Some would say that the hardest job on Planet Earth is by far, being a parent. It has no hand-book, yet asks us to be an expert in so many areas of life. The parent is usually either shocked into or awakened by the birth and raising of the child and the day to day aspects of raising the child, which are as complex as they are simple.
The beauty of raising children is just that, the raising. This means understanding that the child is born whole and complete. Born with all that they are, as a multidimensional being, in tact. Their essence and flavour is magnificent, exact and pure from the get go and all we need do as the parent, is deeply honour that truth and allow the being the space and grace to blossom and grow in the world. Hence the 'raising' of the child not the 'owning' of the child.
However, have many of us parents missed the memo? We often birth the child and then somehow feel we own it, rather then understand we are simply an honouring vessel. We assume the being starts as nothing and that we need to grow it up with our teachings and rules to make it into a developed person as it ages. This is not completely our fault as our ignorance and arrogance is confirmed by society and we end up indoctrinating our off spring and patting ourselves on the back for our/their achievements and success. We are both, lost in this programming and also completely ingrained. Because of this process, the child is often not treated as an equal but as a smaller extension of us, the parents. The cycles repeat and here we are, humanity all 'owned' by others and not truly seen as the beautiful beings we came here as, from the start.
The ultimate nudge in responsibility is
being a parent. It asks that we reflect on
who we are, first and foremost.
It asks us to heal our own hurts.
We are invited to clear our own family history and
unlock our own awareness before
we venture into holding another Being in our arms
The Biological Factor
Biological parents birth a child and have a number of factors that keep them connected to that being. Whether it be the experience of the physicalness of the birth, the attachment to the child, the agreement, contract, understanding or past life connection, the list go on. Whatever the bond is between the biological parent and child, it holds them both very firmly in the relationship. It supports them or even equips the parent to deeply understand the behaviours of the child, develop a connection with the child based on those behaviours and then know the workings of that child. The child will also have a way of behaving with the parent. It can weave a very intricate web and way of being together.
When having the child is something we 'wish' for, plan or invite into our lives we feel we have 'called' the child in but also the child has chosen us, the parents also. Some would say, that the biological parents have been chosen for a very specific reason. This reason may be to learn from the child, grow as a person, live out corrections, work together, expand and or evolve. Whether there is an awareness, or not, the parent and the child have an unspoken understanding that is life long and beyond.
Along comes the step-parent. In all cases the step-parent becomes a step parent due to the meeting and connection of the two adults that have committed to the relationship. Therefore the child can be an enriching added element to that relationship. The step-parent effectively marries the biological parent, with the agreement that they have committed to the child also. The child can be any age and at any stage. The step-parent can feel a multitude of feelings around the child and being in a relationship with an adult that has a child. They may feel an honour and a privilege to be apart of the raising of the child or they may feel many feelings that are challenging, or even a combination of the both.
One thing is for sure, when it comes to step-parenting, is that there is an incredible skill that every step-parent has. It is a gift. It is a magical way that only they have the understanding of. That skill lies in the power of detachment. Because the step-parent has not been submersed in the raising of the child until the time they meet them, they can quite often see the child for who they truly are more clearly and without as much emotional attachment and history as the parent. They may see the way the child is not living their full potential in life, or is even manipulating the parent. They may see the dance the parent and child have to stay in their challenges or issues. The may also see the deep love and devotion between the parent and child and even perhaps the sadness, abuse and disrespect. The step-parent may notice the triggers, the sympathy, the sometimes lies and deceit, the list is long. The step parent can often see it all and this is both a gift and an opportunity.
The step-parent has the chance to observe the relationship
with the parent and child and support them to be aware
of their patterns of behaviour and the issues that these can bring.
However, the step-parent also needs to honour the process of the relationship between the biological parent and child and allow it to take its own course. The step-parent is also often forced to look at their own parenting skills, that have not been developed and their own upbringing to clear old behaviours. They are required to clear issues that may arise like jealousy, different parenting styles and even childhood hurts, jealousy and pictures around how a family should look.
The love that the step-parent brings to the family is in
the art of observation and activation without judgement.
What a tight rope the step parent walks. The balance between being witness to the intricate aspects of the parent/child relationship and all its flaws and beauty in staying steady, clear and detached. Such an art, and so powerful is the role of the step-parent.
A match made in heaven.
The biological parent and step-parent that work together raising a child can be a magnificent combination of understanding, observing, honouring and allowing. It can take the family to another level of evolution and support old habits and patterns to be dropped and new ways of loving and living in the home and community to be birthed.
The step-parent and biological parent are a team like no other. Raising the child without a handbook, is in fact a perfect way to live because without pictures, we can trail blaze and advance in our families and society.
Together the biological and step-parent can..
Heal their own hurts and family issues from the past.
Honour each other and the flavour that they bring to parenting.
Respect the space between the different relationships individually and as a whole.
Offer their strengths and qualities that can support the child to feel appreciated and truly seen.
Parent, bringing flavours of true mothering and fathering, (regardless of gender) into the family. Be it allowing space and understanding or activating and inspiring others.
Love with all that they are. Not impose but deeply see the magic that each one brings to the other with their purpose in this world.
In truth, we are way beyond the limited titles we are branded
as parent and step parent
when in comes to raising a being on this planet.
Parenting, whether it be biological or an added bonus, is not found in a handbook because it is not something you can tick or compartmentalise. Parenting is found in the way you live your life in full. The standards you live by are deep within you, they reflect your parenting. The love and care you have for you is connected to you knowing who you are, this reflects your parenting. The wisdom you share and the joy you feel is found in living a life that is purposeful and true, this is seen in your movements as a parent. Through your way together, the child can too be all that they are already, a magnificent being in a body with a job to do, here on planet earth.