When I reflect back on the beginning of this Stepmom Journey, I see that there has been an evolution in our stepfamily stressors. The things that used to stress me out, no longer have the same affect.
Now I can anticipate and even laugh at some of the stressors that come about (while at the beginning there was no laughing at all).
The unpredictable has become predictable.
Stepfamily life has been cyclical. As with many things in life, it's all about the ebbs and flows.
But that doesn't mean it's all hearts & sparkles in our stepfamily world.
As the affect of other stressors has lessened, we've developed a new pile of stressors. Ones that involve our baby girl, Reese. Or as the kids refer to her, "Reesey Bear".
The affect that blended family life would have on Reese is not something I gave much thought. But as it turns out, even though her parents aren't divorced, having siblings with divorced parents, is well, down right sad for her.
Instead of trying to explain this, I am going to give you an example.
About a month ago, we decided to take off for the weekend on a Family Ski Getaway. All four kids had an absolute blast
(check out some of our pictures in the video montage I made for my husband below!)
We returned home on a Monday evening. In our world, Monday is "transition day". The kids are either coming for the week, or going to their Mom's for the week. On this particular Monday they were heading back to their Moms.
My husband and I sat in the living room while the kids got ready to go back. Reese was chasing them around the house, giggling like usual.
If you ask me, she just had the best weekend of her life (all 22 months of it). She was smiling, happy and had so much quality time with her siblings. With our crazy extra-curricular schedule, that doesn't happen often.
As she chased them around the house she was still on the weekend high! I could see it in her sparkling little eyes. My eyes on the other hand, were filling up with tears, knowing what was going to happen when they walked out that door.
We notice a huge difference in Reese's personality when "the kids" are around. She's happier. She laughs more. She is more playful.
Reese is a very well adjusted toddler. When we leave her, she rarely cries. She knows we are coming back.
The only time she cries is when her brothers and sister walk out the door. Because in her little mind, she has no idea when they are coming back. She doesn't understand the whole "week-on-week-off" thing.
I always thought that Reese would have the best of both worlds - an only child for one week and then a child with lots of siblings the next. Right now, it doesn't seem that way at all.
I have no solution. Nothing inspiring to say about this ... it's one of those situations where at the end of the day "it is what it is" and you just have to make the best of it. Which is a hard things to do when you have a little girl crying for her sister and brothers every time they leave.
(Cue comments that include..."time to have another baby!")
On a happier note, here's the video I made for my husband with a few of our pictures from our weekend getaway!
Being successful in this step-parenting role (like most things in life) is all about finding a way to deal with the stressors you have no control over... in the most positive way possible.
That's what The KICK-ASS STEPMOM Project, launching May 2, is all about!
Finding a way to manage stepfamily stressors & being a KICK-ASS STEPMOM while you're at it.
If you haven't already, click the picture below and secure your spot!