Have you ever looked around at your life, and asked yourself "How the heck did I get here?".
I sure have!
Five years ago, my responsibilities in life included feeding my dog, paying a few bills, and making it to work on time. I was almost able to accomplish them all on a daily basis. Almost.
I spent my days working as a Child Protection Worker, and my nights reading & hitting up the local yoga studio.
My social life wasn’t what you would expect of a young single girl in her late 20′s. I was a homebody and my favorite thing was absolute silence. Then, and I’m not sure how exactly it happened, all of a sudden I was head over heels in love with a single dad, thirteen years older than me, who had joint custody of his three children.
Life changed. Very Quickly.
Somehow I had an instant family, and was starting to be referred to as "The Poptart."
The really important things in life don’t come with a handbook. That includes my transition to being a Stepmom.
When I really sit down and think about all the new responsibilities and stressors I took on, I sometimes think a move to another country, on another continent, where the people speak a different language, would have been less challenging. But then again, anything worthwhile in life doesn't come without a little elbow grease!
THE POPTART DIARIES
I'll never forget how overwhelmed I was with my my role as a stepmom after all the hype around the wedding and engagement was over. I had uprooted my life, left my job and the city I loved to live in a small Hamlet in Southwestern Ontario with my husband and his three children. My life had done a complete 180 in such a short period of time.
It's hard to describe how I felt – I was part of this family, but still felt very much like an outsider. I was really struggling to find my place in it all.
Knowing that my family and friends couldn't relate, I turned to the internet for some encouragement. I googled stepmom, blended family, second wife, evil stepmom, stepchildren, stepmom help.
I was looking for help and support, but I was left feeling discouraged and overwhelmed by all of the negativity.
When I first started dating my husband, a fellow Stepmom told me “don’t do it!”.
I laughed it off, but when I look back, I know exactly what she was saying.
She wasn’t actually telling me not to do it, because I know she loves her role as well. She was saying:
“If you are completely dedicated to this, willing to feel like an outsider, and deal with the ongoing drama that can and does exist in a blended family, then go for it. But if you’re not…girl, you better run for the hills!”.
But, I wasn't going anywhere. I love these kids, and I love my husband and I absolutely love the life we have all built together. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t days when I thought about packing my bags, getting in my car and driving far, far away….(kidding… well kind of).
So, that night after googling like crazy, and finding zero support, I made the decision to sit down and figure out how the heck I was going to manage the chaos in my new life…in the most positive way possible!
I was going to do the work. I was going to make it work!
That was the beginning of my blog The Poptart Diaries.
What was meant to be an avenue for me to share my experiences and get some things off my chest turned into something I never expected. I anticipated my blog would grace the screens of a few close family and friends, and maybe some fellow stepmoms, if I was lucky.
But over the past few years I've received countless emails from Stepmoms from all over the world craving the same support I was looking for when I first embarked on this Stepmom adventure. As it turns out, I wasn't the only Stepmom searching for candid, yet positive Stepparenting Support.
As I said above, someone once told me, "the really important things in life don't come with a handbook."
That couldn't be more true when it comes to being a Stepmom.
That night, over 5 years ago, I searched and searched the internet for some "Stepparenting Handbook" that resonated with me, but I couldn't find one.
So I decided to write my own.
MEET MY PEOPLE
Jamie is a proud wife, mother and stepmom who has always been passionate about supporting others in living the best life possible. With a BA (Hons) in Psychology and a diploma in Social Services, prior to taking time off to welcome her daughter into the world, Jamie enjoyed her career in Child Protection.
Upon becoming a stepmom, she was disappointed at the lack of positive, solution-focused support for stepmoms. This motivated Jamie to start her own method of supporting stepmoms, her blog, formerly known as The Poptart Dairies. On her blog, Jamie talks candidly about her life as a stepmom. The Poptart Diaries has reached stepmoms internationally and has been featured on popular blogging websites including The Huffington Post Divorce, About.com, Mum.info and the Motherish.
In May 2014, Jamie launched her Stepfamily Support & Coaching Business. As a Certified Life Coach specialization in Stepfamily Dynamics, Jamie provides fellow stepmoms with support via one-on-one coaching and her E-Course The KICK-ASS Stepmom Project.