Step-Motherhood can easily be described as walking a tight rope- a greased tight rope but for the most part, we make it work. The biggest thing is that there's is a child, in the middle of it all. His needs are the most important.
Kail loves the story of how I married his Dad. He'll tell you right now "I saw you (Hannah)first, and you fell in love with ME, THEN you married my Dad." It's the sweetest thing. We've talked about it a little bit and to him, his Dad and I have been married as long as he can remember. He was only 2 when we got together. While, it's less critical now, someday he's going to understand that his Father and his Mother were in a relationship that didn't work out. It wasn't messy and it's okay, but that can still be hard.
Kail said one day "I wish my Mom lived here, in our building. That we lived in one big house. Then I wouldn't have to live in two places." We told him that I know it's hard but it's good, he gets two rooms, he gets two homes, two places of love. He has our home, with his siblings who love him and me and his Dad and then his Moms home where he doesn't have to share toys or attention. It's still hard on him. No matter what, having two places to belong, that isn't easy.
There are things about parental relationships kids shouldn't know. This can be even more challenging in blended family relationships. That said, I still feel that Kail should understand even though his parents together didn't work, it was not as though there wasn't love there. They were together, they made him, to me, honoring that is important. While we all may wish to keep the past in the past, there's a kid here who's going to have questions.
To the best of Kai and I's knowledge, we've only got one picture of him and Kail's Mom together. We were looking at old pictures on the computer and Kail saw it. " Hey, that's my Dad and that's my Mom." He sounded surprised. We said "Yeah! Do you like that picture?"
Kail: "Yeah, can we keep it?" Me: "Of course we can." As he grows, having a picture showing that his Dad cared for his Mom, could be important to him. We want to preserve that for him. It's his right- there are no wedding pictures, nothing like that for him. So, we've made sure this picture is safe.
In blended families even ones where relationships ended without drama, it can be hard to look at those pictures and want to save them. My thinking is this: I live in the now. My husband and I are very happily together now. However the past created this beautiful and amazing little boy. I consider him my son. There's the important factor though, of honoring where he came from. That it is his right as their child, to see his parents when they were together. We've only got one picture. I wish there were more but we at least have this one. We'll make sure it stays safe.
We all may want to forget, move on and pretend that things have always been this way- but they haven't We have to show the truth of it. It's a part of the higher idea making sure that children in blended families don't feel rejected. I don't wish to erase the past or how he came to be. Even when things aren't smooth- because he is a part of that past.