Same Gender, Opposite Gender- We All Parent the Same

The Next Family

By: Carol Rood
we all parent the same

So today was my and K’s anniversary. Our 7th anniversary. We realized it at about 2:00 this afternoon. That says a lot for our life…sigh…

We didn’t even realize today was our anniversary until it was the afternoon.

Now before you shake your head and stop reading, you have to know that it is not the norm for us. Usually we are very good about our anniversary, and celebrate with a weekend away at best, or a very nice dinner and a show at the very worst. Last year we went to our favorite Indian restaurant and then I surprised her with tickets to Lord of the Dance. The year before we went to a fondue restaurant and I surprised her with tickets to Riverdance. So the amnesia today was a first.

It has been a very difficult year. K’s daughter who is a senior in high school has Oppositional Defiant Disorder (my diagnosis, not one made by a professional) and since she moved back in with us in May of 2010, our lives have been turned upside down. We spend LOTS of our time dealing with her problems and drama. So much so that I am afraid our other three children don’t always get the attention they deserve.

Most parents don’t talk about their difficult children, they only talk about the good things their children do. Not only do we have a defiant, mean, unruly teenager, but we are a blended family with same gender parents. This has not been an easy row to hoe; it has been full of tension, misunderstandings, and just plain tears of frustration.

K and I have fought, oh how we have fought, over this particular teenager. Yet somehow, our love has been strong and has overcome each and every one of L’s antics. From the failing grades (she may not graduate), to the unprotected sex, to the pregnancy scare, to the staying out all night, to the disrespect, etc., etc., etc…

I guess the bottom line is that we are the same as any other parents who have a difficult teen. The fact that we are two moms instead of a mom and a dad makes no difference. We have the same concerns, frustrations, and tears as any “normal” family. In fact, that in itself makes us a normal family. What family do you know has it “perfect”? The two mom families, the two dad families, the single parent families, the mom and dad families, the grandparents-as-parents families –we ALL struggle with being a family and dealing with things families deal with. I feel as though we have been given more than our share of difficulties dealing with L, but any family who has lived with a troubled teen has walked in our shoes.

And for those of you who have not had to deal with a defiant, troubled teen, I pray that you never do. It puts a tremendous strain on your relationship and your other children. It is not as easy as just “kicking them out” either, because where will they go? Then you just worry more about where they are sleeping or if they are alive or dead…

So although I promised a continuation of my and K’s love story, I have instead given you a real-life glimpse into the difficult year we have had, which led us to forget our anniversary. We had to deal with some of L’s drama last night and most of today, so that is what we were focused on…not us and our celebration.

But don’t worry; we will go out next weekend and celebrate that we made it another year. Not an easy year, but another year completed with us still in love, still happy being a couple, still enjoying our boys, and still moving forward. Together.

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