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!
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.
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.
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.