Tough moms blend with the lid off!

blenderOkay, so it is hard… it really is. And, honestly if you haven’t thought to yourself “What the hell am I doing here, or dealing with this for?” at least once, you aren’t doing it right. Stepping into, or welcoming someone into a blended family – is much more than just another pound of ground beef for taco night. They do not call it blended for lack of a better term. Yes some days it can be blissfully blended, and some days the switch is left on puree/chop and you find yourself hiding in your room, scarfing down reese’s peanut butter cups like they are going out of style!

I’ve been told a number of times by step moms that being a stepparent is the hardest job – and I agree…but why is that?

Too much credit, not enough effort
Broken homes, broken children
All the responsibility, none of the say
You’re an extra – sometimes you take a backseat
Struggle with finding your place

While all those are true, and validated I feel like it can go a little deeper. Stepparents carry along a stigma, and with any statistic, any stereotype and biased opinion – strong individuals like myself feel the need to stand up for, rally against, and prove the nay-sayers wrong. Some stepparents walk around as if the world owes them a favor, for taking on the role. However, those people are who create the stereotype, not negate it. If you are a good stepparent, it is because you are a good person. Because you have strong work ethics, strong resolve and most likely a good sense of self. We don’t get a badge of honor because we stepped into a role, we earn that honor, from the relationship and time taken to honor your spouse, by loving and caring for their child.

Think of it like this: take all your experience about parenting, life, and your opinions about religion and so on and throw it in a bag, every trick you have used to raise your children, and toss it all in there. Then add in every emotion, confusion, frustration, love, doubt, etc. that you have felt as a parent or human being – and shake that bag with all your might. Now take out all the experience, and opinions – and leave the feelings…that is being a stepparent. You have a bag of all these tools, ideas, and ways that worked for your children, or the desire of something to try, but ultimately you can’t always parent the way you want or see fit, because your role isn’t always to implement; sometimes it is solely to support.

#1 Dad

Now if you are like me, you are an implementer, we always know the best way – the RIGHT way. Therefore, when we see struggle, you want to rush in and save the day –  but you can’t. Can’t isn’t addressing your ability, it is addressing your position.  And, that sucks…nothing is harder than having a motherly urge to fix a situation, and then realizing that it is not yours to fix. Trust me, I am fixer…I can fix an-y-thing! However, this is where being Dad’s #1 support comes in.  Behind closed doors, discuss with him some options, opinions, etc that he can implement as he see’s fit. Then stand behind him and support him. There is of course, a sticky downside, you can’t get upset when he doesn’t agree or want to implement what you see as fit. And, although you may be muttering a smart ass remark under your breath – you will learn to smile, breath and try again tomorrow 😉

Will you love your stepchild right away, or will they love you? NO! In fact, I liked my boyfriends son more at first, before I started dating him, when he was purely my son’s friend. Then we started dating, and his son and I just butted heads at times. We still do, there are times where I am the frustrated, wicked step mom, and there are times when he loves me. It is expected that both you and your step child will have hard times, a child is a wonderful blessing yes, but as with your biological children, you will get frustrated, irritated and disappointed. The difference is the bond being built at birth, verses being built following the break of another. I’m sure you have heard the saying “It takes a strong man to step up to the plate another man left at the table” but what about the child whose plate was served by one person, and cleaned up by another? That is a monumental life change. Its an act of getting to know each other, likes, dislikes, building a foundation. I am sure there are times where I am seen as the evil step mom, and there are times where I just don’t get him; but at the end of the day – we keep trying. And eventually, it will make more sense, it will be less effort and more natural.

Ahh Blended…lives, homes, beliefs, families, parenting, rituals, traditions etc… that is a whole hell of a lot to blend; does that even all fit into a blender? No wonder, the top blows off and you have an explosion in your kitchen at some points. But, we learn to enjoy the mess it makes, when the lid  is off.

Dads are kind-of Awesome!

Dad verses mom appears to be an easy win for Moms, right? You’d think it would be a slam dunk because we are natural multi-taskers, nurturers, nurses, teachers, homemakers, maids, etc. I mean, come on, we literally do it all! Or, do we? We can tease them and share random facts which are absolutely true and humorous like these things…

Dads never sleep, they are simply resting their eyes. Even if they are snoring – they are resting their eyes damn it!

