~Welcome to my personal story as a first time wife and stepmom. I use this space to share real life happenings in a blended family, funny stories, my personal frustrations, failures, and occasional victories as I journey through this life with two beautiful and challenging stepdaughters. Thanks for reading, and I hope you find something to help you have a better day!~
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Saturday, May 20, 2017
Yesterday, I was in a moment of extreme frustration, and one of those lightbulbs went off in my head saying "This is what being a stepmom is. Look around. This scene, this feeling, this frustration, this emotion... all of this literally defines 'stepmom'." I wish I had snapped a picture, but that would just be too perfect. I was at Kate's 5th grade awards ceremony. The school makes a big deal of leaving 5th and heading to middle school, so I had bought Kate a nice dress and curled her hair, etc. At the ceremony, I was sitting in the back all ready with my camera when they called her name. Suddenly bio mom stands up right in the middle of the aisle 3 or 4 rows ahead of me, and STAYED STANDING THE ENITRE TIME Kate was up there. (Most parents kneel down or squat to make room and not block anyone else). So I couldn't get a single picture without her blocking my view.
And I thought, "Isn't this so true for stepmoms? We've done all the work behind the scenes to get them to this point. I've been the one signing papers and helping with projects and making her study and getting her ready for this day. Then when the moment to shine comes, it's all bio mom, and we are stuck behind her being blocked out by her big butt".... of course I mean that completely metaphorically ;)But that just seems to be the lot for a majority of us, which honestly is fine with me. I don't want the glory or the spotlight, but at least one picture would have been nice! At the end I asked to see her awards and certificates, and Kate said her mom took them. When I asked to just look at them and give them back, bio mom said "No, I'll make copies for you", which she has said at every awards show for 5 years and we've never once received copies! Times like these, I feel so out of place, like I shouldn't even attend and I don't belong. But I hold it together and smile for Kate's sake. It's good practice for graduation and wedding day and every other important event still to come.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
I never realized that marrying a divorced man meant tying on a 5'11" 160 pound weight around my neck for the next 12 years of my life. Every single little thing we want to do has to go through her first. It almost feels like being a child and needing permission from a parent for everything I do. You want examples? Good--I could go on for days... ~We need passports renewed for our summer trip. Oh wait, she has to fill out a form to give us permission. Oh, her dumb butt filled it out wrong and has to redo it? Yeah, so now if she doesn't fix it in time, we lose our money and summer trip. ~We want to leave town an hour early for Spring Break? Oh right, we have to let her know anytime we pull the kids out of school (even if all they are missing is PE and she never returns the favor of letting us know). ~We want to sign Kate up for club sports? Better make sure her mother is okay with that. ~It's our turn to pick our summer dates first, and we gave them to her 2 months early. But wait, she has a problem with the dates we picked and wants us to change them to be more convenient for her. ~We want to take the kids to see a movie, but they feel awkward because their mother told them she wanted to take them. ~We have annual physical and dental appointments set up for them a year in advance, only to find out the day before their mother called and canceled without letting us know. Thanks. ~Hubby wants to let Jane do an amusement ride she's begging to do that requires a waiver, but wait--he has to call her mother first and make sure she's okay with it. ~We want to get tickets to a certain play or concert coming to town? Oh, better not do that before we check if she's already planning to take them. ~God forbid I want to get them a haircut before a trip even if it's really necessary because the one time I did, caused THE WORLD'S BIGGEST FIREWORKS SHOW. Hair and beauty is HER thing, and I am not to ever cross that line. ~We want some standards of dress now that Jane isn't wearing uniforms to school, and the one time I questioned her outfit, she replies "Well my mom said I could wear this." Ummmmm, Did I ask you what your mom said? No. ~We wanted to go out to eat at a certain restaurant, only to be greeted with "We just went there with mom last night". Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize even my freaking eating choices were going to be dictated by that woman. I'm sure you're sick of hearing all these by now.... but yeah, that's my life, and I could go on and on. Being run by a woman who used to share a bed with my husband. Fantastic. To all you stepmoms out there who keep on keeping on through all this mess and manage to stay happy and fulfilled, I applaud you. Seriously.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
As sad as it is to admit, you would think the kids would be used to being hurt by their mother. But every time that wound is reopened, it seems to cut a little deeper and sting a little more. This time ended with Kate angry and crying all the way home from her dance recital. But it began a couple weeks before. First, her mom came to 10 minutes of her opening basketball game, but left to go out with friends. Next, she didn't show up at all to Kate's last Christmas program at school, and just sent a "Tell her I'm sorry" text. Then after 7 years of demanding that dance is "her thing", refused to do Kate's hair or makeup for her recital this year, and didn't even bother to go say hi backstage or even see her after the show. Left early to "go get ready for a party" that didn't start until 5 hours later! Usually the parent that doesn't bring her will get her flowers--but no flowers either. Again, the "tell Kate I'm sorry I had to go" text. She couldn't take any more. She broke down all the way home about how angry she is with her mother and needs to sit her down and talk about time management--actual words out of an 11-year-olds mouth. I just felt helpless and heartbroken. I would fix it if I could--but she needed her mother. Then to top it all off, hubby J gets a text 2 days later from bio mom that she really misses Kate and would like to have some of our winter break days with her. Wow... just classic! Use the time that you're given, lady! She doesn't want to see you. And count on it--there WILL BE over the top making up for her guilty conscience over New Years--but it will be things and not time.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
