Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Stepmom's Jealousy

There seems to be a lot of confusion for some spouses about why their new wife has jealousies.  They have a false sense it’s about the other woman’s looks or body.  It’s simply not the case, in mine anyways.  Here are a few things that I find myself jealous overAs bioparents, who never divorce, you have lots of little moments that your child makes you proud.  You get to look at each other and say “We did that”, “We made that together”.   You have the planning of and birthing of children together.  There is a joy, you experience as the third generation of you is born, a grandchild.  As a stepmom, who marries later in life, none of that will you ever share with your spouse.   Watching the creatures that your spouse and someone else created you wonder, what would it have been like to share those moments?

As stepparents our children are born to us under different circumstances, through our heart.  We share no genetic details, or quirkiness.  A lot of times we feel like we are on the outside looking in.   There is an abundance of people who tell you that you have no rights to that child, they aren’t really yours.  I’m here to tell you though, that your thinking is flawed.  My thinking is flawed.  My stepchildren show me this, sometimes daily.  

Hunter is quick to coach me, in being a stepmom.  He will say something to get a response from me, and then he will ask, what are you going to do if I don’t? So I will give him a consequence.  After that, he will tell me, see? That’s how it is done.  It’s no different from the child you gave birth to.  Tanner, will be gone most of the week, the one thing he probably looks forward to most about being home is what I’m cooking for supper.  Just like my other kids.  

Genetics are not what make kids yours.  You will come to findout, your quirkiness rubs off on your stepkids just like your biokids.  You don’t think so?  Wait.  There will be a time; your son will spout off a phrase that comes out of your mouth often.  Your husband will turn and look at you and say “See what you’ve got him saying now”?  Just like if you had given birth to that creature.  You rub off on each other.  

When you are feeling left out or jealous, really stop yourself and reflect over what you are telling yourself in your head.  Is it really real or is it just your Ego, needing stroked.  Ego get the behind me, you are a pain there anyways!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A good step mom

A good stepmom will always put her kids above herself. Not out of being a martyr but because she cares more about their emotional well being, than she cares about being right about something.

To honor my sons wishes, from now on I will try very hard not to bring up any ex issues I may be having. He was the one most hurt by actions beyond our control. I can control the hurt from my side and will excercise that right to protect him above all else.  

Oh, he let me know I could tell every one I'm a good stepmom. It's now on record and he can never ever take it back.

I love you Tanner, more than you will ever know!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mending Fences

A phrase that often flies from my son’s mouth is “Normal moms or Normal families do so and so”.  So many times I have wanted to scream at him, our family is far from normal.  We are a blended family.  With statistics staggering even higher that blended families are becoming America’s normal; why aren’t we acting like normal families then?  He’s right.  We bring too much drama to the table to live life normally.

As Biomoms, we think we are slighted because of our ownstinkin’ thinkin’.  We think someone is trying to replace us, or better yet out do us.  There is a sense of entitlement like we OWN our children.  There is not much anyone, including the other parent, can do right in our eyes.  I really urge you to go read my blog about Biomom reflections from both sides of the fence.  

As stepmoms we have no clue where we fit in as far as role.  Throw in being the custodial stepmom and BAM, it’s a double whammy.  Stepmoms are discriminated against, on a large level.  You won’t see any civil rights protest for us, because most Biomoms will not stand for it.  There are a few select Biomoms though who understand what it is like to be on both sides of the fence, actively. They will try hard to be a referee between the two sides, only to find she is attacked by both sides, because obviously their side is worse than the middle ground could ever imagine.  Been there, done that, said that. (The discrimination topic is one for a later blog).

Stepmoms, I’m going to call you out for a bit too.  We have a tendency to run down the Biomom.   As women we should know better.  Not everyone is meant to learn their lesson with their first husband.  Sometimes it takes a few times to get it right.  If you are marrying for the 2nd, 3rd or 10th time, you of all people should know this.  People make mistakes, and we think they are supposed to act a certain way because that is what society has ingrained us to do.  Peggy Nolan of nailed in right on the head the other day.  We hold on to “should” way too much, it only sets us up for resentment that is not our place to feel.  Her blog on this subject is a must read for ANYONE!  Biomoms included, because they take on saying the stepmothers “should” do this or that too.  