Dads can’t change diapers, they will throw up! It is a scientific fact – proven by the obnoxious, melodramatic gagging met my our mere thought of even asking for help.

Dads can’t go grocery shopping. Cheap, coupons, budget and list are not words that exist in his vocabulary.

Dads have a whole different time frame. In a minute – can literally be in a minute or the minute they see you actually doing what you asked.

Dads clean house without being asked for three reasons. 1. Sex 2. They want something 3. They did something already.

However, the truth is dads are kind-of AWESOME!   Yes, there are single parents who fulfill the role of both parents, and this isn’t meant to negate that in any way… but there are some things I think dads just do better than moms. 

First, dads know sports. They are the first to teach competition, the desire and drive to win, to be #1, the absolute best at anything and everything. They teach dedication, practice makes perfect and its okay to fall down as long as you get back up again. And, it’s a bonus for Moms because there is nothing more sexier than seeing your spouse out playing sports with the kids!

Second, dads understand that “mom doesn’t understand”. I mean, who better to understand being misunderstood than dad, right? You can tell him everything, and he can completely sympathize.

Third, dads are a sons best friend. They know everything boys. Video games, sports, fishing, ball games, hunting, you name it they can do it together!  They also know all about those “changes”, why your son is still in the shower, why mom may not want to clean up those dirty socks on the floor, or lift up the mattress at a certain age. Needless to say anything further.

Fourth, dads are natural conquerors. Whatever you need, they have an idea of what they can construct to do it! They can also get anything down from the ceiling, the roof, the top shelf etc. They know just how to fix, or repair whatever a child needs especially if it creates a project! (Extra kudos if said project supersedes mom’s honey do list) Same with lessons on cars, car repairs, etc. They are great at teaching with their hands, those are their best tools.

Fifth, dads are a daughters first love. A simple bat of the eyes, and daddy you are my favorite teaches little girls and grown women how to get exactly what they want! They are natural protectors and create that first sense of safety for a little girl. Daddy’s are everything to a little girl. They don’t care that she doesn’t wear a skirt, or that she has dirt on her face, they love that she can bait a hook, and loves to play with worms – they love little girls who can be boys when the time calls for it. (Now, boys that want to be girls…that’s a whole different ballgame)

Sixth, dads are calm. They diffuse situations and make sense out things, they are a natural peacemaker between mom and her children. You can call dad and even if he is pissed, disappointed or hurt, he will remedy what he can. He will also let you fall on your face, if it proposes to teach a good lesson.

The final thing I think dads do best, is teaching their children how to be a good husband, father, wife and mother. They watch the relationship between mom and dad, they see the way dads are supposed to be, how dad treats mom, and it sets forth an example and expectations for both sons and daughters. It is best said in this quote “The best thing a father can do for his children, is love their mother” and it is quite true.

read more at totallyjessifiable.wordpress.com

fathers

Know…

Inspired by the movie: Lifted

When all feels wrong

and the road to happiness too far gone

When the load feels to heavy to bear

Know there is someone always there

When you feel alone, like no one can ever understand

and then you reach out to find, there is no helping hand

When you feel you failed at yet another of life’s tests

Know you have someone out there better than all the rest

When struggles seem to often, with no repreive in sight

and every need requires some out of reach exhausting fight

When second guessing & worrying becomes the norm

Know you have someone shielding you from the storm

When you look around and see nothing, yet feel your not alone

and you are missing someone, and reach for the phone

When you catch a glimpse of someone out of the corner of your eye

Know there’s someone near you,  who never truly says goodbye

See you next blog – Jess

What I want him to know…

One day without much notice this little blonde hair baby came totting into my home. Barely able to walk on your own, you were holding your daddy’s hand.  My life changed in that moment, almost the same as when you hear the words “you’re pregnant”. Except in my case, I didn’t have nine months to prepare. Didn’t spend countless hours searching for the perfect name, or daydreaming about whether you’d look like your father or me.  My body never carried you; I never felt your first kick or heard your first heartbeat. The love that created you, wasn’t mine, and the air you breath and the life you were given were not from me.  My heartbeat wasn’t the one you fell asleep to at night, and my voice wasn’t the one that would make you turn you head.                                                 

“There are a lot of things that I wasn’t – But listen to this instead”

Nine months of preparation was never needed with you, because you were someone I had prayed for all along. Countless hours are spent saying your name, sharing every funny little story, every sweet moment with whoever will listen to me share. Being just like your father, and having his smile and personality is all I could have ever hoped for.  The first time you laid your head on my chest, and fell asleep in my arms our heartbeats were one in the same. You were not someone else’s child; you in that moment became a part of me.  Your love was a gift to me, your innocence brought me youth, and your father showed me a completely new life.

