Tag Archives: blended family

10 Things For The Childless StepParent

When you marry someone with a child, you are getting a packaged deal.  You are not only getting a husband or a wife, but a child.  That comes with a whole new set of rules.  A whole new set of responsibilities.  I just wanted to take the opportunity to address some of the things that kind of slapped me upside the head once I said “I Do” to someones’ dad.

 1.  First Heartbreak:  Not the kind of “puppy love” heartbreak.  The heartbreak pain caused by a Bios’ broken promise.  That first time you see that look on their face, it’ll cut you straight to your heart.  Let’s hope you never see it.

2.  First Phone Call:  *RING RING*  Guess who is calling you?  Yep, it’s that kid.  They didn’t call Mom or Dad, they called you.  They just wanted to tell you something special about their day.  Even if they don’t use the words “I love you”, they’re telling you now.

3.  First Illness/Injury:  You may be scared shitless, but there may come a time when you have to accompany them to the doctor, or Lord forbid, the ER.  Just you and them.  Stay calm.  If you can’t, don’t worry because as soon as that little one needs comfort, all bets are off and you’ll be a big puddle of calm mush.

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My mother, Murph, Frank, & me at Pirates Voyage in Myrtle Beach, SC

4.  Family:  Your parents will officially become Grandma and Grandpa.  I mean, if they are okay with being old and all.  (Sorry, Mom)

5.  Warning:  You will hear “you’re not my mom” or “you’re not my dad”  at some point.  At least once.  I’m telling you.  Even though you are totally aware of this little key factoid they will make it known to you.  It will feel like they just socked you straight in the face.  How you handle the 5 seconds following that statement is crucial.  Regardless of how you feel about the Bios, just keep your trap shut!  When Murph hit me with this, (the first and last time he said it) Kim and I were not friends.  I knew what I wanted to say.  PSH! “I’m glad, kid!”  Let’s face it, that mess stung a little.  I looked up into my rearview mirror and there was this little strawberry blonde with the cutest angry face I’d ever seen.  I just smiled and said “I know but I still love you.”  That was that.  So like your momma always said, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say nothing at all.”  Wait… was that my mom or Thumpers’ mom?

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Correction. It was Thumpers’ dad who told him that!

6.  Do not try to be their best buddy.  When the time comes for you to parent, and by parent, I mean discipline, you will just get laughed at.  Just trust me on that one.

7.  Do not try to assume the roll as parent to quickly.  They need to trust you before you go around trying to give ’em a time out.

8.  First “Big Success”:  You will beam with pride when they get their first hit (that wasn’t off the tee) during a baseball game.  Go ahead, be “that mom.”  You know the one I’m talking about, the crazy acting lady stomping on the bleachers.  (Again, sorry Mom)

9:  The Bios:  Never assume they are B*s and A*s.  In my case, J had a pretty good time playing Kim and I against one another.  Everything was going according to plan until I played a card he never dealt me.  You can read all about that in a previous post called The BirthGiver .  We all laugh about it now.  The ultimate plan for us to hate each other forever was an epic fail.

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Twinning!

10.  There is a line drawn between friend and parent but you get to stand on it.

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I’ll Follow You Anywhere

Being a blended family can be hard enough as it is, but what if you’re a blended military family?  How does that work?  How do you make that work?  I’m talking to ya’ll because I have no idea.

With the possibility of Murphs’ stepdad becoming active again, I’m constantly worrying about how often I’ll actually see Murph.  Yep, Murphs’ dad and stepdad.  Both Marines. (Poor Murph).  Nothing is ever promised when you’re active duty.  I won’t be holding my breath for Murph getting to stay close to home.  Perfect world, right?usdrivein

There are so many mixed emotions with the thoughts of him being much farther than just a quick hours drive away.  Now let me say this… I would go anywhere for that kid!  If that means getting on a plane once a month or so or driving to God only knows where, I’d do it.  For Murph.  For Frank.  For myself.  *Fingers crossed* I don’t have to board an airplane though, but as I said earlier, you can’t write your military life plans in stone.

J has never been too happy with the idea but as I continue to talk about it, he seems to be warming up.  It’s hit him a little harder than the rest of us.  I’m a “go with the flow” kinda girl.  Not too much bothers me and I don’t find too many obstacles that I can’t find some way around, easily.  Not J.  It’s going to take some adjusting for ol’ dad but I’m pretty convincing at times.  😉

One decision, like this one, has an effect on all seven of us.  It sends different emotions, different fears, different hopes, to each one of us.  This one choice can make or break our entire bonded unit.  We have to all realize what is best for Murph.  What is best for the families, both separate, and together.

