leader of the unreliable bloggers.

Hello everyone.

It has been a long while since I have written. I am so terrible at keeping up with a steady schedule because I just don’t want to sound negative or feel like I am writing about the same things over and over again, because that is how the life of a step-parent seems to be.

Things have been quite steady and good around her despite the fact that I have been sick for over a week. I have come about life at a different perspective than I have in the past. I just take things one hour at a time and not worry about the future of the past or what might happen. It helps me to stay more positive and more grounded. Which as you probably got from my last posts is exactly what I need haha.

I still have my days, but atleast it’s not everyday. I know this post seems short and doesn’t really have any purpose. But I just want all the step-parents out there to know that not everything is bad. Step-parenting is such a bittersweet job.

Stay positive.

Love deeply.

and most importantly laugh often.

Sounds so cliche but the best times I have with my step-kids is when we are playing games or eating a meal and we just sit and talk and laugh. No talking about what is going on at the other house or any of that nonsense. Just real conversations about what they want to talk about.

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where you come from shapes who you are…??

Lately I have put a great deal of thought into where I am come from. Not the logical and technical “come from”. But the family life and structure of my childhood. I come from a very mixed up family life. I have two dads and three very very different families. I am always constantly questioning if we are a product of our environment or does it go much deeper than that. I am nothing like my mother and always wonder if I really was created in her womb because we are so different. 

Did my childhood lead me up to be a step-parent? Did the experiences of my past send me to feel the desire to be a step-parent? A lot of these answers I will never know and my personal opinion on them are very vague. It is quite possible and my therapist believes a lot of my past experiences did lead to me desire the job of a step-parent but I still have my questions.

I don’t know if I really believe that our past “shapes” who we are today. I don’t think we are a complete product of our environment. I think genetics play a huge part of it all. I did not spend much time around my biological father or his family growing up. I saw them maybe 3-4 times a year and didn’t start actually spending quality time with them until I was about 16 but the similarities in our personalities, personal views and mannerisms was uncanny. Our personalities fit together like puzzle pieces and we would say the same things at the same time. I was a mini version of my grandmother personality wise and I had never spent much time around her. I had spent majority of my days with my mother and we were nothing alike but had spent significantly less with my biological father and we were exactly alike.

Just because I come from a twice broken home means I have to marry into a broken home? No. I truly believe that was all coincidence or something of that sort. It was love, I wasn’t out looking for a divorced father and I wasn’t wanting to be a step-mom. Honestly I never wanted to be married, ever. I wanted to be the eternal single girls and live my own life, doing my own thing and I never wanted kids. 

Sorta funny how life works out. Maybe the universe or whatever higher power you believe in knew I would be a good step-mom (I disagree most the time) or that I was exactly what my husband needed and he was what I needed. I don’t know but I do know that I believe our past doesn’t shape who we are. I believe our past just teaches us and helps us prepare for the future. I don’t believe because you were raised with a democratic atheist mom and dad that you will then become a democratic atheist or despise democratic atheists. And in the grand scheme of things it isn’t really all that important. 

What is in important is that we learn and we grow and we find who we are and what we embrace it. Use what we know about ourselves to help our lives and our step-children’s lives. Our step-kids may not have our genetics and most the time will be a completely being than we are, but so may our biological children. My mother is my biological mother and we are so different, but it doesn’t make me love her any less. Just like a step-child may be completely different from us but they will not love us any less or us them.

become who you are supposed to be.

Life is so complex and people are even more complex. The thought of who we are is probably one of the hardest questions one could be asked. I know when I am asked "What kind of person are you?" or "List three words to describe yourself" my first thought is to ask my question. In my mind he knows me better than I know myself. And generally that is a sad thought.

How terrible that I can’t answer simple questions about my own self. Simple is not a word I would normally use to describe those type of questions but in most mans terms it is a simple question. I am a deep thinker and I thought a lot of thought and research into topics. I will not argue something unless I have done my research on it and have a good opinion or multiple facts on a topic.