We read all the time, it’s okay for a stepmom to not feel love right away for her step children.  Guess what?  Some women are incapable of loving their children the way you think they should.  Just like a stepmom.  This just gives you an opportunity to support a tribe member; to grow up fantastic little tribe members who are well rounded and capable of so much more.

In the end, we are woman with hopefully the end goal of making sure our children are brought up in love, to have wonderful senses of humor, being bright and capable to do better than what we have shown them in our roles of bitter exwife and jealous stepmom.  The change starts with us.  We need to figure out a way to support each other for the sakes of our children.  We are grown adults only responsible for us and what we show our children.  Where one might fail they other might flourish, nurture this.  You are valuable tools to each other. The sooner we start the better our children’s futures will be.

What could you do differently?


Sunday, October 13, 2013

With Trembling Hands

This was Kendall and I's weekend getaway without the kids. There wasn't anything going the way it was supposed to, but we had each other. Life has been piling lots of cow patties our way lately. Knowing we have each other helps us keep on trucking.

It's our ritual to have breakfast before heading back home. Golden Corral was close so we stopped there. Kendall had left to make himself a plate, when he came back he told me of an old man the next section over. This gentleman was a retired WWII veteran. He was all alone, his hands trembling as he set the table across from him. He carefully laid out a napkin and gently laid silverware down. He placed a plate next to that with a full glass of water. Kendall watched him the whole time. After setting the table up, he sat on the other side eating and drinking coffee.

Kendall has such a soft heart, we started talking about how short life was knowing full well we will never have 50 years together. We found each other way to late. So we enjoy each other and celebrate silly little things along the way. 

As I went to make my plate, I watched the gentleman. It was very touching. My love for Kendall is different than any I've felt before. I honestly can't sit here and tell you I could go out to eat without him if he was gone. Seeing that empty place setting tugged heart strings hard.

When I returned to the table, I told Kendall that's the thing you read about but never see in real life. Knowing I would blog about how true love never dies. Just about this time Kendall starts laughing. An older gentleman sat down at the empty place setting and started eating.

There went that blog! 

Happy Sunday!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Little Things

Take a good long look at your partner.  This is the man/woman you chose to be with you when your children are gone out of the house.  What happens when they leave and you have all this time on your hands and you figured out you don’t know your partner other than in her/his role of parent? It is especially important to ask yourself this when the rate of divorce in blended families is 73%.  

What is one way to start changing this statistic?  In my house, we choose to take time at least every other month for a weekend away.  We don’t go far, but we stay gone and with each other only.  This time is spent focusing on each other.  Not discussing bills, or why the kids won’t clean up after themselves, and especially no discussing the ex’s.  It’s about dreaming our future, things we would like to do together to the house to make it ours.  Plan things we would like to do together in the future.  Just truly enjoy each other in ways we forget to do on a day to day basis.

Kendall bought me the sweetest birthday card, it talked about how he forgets to sweep me off my feet and make me feel special on a daily basis.  Yet, he feels honored I’m his.  On our weekends together, this man makes me feel like I am the one and only woman on the face of the earth.  He holds my hand, or puts his arms around me while we are walking.  He opens doors,he surprises me with sweet little things for us to share that evening.  The things he sometimes forgets to do daily that make me feel like I’m the only woman that exists to him in the most important way.

It refreshes our spirits when we spend this time together.  We can go back home, united and ready for those issues of the kids not picking up after themselves or the fact so and so needs more money for something else.  It allows us to renew our connection in a way we forget to do.  I’m just as guilty of letting little things slip.  It renews me to find the time to slip him notes in his briefcase, in his bathroom drawer, or simply give him a squeeze for no reason at all other than I love him.

You picked each other for a reason.  It’s up to you to make sure you nurture each other so when the kids are gone, you look at each other and are ready to play not fight about each of you changing in ways you didn’t notice.  

Enjoy each other, you only live once and time runs out way to quickly!



Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Year In the Life...From Girlfriend to Stepmom

A year ago, I would not have told you the road you are about to embark on would be dark and scary.  I would have happily told you that all things can be overcome with love and lots of it.  I wouldn’t have told you that your life really will be like the wicked stepmom fairy tale you read about.  I would have told you that all the story books had it wrong.  Little did I know a year ago, how drastically different my life would be. What I will tell you before you get to the end of the story, is there is light at the end of the tunnel.  The scary part, you have to find it and turn it on yourself.  You however, are not alone no matter how alone you feel.

