Mom, Stepmom… What is the Big Difference?

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Have you ever wondered the difference between a Mom and Stepmom?

Let me break it down:

MOM

Cooks

Cleans

Helps with Homework

Carpools to School

Organizes Life

Shoulder to Lean On

Encourages

Worries

Attends Games and Performances

Supports her Child’s Dreams and Goals

Puts her Children Before Herself

Loves her Children More then the World

Gave Birth to Her Children

STEPMOM

Cooks

Cleans

Helps with Homework

Carpools to School

Organizes Life

Shoulder to Lean On

Encourages

Worries

Attends Games and Performances

Supports her Step-Child’s Dreams and Goals

Puts her Step-Children Before Herself

Loves her Step-Children More then the World

Did Not Give Birth to her Step-Children

Funny, right? A stepmom does EVERYTHING that a Mother does (and in my case, as well as many of you I have had the opportunity to speak to, actually pick up the slack where the Mother drops the ball) besides the physical act of actually giving birth to the child they are raising.  As step-mothers, we do these things whether the Mother does or not.  It is out of love for our step-children and husbands.  We take pride in raising our families.

Am I the only one who gets frustrated at the lack of recognition?  Not that I do any of these things for credit, thanks, or recognition.  But when what I get in return is the OPPOSITE of recognition, and instead turns into blame and criticism, it is hard not to want to just cry and wonder what you ever did to deserve such disrespect.  All we have done is fall in love with someone who has children, and in turn have fallen in love with the little extensions of the man we love.  Why are we at fault for that?

I try to focus on staying positive and the fact that I under NO CIRCUMSTANCE require the approval of my stepson’s mother.  The only approval I seek is that of my husband, which he gives me often.  It is hard though at times.  I sometimes wish and pray that one morning my stepson’s mother will wake up and realize all of the good things I do and will appreciate and embrace me in his life.  I do however realize that the chances of this happening are slim to none.  So, focusing on my own life and those that do appreciate and love me, allow me to push this to the side and focus on what is really important – Family.

Do you ever feel the same way? Do you ever find yourself seeking the approval of Bio-Mom and wondering why you even care?  How do you cope with it?

Please share your comments and don’t forget to follow the blog.

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5 Misconceptions About Stepmoms

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Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, and don’t judge a situation unless you have walked in those same shoes.  Those are two phrases we hear often.  Being a stepparent is hard.  We are not the biological parent, but are still very much so, still a parent.  Many who have never been in our shoes often have confused ideas of who we are, what we are here for, and why we are here.

I think the number one person in most blended family situations that is the most confused about us is the bio-parent.  They are often defensive and unwelcoming of another parent entering not only their children’s lives, but also theirs.  I have come to realize over the years, that while I know my stepson will be in my life forever, so will his mother.  So, for you, bio-mom.  Here are 5 ideas of me that you have in your mind that are far from true.

  1. “You are trying to take my role as Mom!”

I most definitely am not trying to take over your role.  You will always be Mom.  You grew him inside of your tummy, birthed him, and have spent the 50% of his life with him that he is not with his Father and I.  But I am “Stepmom.”  When I married your ex and became a wife, I also became a stepmom.  I take that role very serious.  I think about him and care about him whether he is in our home or not.  But when he is in our home, I do provide a motherly role to him.  I make sure he is fed healthy and nutritious meals.  I make sure he has a clean bed to sleep in and clean clothes to wear.  I schedule appointments for his health.  I help him with his homework.  I teach him manners and responsibility.  I am not saying that his Father does none of this.  We are a team in our home.  We share responsibilities.  But, I guess what I am trying to say is. When your son is in my home, he is loved, nurtured, and well taken care of.  Focus more on that and less on the competition.  I am trying to compete with no one.  I am happy in my role.  You should be too!

2. “Why does he like you better?”

Wrong.  He does not like me better.  He also does not like you better.  Why do you always have this idea in your mind that a child needs to choose who he likes better?  I am sure there are times he doesn’t like either of us.  That is part of parenting.  I am sure he isn’t happy with me when I have to take away video game time because he doesn’t do his homework.  And you know as well that he isn’t happy with you when he has to go to bed early because he talked back.  Parenting and discipline goes on in both homes.  As it should.  Once again, it comes down to the issue of competition.  I am in competition with no one.  We both love a child that in return also loves us both.

