Thursday, August 29, 2013

Inflections that don't belong...

Yes, you read the title right.  My great feeling of freedom to just be me and release titles was smashed to the ground yesterday.  There had been progress being made with my 16 year old stepson, but it felt like we took 2 giant steps backwards yesterday.  


We were texting back and forth and he sent me a text about being late to school because we both thought it was late start day.  It wasn’t.  I asked if I needed to call the school to excuse it, because Dad is off on a trip this week.  He sent back No, I will handle it.  The inflection I read into that was: quit trying to be a mom to me, I can do all this without your help.  You haven’t been here the last 2 years we were alone and I sure got along fine without you.  So I replied Ok then.  I honestly felt like I had a pile a bricks dropped on me.  


Saturday, after dad and stepson left for trip, I took the rest of the gang 2 towns over for bowling and Chinese buffet.  We had an awesome time together, even the 16 year old went and seemed to be having a good time.  I helped him get new guitar strings and picks, my bio kids all play and I have been so use to finding picks in the dryer.  Now the older are off at college, I haven’t had that happen.  When I find one now from Tanner’s pants, I just smile.  It brings back fond memories that I didn’t think were so fond back then.  


So yesterday when I read his text, I was right back to confused about our relationship.  I told him; Look I’m not trying to be anything other than dads wife right now.  I’m trying to meet you where we are and build from there. He said ok, thanks.  So later he texts wanting more money, lol yes he’s really more than my husband’s son but that’s ok.  I’m meeting him where he is.  I love him far beyond what I could ever express and him understand right now.    When his grandma and I met him for the pick-up, he was fine and said he would leave it up to me if I wanted to call the school.  I was once again confused.  This morning, he needed me to pop his back.  After doing so, I got to thinking.  Yes, I know, that can be very dangerous.  The inflections we attach to text messages can often not be the right inflections or tone of what is truly being said.  I was so ready to just assume that he was instantly going to smash me because I was trying to take care of something for him.  I’m beginning to realize, he wasn’t.  I’m so use to that being the case, but we both are honestly seeing each other in a different light.  It’s easy to jump to conclusions from past behavior, but we have to stop it.  Change won’t come, if you can’t look forward.  


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Baby steps will set you free

Progress is sometimes baby step blessings, which end up being one of the biggest blessings in your life.  Are you ready to appreciate the baby steps, or just stuck on seeing the big picture?  I challenge you today, just be.  Don’t need a title, don’t need validation from anyone other than yourself.  When you go stand before God, he isn’t going to go “well, lets see, maybe I should talk to your stepkid(s) to see if they think you deserve to go to heaven.”  He’s going to see how you validated yourself to yourself and judge you by that.  


Last night, it was meet the teacher night.  Suddenly since I entered the picture as the custodial stepmom, the kids mom has decided to take a more active approach in the kids life.  I applaud this; they need her just as much as they need me to be present in all aspects of their life.   I welcome the help in co-parenting.  I don’t want her to feel I’ve excluded her from any aspect of their life.  It’s weird for her when I contact her for mom things, and that’s okay.  We have to figure this co-parenting thing out for the kids.  It’s not always comfortable, but we always manage to make it through.  Last night my 3rd in command stepson’s speech teacher asked if I was Brayden’s mom.  I smiled very huge, and said No, I’m the stepmom.  I owned being the stepmom with huge pride.  It was very freeing for me when Hunter’s reply was I was his the other night, it allowed me to not care what a title implied about me.  The speech teacher repeated stepmom with THE weirdness in her voice.  It didn’t even phase me.  I smiled and said, yes!


I realize that most sites will tell you, that the stepmom should never be the one to communicate with the biomom.  Why?  We are an active part of our children lives, especially when you are the custodial stepmom.  We need to learn to be adults with eachother, we have 18 years together to figure this out.  We can’t avoid each other, otherwise all the family occasions are going to be bitter.  I know that I will only be going as my husband’s wife, and nothing more.  Being my husband’s wife is an honor  I cherish.  Just knowing I’m his, will carry me through all the weird times.  Even if she has the golden uterus syndrome you read about, you have to pull up your big girl panties and be an adult.


