Community Magazine

Making Your Stepkids Part of Your Home

By Momishblog @momishblog

In a world that is so noisy and so full of commotion all we really want to do is be heard.  Yet all the people we come in contact with want simply to be heard and/or seen too.  Often this leads to us talking louder to overcome the noise around us without doing much listening or seeing of the others in our lives.
The same is true in our homes and our families.  Our sonishes and daughterishes are wanting to be heard and seen as people who matter.  They want to know that we value them and love them as part of our families and homes even when they don't live in them full time.
Living half way across the country from the Sonish makes it even harder sometimes to have that feeling of home and belonging for him.  We live in a one bedroom apartment so unfortunately, he doesn't have his own bedroom.  We convert the den area (we live in a rather open space) to a bedroom for him while he's here but I'll admit, I worry that he wont feel at home here because he doesn't have his own space.  He never complains and says he enjoys it but I worry none the less.
We try to think of the little things that make someone feel at home when he's here.  Things like keeping his bath products on hand and making sure there's 3 towels hanging in the bathroom instead of just 2.  We go so far as to make sure all of the towels match so that he never feels like an after thought (or at least I hope he doesn't).
It probably seems silly to keep little things on hand for him when he's only here a few weeks each year but having gone back and forth between two houses myself, I know how important it is to feel at home.  If we want our families to feel at home we have to make sure they're a part of it.  Our gallery wall (a forever work in progress) is full of pictures of the Sonish along with pictures of us.  This year we decorated for Christmas together as a family to be sure his tastes were included even though he'll be on the East Coast for the holiday instead of the Midwest.  There are always three place settings at the table even though most of the time it's just the two of us.  It all sounds so silly when I write it down here but I'm convinced the little things make a big difference.
We've also decided not to move until he graduates from high school.  We've always said that our house is his house too so we want to keep it consistant.  I don't know that he'll ever choose to live with us full time (he knows the door is always open for him to do so if he chooses) but we want our home to be a stable place that he returns to anytime he wants.  Of course, if he were to move permanently we would have to get a bigger place but we'd select that as a family.  I'm sure some would say we give him too much input or over think things like this but we believe just the opposite.   We've committed to being a team and that means taking each member of the team into account, no matter how often they're home to experience it.

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