Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Biological Parents Aren't Perfect Either

image via

Something I've been trying to remind myself of lately is that it's okay not to be a perfect stepparent. No one is expecting perfection and I shouldn't expect it from myself. Should I do my best, keep trying, ask for forgiveness when I screw up and try to do better again - YES!

But I also need to remember that biological parents aren't perfect either. Being a biological parent does not make you immune from screw-ups and in fact that are some really horrible biological parents out there. Being a biological parent does not give you all the keys of the kingdom of great parenting. It does not give you all the answers to your child's needs, understanding of their sometimes crazy behavior, or the solutions to nightmares, frustrated fits, inability to sleep, hormone changes and all the things that happen with children. Biological parents get short tempered, weary of kids shows on TV, incessant questions, kid messes, temper tantrums and exhausting schedules too. Feeling these same emotions does not make me a bad stepparent or unsupportive wife.

As a stepparent I too can study and learn good parenting skills, be patient, thoughtful and kind, act in love, be unselfish, continue to try and try again to do better, and I can forgive myself and be forgiven when I make mistakes. Making mistakes does not make me a bad person or a bad stepparent.

Being a stepparent, which is a very courageous thing to do, can also put one in a position to feel attacked from all sides. You are affected by so many other people's lives and needs, not to mention family courts constant upheavals and frustrations. The one person who should show up to support us every day is ourselves. We need to be our own best friend and biggest cheerleader. No one knows us better, can gauge how hard we are trying or be inspired to help us grow.

So I am going to try to be less critical and remember that biological parents aren't perfect either. I am going to keep working at being a great parent, step or otherwise and try to remember that each day I have the opportunity to do better and grow. That way, challenges of today will be triumphs of tomorrow. 

Do you ever find yourself putting a lot of pressure on yourself to be perfect or beating yourself up when you haven't handled things are graciously as you would've liked to? How do you talk yourself back to center?


  1. Amen sister. So often we kid ourselves by thinking the Bio Mom never fails at anything. But that simply CAN'T be true. What I struggle with however is my step daughter seeing her mom as "perfect" which is awesome because every mom deserves to have adoring children. But when I know SHE is comparing us... it stings. Great perspective though on how we view ourselves. Thanks for sharing!

  2. That is a fantastic point Step With Care and a whole 'nother emotionally complicated ball of wax all together, right? It's amazing how that sense of acceptance and comparison can so wound us. I wish there were easy answers. Blended families are one of the most complicated situations I find in life. Constantly requiring maturity and perspective while quieting our own desire to be hurt and offended. What a challenging life it is!


Thanks for joining the conversation and inspiring others!