Quit playing into the role that other people make for you.  Define it for yourself.  Sure, we all get caught up in the struggle.  Choose to make an active decision to make it something better, even when it’s small baby steps.   We are not any title that needs to be defined by anyone other than ourselves.  Empower yourself to think freely and feel freely, and not be pressured by outside sources or yourself to be more.  


http://www.thestepmomstoolbox is now offering guiding sessions, and Peggy is a true blessing.  I suggest you go sign up with her.  She will open your eyes to a different view, and that my folks is what its about.  Changing your own mind to do better, be better and live better.  Go check her out, you won’t regret you did.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Who needs a title?!

My husband and 12 year old step son have hit the road to go bear hunting in Canada again.  If you will recall, I said they could never leave me out on a bear trip again, but they did.  In their defense, I couldn’t miss work.  It’s harvest time, and for us in QC, that means no breaks until it’s over.  They were texting from the road until they no longer could.  Kendall told me that Hunter said there were lots of hot girls there.  I asked if Hunter was trying to trade me in for a hotter model.  About 10 minutes later I receive, “no he could never replace you, you are his.” Que in the tears, I’m his.  


That simple statement had me pondering, why on earth did I ever care what they called me.  No title could be greater than those words, I’m his.  It doesn’t matter what I am to him as far as title.  I’m his.  We often tie too much of our identity to a title.  A title doesn’t mean jack flip.  I can say this after coming home the night before they left and my s-son wouldn’t leave my lap.  That has become the biggest term of endearment with him to me.  I know probably in just a few months, he will suddenly think he is too big for that.  I secretly hope he never does.  


He has his mother, whom I never can nor want to, replace.  As step moms though we often wonder how they see us, how they feel about us, what they secretly call us when no adult is around.  I don’t even care anymore, he sees me as his, and folks that’s all I need.  Honestly.  It’s that simple.  


I’m his go to lap after a game, I’m his go to lap watching a movie, I’m his go to lap when he is going to miss me on a weeklong bear hunt.  I’m his. Sowho honestly needs a title?  They are highly overrated.

 

 


Friday, August 23, 2013

What If??

What if for one day, we looked at our husbands and told them something we think they are doing wonderfully.  Do everything we do in a day just with their peace of mind in thought.  Get out of bed, and make it.  Set the tone for the evening, by making it as pretty as you would want to feel for him.  Do the 5 sinks full of dirty dishes, just from breakfast for him.  Pick one room in the house and make it as spotless as you possibly can.  Push the kids/step-kids out of mind, and do everything with love and from the heart for the one man you promised to love til death do you part.


Thinking about the resentment homework from http://www.thestepmomstoolbox.com  got me to thinking about what things make me feel resentful.  Not feeling appreciated by the kids was one of them.  I’ve been going at this all wrong.  Somehow I was making it all about the kids; the dishes, the housework, the laundry, the cooking, all the things I do in a day.  I was feeling resentful because they don’t appreciate it.  Guess who does appreciate it?  My husband does.  Guess who else does too?  Me!!

When I look at it from the point of doing it to ease stress from my husband’s shoulders and give him peace of mind when he walks through the front door, suddenly the not being appreciated by the kids doesn’t even matter.   I’m coming to the situation out of love.  Love is the key, and it conquers all.  


What if the next day, you did it only for yourself?  For all the same reasons you did it for your husband.  Giving love to yourself instead of beating yourself up or concentrating on something you really can’t control.  You can’t control the way the kids are going to feel about you.  What you can control is going into any situation from an angle of love.  You are giving yourself your own power back.  


Feeling very empowered today!!  Grab yours, it’s there, you just have to change your own mind.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Reflections of the stepmom about the words she speaks to herself and others

When I first started talking to my now husband, and knew it was getting serious I asked him the question of what kind of stepmom he wanted for his children.  Knowing myself and how I respond to life, I knew if he didn’t want a stepmom who was going to be present and in everyone’s business than I was not the girl for him.  I’m not the type of person who can sit back and not have something to say or do.  It often gets me in trouble, but it’s me.  


Little did I know that on this journey even early on, I am realizing there are some things I have to just sit back and keep my mouth shut.  I say that after seeing the pain in my husband’s eyes after his ex has done something that hurts the emotional well- being of my step children, and I forget he is dealing with it to and lash out at him because of her.  While I have every right to thoughtfully say how I feel and see how it’s best handled, I have no right to lash out at him because he married and divorced her and now I have to deal with her. Just a fact, jack!


