Being a Stepmom

I’ve always gotten a chuckle out of the evil stepmom references that are pretty much everywhere, even more so when I became one.  Not exactly an evil stepmom, but a stepmom.  Never in a million years did I picture myself marrying someone that already had a child, but I did.  Luckily she’s a pretty cool kid and has been an easy one from day one of me being introduced.

We’ve faced many challenges as a blended family.  When you have two sides that are not on the best of terms things can get a little interesting (trying to keep it on a positive note…).  Luckily, we’ve weathered many storms dealing with her mother that have reduced as the years have gone on, we’ve learned from each one.

My step daughter has a mother and never have I wanted to assume that role.  She’s always called me by my name, never mom.  When we had the twinadoes there was definitely some jealousy, my kids were showered with gifts and money from people on my side.  I have no doubt that my step daughter received many a gift when she was born and the years after, however, she didn’t remember that since she was an too young.  There is a big difference in how the twinadoes are raised and how she is being raised, in fact she mentioned it to me this weekend.  She said she told her mom that our parenting styles “are totally different”.  And she is correct.  There is also the fact that she is ten years older than the twinadoes.  When she is at our house we give her space and privacy, something I feel a 14 year old girl deserves.  Yes, she is included in our activities and we do require she comes out of her room to spend time with all of us, at least a little….

Now to the title of evil stepmother.  Do I qualify for that?  No.  Plain and simply, no.  I’m actually a freaking amazing stepmom.  She tells me things she doesn’t tell anyone but her one best friend.  Hours and hours are spent talking, telling me her worries, stresses, etc… Most recently she shared with me something that is extremely private, something she said she doesn’t feel comfortable telling her other family.  My one rule is, I will keep a secret unless it involves her safety or health, then it will be shared to those that need to know.  Obviously I’m doing something right if this young lady feels safe enough to share with me.  How else do I know, she will text me on Mother’s Day even though she knows she would get in trouble from her mom if she found out.

I’m not her best friend, her father and I have sat down with her when we are not pleased with grades, behavior etc… What I am is her stepmom.  Being a female I believe that she feels more comfortable talking to me about a few things than her father, and he gets that.  I’ve known many women that are stepmoms that are not on good terms with their step children, it’s hard and that’s not lost on me.

Do I treat her the same as I do my own children, no.  Of course that answer will ruffle a few feathers, but in my eyes she’s not my child.  She has a mother that mothers her.  My children have one mother, and that’s me, so I mother them in a way only a mother can.  Would I deny my step daughter something due to her not being my own, absolutely not.

In my opinion there’s a fine line that I (and other stepmoms) need to walk.  We are like a mother to them, but not.  We must treat them like our children, but they are not.  Yes, there are the situations where the step children are like their own due to circumstances, but I am talking about the kids that live only part-time.  Her mother and I will never be friends, but I do try and have some respect for her being my step daughter’s mother.  Maybe this will sound a tad bitchy, but oh well, I honestly think her mother should be happy that I am a good stepmother to her daughter.  The reality could be a lot worse, and I’ve seen them.

I can’t speak on being a stepfather because I’m not one, but I would imagine that’s got to be pretty tough as well, with it’s own set of challenges.  In a perfect world we would just put our differences aside, forget how we despise each other and come together to raise amazing children.  We should appreciate the healthy differences of each home be thankful for the help and wisdom we can give each other.

So this evil stepmom is going to go give herself a pat on the back for being amazing then text her step daughter and ask how her dreaded road trip is going because I’m awesome like that.

Nanny Plus One

I’ve mentioned before that I have the most amazing woman that watches the twinadoes, AMAZING.  She brings her now 12 year old daughter with her, and has for the past few years.  She also has a son that is the same age as the twinadoes but has brought him only, and that was after apologizing for even asking.  When we transitioned from the person before the Twinado Whisperer I had a few people approach me offering their childcare services.  Some were quite qualified but were pass on due to one fact.  They had a plus one, meaning they would need to bring their infant child with them.

I get that women (and men) want to stay home with their young children and will do what they can in order to make that happen.  This luxury is not lost on me, I know how truly lucky I am.  However, I also know how much work, time and effort goes into taking care of an infant and to me, that meant my children were not getting the same quality of care.  Oh I’m sure this will strike a nerve in many a mother and probably some non mothers for that matter, and I say feel free to hire a childcare provider with a young one in tow.

The Twinado Whisperer’s daughter was a help to her mom, she did not need a diaper change, feeding, holding, etc… she was independent, able to do for herself and offer a hand if her mom needed it (which she really didn’t because she is AMAZING!!).  The twinadoes love both of them and look forward to their visits, this to me is priceless.

Am I insensitive to caregivers with young children, maybe so, but when it comes to the care of my children I will do what I need to in order to feel comfortable.  I’m just curious as to what others think on this, and what age child would you be ok with having come along?

My Garden

I realized I haven’t taken any pictures for the blog this season and figured it was about time.  I do post them to my Facebook page since it’s so quick to do, yup, been a little lazy this summer.  Gardening has been a little challenging due to the 14 hens and one rooster, they dig up everything.  And if they don’t dig it up the eat it until it’s gone.  Next year I’ll have to come up with some kind of fencing around the garden to keep the ladies (and gentleman) out.

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It’s a good thing I like them because not only are they causing all kinds of havoc in the garden but they have taken a liking to the new neighbors, unfortunately it is not mutual.  Estimates for a fence are currently happening.  Ugghh….

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What is a tad misleading is how some of the garden looks so lush, green and healthy, but step a little closer and you see the damage… I didn’t have the heart to show those pictures, I like to live in fantasy land where my garden looks gorgeous.

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I’m still in love with the purple chicken coop, the flowers and vegetables I’m growing around it make it look so cottage like to me.  The second coop we recently acquired hasn’t been painted, yet… I’m still deciding what color to use.  The little hens (there actually might be two roosters in that mix), are warming up to using that one.  Once it’s all pretty I’ll share pictures.

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Lastly, I have the thyme that I snipped of the big plant.  It had rooted nicely so it was like getting two free plants.  I love that about thyme.  My other herbs I’m letting go to seed so they will spread on their own, next year I’ll have them all over.  The tomatoes are doing fairly well, I’m crossing my fingers that the hens don’t get them before I do.  They love tomatoes.

How are your gardens coming along?