I find myself thinking of my step-kids and my family dynamic all the time. I wonder if this is normal. Do bio parents think of their kids and their role this much? Do moms in general think this much? Do dads? I don’t actually know. It makes me a little crazy sometimes and to the point where I want to shut down and not think of anyone or anything. Why do I do this? Why are they always on my mind? Why do I need to dissect every little thing about them and what they are doing or not doing and devise a plan or a routine or discipline or activity? Why do I need to continuously figure out my role and what to do and not do? This can’t be normal. I see my friends who are bio moms and dads and they don’t think this much. Why is that? Are they the bad parents? Are step-moms and step-dads super awesome parents? Am I uptight or are they just laid back? These are the things that fill by brain.
Here is my conclusion: As a step-parent you rarely get any recognition or accolades for anything you do. So, we are constantly trying to seek out that one thing that will give us that acceptance, that praise, that appreciation. As an “outsider” you are always observing and are more objective so the solutions come easy. Because you have no control on implementing those solutions, or if by chance your solution is used and it works, the praise will often go back to the bio parents or the kids themselves. So there you go, with your deflated self on the hunt again for that one thing that will bring you some attention and appreciation…… ugh, more thinking.
Also, overthinking is basically looking too far into the future. I am guilty of that far too often. It is trying to figure out all of the scenarios and putting solutions to them before they even happen, if they happen. Many step-parents, particularly step-moms suffer from this way of thinking. As helpful as it can be sometimes, it also hinders us from living in the moment. We get so caught up on proving ourselves and trying to find that one thing to get us some recognition which makes us feel like we are a parent too that we sometimes forget to just stop and see all of the wonderful things that are happening around us that say “yes, you are my parent too”, “yes, you make this family happy and whole”.
Sure, it’s not very flattering to want recognition or appreciation but it definitely feels good and everyone deserves to feel like that every now and again. Each day is a new beginning to start over and take charge of yourself and all of your overthinking, whether you are a step-parent or a bio-parent. We all have our ups and downs, sane and crazy thoughts, the best thing you can do is to observe yourself instead of everyone else and learn something from it. You are your greatest teacher so take today as a “thinking” day even if it is overthinking and do what you can to give yourself peace of mind for tomorrow that way you can just appreciate your life, your role and your family and live in the moment.