I love having a blog. I love writing about my family, my life, my "moments". I love that other people are actually interested in it. That really blows my mind. But, I do it too. I am obsessed with random blogs and I love reading their new posts daily. I blog about my kids. I blog about being an imperfect, real mom. What I don't usually blog about is my other role.
I am a step-mom.
I can see some of you now. Uh-oh... is probably what you are thinking, but don't worry. It's not like that.
I became a step-mom at the age of 26. I married Eric, who is 15 years older than me and with him, came 2 kids. I was excited about this new adventure I was about to go on. I did everything I could to be a great step-mom. I went from being a single, 26 year old kindergarten teacher to a wife and step-mom of two in a relatively short amount of time.
I have to say, whoever said being a mom is the hardest job in the world... has never been a step-mom. It's funny, it seems like no big deal, it did to me. It's almost like this 'club' that you join when you say "I do" and there are kids involved. It is a job that is like no other. The thing is, when you have your own kids, you love them instantly. It's inherently in you to love them. That's not the case with step-kids. You have to get to know them, find out stuff about them, find out your role in their lives. Don't misunderstand me. I do love my step-kids. Very much. I have learned their likes and dislikes, I have learned what makes them happy and what makes them sad. I have also learned where I stand with them. It's very hard. I know that I am not their mom and I know that I don't have the authority to make major decisions for them.
Eric and I have a lot of heart to heart talks with each other on how we plan on raising our little kids. It's different than what the big kids are used to and I understand it's hard for them. I just wish that more people understood what a hard job it is. There is no 'step-mother's day', I don't even see them on Mother's Day. There is no reward, no recognition, just the constant struggle to stay in their lives in a positive way. The constant reminder that I am not their mom and that there is someone else that is making decisions for them that will probably affect me and the little kids.
I think back to the first time Eric asked me to dance at the Moon when Daylen was in my class. He was this, hot older man who could dance... really well. I was excited by the 'newness' of an older man and not dealing with the same bologna of the guys my age. While we were dancing, I kept thinking...'hello you didn't want to date anyone with kids again....been down that road before and it was hell.' And then I would think, 'you're just dancing with him, it's not like you are gonna marry the guy'. Oops....
Eric and I got to spent a lot of time alone before we told the kids that we were dating.... like 6 months in fact. Once they knew, they were so excited. Kaylie actually told Eric that he should take me dancing and buy me a drink because girls like that.
It was so cute, they would call me Miss Kelley and I would remind them that they could call me Nicole. And then I moved in.... things were great. I loved them. They were in our wedding, they were a part of everything...I wanted to make sure of that.
I wish there were more blogs out there that talked about being a step-mom, but I am sure that they are just as guarded as I am and are afraid of what may come of their posts. It's a shame, I think that reading blogs is helpful and helps people to feel 'normal'. I get comments all the time that say, "I am so glad it's not just my kids that do that.." That makes me feel good, it makes me feel that I am doing something right.
I will never regret marrying Eric. He would do anything for me and his kids. Does having an ex-wife make it difficult. Absolutely. Does having 2 teenage step-kids make it difficult? You betcha. But, so does having 2 toddlers. I love Eric to pieces and I love his kids. ALL FOUR OF THEM. I have learned that I need to just take a deep breath and learn to let things roll off my back and remember that only I can make things the way I want them. THIS IS NOT EASY!!!!!! But, I will continue to be a positive, passionate, faithful mother and step-mother to the kids. I will do whatever I can for those kids. I am not going to pretend that it's a walk in the park, because it's not. I am not going to pretend that I agree with everything all the time, because I sure the hell don't. But I am going to say that I love Eric, I love my step-kids, and I love my babies.
*Thanks for letting me get this off my chest:)*