The Light at the End of the Tunnel: Summertime
I'm the veteran BM & SM who remembers steplife with 5 kids as I read the blogs & forums. We came out on the other side. but I remember those hellacious summers.
I would start to get more depressed every spring as it got closer to school closing. The SK would be here almost all summer long. They would go back on Tuesday evening (karate class) & come back Thursday night (after karate class). Our house is not big & at that point we hadn't added the space we did once tbey moved in full-time.
It wasn't just the sheer number of 5 kids close in age, they all had friends. To say I was overwhelmed is a gross understatement. Few of their friends seemed to have parents in the picture somehow. I realized I was lucky & blessed to be a SAHM but it was quite intense. I'm an introvert who needs down time & it just didn't exist. To top it off, DH worked in a construction-related industry so was gone longer on the summer.
I'd like to be able to share some coping strategies but there weren't any. It was just getting thru each day. "Will you take me to x?" "Can Friend come over?" "Can we pick up Friend?" "I'm bored" "What are we going to do tomorrow?' " We're out of soda/ chips/ bread/ lunchmeat" and, my favorite, "Friend, want something to eat?"
One year, i decided that a weekly planned outing might help. One week, the zoo, one week a daytime riverboat cruise, etc. That all blew up coming home from activity #5 when YSS remarked how stupid he thought that activity was. I was hot, tired, stressed & at the outer edge of my patience. That was it for the outings.
The kids look back on those days fondly. Their friends still talk about it. DH & I are sometimes in a store & a 50-ish man will come up & say, " Aren't you Mrs. JRI? Im Friend". Weird.
Step-parents, hang in there. It's tough.