3. “Stop overstepping your boundaries!”

One of your all time favorite phrases is to let me know that I am overstepping my boundaries.  Then, I guess I should respectfully say, I can only be seen as “overstepping” is there is room to do so.  While I do not mean this to say that you are a bad mother, I do think that parenting is a huge job and that there is always room for help.  Also, let me remind you that he is only with you 50% of the time.  So, the other 50% of the time that he is with his Father and I, do you really expect me not to jump in and be a parent with my husband?  If I help with his homework, it is to benefit him.  If I check his planner, it is because I am supposed to (you would know this if you ever read his teacher’s notes.)  If I  make a doctors appointment, it is because he is sick.  Everything I do is in his best interest.  While I do realize that it must be hard to not have your child 100% of the time and to have someone else helping your child with these things, it does go both ways.  You seem to forget that my husband also only has his child 50% of the time.  And we both are supportive and happy that you have a stable man in your life who cares for him as a team with you while he is in your care.  Stop looking at it as overstepping boundaries.  It is just parenting and getting things done.  One day, I hope you can see that we are ALL a team.

4.“You took my life!”

Wrong again.  While I respect you as my stepson’s mother, I definitely do not aspire to be you.  Do we have some things in common?  Clearly, or I would not be the stepmother of your son.  We both have been in love with the same man.  We both love the same child.  But, I have not “taken over” the life you once lived.  I didn’t even know my husband when you two decided to end your relationship.  How can I in any way, shape, or form be the reason you do not have the life you always wanted?  Stop blaming me just because I am an easy target.  Do my husband and I work hard and enjoy traveling and dining out often?  Yes.  But we also work hard.  You could enjoy the same things with your new love as well.  It just takes hard work.  So when you think “this could of been me” when you are sending text messages upset that we travel too much or spend money that could be yours, remember it is not yours.  You receive child support to support your son the 50% of the time he is with you.  If you desire to have extras or the nicer things in life, you too can work hard for them.  I realize you have some envy over the life my husband and I have spent years building.  But for the love of God, please stop painting a false picture in your mind that I “took over your life” when you know well that is not true.

5. “He Isn’t Yours!”

I know.  For the billionth time.  I know.  If you are still having a hard time with this over a decade after me joining your stepsons life, I believe you should probably talk to someone.  It is not healthy to be so stuck on something.  Life is too short not to be happy.  I try my hardest to be happy and not to let any of this get to me (although for many years I did.)  I know I did not give birth to the child that you did give birth to.  I know.  But can we all do your son a favor and stop treating him as a possession?  He is not anybodies.  He belongs to no one.  Is he the son of you and my husband?  Absolutely.  Is he the stepson to myself and your new love.  Yes.  But claiming that he belongs to one of us is actually a pretty vile way to speak of a child. He grew in your belly, you gave birth, and have loved him since day one.  Although he did not grow in my belly, he did grow in my heart when i met him over a decade ago after falling in love with his Daddy and made the choice to love and care for a child I did not give birth to.  I think the common ground is that love is involved.  We all love him.  But if we can please stop treating him as though he is a “thing” that would be most beneficial to the child you birthed.

As stepparents, we tend to really get ripped apart by every little thing we do.  It often seems as though nothing we do is ever enough.  And if it is, it was never our place to do it anyways.  Often with the Bio-Mom we are in a lose-lose situation.  Our stepchildren benefit from the love and care we provide them.  Regardless of the things she will say to you, always keep that in mind.  They need us, just as much as we need them.

What things do you wish you could correct the Bio-Mom in your life on?  Have you ever actually had a conversation regarding any of it?  I would love to hear what was said and how it was handled.  Please leave a comment!  Also, if you have anything you would like me to blog about, please leave it in the comments as well.

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A Few Thoughts on Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day. Such a sensitive holiday. I feel like most people have strong feelings about the day, whether it be that they love and adore it or can’t stand it. The ones that always get me are the ones who say “I don’t need to celebrate Valentine’s Day, love should be shown year round.” Obviously! Valentine’s Day is just a day to show that love and make it extra special. There is nothing wrong with a day celebrating love.

