Comments in the thread below were full of other moms, giving each other virtual high-fives and pats on the back. Part of me chuckled at these status updates because they made me feel less guilty. But another part of me became a little annoyed and a little jealous. Here is where the double standard between moms and stepmoms rears its ugly head.
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.
Look, I don't always post nitty gritty details about my own personal struggles, because I am very cognicent about how what I write affects the people in my family. The internet is forever, and I refuse to air my dirty laundry online. But make no mistake, it's not always rainbows & unicorns. From my experiences as a child of divorce all the way to a stepmom, like many of you, I have experienced abandonment, personal attacks, high-conflict situations, heartache and even accusations.
I see life as being a continuous stream of lessons. If we're open to it, everyday we have the opportunity to learn new things. To learn from our mistakes and to learn from others' mistakes as well. You know what they say, "When you know better, you do better"
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!
Like I said in a previous post, I'm not just a stepmom, and neither are you. The best part is, keeping that at the forefront of your mind by doing things FOR YOU and continuing to evolve ... in turn, fills your cup and makes YOU a better person
Over the past few weeks I've received a boatload of questions from you! So I thought I'd switch things up a bit and do a little Q+A! I'm covering everything from from what my husband REALLY thinks about my blog, to what I think about stepkids calling their stepmoms Mom, to how to deal with high conflict ex-wives to whether we are planning on having another baby!
You may be a but confused. You may be asking "didn't YOU create the program?" Yes, yes I did. But I didn't just wake up one day, read some books, take a course and pull this content out of my ass. I lived it.
That being said, many times (but not all of the time) when stepmoms are have an issue with their stepchildren... when your really dissect what's going on, the issue isn't necessarily with the children, it's with the "real" parents (and whether or not they are providing the necessary consequences for the behaviours OR whether or not they find an issue with the behaviour in the first place)
We had just dealt with a textbook two year old tantrum and finally managed to get our feisty little girl to sleep. All while chaperoning/trying to wrap our head around the co-ed New Years "hang-out" that my stepdaughter was having in the basement
But something simple my grandmother always used to say has become my life-mantra. “This too shall pass.” I think of it during the tough times (in step-parenting, especially) - but I also think of it in the beautiful times. We are promised nothing - and nothing stays the same forever: the good or the bad. So cherish the fleeting good moments - and barrel through the bad ones. They both shall pass.
Today, as apart of my monthly stepmom feature, I want to introduce you to one of the first virtual stepmom friends I made, Colleen LeMaire. Not only is Colleen an incredible stepmom, she is a former blogger for About.com's Stepmom Section, and the Author of the "I Have Series", kid friendly stories on grown up topics! Colleen refers to her stories as "fairytales with a twist!" (I LOVE THAT!)
I recently had a very dear friend message me, because she needed a sounding board due to a bump in the life of a step-mom. We haven’t had a chance yet to really talk, but I assured her this gig is hard and complicated. It ebbs and flows. It’s never going to be summarized in one Brady Bunch episode where everything is resolved in 30 minutes (despite what great parents Mike & Carol were).
Our brief exchange made me think about how tough this role really can be – and how I want to make sure that anyone who thinks my step-mom/co-parenting experience is nothing but a giant kumbaya moment is sorely mistaken. Though we are very fortunate to have an exceptionally good relationship as co-parents, it is not perfect.
The thing is, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me to write about the hard moments as a step-parent, I think it’s incredibly important. My Instagram feed may be a highlight reel, but my role as a parent and step-parent is full of mistakes and tears and happy moments and sad moments and anger and frustration and everything in between. And I owe it to myself – and other step-parents – to be real and honest and share the ugly moments as well as the beautiful ones.
Anywho, a few nights ago, we were sitting at my in-laws house, relaxing after a crazy day when we realized that our two-year-old did what two-year-olds do.... She pooped.
Rock paper scissors... Paper covers rock
Sweet! My husband was on diaper duty!
I sat back, all ready to pour a glass of vino and a lightbulb went off in my head!
I forgot the diapers at home. Yep! it was 8:50pm on Saturday night and I had a shitty baby sans diapers!
I wanted to snap. I was so disappointed in myself and honestly my husband wasn't that thrilled with me either. All we had were three swim diapers and if you're familiar with them, they don't hold jack(shit).
This is a one-of-a-kind, no bull-shit, solution focused, group program for Stepmoms who want to THRIVE (not just survive) this crazy beautiful blended family life!
I'm not a Psychologist or a Social Worker. I'm a Stepmom who once upon a time found herself crying on the bathroom floor with a glass of wine wondering what the heck I was thinking when I decided to marry a single dad with three kids!
I was in need of some major support. But I couldn't find it. So I decided to create it!