The Problem with Amicable Divorces

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The Problem with Amicable Divorces

Amicable divorces are what everyone should strive for, BUT they can turn problematic when legal advice and counsel isn’t sought. Here are tips to have an amicable divorce, a great co-parenting future while keeping yourself protected.

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The Day I Realized I Am Jealous Of My Husband's Ex-Wife

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The Day I Realized I Am Jealous Of My Husband's Ex-Wife

This post was written May 2015.

This post was written May 2015.

Last year on Mother’s Day I sat across from my husband at our kitchen table. I mean the kitchen table he and his ex-wife bought for our house, I mean their house .... and cried.

At that moment, I had no idea the exact reason why I started crying, but I think it was a combination of three things.

1. I was four days away from going into labour with my first child and was a complete hormonal mess.

2. I could barely sit at the kitchen table because of my excessive belly and swollen feet, and the possibility that my pants were going to split at any moment.

3. I had spent the morning scrolling through a Facebook news feed full of  pictures of REAL Moms and their kids celebrating Mother’s Day together. I was jealous. I missed the kids.

Now I am sure there are some moms outraged at me saying this.  After all, it was Mother’s Day and obviously the kids would be with their mother, and not us.

I don’t disagree one bit. I have never attempted to make this day about me, and I never will. She is their mom, I am their stepmom, end of story.

But that doesn’t mean I had control over those feelings!

That morning, I had no control over the fact that I was taken over by the “green-eyed monster.” No control at all!

The bottom line is, there are many days when I am jealous of the fact that those kids are hers, and not mine.

Yes I just said it. Some days, in the midst of all the extra stressors and complications that come with the blended family life, I wish we were a “normal” nuclear family; four kids, a mom and a dad.

It’s not all the time. But yes, for brief moments, I dream about not being a part of a blended family arrangement.

I dream that the kids would never have to leave, that we would have every holiday together and that I was a part of their lives from day one. (However, I also dream of winning the lottery and becoming best friends with Kourtney Kardashian, and we all know the chances of that are slim to none… ).

Actually, since that very day, almost one year ago, I have realized and come to terms with the fact that I am jealous of my husband’s ex-wife.

I am jealous. Period. Plain and simple.

Those three kids, the ones that have embraced me, tried me, bugged me, loved me, made me laugh, made me cry… those three kids are hers and not mine!

She is one lucky mom. But guess what, I’m one lucky stepmom too!

Mother’s Day can be a very hard day for stepmoms, especially those who play an integral role in their stepkids’ lives! I’ve read several blog posts and articles about how fellow stepmoms feel on Mother’s Day and words like “unappreciated” always seem to come up!

To any stepmom who feelsl that way, I am so sorry that is your experience. I understand, because last year, even though my mind told me I had no right over the day and I was completely overreacting, I still was overcome by the flood of emotions I had no control over!

Here’s my advice. Give yourself permission to feel this way, but then snap right out of it!

Change your perspective or you’re going to spend a kid-free day with your husband feeling under-appreciated, lost or wondering where your place is in all of this! And you know as well as I do, those kid-free days can be few and far between!

It’s just one day out of 365. Don’t over think it.

And remind yourself you didn’t jump into this stepmom gig because you wanted a parade for everything that you do. None of us did. Because if that were true, most of us would have packed our bags a long time ago.  

Be happy that your stepchildren get to spend a beautiful day with their mother, and be thankful for the quality time you get to spend with your man!

 

THE EXCLUSIVE STEPMOM COMMUNITY! Have you secured your spot?

 

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3 Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting A Family Dog

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3 Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting A Family Dog

This post was created in partnerships wtih Today’s Parent and     ParasitePolice.ca

This post was created in partnerships wtih Today’s Parent and ParasitePolice.ca

This past summer, after two years of the kids begging for a dog, I caved and said yes. 

Now, I’d love to sit here and say that I finally said yes because I knew that our family was ready for the extra responsibility that comes with a puppy. I would love to say it was the “right time” for us. But that’s not the truth. Not at all.