You became a brother, and gained a big sister and brother.  Quickly you became best friends with your brother, and your sister couldn’t go anywhere without you.  They protected you, cared for you and loved you instantly, not because you were different, or special, or “extra” – instead it was because you are their brother.

Somewhere along the line, those nine months I lacked of worry and concern over how you would be or who you would be – I’ve made up tenfold.  Because when your heart hurts, mine does too. That’s why I want to say these things to you

My love for you is a bond that took time to create,

It’s not one that can be easily erased;

There will be times when you may have to choose,

My promise to you is to understand if I lose.

*****

My job as your stepmom is to understand,

I’ll always lend a helping hand;

Although my place may not be first,

I’ll be beside you through the worst.

*****

Your mother and I do have one thing we share,

Well two I guess to be honest & fair;

We of course share you, an adorable little man,

And we share moments of being your biggest fan.

I can CARE, because I CHOOSE to… Damn-it!

Why does my opinion matter, why does what I feel, the pain in my chest, or the tears that I cry matter, when I am only a step parent. I can’t possibly understand how it feels to love a child, to care for a child, to want so badly for this child to have the very best, because they are not my blood from my own body. How dare I even complain, or waste my time with things that I can never fix. The right to care ended the day my stepson came out of her vagina instead of mine, the day my husband married her and had sex with her, and shared the life long commitment of raising a child with her. They made this life decision in a moment of passion (dare I to speak it) and now that the marriage is over – and my husbands temporary lack of judgment has expired – we now get to deal with the never ending reminder of I have no rights – ever.

Lets put the fact that she is a mother who not only talks down my husband to his son, who forces her 3 year-old son to flip off his dad and tell him he doesn’t love him, or that she has moved 7 times in 3 years, or that she will drop him off with hfmd without even a mention to us, or how to properly care for him, or even the fact that she has totaled her car 2 times in the period of a year because she is irresponsible and reckless. Lets also put aside the fact that for 3 years, her grandmother is taking care of her and our son, she pays their bills, she provides a roof over their head, because she refused to work. But, why would that bother someone who doesn’t care? Why do I find it odd, that when their are two Parents, one that is living with a grandparent, and one that works, has their own home, provides for himself and his family, isn’t given the RIGHT to be the full time parent, simply because he has a penis!

Imagine being told by someone that simply because you are the dad, you are not going to get full custody. Actually, try it this way, have your brother who you have watched worked his butt off to be the best father to his child, and put up with more than his fair share of crap from the mother, and then watch him fight for a place in his child’s life, knowing he is the best place for your nephew or niece and then not feel sick or saddened when you hear that because he is a dad, he can only hope for a little more than every other weekend. Magnify that by an unimaginable percent, and think of that man being your husband, and watch him fall short, without saying one word, without having the right to say anything, do anything, just sit there quietly and soak in his heartbreak – but remember you are not allowed to feel any of this – because you are not his mother, you don’t love him the same, you don’t matter.

Are you kidding me? Deal with it? Why should I? Because you do? Because somewhere, someone wrote that we should act a certain way, when it comes to certain situations? Well let me tell you something, that’s not me, it never will be. I do not care if my children came from 12 hours of hard labor, or 3 years of laboring – either way I have parented them,  I have loved them when its hard, I have taught them lessons that someone else did not, I have held them when they cried, or after Dr’s appointments and shots. Countless hours of my life have been spent providing, supporting, caring, loving and investing in my children – and I damn well know that my levels of giving in those areas isn’t dependent on how much of my blood runs through my veins! Nor, will it ever.

I would hope that their are more women in this world like me, than against me. More men like my husband, that fight for their family, for their children, for the rights that today may not exist, but may exist for our children and their children for tomorrow’s tomorrow. Because those that fail to see that love is Blind, that love exists without conditions, guidelines, parameters and, BLOODLINES, are missing a whole hell of a lot more than just their sight. And I’m glad I am not one of those people, because I would choose tears, heartbreak, and continual failure, that brings me one step closer to the possibility of witnessing the right thing, the better choice, the best outcome and a happy child.