Collaboration Between Mom & “Step” Mom

Happy Mother’s Day!
Here is a guest post written by MY step kid’s mother, Stephanie! She is a blogger at Making Time for Me. Our relationship hasn’t always been easy and we have moved mountains in the past six years. Last week was a turning point for us, Stephanie found my blog while going through her Reader. She was so supportive of me and my blog and I’m happy to introduce you to her! 
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Hi my name is Stephanie and you can check me out over at https://cmugrad817.wordpress.com.  I am a 35 year old bio mom to 3 and step-mom to 3 more.  I am a wife, mother and full-time working professional.  Not to mention, so much more.
I am the mother of Jess’s two step-children.  When writing it is hard to explain the two of us without saying bio mom and step mom, though in our real life, we don’t really refer to each other as such.
On Monday April 25th, I was reading a blog in my reader and came across a post written by Not The Average Mama.  I have been following her, reading her story for months, but something about this post just clicked and I knew, that it was Jess writing her story about our kids.
After we spoke about this realization, we decided that collaborating would be awesome. Hopefully we will have many opportunities to write together/work together, but for today a Guest Post. Today, for Mother’s Day we would guest post on each other’s blogs.  To tell the story about how we make it work.
So, here is the story from my side!
It wasn’t always easy. I wasn’t always easy.
I’m not getting into the nitty gritty of our relationship,how it started and how we were pulled together. I just want to say that Jess came into my life before I was ready.  Matt and I had been married for 3 ½ years andit was over.  Something that no one everwants to admit to themselves.  We had ason who was 2 (almost 3) and a daughter who was 18 months old when we broke up.
I lost my husband, my house, my full-time relationship withmy children…..for years I felt like I lost it to her, Jess!
I know now, that I lost it because of me.  It took years for me to admit that, to acceptthat and say it out loud.  Though, I wasalone and it was easier to blame her for my unhappiness then to reflect andlearn from my experience.
It was nearly a year that I was a crazy person.  Very concerned about EVERYTHING that they did and how they did it.  Constantly texting and calling to interrupt them and well, basically make their lives a living hell.  At the time, I didn’t realize that was what was happening.  Looking back, I know that it was.
I don’t know what the turning point was exactly, though in one of Jess’s posts she said that it may have been Paul, my current husband.  Him coming into my life could have helped in many ways.  Not only did he occupy some of my time, but I was learning how to be involved in life as a step-parent (he has 3 kids) and this relationship helped to show me that maybe everything really did happen for a reason.
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Jess has been in my life for almost 6 years now.  As the years have gone on, she has been more and more of a presence.  We started talking more, seeing each other more and even sitting with each other at dance recitals and sporting events.
I don’t remember why, but sometime probably about 2 years ago now, Jess and I were on the phone. We were talking about co-parenting in some way.  I told her that Matt, Paul and I needed her help.  She was the only one who had step-parents and could see things from the perspective of being a “stepchild”and we needed her experience and idea when it came to how best to manage our situation.
In this conversation Jess told me that we were already doing so well.  That her mom and step-mom had only been in the same room a couple of times. That we just needed to keep moving in the direction that we were moving in and it would be OK.
That blew me away.  It never occurred to me that Jess and I wouldn’t ever talk, see each other or be civil enough with each other to support our children together.  Though, that was very real for Jess.  Probably the reason she has always dealt with me the way that she has.  It was easier to “Kill Me with Kindness” for the kids, then to let me keep us apart and make it awkward as hell for our children.
I am a step-mom too and I can’t imagine if their bio mom didn’t allow me to come and support events, have holidays with them and love them the way that I do. 
How could I stop someone who loves the kids so much from supporting them?  How could I not show love and respect to this woman who has loved/raised my children as her own? 
The years have gone on and like I said before, everything gets easier and easier.  There are things that pop up in my news feed that make me think of her, things that the kids say about her when she is here and I text her about them to let her know. 
The kids talk about how much they love her and all the wonderful things that she does for them freely in our home.  They are not made to think that bringing her up or talking about their affection for her is something that can’t be shared. 
Last Saturday was “Little Miss’s” birthday and when on the phone with Jess she said, “HI MOM”.  It brought a smile to my face.  The fact of the matter is, I have to assume that this has happened hundreds of thousands of times in person with Jess.  Just as it has in our house with their step dad being called “Dad”, it is natural and normal.  I just hadn’t ever heard it for myself.  I knew right then, that we were doing something right.
If my daughter can call Jess “Mom” on the phone and my response can be a smile, then we are doing something right!!  No hurt feelings, only love. 
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After discovering that Not The Average Mama was Jess, we spoke ALL DAY.  Back and forth about the who’s, the what’s and the how’s.  Jess said to me “it is amazing that everyone assumes that I hate you”.  Everyone assumes that I hate her too, and I definitely used to.  I told her that, but now, now I love her.  I love her for the person that she is to our kids, the wife that she is to my ex-husband and the friend that she has become to me. 
Happy Mother’s Day Jess. I am so happy to be rocking the 2 mother status with you.  Not the “step-mom”, but simply their other Mom.
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22 thoughts on “Collaboration Between Mom & “Step” Mom