Kendall and I started dating officially in October 2012.  He flat out told me I was his girlfriend and who was I to argue.  We talked about everything we could think of that had gone wrong in our previous relationships. The stage was set for an instant family, or so we thought.  While dating, I would drive 1.000 miles in a weekend to come spend time with them about every other weekend.  Before I left each time, I would leave the kids a special note.  One time in particular, Hunter thought I didn’t leave him one because he had been at a friend’s house.  His dad texted me saying he was frantic and upset.  Just tell him go look on his pillow I told him.  I hid it in plain sight.  I knew at that moment that Hunter was already mine.  

When Kendall told Tanner that I was moving to Saint Francis, the malarkey started to hit the fan. Anything and everything I did stepped on his toes.  I accidentally let two cuss words slip out because I was mad while we were shooting, suddenly I wasn’t a good enough Christian role model.  Never mind, he had posted “FO Lisa” on twitter.   His behavior was excused because he was a child of divorce.  I wish I would have known about Greg Laurie and his message of just get over your dysfunctional family, because everyone has one.  Amen and Hallelujah! (That’s for your Garrett) Anything that he did not like about me, he took to his dad in a secret conversation.  He thought because he was his dad’s son, that he outranked me and tried to pull the‘I am more important than you card more than once.  The Bible tells a husband, that his wife comes before the children.  A goodman, will live by that and include his partner in everything.  No secrets.

Add in Garrett to the mix, who was torn between two women.  It was easier to be mad at me than feel guilty for having feelings for me. So he tried everything he knew to push my buttons, sadly, I let him.  Then Kendall would be upset with me, because I was having such a hard time with him.  He didn’t realize how hard moving into a house he created with another woman, with children he created with another woman was on me.  There wasn’t much in the house that made me feel a part of it.  I had two kids who loved me, and two who wanted nothing to do with me.

Garrett and my daughter Joani, wished on a star the first weekend they met that their parents would get married to each other.  They had such a good time with each other, which was until we got married.  Without warning, a switch was flipped and they could not get along for anything.  There was a huge jealousy fight between them.  If one was in my lap the other was glaring and the minute they got up the other was in their place.  This went on, until Joani went for the summer with her dad.  

Garrett decided he wanted to spend a lot of time with his mom in the truck over the summer.  For a time, our relationship declined even more.  When he was home, he brought a huge attitude.  About this time, I began searching for some light in my dark tunnel.  I felt all alone, and everyone was mad at me because I was the adult.  I read every blog and message board I could.  One lady, who I wish I could give credit by name, had a quote at the end of her post.  It was along the lines if she would have realized just being her husband’s wife was so peaceful she would have done it much sooner.  My switch flipped on.  There was freeing truth in those words.  

Nothing but extreme joy comes to me, when I think about only being my husband’s wife. My focus is being the best wife to him that I can.  Once I started focusing only on that and nothing more, things started changing.  Sure I take care of my stepkidsjust as I would my biological kids, and get on to them just the same too.  The pressure of being some perfect replacement mold is broken though.  I go at every single situation out of love for my husband first and foremost.  You know that Gandhi quote about you must be the change you want to see in the world, I took that to heart.  I can’t change their behavior or attitudes, but I can control how I react or respond.  It starts with you. I can tell you that things have gone full circle. From Like, to hate, to resentment, to like, and to love.  I know that in each of my kids hearts I have a special place that no one else can fill, just like I can fill no one else’s place.  I am me, I am theirs but most of all I’m his!

So a year later I will tell you, there are dark moments and you wonder what on earth you did.  There are moments you feel like the evil stepmother in so many fairytales.  There are times you are hated and resented.  Turn your light on and shine bright and be a beacon for your family.  You are not a role; you are a person plain and simple.  Be special to you first, and show everyone around you just how special you really are.  This too shall pass.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Boy In the Milo With A Smile

There's a boy in the Milo, his smile steals my heart. Even before his dad, Brayden crawled on my lap and uttered the words, I love you. He is my youngest son.

When Kendall and I married, he proudly announced he had two moms. There is no fight about who is or isn't his mom, we both are and he knows he is double loved. I'm called Lisa, which means beloved. My mom and dad named me appropriately for the stepmom roll. When you are called by your name as mom, and your name has such a special meaning, you can't help but feel proud.

Oh I know someday he will be a teenager, and the road might get rocky but I know he knows he is loved.