Over-Stepping As a Step-Parent

over-steppingImage courtesy of mattkendrick.com

As I begin writing this column, I find it ironic how little I’ve written about conflicts in my home between my wife, my boys, and me over our blended family.  My wife “inherited” my two boys and my two dogs when she agreed to marry me. Having not had kids, she never expected to be a step-mom, let alone to two boys living at home full-time.

Oddly enough, I never expected to marry again and certainly if I did, I only expected to marry a divorced mother.  So, my wife and I defied our respective assumptions, expectations, and even dating history when we got together.  To be clear, up front, I lucked out and got the better of this deal, without a doubt.  Since my wife rarely reads my columns, this is only written because it’s the truth and something of which I am proud.

read more

This Guy Talks Too Much!

I have a big mouth and I’ve even been described as a guy who talks too much.  Anyone that knows me knows I’m highly opinionated and my family, in particular, lives with me both repeating myself and just droning on endlessly. It’s as if I don’t get an “Okay” or “Yeah, Dad” I assume my boys haven’t heard me.

Recently, I’ve begun a very stupid habit of complaining or voicing out loud issues between my wife and I, venting and expecting a sympathetic ear, to one or the other of my boys.  I’m not voicing anything of a deeply personal nature but it is still inappropriate discussion for them to hear from their dad, about their stepmother. Like I said, this guy talks too much. read more

When Did I Become the Senior Dad?

While walking with a friend the day after Thanksgiving, we shared our respective holiday experiences and noted that we were both now the senior dads–the main paternal figure in our respective families. We laughed together, but it was a moment of melancholy and reflection, both of which were feelings I had this Thanksgiving.

My father died four years ago and my mother died just a year ago, so this was our first Thanksgiving in which neither of my parents was with us. Yes, the aging of my parents effectively made me the “man in charge” for many of their later years, but I still viewed them as the senior generation and offered them the respect and deference that they continued to deserve during those difficult years. But now, other than an older 3rd cousin that I adore, it’s now me representing that older figure in our small family. read more