  1. Just beautiful! What a tribute to each other! I can’t imagine how much easier it makes life for the kids to not have to walk on eggshells or avoid mentioning good things when they are in one house about the other. Happy Mother’s Day to both of you!

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  2. It was the great story on mother’s day. It’s amazing how beautifully you two accept each other in your lives. Very inspiring and perception changing real story. Just love it. Wish you both a great motherhood.

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  3. Amazing women raise amazing children. Congrats on working hard and becoming a class act together, as well as a great example for other blended families!

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  4. I love this! I am also a “step” mom and struggling with how to go about my relationship with my (step) daughter’s bio mom. It’s actually the reason I started a blog. I needed a way to get things off my chest. We are making strides, but it is definitely a slow go. About a year ago I reached out to her to try to come together more. You know, be a village. She was slow to respond but little by little we came together. Just recently she has started being more distant. It happened after a difference in opinion about discipline. I get very frustrated but I am trying to put that aside and continue making efforts to “co-mom”. I would absolutely love it if we had this relationship. Time will tell.

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    • Thanks for stopping by! It took many years to get to the point we are at today and it took both of us to get here. Time will definitely tell. Blogging is the perfect way to release the stress and frustrations. That was a big reason I started blogging as well. Blogging is therapy to me and it has helped tremendously over the past 8 months!

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  5. This is amazing! Jess, I am in a similar situation to you in your early years… my husband and his ex were married 3.5 years, had two kids, and I met the kids at ages 11 months & 2 1/2. They have joint legal and joint physical custody (which I was around for the whole custody battle). My husband also had a vasectomy after their second child. I have only been in the picture for 2 years and it’s still not easy! We have the kids half of every week so we see bio-mom a lot. She has dated at least 4 guys since they split, but is currently single. She is always kind to me in person, but rude to my husband in person, and HORRIBLE to my husband over the phone/texts/etc. She has been playing the victim role these entire 2 years and I don’t think that she has reflected or processed the role she played in the demise of her marriage. She blames him for everything, and seems totally blinded to the fact that she KNOWS he is a kick-ass dad! Stephanie- I am sure she identifies with much of what you blogged about in this post. And I couldn’t imagine being in her position. As I mentioned, we are always kind to one another and I have seen small glimpses of progress in our relationship. This post is so encouraging to me. I pray that her and I will be able to make it to the point you two are. I pray that she will find a new husband (maybe she will become a stepmom.. who knows!), and I pray that she will find peace over her divorce and move on. You two, please keep us in your thoughts/prayers! Thank you for sharing your story.

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    • Oh Ashley, I’m touched by your response. Talk about being in the exact same situation! It’s like we are living a parallel life!
      Everything takes time. If you would of asked me if Stephanie and I would ever get along after knowing each other for 2 years I would of said you were effing nuts but now, almost 7 years later, we co parent better than most married parents!
      I will pray for you and keep you in my thoughts. Just remember, don’t ever let anyone walk all over you and your opinion matters!

      Liked by 1 person

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