Monthly Archives: February 2016

Do You Know They Can See You?

Dealing with an addiction is hard.  I get it.  I totally get it.  It’s a struggle to make it through the day.  Do you know what I think is harder?  Loving someone with an addiction.

Now, let’s be real.  You can be addicted to anything.  Drugs, alcohol, sex… the list goes on and on.  I know when you’re getting high or drunk or whatever it is you think you need that it’s all about you.  You’re just thinking about yourself.  I just need another pill.  I just need 3 more pills.  In that split moment, you’re not thinking about anyone else but the person in the mirror.  What about everyone else?

What about them?  What about that woman or man laying next to you every night?  What about that little voice you hear every  day saying “Mommy”, “Daddy”, “Grandma”, “Grandpa”?  What about the people who have loved you from the first day you stepped into their lives?  Don’t you know they can see you??prescription-plain-300px

The pain that they are feeling is far worse than anything you’ve ever felt.  I’ve birthed a child and it doesn’t even come close to the pain of a broken heart.  Waking up every morning and your heart shattering again.  Labor pain ends.

Nothing I’m saying is going to help.  I know that.  You have to want to put others before yourself.  You have to want to start a new life.  You have to want to separate yourself from the things that have brought you down so far.  The next time you’re sitting there just thinking about yourself.  I hope you hear that little voice telling you how much they love you.

 

**I wrote this mainly for myself.  I am dealing with some things at the moment that I just felt needed to be written. But maybe you’re thinking you’re alone, you’re not.**

 

Family Dinner: Episode 1

2016-02-26 20.39.03.jpg

Yay!! Success!!  No one yelled or threw food or tried to kill each other.  Okay, that’s a lie… the 2 brothers and sister yelled, threw food, and may have appeared to be killing each other.  All in all it was a great time!

I really enjoyed having some slight adult conversation while the kids occupied each other.  Kim and I chatted while our husbands stuffed their faces with desserts.  We may have done that too but that’s beside the point.  Then we finally had to get down to business.  The issue at hand.

Murph, lately is wanting to act like a teenager girl “that just had her phone taken away.”  Direct quote from Justin (Stepdad).  It’s definitely accurate.  We sat him down and had a nice little heart to heart.  Working together pays off.  The four of us get to express our concerns to each other and we had a great opportunity for all of us to talk specifically to Murph.

Stepping up, swallowing our pride, being bigger people.  I can’t stress enough how taking that first step to actually getting to know one another was the greatest decision we’ve ever made, regarding our family.  Josh and I had dinner with our two best friends last night. 🙂  Weird right?  Who here still thinks I’m a nut??

2016-02-26 20.37.00_resized.jpg

 

Guess What Day It Is?

1384614542-300px

Hey ya’ll! Do you remember me mentioning something in a previous post about getting your entire blended brood together for a family dinner?  That was just a suggestion at the time.  We have done many things together, birthday parties, school functions, etc.  Never a family dinner, just the 7 of us.  I took my own advice and the Birth Giver and I decided that we would make it “a thing” maybe every month!  So, TONIGHT is the night.  First of many family dinners.  I can’t wait to report back to all of you on how it went.  We may even play a game called “Who is gonna knock BabyDaddy out first?”  Not gonna lie, I may win! 😉  Stay tuned, folks!

Liar, Liar Pants On Fire

I’m just going to be honest.  When I was younger, I lied.  Like… a lot.  I would make up stories to tell my parents just to see if they would believe me.  They did.  Then they didn’t.

I lied just for the fun of it.  Once, in high school, I went to the movies with some friends.  The whole way home I was going over the next bullshit story I was gonna tell.  I even had my friends helping me with the details.  We pulled in the driveway and I just knew I was off the hook with this tale.  Mind you, I had asked if I could go a few hours earlier and was met with a very stern No!

Mom:  Hey, Where you been?

Me:  Well, “so n so’s” mom kept talking to everyone up at school… yada yada… big line of crap… yada yada. And then I came home.

(About now is when my brother starts giggling because he knew I was in deep.  He found it hilarious when I got in trouble, as most big brothers do.)

Dad:  Nope!

Mom:  Try Again.

–Dang it.  Busted.  Why do I do this to myself?  Now I’m not going anywhere for weeks!  Just be honest now, Mindy.  They know.  Maybe you won’t get in as much trouble.–

My head drops…

Me:  I went to the movies.