Being a stepmom is a lot of reflection.  I make mistakes, and I have to own those mistakes.  It shows my stepchildren and my husband that I am human.  I talk a lot about unconditional love and loving them as God loves me, and my whole family is a lesson in that.  Each day I am given a new opportunity to learn, love and grow in the awesomeness that God has created for me.   No folks, you are never done until you die.  


The lessons are hard ones to swallow sometimes.  When I look at them from the angle of where I’m supposed to and not the harshness of it, I’m blessed beyond measure that God trusts me to learn these lessons with my forever husband and 8 children.  

People life is what you chose to make of it.  Is it really the situation or the way you are looking at it?    


Monday, August 19, 2013

Second Best or just another bump in the road?

http://thestepmomstoolbox.com/

My new favorite blog is thestepmomstoolbox.com she is point  on and shares from being a stepmom herself.  She posted a blog the other day about being different than the biological mom. “She is a peach tree – you are a pear tree” My first response to reading that was why does she get to be the pretty juicy peach and I’m just the pear tree.  Yes, petty I know.  It goes along with self-pity and feeling second best.  Myself, I like pears better.  They have the better figure and taste better.  I just had to get over my self-induced pity. 

Both trees provide vitamins and soul nutrition for growth of a healthy body.  While they both provide different things, they are both a huge asset.  When working together they can do amazing things.  Wait, you mean it’s my own attitude I had to adjust? Oh yeah, that’s right, the only one I can control is myself. Just because I’m a pear tree doesn’t mean I’m second best.  It means I provide nutrition to my subjects differently.  Where one might fail the other thrives, and vice versa. 

The stepmom road can be bumpy, but we can control ourselves and the amount of bumps we bring to the situation. 

 


Monday, August 12, 2013

It just got real...

A boy I use to babysit, made a big commitment and moved in with a girl he's been seeing for 10 months. He posted about it today on Facebook. He said there are adjustment periods of really seeing each other for what they are.

Got me to thinking about my own marriage, Kendall and I use to live 500 miles apart. Our cell phones were how we bonded, we talked about day to day life, but not always the down and dirty. We talked about things that kept us tied to each other from 7 am to 11 pm. I'd send him pictures of when I looked really good, or particularly sexy.

Now that we are married for 5 months, I look back and it has been a huge adjustment. We are living together what we use to talk about, but now stuff has gotten real. 

We have to figure out bills, kids, and work, we don't get to just play and tease. It's all real.  Somehow even through the struggles of real life, when I'm particularly low I can sit here and think about why we fell in love, our first date, which was extravagant, how we spent 3 days together holding hands, truly enjoying each other.  The way his eyes light up and he smiles when talking about the kids, the way he blushes when I flirt with him..the real stuff doesn't seem so overwhelming.

Life is a game of money, it's all about how well you play the game and the people you have on your team. My husband is the best man for the job, he's my rock and the one person I know I can count on to be there at the end of the day.  I don't want to play this game without him.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Custodial Step Mom Rambles...


I read a blog yesterday about being a step mom.  She said it was purely her thoughts, but in her situation talking about being a step mom while in the midst of it, is like going through divorce giving advice to someone else.  While I do think there are some things you shouldn’t discuss, I also think that as step moms we struggle.  It’s not a struggle that every mother can relate to, especially when you are the custodial step mom.  There are often times I wish there was someone who understood; that I could talk to and seek advice.  I come from a long line of long married folk. My 3rd time the charm, came with 4 step children.  


I love them as my own, from the moment my husband I started talking about them I knew in my heart there was no way I couldn’t.  Now that I’ve lived with them for 6 months and the honeymoon phase (yes, there is a honeymoon phase with the children) is over, I learned 70% of all blended families fail.  People that rate is higher than normal marriage.  We only have a 30% chance to make it.  Well guess what?  I’m in it for the long haul, and in that I have to talk.  


You will not find me doling out advice; I don’t have any.  What you will find is my open and honest feelings about what I (me personally, no one else) is going through.  By doing this, I hope that just one person will not feel as alone as I do sometimes.   Your husband doesn’t know what you are going through, your mother-n-law doesn’t know what you are going through, and only you do. You may be the only one that understands it the way you see it, but I guarantee you are not alone in this.


