Some days I think its harder being a step mum than it is being a biological mum.
With your own child, you've bonded, nurtured it, you can explain things in a way that he/she will understand. There is your imprint on that child, a connection.
When you're a step mum, you have to find ways of reaching that child, of communicating, bonding and understanding one another. All the while, you constantly have this barrier between you of someone elses imprinting, another persons heavy influence and that's when a push / pull situation starts.
Don't get me wrong, both my step children are lovely, but there are testing moments, as is the case with all children, and perhaps even more so with teenagers.
A big part of the tension I think is that their mum has brought them up very differently to how my husband and I now do. They haven't had a religious environment and now although they would never say, I think at times they find our religious practice a little too much, perhaps "slightly overwhelming" is a better description.
They are both bombarded with western influences and their friends parents are a lot more relaxed about things than we are.
Another part of it I think is their age, with toddlers you still have a chance to bond with them. I want to spend more time with them bonding, I really do, but sometimes I'm busy with work or chores and sometimes they've already made plans. On several occasions now, I've thought to myself, "tomorrow perhaps we can do this..." and then when tomorrow comes I find out they've already made plans and its too late. I need to get in there quicker before they plan something else.
Other times, we make plans, and then something changes and it doesn't happen.
Like yesterday for example, the youngest said to me, "we haven't spent anytime together in ages, I want to spend some time with you" (so cute), so I jumped at the chance, this was my window, I changed my plans, decided to postpone a few things, and cleared my diary and suggested a few things we could do. She popped out to buy something and when she came back, she'd decided that instead she wanted to do something that just involved her, she said when she's done, she'd like to do what we had planned. But that never happened.
This kind of thing has happened a few times now and I don't blame her, it's not intentional on her part, she doesn't realize that she's making plans with me and then not doing them. She's free spirited, the kind of person that thinks outside of the box, and I like that.
There are so many daily challenges that I couldn't even list them to you. All I can do is be patient, make myself available and be kind and loving.
If anyone has any suggestions on fun activities to do with teenagers, I would love to hear them. Funny thing is when I was a kid, my elders never made time to do fun activities with me. In the holidays we just kept ourselves busy and helped out around the house without being asked. These days things are different. And even if they were my own biological children, I would still be thinking of things to keep them entertained.