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Most of us love babies, but we usually don’t develop the same degree of body connection that a woman has. We don’t carry a baby in our body and we don’t breast-feed. As a result we never know the spiritual bond that is possible between an adult and an infant. I had occasion to get a tiny glimpse into that experience when my daughter gave birth to my granddaughter. Her labor was long and intense, but we were able to leave the hospital the next morning.
The 20th century was not a good time for the relationship between fathers and their children. As we have felt more disconnected from our work, we feel less passion and purpose in our lives. One of the ways this loss expresses itself is when we feel we have less to offer our children.
“I got to know them oneon- one and they each made an effort. That was the key. They weren’t ‘The Kids.’ And they were all so hungry. They love their mother, but my stepson would just talk and talk and talk. I would need to change clothes and he would keep talking through the door. He was very open and they were all willing to just know me.”
You first interview everyone and find out how things have been working before you begin implementing changes. It’s the same with stepfamilies. So take time to gather information before you demand allegiance from the kids. If you have more than one stepchild, it’s easy to fall into the habit of treating the kids as if they’re in a pack.
You might be used to running the show at work, but when you start a job, you must learn the culture before you can be effective. You know when you take on a new client it’s going to take time and work to get to a place where you trust each other.