Most of my knowledge is worthless to a lot of people and quite random. But the one subject I have found myself to not know hardly anything about is myself. I was quite saddened when I was thinking about this, about how I know hardly anything about who I am or what I believe. Most of the things I thought I “knew” about what I believed and who I was were things I had been told over the years. And this went against so much of who I really was. I always think about things and figure things out for myself before I take a stand or state my own opinion.

But here I was just taking everyone else’s word for it. Now in hind sight it would make sense that others around me would know me just as good if not better than everyone else. But I am the type who doesn’t speak out and I more often than not keep my thoughts to myself. I am a peace keeper, I hate confrontation and so for the sake of peace I usually keep what I am thinking to myself. So this makes for most people not truly knowing what I am thinking or how I feel because I do not openly speak out.

I had an entire post typed up earlier this morning about feeling used and how step-parents probably feel this way a lot. Well I deleted it, typed the whole thing and then clicked the “X” in the upper right hand corner and shut my laptop off.

Why? You may ask.

Because I was afraid. I was scared of posting what I felt because I knew it wasn’t true,but it was how I felt at the time. I always was afraid of how others would perceive me if they were reading what I was actually feeling. So there it is again, the fear of saying how I feel.

I guess you could say this is just who I am, afraid. So I have two things down of the list of who I am, afraid and a peacekeeper. I have always known these two things and as I realized this I realize, I know exactly who I am. I have just always been too afraid to speak of who I am and what I believe. Afraid of the judgement of others and what they would think of me.

How terrible is this?! I was and am so ashamed to admit this. To admit that I am a scaredy cat afraid of being my own self. I am not fake in any means, I don’t pretend to be someone else because I am afraid. I just don’t go around people and openly express who I am. I am a wallflower. I tend to gravitate toward the corner and only talk when spoken to and try to keep the spotlight off of myself ( yet here I am typing for all internet users to read).

I know this isn’t so much step-parent related but I feel as though a lot of time the step-parent is assumed to just sit back and go with the flow. They are made to feel that they can’t speak up for fear of causing a ruckus. And this is exactly how I am. I am afraid to speak up in my daily life so it is only fitting that I be afraid to speak up in my step-parenting life as well (not that they are separate lives but you get the jist).

I feel like (atleast I hope) that others have had this same problem of not knowing who they are, of struggling to know what they really believe and what they like. I am sure most people hit this pivotal point in life at the age of 18 or 19. My struggle was at the age of 19 I was married and was focused on being a good wife and a good step-mom and what I could do to help my children’s birth mom. I wasn’t concerned with who I was as a person, just who I was as a new wife and step-mom.

So here I am at practically 25, trying to figure out who I am. A lot of this was brought on by riding the coat tails of my family and doing what was expected of me for the sake of my family, from realizing that I am so sick of rolling over on my back to keep the peace (although I am still doing that) and from being so tired of feeling like I am being used. I read a quote, I can’t remember who said it but it stated “People don’t change, they just become who they are truly meant to be.” How true is this statement? It made me realize that I don’t need to change I just need to become who I am truly supposed to be.

I know who I am, I was just confused. I will probably always roll over to keep the peace. I will probably keep my thoughts to myself more often than not. But I shouldn’t let these things keep me from being happy. I need to embrace who I am and accept it. I need to speak up when I feel that it is for my happiness. I believe everyone should be happy, and if what makes them happy isn’t effecting me than who I am to speak up about that?

So why should I sit back while others take my happiness? I shouldn’t.

I know this post was long and I know it may not help anyone. But I hope it does. I hope everyone can be themselves and be happy. Find who you are really meant to be and embrace it, live it ❤

who are we?

Something happened a few weeks ago that has been weighing on my mind that I want to get out in the open because I am sure this is a common occurrence among step parents.