As custodial step-parents, we often spend a considerable amount more time with our step-children than both their biological parents.  We often cook, clean and do more laundry than both their biological parents.  Yet, we are the first ones looked down on as only being a step parent.  While a majority of step-parents are non-custodial and get to take on more of a “fun” parent approach, custodial step-moms take on a lot of responsibility, with more times than not any appreciation.  Sure, maybe someday the appreciation will come, but it might not.  The one thing you have to realize though is your step-children deserve a constant in their lives, whether they realize how important it is at the time or not.  


I am more than just a cook, maid, laundry mat, health insurance provider, and money provider.  I am not just a step, I’m an asset.  With all those duties, I get certain perks of the job, I get to expect my house runs in a certain order, I get to expect you to learn how to do chores and help out, I get to set limits on when you can come in and out of the house, not just your biological parent.  I also get to earn your love.


Guess what as a step child you are missing out on realizing by only concentrating on negativity?  As just your step-parent, when you are already 16, I don’t have to take any responsibility for the way you were raised. There is no pressure on me for the way you behave.  They screwed you up, I just get to love you the way you are.  I get to gang up on your biological parent and be a voice to say what you want to say, but don’t have the ability to know how to say correctly. I get the chance to be the fun one, who will listen and stand up for you in a way you can’t.  I’m not trying to take the place of another parent; I’m just trying to love you.  I will be a constant love for you.  I will get on to you out of love, and I will love you fiercely. I will be an asset not just a stepping stone.  


We are going to go through a lot of learning curves, because we are both new to this whole thing.  You may never come to love or like me…but God taught me to love you as he loves me….and I will.  Always.


Marriage....

This was shared on Facebook, and it has some valuable advice. I wanted to be able to read it again later, and not lose it. So I'm sharing it here. 

Obviously, I’m not a relationship expert. But there’s something about my divorce being finalized this week that gives me perspective of things I wish I would have done different… After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 37 years, here’s the advice I wish I would have had

1) Never stop courting. Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love. 

2) PROTECT YOUR OWN HEART. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.

3) FALL IN LOVE OVER and OVER and OVER again. You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.

4) ALWAYS SEE THE BEST in her. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to be have this woman as your wife.

5) IT’S NOT YOUR JOB TO CHANGE OR FIX HER… your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not. 

6) TAKE FULL ACCOUNTABILITY for your own emotions: It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she CAN’T make you sad. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.

7) NEVER BLAME your wife If YOU get frustrated or angry at her, it is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU. They are YOUR emotions, and your responsibility. When you feel those feelings take time to get present and to look within and understand what it is inside of YOU that is asking to be healed. You were attracted to this woman because she was the person best suited to trigger all of your childhood wounds in the most painful way so that you could heal them… when you heal yourself, you will no longer be triggered by her, and you will wonder why you ever were.

Allow your woman to JUST BE. When she’s sad or upset, it’s not your job to fix it, it’s your job to HOLD HER and let her know it’s ok. Let her know that you hear her, and that she’s important and that you are that pillar on which she can always lean. The feminine spirit is about change and emotion and like a storm her emotions will roll in and out, and as you remain strong and unjudging she will trust you and open her soul to you… DON’T RUN-AWAY WHEN SHE’S UPSET. Stand present and strong and let her know you aren’t going anywhere. Listen to what she is really saying behind the words and emotion.

9) BE SILLY… don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Laugh. And make her laugh. Laughter makes everything else easier.

10) FILL HER SOUL EVERYDAY… learn her love languages and the specific ways that she feels important and validated and CHERISHED. Ask her to create a list of 10 THINGS that make her feel loved and memorize those things and make it a priority everyday to make her feel like a queen.

11) BE PRESENT. Give her not only your time, but your focus, your attention and your soul. Do whatever it takes to clear your head so that when you are with her you are fully WITH HER. Treat her as you would your most valuable client. She is.

12) BE WILLING TO TAKE HER SEXUALLY, to carry her away in the power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with your strength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul. Let her melt into her feminine softness as she knows she can trust you fully.

13) DON’T BE AN IDIOT…. And don’t be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. You’re not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid. 

14) GIVE HER SPACE… The woman is so good at giving and giving, and sometimes she will need to be reminded to take time to nurture herself. Sometimes she will need to fly from your branches to go and find what feeds her soul, and if you give her that space she will come back with new songs to sing…. (okay, getting a little too poetic here, but you get the point. Tell her to take time for herself, ESPECIALLY after you have kids. She needs that space to renew and get re-centered, and to find herself after she gets lost in serving you, the kids and the world.)

