an hour in the morning is a long time.

Pro - we can make sure The Children get to bed at what we feel is a reasonable time

Con - we get to deal with them in the morning, and they are not compatible in the morning.

Well, technically, they are not compatible any time, but morning is particularly bad. The Boy is chatty in the morning. All the time really. Actually, he has no idea how to be quiet. Ever. The Girl, who doesn't like to listen to him at the best of times (the understatement of the century) is especially not interested in the morning. The Girl is not a morning person. I can't tell you how hard it is to listen to them go at each other first thing in the morning. Well I could, but you wouldn't believe me.

Pro - we get to have lots of family dinners

Con - I get to have this conversation a lot: "I'm full Susan" "That's fine. You shouldn't finish dinner if you are full. But if you are full, you won't need dessert or a treat." "What?" "No dinner, no dessert." "Fine. I'll eat my dinner."

I will also get to hear "What IS this?!" a lot. My standard answer - poison. And no, so far it has never been poison. I think the sarcasm is lost on The Children.

It's good for The Children and good for our family to be able to spend this time together.

And those "cons"? We'll all get through it.

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