My SS was talking about how I didn’t have any sons. I then reciprocated with “Well kinda, you’re my son” and his response back to me was “Not really.”

I was taken aback, I have been in my SS life since he was two, so for as long as he can remember. When he was younger he actually thought that he was in both mine and his moms bellies. And whenever I would mention that I never had kids (before my girls were born) he would always jump in to correct me and say that he was my kid and I was his parent.

Well here we are and he is no longer this young and naive little boy. He is an eight year old who knows everything and will always put you in your place.

And this time he surely did.

I have always been the Stepmom that watches what she says and makes sure not to cross any boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed. Okay, I am like in this on everything in my life. But growing up in a twice divorced home I have always known how uncomfortable it made me when my dad’s girlfriend would refer to me as her daughter and not her step-daughter. Also, I know how mad their bio-mom gets when I make these comments, so out of respect for her I do not cross boundaries.

I always make it a point to say “your kids” or “the kids” and never “OUR kids” or “MY kids” and let the kids decide on their own how to title themselves when it comes to me. My SD2 has always referred to herself as my child and says she is my daughter and that is fine and what works for her.

But being told flat to the face by an eight year old that I have practically raised that he is not mine was like a smack to the heart. I am not sure why because I don’t expect anything more than a “stepmom” titled. I have never wanted to be called “mom” by my stepchildren and have never expected them too. But it almost felt as though he was denying me any credit to me taking care of him.

Now granted I am sure he has been told multiple times that he is not child.

That’s fine but I guess hearing it first hand really took me by storm. And here I am in a conflict with myself.

My whole life I have been told how to behave, how to look and what to be like. I love ponytails and wear them often but everytime I wear one I always get a response along the lines of “Why do you always wear your hair like that? Your hair is so pretty you need to wear it down around your face.” If I wear the wrong outfit “You shouldn’t wear pants like that, look how fat they make you look, you can see all your fat hanging down.” And so I have always been so afraid to be who I want to be because of fear of criticism and being degraded. I live my life constantly walking on egg shells and being super cautious not to do or wear or say anything that could be cause for criticism. And yet how coincidental that I marry someone with children. I almost feel as though step-parents have to live a life of constantly walking on egg shells. Not only by watching what you do and say in front of your step-kids but also by watching what you do and say in your everyday life by fear of the bio-mom talking something and making a mountain out of it.

I live my life so conservatively and am quite the homebody but I have had many Facebook statues made about me from things that had been twisted beyond belief just to make me look bad. It’s as though you can never do anything right because as soon as someone’s life starts falling apart they need to bring you down with them and make you look and feel just as bad as them. Most of the time I feel as though I am not living my own life nor in control of it. Bio-mom is controlling it and making it how she wants it to be.

Is this a common occurrence in most step-parents lives? Do you ever feel as though you are sacrificing who you really are and what you would normally do to help your stepchildren lives and to keep the peace with bio-mom?

a title to be held.

A question that has been on my mind a lot lately is “What do I want my title to be?”

Now I know that may seem a little pretentious. Like, why do I need a title or who do you think you are getting a title? But in reality when we are gone from the world, people we knew or who knew about us are left with memories and unofficially, a title.

Whether we are just known simply as “mom” or “sweet loving person” or even as highly as “noble peace prize winner”. We will all have some sort of title.

Now the reason this question has been on my mind is because after thinking much about this blog and speaking to my husband about this blog. I was pondering why I actually started writing here. The answer to that question is quite simple, to help give support to other step-parents and basically writing is my best therapy and writing out my emotions helps me since I don’t have any outside parties to talk to that can relate.

But I then realized.. do I want to center my whole life around “step-mom”. Do I forever want my title to be “step-mom”? I don’t mean this in a negative light, I do enjoy being a step-parent. It has so many benefits and is quite fun most of the time. But I am also a birth mother and that brings up much struggle. I was a step-mom before a birth mom so does that make step-mom my first title?