As much as I love Valentine’s Day and the idea of my husband treating me to a special day, I also cannot stand leaving the house on this day. The days of getting dressed up to wait an hour or longer for a table are over. A perfect Valentine’s Day to me is spent at home with the one I love. This year did not disappoint! Cooking brunch and watching movies all morning with my husband was exactly what the idea of Valentine’s Day should be to me. No phone calls. No errands. No schedule. Just each other.

And Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without nice gifts, right? I disagree. I love homemade. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Just meaningful. Knowing that someone put time, effort, thought, and love into their gift for you is more meaningful then anything else given to you will ever be. My husband’s creativity and thought blew me away this year. Spending my 11th Valentine’s Day with this man makes me feel so blessed to have each others love and dedication.

If every Valentine’s Day in my future could be just like the one this year, I would be a very happy woman. I really cherish the times my husband and I get to ourself without anywhere else to be and can really be in the moment and enjoy each other. Between both of us working full time and my stepson’s every growing busy schedule, quality time spent together doesn’t happen as much as we would like. I do t take for granted a single second we do get.

How was your Valentine’s Day? Do you have thoughts about the holiday one way or another? I would love to hear in the comments!

20 Things I Love About My Stepson

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In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought I would share twenty (of the millions) of things I love about my stepson.  While my husband and I celebrate Valentine’s Day as a married couple and celebrate our love and marriage, we also try to make it special for my stepson.  I was inspired by a post I saw of a homemade booklet of things you love about your stepchild.  I thought this was such a special and personal idea to gift your stepchild, and did the same.  I am a true believer that words are more special then any gift.  Telling and showing someone you care will leave a longer and stronger memory then any box of chocolate… Although, I must admit.  He is also getting chocolate.

Here are twenty (of the millions) of things I love about my stepson:

  1. His Lego Building Skills.
  2. How He Never Complains When I Ask for Help.
  3. That He Has a Big Heart and Loves Everyone.
  4. When He Dances.
  5. Hearing About His Dreams in the Morning.
  6. His Imagination.
  7. When He Brings Home 100% on His Vocabulary Tests and is SO Proud.
  8. That We Share the Same Taste in Music and Sing in the Car Together.
  9. Seeing Him Boogie Board. He is AWESOME.
  10. When He Laughs.  It always makes me smile.
  11. How He Can Always Tell Me What is Going on in a Movie.
  12. His Generosity.
  13. That He is a Super Star Reader.
  14. His Talent Playing Call of Duty.
  15. How He Always Gives Me a Bite of His Food.
  16. How Good He is at Helping Me Cook.
  17. That He is His Dad’s Best Friend.
  18. His Bear Hugs.
  19. When He Tells Silly Jokes.
  20. How He Blesses My Life and Makes Me Feel Like the Luckiest Stepmom.

I would love to know some of the special things you love about your stepchildren and how you celebrate Valentine’s Day.  Please leave a comment to share.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hello…It’s Me…

Yes…I am that girl… That titles the name of her first blog with Adele lyrics. That would definitely be me. This blog has been a long time in the making. I have always liked to write. I have kept a personal journal for years. But I have always had a desire to start a blog to reach out to others who may be in situations similar to my own. What is my situation, you may ask? Well…

I married my husband and became a stepmom in 2012. Although we decided to get married and make our family “official”, we have been together much longer then that. My husband and I met through mutual friends in 2004 when his son was just a baby. As you can imagine, the relationship came with many highs and lows (I know the movies all paint stepmotherhood to be a walk in the park, but it isn’t always just that… Yeah right! It is never painted as a walk in the park, and we are typically portrayed as being the evil stepmom… Ahem, Cinderella!)

I plan to share more of my personal story and the ups and downs as I get more comfortable with blogging. For now, just pretend you are watching the movie trailer with Mr. movie Trailer Guy’s voice saying “In a World where Stepmoms are constantly having to defend their heart and motives…” We all love a good teaser, right?

I have many goals and ideas for this blog. I hope to get more personal with you all. I am sure each time I hit “post” this will get easier. I also want to share things that I love with you all. I love food, cooking, wine, traveling, the outdoors, and a good deal! Who doesn’t love the thrill of finding a great deal!? 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting my dream and goal of creating a personalized lifestyle blog. Please feel free to write comments on any post. I would love to connect with you!

Until The Next Post…

-Me