As it turned out, my three year old didn't really care about my schedule. She was goofing around, being her usual silly self. Normally I would laugh but, but on this particular day, acting like a wet noodle while I try to get her in a jumpsuit just wasn't funny.
When my husband introduced me to his kids, when we made the decision to move in together, when we got married, and even when we had a baby of our own, we didn’t experience any of the behaviours you would expect from a “child of divorce”. In fact, until recently, it's been smooth sailing!
"How old are your stepchildren" everyone always asks.... "I have a 14 year old step-daughter, and step-sons who are 10 and 13" "Ohhhh.... how's having a teenage stepdaughter?" they always respond. Obviously expecting me to report horror stories of dealing with teenage attitude and rebellion.
Even though, despite the inevitable struggles of co-parenting, I do personally honour her for being the Mother to the three beautiful kids who have changed me in more ways than I can write I this blog, the gifts (and the money spent on them) truly have nothing to do with her and everything to do with the people we are teaching them to be.
Five years later, I'll say this. Feeling comfortable in another woman's home is something that can only be cured with time (and a little redecorating) Slowly but surely, I have redecorated and put my touch in our home, while still respecting the memories and traditions that are still important to my husband and the kids.I've cleaned out those junk drawers, organized the storage room, painted walls, purged, donated and put my touch on the place. Five years later, it looks completely different.
The final step was our kitchen .... last summer we took the plunge completely gutted the main space of our house and transformed it into our dream.
The bedroom is where the 'magic' happens...and by magic I mean sex AND sleep and if you don't LOVE your BED or your bedroom you will have less satisfaction in the 'magic' department. SO make the bedroom NEW again. Fresh paint, new bed, new sheets and have FUN with your spouse picking it all out together.
As stepmoms, because our family dynamic is far more complicated than a "first family", we have this nasty little habit over over-analyzing situations. We often assume that any complications are due to the fact that the we are in a blended family. And well, sometimes they are, sometimes they aren't. But either way, it's not worth driving yourself crazy over.
As stepmoms, It's inevitable that at some point in time our husband and his ex-wife are going to make decisions that we do not agree with. Even though our input if often sought out, at the end of the day they get to make the final call, as they should. I've learned (the hard way) that it's not worth spending time and energy enforcing rules that only you care about... In fact, it's a sure way to look like an EVIL STEPMOM!
Yesterday I sent one of my girlfriends an email disclosing just how insane my week has been. It's been a complete gongshow and I feel like I've been spinning my tires...Not 15 minutes later I received (the nicest) email from someone telling me how "unreal" my life looks on social media. It's not the first email I've received. A few people have told me that it looks like we have the "perfect" life...
I'm not going to lie, I kind of smirked, as parents tend to do when their child utters their first profanity. "What did she just say?" he asked, as we stared at each other in shock. Well, there was no time to dissect, because she looked at him and said it again. This time with just a little more emphasis on the "SHUT.UP"
There will be a time when the kids are all grown-up. When co-parenting, child support, vacation schedules and all the tedious conversations that come with blended family life will no longer be part of your day-to-day. But that also means your house won't be full of laughter, and pitter patter of little feet. The dinner table will be empty, the mini stick tournaments, wrestling matches and movie nights will become just a memory.
Almost five years into our blended family situation, the original awkwardness of waiting in the lobby after the hockey game has subsided… well most days anyways. For the most part, everyone is cordial and makes small talk, with a very welcomed distraction of our two years old daughter, Reese. Her wit and spunk lighten the mood… Her sobs and cries when we have to leave her brothers and sister on the other hand, are more heart-wrenching that I will ever be able to describe.
As you may have noticed on my Instagram Feed, last week my husband and I were in Jamaica at a Conference! And as promised.... we filmed a little Q+A! You asked everything from if he feels bad for the extra stress I go through because I am a stepmom to what he thinks about me playing a role in discipline.... Check it out!
Over the past several months I’ve tried to play it cool when people ask whether or not we are going to have another baby. “We’re not trying to, but we’re not trying not to”. “We’re so busy, who knows if we can handle another child”. “Someday for sure, just waiting for the perfect time” “We’re going to wait until after [insert next big event here] to start trying. The truth is, we have been trying for several months. Hard. And we've had no luck.
Here is the latest Q+A where I answer your questions on starting your own stepmom blog, meal planning during your time with the kids, how to support your stepkids with transition day and what to do if your stepkids won't come to you when they are upset!
You're probably getting sick of me saying that when you're relationship is at it's best, you're better parents, step-parents and just all around happier people... But it is the TRUTH ...As bust parents we should be take ANY opportunity we can to model a loving relationships! (This is especially true when there is a second marriage involved, because well, as we know the children's perception of a "happily ever after" is mostly likely a little tainted!)