By: Christina Roach
The routine is all too familiar; your stepchild comes through the front door, head down, and drops removable appendages haphazardly onto the floor only to proceed directly to his or her room without an utterance of a hello or anything else that could be mistaken as an acknowledgement of your presence. With this you feel the pit in your stomach tighten and in your mind you start catastrophizing the events of the forthcoming weekend in rapid-fire precision. All the preparation work you had done to ‘psych’ yourself up for the days that lie ahead had been nullified in a matter of seconds.
“Here we go again,” is the thought that crosses your mind, remembering the countless previous visits that had started in similar fashion. Regardless of the discussions with your partner or the carefully developed plans put into the place, the status quo continues; neither you nor your stepchild feel comfortable with the transition period back into stepfamily life when you each have had time apart in your respective other relationships. You are coming off of one-on-one time with your partner and your stepchild is shifting from the residential parent household to the one with the stepparent.