It comes up in conversation between Kim and I, quite often.  Like I said, I’d follow Murph anywhere.  As long as he is happy, then I’m okay.  His mother and I have both agreed to do whatever it takes to make it work.  On the plus side, I get to keep my summers with Murph!  YAY ME!

I’m aware that this isn’t helping any of you.  I’m asking ya’ll this time.  Anyone else blended into active military?  How do you manage?

 

Family Dinner: Episode 1

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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??

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Guess What Day It Is?

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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!

He Just Called Her WHAT?!

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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)?

 

THINGS TO COME!

I’ve been collecting pictures and conversations between Terry and Houston.  I’m gonna go ahead and add that from here on out I will be referring to them as Murph and Frank.

The nickname Frankenstein aka Frank, was given to Houston by my brother when he was a lot smaller.  Have you ever seen Dylan and Cole Sprouse as Julian in “Big Daddy” with Adam Sandler?  If not, GO WATCH IT… LIKE… RIGHT NOW! Anyway… that’s my kid.  In a nutshell… rainboots with shorts, eating 30 packets of ketchup, and peeing wherever he is standing.  That’s my son.  That’s Frank.

Now Murph is a little different… I used to call him T-Rex but as he started growing, bless his little heart.  I hope you know what “Murphy’s Law” is.  If you don’t… I’m sorry and you fail.  Here I give you… Murph.

Here I will be posting ridiculous things these two brothers do together.  Their weird conversations and I hope to get some pretty sweet pictures of some awesome nerf wars.

I’m going to warn you now they ARE boys!  This section is gonna get weird, strange, and probably really, really gross.  So without further delay…

Murph.

MEANDT

 Frank.

FRANK

THE ADVENTURES OF FRANK & MURPH.

 

 

Two Halfs Make A Whole

Let me start by saying that in our family there is no such thing as “half”.  There are no half brothers, half sisters, half of a cake, because… well… we ate it already.

If you’ve been following along you’ll know that “The Birthgiver” and I are great friends.  Another reason that Kim and I understand each other so well is that we were pregnant together.  Imagine being out in public and you and Baby Momma both have giant bellies. *Awkward!* In 2011, Terry received the best of both worlds.  A brother and a sister, just three months apart.

“This is my brother.”  “This is my sister.”  “They’re not brother and sister.”  That is how Terry introduces his siblings.  Kid really knows how to confuse a person.

Being a blended family, in our case, doesn’t mean four parents and the child.  It means four parents and three children.  We are all one family and you’re there for your family.  Always.

Terry and his brother, Houston both have spent a lot of time in the hospital.  Terry has asthma and Houston has asthma and Eosinophilic Esophagitis. (keep trying to say that and I’ll have a post about it later.)  A huge part of our EOE support system are Kim and her husband, Justin.  They’re there for fundraising events.  They buy awareness bracelets and tshirts.  They drive miles from home to pick up Terry at the hospital ER where he’s been waiting for hours by his brothers’ side.  They do all that because they love Terry.  They do all that because they love his brother and our love for Prudence is just as much.  I have to squeeze her in my arms every time I see her.

The happiest I have ever seen Terry are the times he’s with his brother and sister.  Together.  It is important for us to keep them close.  They will be all each other have one day.  Three is way better than two.

terry and pruIf your stepchild has “half” siblings and they have no idea who each other even are, it may be time to change that.  Again, set your feelings aside and do what you can for your family.  Like it or not, you’re all a family, all connected through one little person.  Or a couple little people.  Plan a birthday party for your biochild and invite the others.  Sit together at school and sporting events.  Have a family dinner night.  If you live close enough and could handle it, heck, blend your Christmas!  Ooooo these are good ideas…Kim!!! Can we have family dinner night!?!? 🙂  I know what you’re thinking now, “look, she is giving us this crap and she doesn’t even do those things!”  EEEHHH WRONG!  We do birthday parties together.  We save bleachers for one another at the baseball field.  Guess who even goes to events at Terrys’ school?  Houston and me, that’s who!  A blended Christmas would be awesome if we didn’t live an hour apart!  Santa would be a little late.

hugh and terry.jpgSeeing the three of them laughing together and playing together.  When we pick up or drop Terry off and Prudence darts out the back door to see us or Houston is trying his best to jump out of the car, there is a strong sense of completion.  Your unit is complete.  You now know that the three of them will always have each other.  Regardless of where life takes them, Terry can call up his brother and sister and they will BOTH come running.  Probably in the same car.

Well… that’s if Terry hasn’t knocked them both out a few times by then. 😉  They’re the littles, what do you expect from Big Brother?