15) BE VULNERABLE… you don’t have to have it all together. Be willing to share your fears and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes. 

16) BE FULLY TRANSPARENT. If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING… Especially those things you don’t want to share. It takes courage to fully love, to fully open your heart and let her in when you don't know i she will like what she finds... Part of that courage is allowing her to love you completely, your darkness as well as your light. DROP THE MASK… If you feel like you need to wear a mask around her, and show up perfect all the time, you will never experience the full dimension of what love can be.

17) NEVER STOP GROWING TOGETHER… The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working on your relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.

18) DON’T WORRY ABOUT MONEY. Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strength to win. 

19) FORGIVE IMMEDIATELY and focus on the future rather than carrying weight from the past. Don’t let your history hold you hostage. Holding onto past mistakes that either you or she makes, is like a heavy anchor to your marriage and will hold you back. FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM. Cut the anchor loose and always choose love.

20) ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. In the end, this is the only advice you need. If this is the guiding principle through which all your choices is governed, there is nothing that will threaten the happiness of your marriage. Love will always endure.

In the end MARRIAGE isn’t about Happily ever after. It’s about work. And a commitment to grow together and a willingness to continually invest in creating something that can endure eternity. Through that work, the happiness will come.

Marriage is life, and it will bring ups and downs. Embracing all of the cycles and learning to learn from and love each experience will bring the strength and perspective to keep building, one brick at a time.

These are lessons I learned the hard way. These are lessons I learned too late. 

But these are lessons I am learning and committed in carrying forward. Truth is, I LOVED being married, and in time, I will get married again, and when I do, I will build it with a foundation that will endure any storm and any amount of time.

If you are reading this and find wisdom in my pain, share it those those young husbands whose hearts are still full of hope, and with those couples you may know who may have forgotten how to love. One of those men may be like I was, and in these hard earned lessons perhaps something will awaken in him and he will learn to be the man his lady has been waiting for. 

The woman that told him 'I do', and trusted her life with him, has been waiting for this man to step up.

If you are reading this and your marriage isn’t what you want it to be, take 100% responsibility for YOUR PART in marriage, regardless of where your spouse is at, and commit to applying these lessons while there is time.

MEN- THIS IS YOUR CHARGE : Commit to being an EPIC LOVER. There is no greater challenge, and no greater prize. Your woman deserves that from 
Be the type of husband your wife can’t help but brag about.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Drizzle

The farm hole once again allowed no rain over our crops.  We had good drizzle the other day, but that only touches the surface.  Drizzle doesn't go deep into the roots like a good down pour.  I'm beginning to think weather radar is like bad porn, it teases you and gets you excited but always lets you down in the end.

One thing drizzle reminds me about is God's blessings. Often they are drizzling down on us and we fail to see the drizzle add up to something because we are looking or asking for something more.  

Drizzle might not get to the roots right away, but it's often enough to keep you going if even by a thread. None the less the drizzle is a big blessing because you are holding on. When God sees you grateful for your drizzle it allows the larger blessings to happen on his timing when it's exactly the right time.

Just drizzle? Maybe it is, but be thankful..drizzle is a blessing too.

Right Fighting

I read Dr. Phil the other day after reading a blog my sister wrote about everyone's ability to see things differently.  He wrote that to be a phenomenal family, you had to quit being a right fighter.  With my big girl panties pulled up high, I will admit, I do this too much. People get away with so much against each other, but everyone else is not my problem.  Only my actions are my problem.  Even my kids actions are their problem, to an extent.  I've always told them their actions resulted in consequences, they could be good or they could be bad. 

Your right might be my wrong, my right might be your wrong. Neither one of us necessarily wrong, just seeing things in a different light. There is a middle ground, where our children are growing up. They deserve to look at both sides fairly so they can come up in their right. 

I have to remember to step back, fighting that I'm right and someone else is wrong only hurts and confuses the middle ground. At times we just have to agree to be the bigger person, especially as long as no one is getting physically hurt. 

Not fighting, doesn't make it right or wrong. Sometimes it just means you're trying to provide peace for the middle ground. Peace is very much needed, every where.