But hey, whether it be having kids or getting a puppy, are you ever really ready for all that it comes with? 

Here is the real story behind the new furry addition to the family, Charlie. 

We are a blended family. My husband has three children (my stepchildren) from his first marriage, and together we have a daughter. My stepchildren are with us 50 percent of the time, every other week. While this schedule is great for co-parenting, it leaves our daughter without her beloved siblings half of the time. 

Four years ago, shortly after we had our daughter, we decided to try for another baby. We wanted to complete our family and give her a “full-time” brother or sister. But, unfortunately, we haven’t been successful in getting pregnant for the second time. 

You’re probably asking, what the heck does this have to do with getting a dog?

Here’s how: I always said that if we didn’t get pregnant by a certain date, then we would get the kids a dog. So, after our third failed fertility procedure in September, I said yes to a Golden Retriever puppy.


My husband questioned whether it was an emotional decision, and truthfully, he was right. 

Charlie was most definitely an emotional decision. But hey, we’re humans and most of our decisions are emotional!

Regardless, seven months later, I can confidently say she is one of the best emotional decisions that I have ever made. Charlie is the perfect addition to our family and a loyal companion to our daughter on those “weeks off.” 

That being said, the dog is a lot of work. WAY more than I thought.

Personally, I quickly learned that a dog is very similar to a baby—you think you know what to expect, but you don’t realize all that comes with it until you’re in the thick of it! 

So today, I thought I’d share the three things that I think you need to know before getting a dog.

1.     THE KIDS PROBABLY WON’T HELP OUT AS MUCH AS THEY SAY THEY WILL…

The kids begged for a puppy. They promised they were going to do everything. They swore I wouldn’t need to lift a finger, that they would take care of it all.

Well, guess who is up with the dog in the middle of the night? Or who was at those early morning puppy school sessions? Guess who is with the dog day in and day out? This step-mama!

Yes, the brunt of the responsibility falls on me. 

Don’t get me wrong—they help when they are home, but the kids are very busy these days. They are at school during the day and at extracurricular activities and after-school jobs in the evening. Plus, they are with their Mom for a week at a time.

That’s a lot of time away from the pup!

So just be ready to take on extra responsibilities or at least have a concrete plan for how you’re going to divide responsibilities with the dog.  

2. IT’S A MAJOR TIME COMMITMENT

It’s important to realize that it is going to take time and effort to train your dog, not to mention, get them adjusted to their new home. Those first few nights are long, especially if you’re crate training (which we did and highly recommend!).

I am so thankful that my job allows me to be home during the day, which in turn gave me the flexibility I needed in my schedule to do some training.

I would suggest only saying yes to getting a puppy once you know you’ll have the space in your calendar to do the necessary training.
 
The time and effort you put into training a pup is worth it. A well-trained puppy is a joy. A not-so-trained puppy that has accidents in the house and chews your shoes is an extra stress that I don’t have time for! 

Put in the work. You won’t regret it.  

3. BEING A DOG OWNER COSTS MORE THAN YOU THINK…

From the cost of food, to trips to the vet to ensure that your pup is healthy and protected from parasites like ticks, intestinal worms and heartworm, be prepared to invest into this new member of your family.

I highly recommend asking friends and family for recommendations on a vet you know you’ll love and trust. You want to make sure you set the foundation for a healthy and active life for the new member of your family.


Don’t let the costs take you by surprise. Do your research beforehand so that you can save up or at least be mentally prepared!


The other day, my sister asked me if I regret getting the dog. My answer? Not even close!

Even though it was an emotional decision and my yoga pants are now covered in dog hair, this dog has stolen our hearts.  

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With our crazy-busy schedule, there were about 100 reasons why we shouldn’t get a dog. But like I said, it was the best “yes” I have ever given to the kids.  

There is something about the love they have for “Char Char” that has brought a whole new joy to our blended family crew and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Plus now Reese has a little buddy to keep her company when the kids are with their Mom!

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