On my obituary when I pass, do I want it to say “Beloved wife, step-mom, mother, sister and daughter”? Or just simply “Beloved wife, mother, sister and daughter”? Or will the children’s birth mom be offended at that? Do I want to be known to the rest of the world as the step-mom?

Step-mom has gotten such a bad rap and in my opinion I do not fit any of the stereotypes of the publicized “step-mom”. I would rather just be called my name and not by step-mom. I don’t want to be ashamed but I think it comes with the territory and probably more so in my case where my oldest step daughter is only seven years my junior.

But when I married my husband I took on the responsibilities and I have never refused to do that job. I take it with pride most of the time and I step up to the plate and a lot of times step up to the birth mothers plate as well. I love doing it and even though I often times I hesitate before swinging the bat I know it is what my step kids need.

So do I want to be known my whole life as a “step-mom”? Honestly, I don’t know. I’m not the perfect example of one and by no means an expert on it. I don’t know if I am good enough to even be writing this blog about it. But really, who is? This job is not one size fits all and every situation is different. Not one of us is an expert on how to do it. We all have our great days where we don’t even feel the step in our name and others days it feels like the step is stepping all over us.. But we all do it and we do it the best we know how and that alone should help us keep our heads held high and our shoulders pushed back because we are doing jobs that some people just can’t handle.

Bravo step-parents, bravo!

little something to keep me going..

A few years ago I wrote a little piece of something to explain one of my biggest passions in life. I always have gotten a lot of crtique on the genre of music I listened to so I wrote a little explanation of why I listen to the music I listen to and posted it on Facebook for everyone to see to kind of explain it in one lump sum.

I love music, it speaks to me when no one else can and it says the things I can’t say. It’s my remedy for everything. So I wanna share my old explanation that I wrote to help anyone out there who doesn’t understand or for others who can relate….

music.
as i am sure most of you can relate, is one of the most important things in my life.
it has saved me, made me, and kept me.
does this seem a bit extreme?
to some maybe..
but i can explain.
recently someone who means a quite deal to me wrote a comment on one of my facebook status updates saying..
“grow up. all you care about is bands. bands are not that important. grow up”
now out of respect for that person i will not post who it was.
but let’s just say they have helped shape me and make me who i am today.
it is so sad to think that someone does not understand how substantial music can be.
now i understand some may not have the same thoughts on music (the cynical type perhaps?)
so last night i woke up still upset about the comment and i decided why music means so much to me.
here is my spill.
music… is such a powerful notion in life. music breaks language barriers.
take macarena for example, anyone who doesn’t know spanish doesn’t understand a word in that song. but yet i can bet almost all of you reading this have done the macarena.
powerful, right?
music can calm a baby, a tiny human being who doesn’t understand practically anything but music can speak to them.
remarkable right?
funerals, weddings, parties, slideshows: all these include some type of music, why? because it speaks to everyone watching/attending.
stores, shopping centers, restuarants, malls: all of these play music. why?
because it speaks to everyone that walks into that business.
at a grocery store music can make you buy things you don’t need.
powerful, right?
music can speak in ways nothing else can.
although not everyone listens to the same type of music, we all have felt something extraordinary due to music.
when i listen to music, it is almost as though someone is whispering in my ear “i love you”
i get taken to a place that no one else can enter, i get put in a “music coma”
music can say the words you have been trying to say but can’t
music can release the emotions you have been bottling up inside for months but can’t escape from.
music lets you escape from those moments in life that you never want to go back to.
music gives you a friend when you thought you couldn’t find anyone to relate with you.
there are moments when you feel as though you have lost it all and have nothing left. no one to talk to, nothing to live for and music gives you all those reasons to live, back.
when listening to a song that touches you so deeply that you can’t explain the feeling, you connect.
connect to the music, connect to the vibe, connect to the lyrics being sang, connect to the singer/musicians.
the connection is so overwhelming that you feel as though you know the band/singer/writer/musicians on a personal level.
like they are instantly your best friend.
the connection is so deep that forever that song is burned into your heart.
when an artist is singing a song that they wrote, a song that means just as much to them as it does you.
you can feel them.
you feel their emotions in their voice.
you feel how they felt at the time they wrote that song.
and you relate.
relate so deeply that you don’t want to let go of that moment.
you feel as though you have found a lifetime friend.
someone who know exactly what you are going through.
and you don’t even have to have a conversation with them or tell them how you feel to feel that connection.
in life there are very few things that happen without having conversations and the connections you make in music is one of those things where conversation is not necessary.
music is my friend.
my support group.
my escape.
a priority.

