This year, my ex asked to have the boys for dinner on the first night. Even though it wasn't his usual night, he promised to have them home for bedtime. It took a moment to register but I realized that I was no longer a necessary part of this holiday. He is now ready to take on this tradition on his own.
I never wanted you here. You simply were never part of the plan. Growing up and dreaming of my family I never included you. I didn't want help from another woman to raise my child. But then you arrived. Dang your kind smile! I was planing on really hating you. I wanted to resent you but you made it impossible.
We have four kids at four different schools with two different custody schedules. Not to mention piano, tutoring, soccer, cross country, basketball and two girls playing tennis. He and I both will probably spend at least eight hours in the car this week carpooling kids. Every week is tough logistically, but I am proud to say we are surviving.
Unless you are truly an "evil stepmother" (and there are some), releasing expectations of acceptance and love from your stepchildren will allow you to focus more on your partner, building a strong and lasting union, which certainly benefits the kids who don't need to go through another horror of a family splintering in different directions.