Sunday, January 20, 2008

How do you do time?

How you do time may have a connection to how you do stepfamily life.

Here is what I mean: Some people have beliefs about time such that enormous amounts of things can be accomplished in small amounts of time. If you can write it in your daytimer or PDA, then it can be done.

Write a novel between 8 and 10 PM fits in the slot, but there is no chance that such a thing could happen.

Other people rarely know what time it is. The dont' wear a watch, the do not carry a cell phone or any time-keeping device. They approximate time and depend on others to do their time keeping. Some of these people have really good internal clocks while others are always way late or way early. Time never really seems to apply to them.

Certainly there are extremes to the various ways people do time with lots of people landing somewhere in between the extremes. But whatever the case, you have a time style.

Knowing what your time style is importnat because it probably has some parallels with how you do stepfamily life. It is important to know how you do time. But it is also important to know how each family member does time.

Knowing that your way is not the right way, but that it is your way is importnat because you want other members of your family to respect your time style. Respect theirs as you would want them to respect your.


hurtingmom said...

I have been DESPERATE for some help with stepparenting. My husband and I blended our families with two children each full time. My two go to school and I stay home with his two who are 4 and 5. I am struggling with the 4 year old whom I spend more hours in a day with than any other person in the world. I do child care during the day, and have a very hard time enforcing rules that are ment to carry on. However, it seems when dad gets home, he feels he doesn't have to follow the rules. Dad trys hard to enforce, but doesn't realize how many rules are being broken in his presence. I feel that when he is home, it is his time with the kids and I shouldn't be such a 'rag'. I've prayed with and without my husband on this matter. We talk about it, and rarely disagree, so I truely feel this is my problem and I'm beginning to 'resent' this child who God placed in my care. Lately, I feel alone on this matter and like my husband and his boys would be better off without my negative feelings. PLEASE anybody HELP me, I don't want to break the covenant I made with God, my husband, and my marriage pastors, but lately I feel like giving up....

Fajita said...

Dear hurtingmom, I can feel the tension in your commnet here. Sometimes it can feel like throwing in the towel would do everyone a whole lot of good. That, however is not the case.

What usually needs to happen is not an exit from the situation nor is it just to white knuckle it either. Rather, what usually is needed is a change of frame on the situation - understanding it differently (along with a break every now and again).

The break every now and again might be the easier part. it sounds like you're often up to your ears in children. Arranging for a little "you time" is not selfish, but might be a necessity.

The change in frame or perspective might be a little more challenging, but maybe not. Stepfamily life is kind of like sending money into a mutual fund. You know tat you are doing a good thing, but you get no immediate benefit. Sometimes it can feel like you would rather spend the money now - but you know that it will be better saved than spent.

There are days in hich the only evidence that you are doing any good is that you tell yourself that you are doing good. You won't get it from the kids all that often and you will get it not as much as you want from your spouse. You might think God would give you more affirmation, and maybe he does, but it is not as tangible as you'd like.

The truth is tat all the good you do is good and it matters and it is addinginterest as time moves on - even if you don't get to spend it right now.

I kwno that this does not settle the matter, but it can get you started.

The Blender said...

Dear hurtingmom,
I feel your pain. First of all, resolve to NEVER take anything the kids do or say personally. The 4 year old is pushing your buttons because he has discovered what they are. He isn't being malicious - he is testing you. He is also probably playing on Dad's guilt about putting the kids into a blending situation. Probably not consciously on either his or Dad's part, but it happens.

Both you and your husband could sit down together and work out the House Rules - not your rules or his rules - and explain the House Rules to the kids. Let them know that it is their responsibility to live by the House Rules no matter which parent is home (they can't argue with a house!)

Keep praying!

"And Now You're Mrs. Him" said...

I've never thought of how time works when it comes to dealing with stepfamilies...or families in general. That is great food for thought! I just might ramble about that on my Stepfamily Blog in the future - thanks!