A Pondering Moment

It’s been quite some time since I have written. Weeks, actually.

I have been having a hard time lately and not necessarily anything to do with step-parenting but just everything in general. I have had moments of pondering and also  moments of questioning.

I wanted to write every Monday morning. But the last few Mondays have come and gone and I had no idea what to write about. I know my reasoning for this and a lot of it is fear. I have a hard time sharing my feelings. I don’t want things to be held against me and with this blog being aired on the internet, there is a large chance of this happening. I try to keep most of my life anonymous for that same reason but it isn’t that hard to notice similarities in my life if you know who I am.

But I have made a pact with myself to be brutally honest. I am one to sugar coat the real issues in my life because I hate attention and sympathy. I don’t need sympathy, I made my decisions and I can handle my own. I don’t want anyone to feel the need to put me before themselves. But since this is a blog and most of you don’t know me personally, then I feel no need to sugar coat.

I want to be honest. 

I want to be real.

How can I help others if I can’t tell them exactly how I am feeling?

My husband and I got to talking last night about how things are with his ex and the situation of how they DO NOT talk unless it is in text about the kids.

In all honesty it is better that way because if they did talk then things just blow up and become a problem, text helps to filter the emotion. And really there is no need to talk to an ex about anything except kids, but they don’t even talk about all things concerning kids. In this conversation I had mentioned how all I wanted was for us all to get along. I am one who can get along with anyone and I am a firm believer in even if you hate someone you be nice to them and respect them, no matter what your feelings are. There is no sense in being disrespectful and mean to someone. 

This then brought up how his mistakes as a teenager had effected so much in not only my husbands life but his children’s  life as well and if he could go back would he have done things differently?

He then asked me “Had you known this is how it would have been would you have still married me?”

I have asked myself this same question many times. And have always said yes. Because it is true. I love my husband and his kids and yes this life is so crazy and stressful,

BUT

the good always out weighs the bad.

I always say I don’t want my children to be step-parents before they become birth parents (marry someone with children before they have their own children). It is a life that comes with many burdens and I believe it brings many road blocks in helping people be able to grow and do a lot of things they could have done if they had not been step-parents.

Well this has brought me an epiphany. It’s not the step-parenting that is hard. It’s not the step-kids that are hard. It is the ex that is hard. If my husbands ex was a nice person who was confident in herself, held no resentment or hurt feelings and was able to push her feelings aside in order to help co-parent then, I wouldn’t have the troubles I have had. She would encourage my step-kids to like me (which they do, but we have had our moments where they don’t) and not hold resentment, then we wouldn’t have the troubles in raising them. If she didn’t undermine my husbands punishments and rules then we wouldn’t have the acting out/playing sides issues. If she didn’t hate me then I wouldn’t have to worry about the rumors and people I don’t know hating me. I could go on and on but this has change my outlook on so much.

It’s not the stepparenting, it’s the ex.

This brings up the issue of if the name of this blog is even fitting? Is what I am trying to accomplish with this blog is even the same problem?

It is all still worth it and I will always just kill with kindness. It’s who I am.

Does anyone else have an ex that is hard to handle? How do you handle?

