When Reese turned two I proudly announced that she was going to start Potty Training. We were going to tackle it head on.
I was confident that she was going to be one of the first in her daycare class to be diaper free! I quickly transitioned her from diapers to Pull-Ups® naively thinking that the whole process would be smooth sailing!! Because well... it couldn't be that hard right?! WRONG!
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!
I'm pretty sure I raised my eyebrows and quickly turned my head to say "come again?" BUT before the words came out of my mouth, I totally got it. She is our village. Together we are raising these three little people with one common goal. To raise them up into being kind-hearted, giving, hard-working, successful members of Society. Even though co-parenting is not always easy and sometimes we have different opinions, we are a village. When push comes to shove, we have each other's back.
"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.
Tonight we're celebrating the 5 year anniversary of our first date by hitting up our favourite restaurant. Yes, that's right, with four kids in the house and a crazy schedule this week we've carved out some time to celebrate what many would view as a minuscule milestone.
But it's not minuscule to us. It marks the day that neither of us saw coming. As I've said, marrying a man with three kids and an ex-wife was certainly NOT in my five year plan, and he definitely didn't see another marriage and baby in his future
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...
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.