Okay, so for those of you who don't know, this is my second marriage. The three oldest are from my first marriage. I don't have any step children. My husband is the best step parent. In fact, my mom always tells everyone that if they want to make their life as a step parent better, they need to take lessons from him.
During the summers, the older three go stay with their dad. This is a hard thing for me to have to share them. They are here when it is school time and we have a schedule and more rules than during the summer when it is more laid back. We sleep in and laze around more and have a great time. Then when they get home it is back to routines, bedtime, wake up time, and do your homework. I also don't like that we don't get to take them to the fun places. That's for their dad. Then they get mad about us going somewhere with out them, but what do you do, not go unless they are home?!?
Because it is so hard for me, I have had to find some good things that make summer fun and exciting (in a lazy sort of way). One thing I do is try to have a fun project. The first summer we painted their bedrooms. The next year I made quilts. This year we are painting the house and getting new windows. I also try and plant a garden. This year I am just doing tomatoes and strawberries, but it's something to keep me busy.
I also like to look at the great things about them being gone. The first thing I have noticed is that I don't have to run the dishwasher everyday. I also have less laundry. I don't have to share the TV or computer. Not that I have time to sit down (though here I am neglecting the kids and the house) but I occasionally like to empty my inbox or check out facebook or type something here.
So, I guess that things are a bit more relaxed when they are gone, but I do miss them terribly. I do cry after I drop them off. I do cry when I think of them being gone. But I do want them to have a good relationship with their dad, and time with him is what will help this happen.