~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, January 28, 2015

Family Tree

So Kate came home with a family tree project due for Spanish class (3rd grade). She had 1/2 poster board and instructions for a basic family tree, with herself at the bottom, and branching up and out, labeling all relative names in Spanish. I started digging for pictures of Jason's family and she started painting her tree. I explained we would need to use only half of her tree and she could complete her mom's side of the tree at her mom's house. That's when the confusion began.

Kate: "But what about you? You're my mom. Where do you go on my tree?"

Me: "Well there's only room for one mom on here, so let's just stick with blood relatives--let's only do people who are directly in your family line and we'll have to leave out people who married into your family."

Kate: "Well, I already have Grandma and Papa. Now where do I put Grandma Cindy and Uncle Jim and Aunt Kelli?" (my family)

Me: "Kate, yes, we are all part of your family, but none of us are blood related like I explained. I married into your family. So we aren't going to be on this particular project."

Kate: "Well can't I just do 2 family trees?"

Me: "Kate, look. You didn't actually come from two separate families. When you were born, there was one mom and one dad. That's how we need to make this tree. I love you like my own, but I didn't give birth to you. So let's just put your mom and her family on here, because that's what a family tree is. If sometime you have to do one again, maybe we can ask for a bigger poster so you can include your stepmom and stepdad, ok?"

I thought she finally understood and was appeased, and then the next day she asked where she was going to put her stepdad! Gotta love the complexity of blended families and learn to just roll with it!

Friday, January 23, 2015

A response to my critics

Let me just address (now that I've had a week to cool off) some hate I've received over my blog lately.

1. If you don't like what I write here, go away. No one is forcing anyone to read, agree with, or comment on anything I write. This blog is therapeutic for me and allows me a place to vent and feel heard without upsetting anyone in my family. I have never claimed that all of my feelings are good, right, or justifiable. They're just feelings. I don't have to defend them to anyone. This blog will NEVER be seen by Kate or Jane, and they will not ever be hurt by anything I have written.

2. I have never been, nor ever intend to be, rude, mean, or disrespectful towards bio mom. Yes, I'm a stepmom--read the title genius! There IS going to be conflict and hurt feelings. But, I have never once taken them out on her or the kids. Again, this is my place to vent. I talk about conflicts and messy situations. All the good, easy-going times don't get mentioned, because they are drama-free. My relationship with bio mom is better than probably 90% of other stepmom/ biomom situations. We do a very good job of putting the kids first, the past behind us, and acting like adults. So take your judgmental attitude somewhere else, thank you very much.

3. Comments that my husband moved on "pretty fast" after his divorce are just outright lies and unfounded. If you want to attack me, fine, but don't drag my innocent husband into your sad, twisted, hateful world. He was single dad for nearly two years while his ex went through the affair boyfriend, met and got engaged with new boyfriend, was pregnant, and married for over a year before we ever even got engaged.

No girl grows up dreaming of becoming stepmom someday. No girl imagines becoming a parent the same day she says "I do." No girl anticipates her honeymoon and romantic dates being interrupted by texts and calls from his ex. No girl has goals to mother kids one day that already have a mother. No girl plans to put her parents in an awkward "step-grandparent" situation. You get the point. It's not ideal. But some of us fall in love with a great man, and we do whatever it takes to make it work, messy or not, perfect or not, ideal or not. So pardon me as I continue on my personal journey through good and bad as a stepmom and wife.