Seven years ago, I met a man who had two kids. Two little kids. Two little kids under the age of three. I was 22 years old and I had NO idea what I was getting myself into. When I think back to those early years I remember all the different emotions I was going through. But most of all, I remember the anxiety.
I literally had no idea what I was doing. There was no handbook or crash course on how to raise kids that aren’t biologically your own. I was in my early twenties, head over heels in love with a man I couldn’t imagine my life without, and I had no clue where to begin on raising little munchkins into upstanding citizens of the world. Talk about instant anxiety.
I remember the first time I drove the kids in the car without Matt there. I was taking James to preschool which was literally a mile and a half from the house. I strapped in their car seats, which was like figuring out rocket science, and triple checked my work. Forty five minutes later everyone was buckled, clipped, strapped, and tied in for the mile and a half ride. “Now I actually have to drive…with them in the car….alone.” Well what if something happened in that mile and a half drive? What if I get in an accident? What if someone slips out of their car seat? What if they both start screaming, I lose concentration and slam into a telephone pole?! Not only would I be devastated, but Matt AND Stephanie will kill me. I was honestly terrified. Thinking back on that now, I laugh at how anxious I got over such a little thing because look at how far I have come. But at the time they were legit fears and I did my best not to let it show.
I had anxiety ALL the time. I worried if they were eating the right foods. I worried if they took a long enough nap. I worried if they were feeling okay and not getting sick. I worried about diaper rashes and how to fix it when it happens. I worried about if they were going to like me, heck I worried if they would ever LOVE me. I worried about their mom. I worried about what she thought of how I was raising the kids. I worried she thought I would fail or I was failing. Every night before I went to bed those thoughts would begin to rush through my head. Pretty much I was a big ‘ol worry wart and I needed to find some common ground fast. Which is exactly what I did.
I started Googling stepmom blogs and stumbled across a few blogs that I connected with. I thought, “What an amazing thing these women are doing. They are sharing their stories and helping other stepmoms through these difficult and hard times. I wish I could do something like that.” So here I am, seven years later, starting my journey helping out fellow stepmoms on navigating their way through this crazy, beautiful, and blended life. I won’t have all the answers but I hope that through my experiences and bits of advice I can help just ONE fellow stepmama out there who just realized she has no idea what she got herself into.