Do you ever get to a point where you sit back and look at your life and wonder, "How in the world did I, ME, get to a place in my life where THIS is the stuff that is consuming my energy and stressing me out?" I mean, if you told me 10 years ago that I would be hopping mad over how my husband's ex-wife treats our kids, I would probably run the other way as fast as I could! But this is where I am in life, and yes, I am hopping mad! Three things: 1. Okay, remember last year, how she pitched a HUGE ROYAL fit about me planning a spa day for Jane's 13th birthday, and how dare I overstep such a sacred mommy-daughter thing, etc? Well, fast-forward to this year. Jane is scheduled to be in her care on her 14th birthday. We did our celebration early when she was with us--but only cake and presents--nothing extravagant, so that she can do all the over-the-top special little mommy-daughter stuff she pleases. Imagine my surprise then (not really!) when I find out she left Jane FOR 3 STRAIGHT DAYS, BIRTHDAY INCLUDED with a new, not-so-close friend so bio mom could leave town, and come back to town her birthday night, but instead of seeing her daughter, go to a concert instead!! And I was out of line for actually spending her birthday WITH her? MIND-BLOWN! Need I say more? 2. The second thing getting my blood boiling is how she handled Kate's dance lessons for this year. There was a registration day every week starting back in June at the dance school Kate has attended since the age of 3. Guess who never went to one of them? Yeah. So school starts and Kate still can't tell me what day her dance lessons are this year, so I pick up the phone and ask. Here's what I get: "Well, I didn't register her because I wanted to look at a dance school that's closer to our new house. Well, also I didn't think she wanted to take dance any more. Well, I just haven't had time. And you know I had to wait to make sure it didn't interfere with volleyball, and ...... " Yeah, I've heard enough. Kate beside me started crying her eyes out. She couldn't believe she wasn't even signed up, and definitely would not want to change schools. So I offer to see if there are any openings on my days and I would just take her. Suddenly, OMG, NO WAY! She found an immediate opening on her day for the exact class Kate wanted. Just too flipping lazy to ever take initiative on these things. 3. Number three-- a really good one. She called my husband at work this week to say that I have been making Jane feel bad every time I make a comment about how far our drive to school is, and I really need to stop saying anything about it. WHAT?? I HAVE SO MANY PROBLEMS WITH THIS! First of all lady, you move an hour away from us last minute, and tell me not to say a word about it? Seriously, are you the one sitting in a car for 4 hours a day? Are you the one who has to make a 2 hour round trip just to see your kid sit on the bench at her volleyball game? Are you the one who is being forced to move into an area you don't even like? NO. Second, don't you dare EVER call MY husband to complain about me. If you have a problem with me, call me! You two are not on a team against me, EVER! And you never will be! Third, don't make this about Jane feeling bad. No. Jane doesn't feel bad--it's you who is just sick of feeling guilty for what you did to us. Oh, the nerve of some people! She is so consumed with herself, she can't see past her own nose! If you're still reading, I apologize for all that negative energy. Just had to get it off my chest without annoying the hubby.
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
As I am out and about around other people, my ears always prick up when there is any talk of stepparents or blended family situations. These conversations, combined with movies, TV, and songs paint such a contrasting picture of how stepdads and stepmoms are perceived in this world. Here's my interpretations:
Friday, July 29, 2016
As far as the kids were concerned, I felt like I may as well not even be there. Family vacations--not quite so glamorous as a stepparent. At times I felt like a tag-along fourth wheel this year. The girls were just constantly trying to one-up each other to get "daddy's" attention or to impress him with what they were doing. They constantly fought over who got to walk beside him or hold his hand or sit by him at dinner. Meanwhile, I'm like, "Hi. Nevermind. I'll just be over here." Then Jane was giving me major attitude any time I asked her to do anything. I couldn't say anything to her all week without her either correcting me, arguing, or being sarcastic. She was on a 3-hour daily phone limit all week, which may have contributed to her grumpiness. If her dad mentioned her time limit or checked up on her, she was all sweet and said "Okay, daddy." If heaven forbid I said something though, she exploded "Oh my gosh, I wasn't even on my phone. I was just checking the time. I'm just going to sit here and be on it for 3 hours right now then and not get ready to go." Maybe it's normal for a teenage girl and has nothing at all to do with ME. Maybe our hormones were just at odds all week. (Ughh--just wait until it's all three of us girls being hormonal!) But it really started wearing on me by the last 2 days. I told J I would rather not talk to her at all then to endure her responses. In my heart, I know she doesn't hate me, or even resent me. But when she's been snarling at me all evening, then goes and texts her mom all night--it hurts. I'm sure J enjoyed himself pretty well with all three of us girls just clamoring after him all week. We got to see and do some really cool things, and I'm sure when we look back on the pictures later, we'll all remember a good time, and none of this nonsense. Truth be told, I'm really glad they love their dad so much and try so hard to please him. We both realize they receive minimal attention at their mother's. They're largely just left on their own. (Jane gets a bit more time than Kate lately because she goes shopping with her mom ALL THE TIME and can call or text whenever. Kate hates shopping and therefore concludes her mother doesn't like spending time with her.) So I'm really thankful they got a full week of their dad's undivided attention, even if I had to be ignored for a while.
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
I learned something this week--hopefully for the last time! DON'T EVER EMAIL THE EX! No matter what. Even if you feel you need to be heard. Even if you are just defending your husband. No matter what she did. No matter how bad it is. No matter if you feel she needs to understand your hurt. No matter if it kills you to keep quiet. JUST DON'T EVER, EVER EMAIL HER TO SAY YOU'RE UPSET, TO GIVE YOUR OPINION, TO DISCUSS SOMETHING THAT BOTHERED YOU. Just stop opening your mouth. Just drive the kids around and keep the house clean and food in their bellies. That's it. It will just get turned around and explode in your face EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. You can't ever win with a manipulative narcissist. DON'T DO IT.