Tag Archives: stepmother

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.

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?

 

It’s March

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minus Queen Miranda because let’s face it… she’s perfect.

Hey ya’ll!  For the next few weeks I’m going to take a little break from the whole step mother and depressing topics.  I kinda bummed myself out a little.  I’ve got to throw some excitement in here every once in  awhile!

March is probably the best month there is!  What normal person has a favorite month?  Well everyone if they choose their birth month.  March just happens to be my birth month.  Along with my mother’s as well.  I think that’s the reason we don’t see eye to eye on most things.  Like…ever.  She’s my bestfriend though what ya gonna do?  Aside from the birthdays, there is St. Paddy’s Day.  Yes, Paddy!  Not Patty!  That ridiculous holiday where we Americans dress in green and get hammered.  Being Irish, I do not need an excuse for either of those things.  I’m kidding, I need an excuse to wear green.  It’s not my color.  The month of March is going to be much more epic in 2016.  Why?  Because…

I’m going to Disney World!

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artwork by DisneyClips.com

This may not be as exciting news to the rest of you but when you are just one year shy of 30 and you haven’t met the head mouse, you’re suddenly 3 again.  This is the trip I have wanted to take since I was a little girl singing “Part of Your World” at the top of my lungs.  I finally get to check something off of my bucket list but I get to do it with my entire family!  My husband and boys, my brother, sister in law, niece, nephew, and even my parents!  Our magic bands came on Monday, ya know the little wristbands and that keep track of everything.  That’s awesome and slightly scary at the same time.  I am 100% certain I am more excited than the four kids.  It’s hard not to be when you’ve seen every Disney movie in the history of ever and finally make it to the “happiest place on earth”.

Maybe I’ll ask Lady Tremaine how she managed to get Cinderella to be her maid.  Ya know, for future [stepmother] references.

I can’t wait to tell you all about Frank and Murph’s (and my) awesome time!

What’s your favorite thing to do/eat/see at Walt Disney World?

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!

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.

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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.

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)?

 

Movie Momsters

*All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.*

As I’ve said before, I’m addicted to movies.  It’s a real problem.  I have been known to have full conversations speaking only in movie quotes.  Up until recently, I haven’t given much thought to how stepmothers are portrayed in films.

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theatrical poster by Reynold Brown

Watching movies growing up, all I could think was “Man, I’m glad I don’t have one of those!”  I’d hate to have to make her run away screaming like the “almost” stepmother, Vicky Robinson in The Parent Trap (1961).  Boy, that Vicky sure could make you wanna pop her in her freshly made up kisser!  “Oh yes! Don’t say anything about that dear, sweet, precious Vicky! That plus-faced child bride and her electric hips!” See I told you, movie quotes.  That Maggie tickles me.  At the end of it all, Mom and Dad get back together and they all live happily ever after.  However, if Vicky had thought less about herself and more about Susan and Sharon she could have held onto Mitch a little longer.  On a side note, how amazing is Hayley Mills?  Am I right?  “Mindy, it’s a movie.”  I know.  I know.  So many films can latch onto your heart.  Make you feel something.  That’s what it’s supposed to do.

After becoming a stepparent and watching all of these films with characters we love to hate, I couldnt help but wonder where had all the good women gone.  Is there not a woman who could come barreling in after the death of a mother and NOT try to torture that poor womans’ child(ren)?  Did everyone in Hollywood have a horrible childhood with an evil woman.  Well ya don’t have to take it out on the rest of us!  Making kids think their stepmoms will try to poison them or lock them in an attic or ship them off to boarding school.  Boarding school?  Is that a convincing threat?  I’ll keep that one in my back pocket.  😉

Don’t get me wrong.  I know that some of you might have gotten a bad seed from a rotten apple.  Let’s all be fair here, there are some bio moms that like to stir the pot.  Yeah, I know you’re thinking about her right now.  You wanna pop her in the kisser too, I get it. I really do.  Shes rude, disrespectful, and vindictive.  SM’s (stepmoms for future reference) she’s not trying to hurt you.  She’s trying to hurt him.  She wants him to be so worked up and cursing her under his breath.  She likes it.  She enjoys seeing him angry. Hurt.  She’ll manipulate his children.  They might love you but she wants them to grow to hate him.  You know a woman like that?  She sounds Evil, doesn’t she?  Maybe that’s what we should be seeing!  That’s an Oscar winner right there!  I’m going to write that…right now.  I’ll make sure Leonardo Dicaprio is cast as “Dad.”  I mean, someone give that dang man an Oscar!

SM, don’t feel like I’m here to single you out and tell you that the key to happiness is all on you.  Sometimes, Baby Momma is just an ugly witch with a giant mole on her face.  Be hopeful that she gets her happy ending because THAT my friend is when they can hit you with the plot twist.

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