So it’s Monday!
For most it means the start of a new week. A fresh beginning if you will.
For many, it’s the time to get back on track after a weekend of fun.
And for the lovers of Prime Time Reality Television, it also means The Bachelor!
I’ve just caught up on last weeks episode of The Bachelor, and well… I need to vent!
Last week, all the contestants had the opportunity to bring Bachelor Ben home to their families. It’s the week they call “Home Towns”. In the Bachelor world, it’s a big deal.
While the entire episode was jam packed with drama, one home town date in particular, didn’t sit well with me. And well, I feel like it’s something I need to address.
Here’s what happened.
Amanda, an amazingly beautiful mother of two, brought Ben home to meet her daughters and her parents. Her protective father, doing what protective fathers should do in a situation like this, asked Ben, if he was “ready” to have these two young girls in his life. If he was “ready” to be a father figure, if you will!
When I heard the word “ready” I immediately turned to my husband (who may or may not have been watching with me) and said “Ready? I hate that. No one is freaking READY to be a step-parent”
With a confused look on his face, he said “you were ready…”
I responded, “Do you need to get your memory checked? There was nothing about my 27-year-old-self that was READY for three step-kids”
He looked at me, even more confused... Because I did in fact become a stepmom at the ripe age of 27.
“Babe there is a BIG difference between being ready and being committed. I loved you. I didn’t want to live a life without you, so therefore I was committed to figuring it out and making everything work… but was I actually READY for everything that came with this whole step-parenting thing… not even close.”
“Yeah you’re right…” He got it. He started to remember … "Ready" was definitely a stretch.
I wasn’t ready for the curve balls or for the fact that even the simplest things aren’t simple.
I wasn’t ready to feel like someone else had control over every aspect of my family life or for all the responsibilities that came with parenting three (now four) children.
I wasn't ready for the mounds of laundry, the crazy schedule or those days where the kids are at each other's throats.
It was a big deal and A LOT to be “ready” for.
Like I said in one of my earliest blog posts… moving to a different country where they speak a different language would probably have been easier.
In fact, if I really sit down and think about it, I’m still not ready for everything that this step-parenting gig has thrown at me. Some days I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing!
But nonetheless, I’m committed to to it.
It’s similar to how the majority of step-parents loathe when someone tells them
“you knew what you signed up for when you started dating him…”
... because unless you have the ability to predict the future, no one REALLY knows what they are signing up for!
For those of you who are still confused, I looked up the actual definition of the word.
in a suitable state for an activity, action, or situation; fully prepared.
synonyms:prepared, set, all set, organized, primed;
Something tells me that if I asked my fellow stepmoms if they were (or are) “fully prepared” for all the stressors, responsibilities and curve balls that come with their step-parenting role, I would get a lot of "hell no"s
(Come to think of it, do you think any of us as “real” parents are fully prepared for everything that comes along with parenting a child? I know I'm not)
But we're committed. Committed to figuring sh*t out!
That is the difference…
That is the key word. Being ready has nothing to do with it. You just have to be committed to making it work and doing the best you possibly can!
Now before I get angry emails with backlash, I want to be clear about something. I am not throwing out any hate for Amanda's Dad. He’s a great father and was protecting his daughter. And well, his question was warranted because Amanda was the one who was sent home sans rose at the end of the episode. So, I guess it’s safe to say that Ben wasn’t ready or committed to this scenario!
I also want to be clear that I don't think anyone who asks if someone is "ready" has ill intentions (well most of the time...)
The point of this whole reality show inspired rant is that no one knows what they are signing up for until they are signed up…
Ready or not, at the end of the day we’re all just doing the best we can with what we have… and learning a sh*t load about ourselves in the process.
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Your comment was a wonderful reminder of why I have chosen to be so open about life as a stepmom in the first place.
I wish I could go back and walk down that isle as the woman I am today. The woman who knows that being his second doesn't mean that our firsts are any less important.
I want to let women know that they aren't alone in their struggles and their insecurities - so that they're not ashamed for feeling the way they feel. This is real, this is common, we need to stop feeling ashamed.