1. Understand that you’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t.

If you choose to leave the parenting up to your husband, you are criticized for not being involved and accused of having no idea what you’re doing. If you choose to be active and involved, you’re at risk of being considered evil and over-stepping your role. Do what works for you, your husband and the kids and let all criticism go in one ear and out the other. You’re not going to please everyone.

2. Be able to laugh at yourself

When the kids said to me, “I know how you and Dad met…. he babysat you”, I laughed it off, told them he did, and that he was my old man crush. It really took the edge off!

3. Approach awkward situations with humor

Inevitably, strangers and people you just met will confuse you as being the kids mother. 20 years ago, when someone mistook my dad’s girlfriend as being my mom, I screamed “she’s not my mom!” made a scene and exited the store. I want to avoid this scene at all costs. So the first time someone referred to me as “your mom”, I looked directly at the kids and made a funny face. As soon as we were in private I brought it up again and said “Did you hear what she said? What does she think, that I had you when I was 12?”. Done! We made it a joke. Awkwardness averted.

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