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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Right Now.

If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing. -MARGARET THATCHER
No one really likes the stepmom.

It's not really a like-able position.

No one sets out to be a stepmom. (In the same way that no one hopes for one either.)

In our family, I'm the psuedo-mom when T and M are here. Acting in a motherly role, taking over motherly duties, but deferring big ticket items and issues to J and their real mom.

I'm the stepmom.
Just the stepmom.

Trying to maintain unity in a home that is split.

Two kids come and go each week. Two kids are permanent fixtures.

J and I are solely responsible for the decisions made for two kids.
J and I aren't solely responsible for the decisions made for two kids.

Right now I'm in an odd place. I've been quiet about the whole stepmom thing lately because as I admitted in March, there are sometimes difficulties.

And right now, I'm struggling. Struggling with what my role is. How is it supposed to look? To feel? Be?

And how's that work with my littles?

How do we make the best choices and decisions for T and M without compromising decisions I'd like to make down the road for H and E?

Perhaps its the growing ages of all four kids. I'm realizing that short term decisions we make for T and M also pave the way for H and E.

Juggling four different aged children with my no-nonsense values and black and white tendencies.

Balancing the bigs and their needs and the issues that come up there and also the littles and their needs and issues we're working on. Feeling like I have to make sure everything is fair and justified for the bigs and the littles, when there is no one out there doing the same for my littles when the bigs get the bigger part of the stick.

It's maybe not always having the same expectations as everyone else.

Right now I'm feeling as though I'm turning into that broomstick riding stepmom I always joke about.

It's not for lack of trying.

But I say no, more than I'd like. I nag too many times a day to keep track of. I'm bossy, demanding and have high expectations.

And I'm not proud of all that.

Or should I be?

Should I choose my battles wisely? Or fight the fight?

What am I compromising? And what am I accomplishing?

Right now.

Right now, I'm realizing the job that is being a stepmom isn't very liked.

And right now, I'm in an odd place.

And honestly, right now, I'm struggling with it.


Anonymous Mrs. H said...

I so completely feel your frustration on this front. My stepsons have about the same age difference from their brothers as your T and M do to H and E.

I think it is important not to look too much through a child's eyes. To them, life is about stuff. If we are good parents, we teach them that life is about so much more.

No matter how much it seems like T and M have more, they really don't have the most important thing---parents who are married. Someday, H and E will come to realize how truly precious this is.

I have struggled with the inequity in our home as well. I remind myself that it is my goal as a parent to treat each child's needs individually according to what is necessary for that child. My stepsons' needs differ greatly, and the whole mantra of "treat them all the same" makes absolutely no sense.

As for video games and the such, I make my stepsons follow the same rules in our home that my sons must follow. When it comes to my guys seeing things their older brothers are doing, I remind myself that the younger children in the family often are more "worldly" at a more tender age than the older children. My brother is nine years younger than me and was learning to speak when I was going through the stage where my private vocabulary became less savory. Needless to say, he was a preschooler with some pretty choice words.

This too shall come to pass. I honestly believe that we as stepmoms place more value on being liked than we do as moms. We know we can be the wicked mother (when necessary) and our kids will still love us---this is God's great gift to parents--however, we constantly fear our temperament in regards to our stepchildren.

As for me, when these negative feelings well up, I lean on my husband and pray.

And it will pass.....

August 6, 2009 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger simplicity said...

Hi Mrs. H, Thanks for the comment. I don't necessarily think that T and M have MORE per se, it's more generally speaking. And yes we have all the kids in the house follow the same rules and such. I'm just more in a place of struggling in general about roles, responsibilities and making the best decisions now that affect then.

August 6, 2009 at 1:57 PM  
Anonymous JADTG said...

Being a stepmom is not a simple task. Boundaries become a very fine line. What can we do and what can we not do?

I have struggled with this for the last four years with my stepson. A wise woman once told me to focus on being the mom to the children my husband and I have together, and be a wife to my husband, while being a role model to my stepson. The only thing that a stepmom doesn't want to do is to discipline.

Since my husband works and I stay at home, the summers get to be difficult for me. Always having to answer his questions, while also having to discipline him when rules are being broken. If I make the wrong move, I get reprimanded by his real mom, who won't ever let me forget it, and holds it against me. We all have our own parenting styles and have to accept that not all of us parent the same.

We try to work with the other household to make things consistent, and make things easier for him, there is always excuses that are made to prevent from making things easier.

I think what you are doing for T and M, they will thank you in the long run, when they are older. You are a wonderful person for them (your husband wouldn't have married you if he didn't think you were a good person). They will have great memories of the time they spent with you.

It's not an easy role being a stepmom, but doing the best you possibly can, is all that matters. Mrs. H said it best, "I think it is important not to look too much through a child's eyes. To them, life is about stuff. If we are good parents, we teach them that life is about so much more."

August 6, 2009 at 2:56 PM  
Anonymous StepMom Magazine said...

It's a really tough balancing act. Learn and read all you can and find other sister-stepmoms on line to chat with. They can be a tremendous support! Knowing you're not the only one trying to juggle your family and your own emotions definitely helps. Our best to you!

August 7, 2009 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Rodman Life said...

As you know, I am not a mom, nor a stepmom, so I can't relate to you much here, but S from what I see you are a great mom and a great stepmom. In fact, I think you are the best stepmom I know! T and M are lucky to have you in their lives - even if they don't see it now, they will someday!

August 7, 2009 at 12:21 PM  
OpenID legallyirrelevant said...

Being a StepMom is difficult. I never thought I'd be one, and never thought when I did become one that it would be this hard some days. I mean I knew it wouldn't be easy, especially in our situation. But I did hold out hope, and some days still do, that everything will come together for the sake of my StepSon.

I have the same struggles with whether I should be saying no as often as I do, and whether I should be a fun parent, and if he'll be happier if he didn't have so many rules at our house. But the fact is, I love him too much to change the way I feel about raising children, rules, morals, manners and building character.

I find myself thinking about our future a lot, and whether I'll have the same rules for our kids. And the truth is, there will probably be more rules, and more saying no. Not because I'll love my bio kids more, but because I do realize there is a line as a StepMom to what I can and cannot control. I have no idea how I'll explain that to any of the children. Right now, I'm just expecting our first so we'll have years to figure all that out!

I don't have any words of wisdom. But do want to say, if it feels like you're acting out of character, don't do it. Your littles and bigs will all understand when they're older, and they'll know how much you cared.

August 7, 2009 at 3:44 PM  

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