Thursday, February 23, 2012

stepmom

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Someone asked me the other day at church if it's hard being a stepmom.  Umm...yes it is, very hard, but so is being a womb mom {my term because I don't like "regular" or "normal" mom, which would infer that I'm neither regular or normal, which I definitely think I am}.  But it's also wonderful and rewarding in a very unexpected way.  I get to help raise these wonderful children, who are a part of my wonderful husband.  I get to be a part of that! 

I'm going to be honest though.  It is hard and I'm not sure how much of it is just being a mom and how much of it is the stepmom thing.  There are days when I feel so much like a stepmom I want to scream, but those days are pretty rare.  My daily routine involves work, picking up the kids after school, laundry, cleaning, helping with homework, the kids' friends, cooking, more cleaning, reading to the kids with my husband, hanging out with them, making lunches, getting kids ready for bed, and then some time alone with the husband {yes!} before I fall into a deep slumber within thirty seconds of head hitting pillow.  Maybe the most difficult part is that I got all this overnight.  I didn't have a pregnancy and then the day-to-day stuff to get used to this routine.  I just sort of inherited it.  But it's my life now, and I'm more than OK with that. 

When my husband was out of town recently, it meant the kids spent all that time with their womb mom.  Being able to just come home and do what I wanted was really pretty sweet.  I spent all that free time reading books, magazines, watching chick flicks, and not cleaning up messes I didn't make.  After a couple days of this freedom, however, I missed my family terribly.  In a sort of strange way, the cleaning, and laundry, and reading with the kids, hearing their commotion and running footsteps, well, it sort of keeps me sane and gives me purpose I never knew I needed.  And then a most unexpected thing happened on day five of no family.  My stepdaughter called me.  She called me! And we talked for a whole twenty-eight minutes which is completely unheard of in the history of my stepdaughter.  You're lucky if you can keep that girl on the phone for three minutes.  And it was the most glorious conversation.  We talked about the Valentine's Day Fairy, and how much we love cuddling with Daddy, and how much we missed him and each other, and she just kept talking and talking and talking.  When it was over, I couldn't stop smiling.  It was a pretty special stepmom moment.

And then there was yesterday.  I was sort of stressing out about getting dinner on the table, and getting the table set, and wiping off the counter, and well, I was sort of a mess and all frazzled.  My stepson saw this, grabbed the sponge and started wiping off the table and counter for me.  I didn't even ask--he just did.  Oh my goodness that boy reminds me so much of his father, the ultimate helper and problem solver.

So yes it's hard, but it's also pretty awesome.  I don't for one second regret marrying a man with children.  It's the life I have, and I'm starting to realize that it's probably the life I was meant to have.  This has always been part of the plan, part of His plan, and I love feeling like I'm doing the right thing and walking down this path with the three people I belong to, knowing they belong to me too.

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4 comments:

Rob and Elyse said...

Amanda this is such a beautiful post. My parents divorced when I was 18 months old and both re-married when I was 5. I had two very different experiences. My stepdad became my father.. And still is to this day. My stepmom, however, crumbled my relationship with that family that could have been as beautiful as the one I have with my stepdad and mom. I won't go into more details than that, but the experience has made me very aware of stepparent situations.. This put such a smile on my face, just knowing the effort you put into those kids and the fact that you love them so much because they are a part of your husband, even the fact that you said they are a part of you... It is all so refreshing. If only every stepmom had that same perspective on the situation. And just so you know, the hard parts are certainly just there because you are truly taking on a parental role. Now that I'm a parent it makes me so appreciative of my stepdad, mainly because he truly took on a parental role.. The good and the bad. Keep up the good work :)

Megan said...

This is a really sweet post. I can relate in a way because I'm an adoptive mom and I've heard the 'real mom' expression which is so lame, yet I probably have used the expression myself in the distant past. (If I'm not a real mom does that mean I'm a fake mom??:)
I gained a stepmother when I was 21 years old and now we have a really wonderful relationship. We always have actually, and I feel like I'm lucky to have both a mom and stepmom. Reading your post and seeing you with your kids, you seem to be one of the the hardest working stepmoms I know!

stephanie said...

you're amazing. I love your term womb mom! You do seem meant to have that life. It just fits.I hope thats not offensive because I mean it as a compliment, I just know that you of anyone I know can jump into your situation and do it well. I know you handle it wonderfully and they are so lucky to have you in their lives.

King Klan said...

Sounds like you are a reg mom to me. At least you missed the month or in my case years of sleepless nights. Though I'm sure you still get some of those too.