Irrational Feelings.

As a stepmom I have come to find that I feel emotions that most people would call “irrational” or that others feel I shouldn’t be feeling. I have gone to counseling on and off for the last 2 years and my counselor had called these “irrational fears”.

Irrational in literal terms is:

adjective

1. without the faculty of reason; deprived of reason.

2. without or deprived of normal mental clarity or sound judgment.

3. not in accordance with reason; utterly illogical: irrational arguments.
4. not endowed with the faculty of reason: irrational animals
So pretty much meaning, not worth the feeling and shouldn’t effect me. But they do and I find the reason to this being, I care a lot about what other think and feel. I am very sensitive and sympathetic. I want everyone happy and everyone to like me, no matter the cost. This has led me to some great troubles in my life and some good things.
A stepmom can’t help but feel as though nothing they do is every right. Is it always wrong or does it just seem that way? When do things start feeling right?
Do any of you have similar feelings or emotions? How do you cope?

Where it all began.

Every great story has a beginning. Mine is drenched in drama and a little unexpected turns. My husb and I don’t have a cliche love story filled with romance and great first kisses and families melding together in harmonious joy. 

Instead we both met in a situation that neither of us would have normally attended. I had been a good girl for most of my life. Followed the rules, hated going out, a stay home and read kind of girl. A wallflower perhaps. But I had started working at a local gas station and met some girls that were fun and kept me busy. So when they invited me to hang out I decided it would be a fun venture out. The innocent girl in me thought it would be some harmless fun. 

Well the girl decided to have a get together at her house and invited a guy that had asked for her number at work. He brought along of some friends and lots of booze. I had never been drunk before and I’m quite easily talked into things so they all talked me into getting drunk. BAD IDEA.

The only nice man there was the guy my friend had invited over. Little did I know that man would soon change my life in ways I never perceived.

We started out as just texting friends, nothing more. This guy was 11 years my senior and had four children, the oldest being only seven years younger than me and the youngest being only 2. Well as a few weeks progressed we decided we liked each other a little more.

To nobody’s surprised my parents were NOT happy. My dad had tried beating him up after stalking us on a dinner date and my mother had chased us down in her car and chewed him out. But bless his heart he would not be shut down.

Six months later and lots of drama and pondering later we decided to get married. At first we wanted to run off and not tell anybody about what we had done until after. So we bought 2 plane tickets to New York and were planning our escape. But after a talk with my stepmom we decided to let everyone know and my mom convinced me to be married at home and go to New York as a honeymoon.

Our tickets were bought so the wedding would be planned around our honeymoon, which was four weeks away. 

Thinking back, I never considered what being a stepmom would entail. I had been raised in a “broken” home, as some would call it. But I never saw it that way. I had been through two divorces. My mom and bio dad divorced when I was three weeks old. My mom and dad (man who raised me) met when I was six months old and married when I was one and a half, they later divorced when I was 11.

It was the “norm” to me. Not seeing my bio dad very much growing up meant that I met a new girlfriend every time I saw him. He then “settled down” (in his terms means living with someone) for ten years. She would be known as my stepmom for quite sometime. But they later broke up when I was a teen. My other dad dated a few women here and there and then married my next stepmom when I was 17. I loved her, she was my best friend and we hung out all the time. I wanted to the be the stepmom she was to me. But when I got married she decided to flip and things were very rough for quite sometime.

I am now five years into my relationship with my husb and have learned so many things. We now have two daughters together and they are everything to me. But they also changed me and how I handle being a “step”. I have often tried to find support but support for “steps” is hard to come by. Being so young and coming from a smaller community I don’t know any other step-parents. I love to write and so with some support from my husb, I have decided to start a blog. We have quite a bit of drama in our marriage (not between us) from the ex and it makes for some interesting situations and experiences. 

So I am hoping to build a support team and a following so that we have band together and help each other and other step-parents who may not have the support they need.