Mom:  We know.  We went by the school and guess what?… It was dark.

Called that punishment too.  Grounded for quite a while.  So not worth it!

Lesson One, Kids:  Tell the flippin’ truth!  Lesson Two:  Don’t include school in your lie if you live 3 minutes away.  Lesson Three:  Your parents are smarter than you.

Now… with all that being sad, I’m gonna say this.

Don’t lie to me.  Now that I am an adult with children I don’t even understand the concept!  What could be so bad that you have to feed me some off the wall nonsense that I’m not even going to believe anyway?  Save your breath.  Your life will be a lot less complicated if you’re not busy trying to remember what you said in your story.  Remembering the truth is a lot easier!

My children seem to understand the concept better than my husband at times.  I will never be mad if you’re telling the truth.

Never make your kids feel like they can’t come to you.  Don’t make them feel like they can’t tell you the truth.  Even if it’s the worst thing that could happen.  I can guarantee you that they feel worse about having the need to be dishonest with you.

 

Dear Hannah

Dear Hannah,

I haven’t known you long and your story is short.  The Lord led me to the book of your son when I needed you most.  There were so many times where I was down about certain things in my life.  Things people were saying to me.  I couldn’t handle.  I couldn’t be graceful and set things aside.  Then I stumbled upon your story.  Your short, simple, sweet prayer.

As I read, I imagine you as this kind, gracious, and extremely beautiful woman.  Although, you would never know your own beauty.  I don’t know whether Elkanah loved you first but I know that he loved you most.

Your husband gave you more and comforted you when you were to angry to speak.  While you were being beaten down by the mother of your husbands’ children, he was asking “am I not better than ten sons?”  Ofcourse that’s not the same!  How did that not make you even more angry!?

I needed to say thank you.  Thank you for showing me that even when we are being tormented by the words of another, we should still handle ourselves with grace.  Like you, when we are feeling inferior to the birth mother, there are many things we can offer.

In your case, Peninnah showed her jealousy with the way that she treated you.  She hurt you until you could not eat.  Did you lash out at her?  Did you take your anger towards her out on your husband?  No, you didn’t.  You went off alone.  You wiped away your tears and you prayed.  Yes, you were angry.  You had every right to be.  I needed the simple reminder that the Lord can heal.  You went to him calmly and he remembered you and gave to you your Samuel.

Hannah_with_Samuel

Samuel and his mother, Hannah. (1 Samuel 1-2)

Thank you, Hannah.  Thank you for showing a step mother that no matter what others say about her that sometimes she should swallow her pride and remain silent.  Thank you for showing me grace.

UnBroken

This one was really difficult for me.  I’ve sat here and stared at this computer screen about all day.  I deleted a whole page earlier.  I’m struggling with the words.  Should I say this?  What happens once they read it?  I’ve decided that none of that matters.  I’m setting my worries aside to tell you something about myself.  No jokes.  No laughs.  This is me.  This is me laying it all out there.  Being real.

Broken-Heart-300px

Being a wife and a step mother and a mother all have their own set of issues.  While I’ve struggled with a lot over the last few years nothing comes close to the struggle with depression.  That is a real fight.  Now I’m not telling you any of this for sympathy and I’m not a “woe is me” kind of person but I wanted to share my experiences with you.  The good and the really ugly.

What started out as Post Partum Depression after giving birth to Frank soon snowballed out of control.  I thought I had a pretty good handle on myself.  What I thought had been a minor battle with PPD had evolved into something more since it was lasting well into Franks’ fourth year.  First, you just shake it off.  It’s nothing, it’s just hormones.  For years, I fought with my own head.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with you.  Stop being crazy, Mindy.

Fighting inside my own head soon led to fighting with everyone on the outside.  I was angry all the time.  Nothing or no one could make me happy.  I tend to take a very alternative approach to parenting.  I’m a bit of a hippy but soon I hit a wall.  There I was standing, screaming at this wall with my son holding his ears just on the other side.  That was it.  That was the day I knew I couldn’t do it alone.  I had built up this giant wall and everyone I loved was standing on the other side.  I hit my knees and the wall came crashing down.  I hugged my son so tight I thought he would pop.

