Why I Miss The Stepmom

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Why I Miss The Stepmom

If someone told me eight years ago I would be missing my children's stepmom I would have told them they are freaken crazy. No way in the world could I ever miss that lady. The struggles, arguments, and disagreements were enough to make anyone pull their hair out. Walking on egg shells and side stepping on both of our parts was the most exhausting thing ever!  Now I miss her and here is why. 

You see, my ex and I unfortunately do not see eye to eye when it pertains to raising our children, but thankfully that's where the stepmom would come in. She would keep up with their grades, friends, and curfews. She would reach out to me when she thought my boys were trying to pull one over on them, or if she thought they were doing something that was concerning. She was able to help my children's dad understand my point of view on things when I wasn't able to discuss things with him. She was put in the middle voluntarily or not, and she would try her best to help both sides all while keeping my kids' best interest in the forefront. 

Over the period of eight years I grew to respect the stepmom and commend her for helping shaping my boys and keeping them grounded. Were there times my boys didn't like her...... of course. Were there times I didn't like her..... for sure.  Were there times she didn't like me and my children....... absolutely.  I always kept in mind though that she had their best interest in mind even if my boys didn't think so. Her tough personality kept them in check, but her love and generosity kept them afloat. 

Fast forward to present day and unfortunately the stepmom and my ex are divorcing.  She will no longer have those ties to my children, and she will no longer help ease the arguments that are currently happening within our family dynamic. She will no longer be there to do the "mom" things that all children need. Whether it's hugs and "I love yous," or reminders to stay on top of responsibilities she will be missed. 

While I am sure her heart longs for the relationships that she has lost with my sons, my heart longs for her to instill many of the core values she believes in.

Currently one of my boys still wishes to have her in his life and the other does not. I can't not even begin to fathom what it would be like to not have my own stepchildren be a part of my life anymore. It tears me up as I am sure it does for her.  I pray that one day time will heal and relationships will mend.  

But for now stepmom, I want to thank you. Thank you for your years of devotion to my boys. Thank you for stepping up to the plate and doing the best that you could. Thank you for being a mom when they were in your home. Thank you for all that you have done. You may not hear it from my children, you may not hear it from the ex, but you will most definitely hear it from me.

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It's Not You, It's Me

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It's Not You, It's Me

"I have been in my stepchildren’s lives for many years.  I have loved, cooked, and played taxi. I have fixed and kissed numerous booboos.  But, even with all of my efforts, sometimes I’m left feeling insignificant."

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Father's Day - A Dad's Perspective

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Father's Day - A Dad's Perspective

Being a father is a hard enough, but being a stepfather can be just plain difficult.  As both a bio-dad and a stepfather I can truly attest to this.  Fathers, whether bio or step, should not feel threatened by each other.  (Believe me I get it. I know it can be difficult) If they have the best interest of the kids at heart it should prove to be somewhat easier.  I truly believe if the two are working together, the children can grow up in a life with two great examples of fatherhood.   Through many trials and a great amount of research, I would like to share what I know works.  Well…. at least in my case and the many cases I see day to day within my circle of friends.

Here are some tips that I have learned along the way:

  • First and for most, remember that your stepchild has a bio-dad.  With this, boundaries should be put in place.  Not so much for the bio-dad but more for the child’s sake.  No matter how much the bio-dad is in the picture or not, the child will more than likely love him unconditionally.  As stepfathers, we need to remember this; otherwise the child can easily build a wall if he or she believes you are there to replace the bio.  

  • Try and learn what your stepchild loves to do with their bio-dad and let that be theirs.  There are so many other ways to show the child how much you care. One of the most important ways is to simply spend time with them. Whether it is sitting next to them while they do homework or taking an interest in what interests them; like books or video games.  Just by being there, your relationship will grow exponentially.

  • Always stop to listen to them.  No matter what the topic may be, a child believes it is the most important thing in the world.  By doing this you learn more about the child and the child begins to trust you.

  • When your bio-children are around, be sure to spend equal time with everyone and include everyone when possible.  

  • Learn to respect the wishes of the mother and to respect the child.  Both have gone through a difficult time. Use this difficulty in your benefit and establish a new trust between everyone.

With all of this said I am not suggesting that the two fathers should start hanging out together and form an instant friendship.  What I am saying is, respect the reasonable boundaries of everyone, learn to respect the bio-dad and learn how to earn his trust and respect in return.  After all you have a long life together raising the children, might as well make it a little bit easier.

Check Out the Series at Amazon!

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A Strength in Numbers

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A Strength in Numbers

“You ever have that moment when you meet someone new and you have that instant, “Where have you been all my life because we can totally be best friends?”  Lucky for me this just happened a few days ago!  What’s even better is this girl is my new illustrator!” 

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Little Bit of Mixing and Blending With the Grandparents.

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Little Bit of Mixing and Blending With the Grandparents.

Nothing is better than grandparents!  Especially ones that take the time to teach each kid how to cook one of their favorite recipes that are sure to be passed down generation to generation.  The B.EL.L Pack ate like champs this week!  From Yogi’s Roly Poly Stromboli to Robyne’s famous Éclair Cake, they were a hit in this house.  Believe me, there was not a single leftover!

The B.EL.L Pack kids are some lucky ducks!  They have eight grandparents on this side alone.  What’s even better is that no matter if they are blood related or not, not a single one of these grandparents treat them any differently.  From Christmas to birthdays, from visits to their homes or visits to ours, each set of grandparents go out of their way to make sure that ALL of the kids are loved.  Even the puppies feel the love! What a blessing! 

Sometimes I hear other blended families having a difficult time molding together to be a cohesive unit. That’s not even counting the added troubles of adding the new grandparents.  I can’t say that it was perfect right from the start.  We had our shares of “Oh this one loves them more,” or “Why do they spend more time with this one?”  But over time, the grandparents have tried to be sure to let them know that there is no difference.  

Having problems with the grandparents to your kids?  COMMUNICATE! Not just with the grandparents but with the children too!  Set up a special play date for each child to have some one-on-one time with the grandparents.  Maybe it’s baking cookies, going to see a movie, or even just going outside and throwing a football.  It doesn’t take much for a child to feel loved, and a grandparent to feel appreciated!

 

Looking for fun and easy recipes? Here is one that the grandparents made with the kids this weekend.

 

ECLAIR CAKE

Graham crackers
2 small boxes of French vanilla pudding
3 1/2 cups of milk
8oz cool whip
1 container of chocolate frosting

Layer a 9 x 13 pan with whole graham crackers.
Mix pudding with milk until thick.  Stir in cool whip.  Pour over Graham crackers.
Top with another layer of Graham crackers.
Cover with chocolate frosting.
Refrigerate overnight. 

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And so it begins....

After almost five years of patience, the very first book that I ever wrote is out there for the world to see.  Elated isn’t even a strong enough adjective to describe how I feel right now.  I mean how I can I not be over the moon with excitement after seeing my finished project for sale on Amazon.

But with excitement comes apprehension.  My hard work is now out there and subject to critics.  These thoughts leave me with questions like, "Will they enjoy it?” “Will they find it helpful?” “Am I delivering a valuable message?” “Do they I’m as funny as I think I am?” Yes, I have been known to laugh at myself way more than I’d like to admit.  

You see, writing children’s books was never something I intended on doing.  If you would have told me that I would be an author I would have looked at you as though you had about a bazillion eyes.  But I guess God had different plans for me as my husband and I were trying to figure out the logistics of our newly blended family. 

And so here I am. Out there for all to see.  If my books can touch one family and make a difference, then I know that it was well worth it! So now it’s on to the next one that’s in the publishing process! Wish me luck!

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