The four years prior to becoming a Step-Mom I had been dealing with my daughter Elle's Step-Mom, Malus. It had been an extremely difficult relationship to say the least. So when I entered into my new role as a Step-Mom to five kids, I was convinced that I would take what I had learned and be the best Step-Mom in the world! OH YAH - I was headed for a major crash and burn. And crash and burn I did!
Bitty and Greta had never had the pleasure or should I say misfortune of dealing with Malus. Which meant they had no point of reference to judge just how wonderful I was in comparison! I was Lisa the Step-Mom who didn't do things quite the way they wanted. I later came to realize and accept that they were never going to find me better than butter. They both wanted me to be and do different things as the Step-mom, a lot of times in conflict with each other and often times in conflict from what I wished for in a Step-Mom for my own child. After years of trying to please everyone and failing miserably, I had to find a balance that was authentic to me as a person and a mother.
My five step-kids had very different personalities and were at various stages in their life; they wanted and needed different things in a relationship with me. A cookie cutter, one size fits all approach wouldn't work here. I let each child direct our relationship based upon what they wanted, needed or asked for. The results from that philosophy didn't always sit well with the Exes vision. But since I wasn't pleasing them before, I felt that this was my only option to find balance. Today those relationships range from having little communication with one to being a very important part of another, Little Hart.
Raylan asked me once why it came so easily loving Little Hart and I said because she let's me love her. There's no internal loyalty meter that says I'm not supposed to love this person, she's not supposed to love me, I can't enjoy spending time with her or trust her. She just loved me and let me love her back. Little Hart from the get-go looked like a mini version of my Hubby AND has many, many traits both good and difficult in common with him, namely stubbornness. That's a big reason why I call her Little Hart in my blog.
I had dreams and expectations for myself as to what kind of mother and life that I wanted to share with my own daughter. I never felt like I could or wanted to exclude Little Hart because I didn't give birth to her. Sharing in the fun could only be good for all involved. With that fun came a friendship between Elle and Little Hart. They have been the best of friends for most of our blended family life.
Add to our family dynamic that Raylan has been the primary disciplinarian with Litte Hart. The pressure has been off me. And honestly, if there has been a problem, I just gently say to her remember our agreement? Or let's talk. For us it has been the right mix to diffuse most sticky situations.
As Little Hart has grown up her relationship with Greta(her Mom) became increasingly strained. The emotional distance in their relationship caused more tension and strain in my relationship with Greta because of my closeness with Little Hart. I never felt that my close relationship had anything to do with the distance in theirs. Their issues with each other were their issues and they would have been there even if I was never apart of Little Hart's life. As much as I could I tried to support their mother daughter relationship, but the two of them ultimately determined it's make-up.
It was hard for us to all be in the same room together. You could cut the tension with a knife. Then came last March and Little Hart's stay at the Hilton for Children.....