I’ve never shared my faith with you because I wanted to connect with everyone.  Not just my Christian friends.  Well the time has come for me to share it.  I wouldn’t have been able to get up off my knees without Christ.  I’m not going to preach to you, that is not my intention, this is just my full experience.  I am not ashamed of the things I have been through and I am not ashamed of the things I’ve had to do to get better.  To get stronger.

The Lord pulled me up off my knees that day when I felt like I could barely move.  I was finally convinced to see a doctor.  I was getting the help I needed.  Slow but surely I was getting better and healthier.  I was waking up in the mornings and I finally wanted to get out of bed.  For months, years even, I dreaded starting a new day.

Having my faith in Christ and my new found faith in myself, I was saved.  Saved from what could have happened.  I was happier and in turn it made my family happier.  Even though it was hard on him, Josh stuck by me.  He was my constant.  My rock.  Ofcourse we disagreed and had our arguments like any other married couple but it was nothing like before.  I had stood by him when he needed me the most and I was fortunate enough to have him return the favor.  I won’t get into that, it’s a story for another day and time.

Being a parent is hard.  Being a wife is hard.  Sometimes just being, is hard!  At the end of the day, you’re gonna struggle.  You’re gonna fall down.  Having someone to help you off your knees is what’s important.  It doesn’t matter if it’s your faith or your family or your friends.  The Lord just decided to yank me by the heart and say “Mindy, I’m still here.”

Moms, Wives, Women.  If you’re struggling with something don’t hide it.  I know it’s hard.  I know what the shame of not being the wife and mother you want to be feels like.  Now Frank is quickly approaching five years old and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.

I’ll be sharing a little bit more of my faith and relationship with the Lord later on.  He has also helped me in the step mothering aspect of my life when he introduced me to Hannah, the mother of Samuel.

1418663328-300px

If any of you have any comments or concerns please feel free to email me or leave me a note in the comment section.  I’m more than happy to talk with you.

He Just Called Her WHAT?!

Two-Women-Two-Puzzle-Pieces-Silhouette-800px

As mothers we all know that the feeling we get the first time our child says “Mama” is pretty close to being on top of the world.  I mean… I don’t know what being on top of the world feels like but I’m sure it’s pretty much the same thing.  What about the first time your STEP child calls you “Mama”.  GASP!! 

It could have been accidental.  You know, a slip of the tongue.  He’s just used to that lady around being called “mama”.  Or… maybe it was intentional.  Maybe he knows the one that’s there is keeping him safe and loved, like Mama would.

For several years, Murph would slip.  Every once in a while for a brief moment I was Mama.  “No, Baby.”  I’d say.  “Mimi.”  I had heard “he better not be calling her mom” enough times I was having nightmares about it.  Okay, not really.  However, I always made it a point to make that simple correction.

Until…

Until Murph was four years old and I was the mother of a new baby boy.  Murph loved his little brother so much and as Frank started to grow I could tell they were going to be best buds.  Frank continued to grow and started to speak.  Being “Mama” to someone all the time, every second, every day was an incredible feeling.  All of a sudden, the more time spent with Murph, the less I was Mama to Frank.  Hearing my little boy call me “Mimi” was like a punch to the eye.

That was it.  I never corrected Murph again.  I needed to talk to Kim.  I needed to tell her how I felt and what was happening.  Even as friends, I still get a knot in my stomach when I need to bring up touchy subjects with Mama Bear.  When he is with me, would it be okay if he calls me Mom?  Just until his brother understands our situation.  She told me she was having the same problem with her daughter and the name of “Daddy”.  Boy what a relief that was!  Josh was completely on board with the plan since I had really been struggling with the issue.  From then on I was Mom and Justin was Dad.

We had an understanding.  She knew I would never try to take her place.  I’ve never pushed Murph to call me anything other than what he chose.  I could be Mindy, Mimi, Mom, whatever!  As long as he didn’t call me StepMother cause that just sounds ridiculous and he’s not Cinderella!  Ever since, Murph has officially had two moms and two dads.  Each given the name.

Fast forward and people are in our ears.  “Why do you let him call her Mom?” or “Why do you let him call him Dad?”  The responses are easy and simple.  There is only a difference in who made the child.  There is no difference in the love that the four of us have for Murph.  It’s hard not to love that kid with your whole heart.  I know some of you think the four of us are insane people and that’s okay.  We kinda are.  But!  We know what works for us.

What works for you?  Who are you to your stepchild(ren)?