Before we got married, my husband and I discussed ways we could integrate the kids. Setting a vision of how we’d like to see things work. We try to do fun things, be inclusive, be respectful of everyone’s likes/dislikes. We are big on family time!
We’ve had a few bumps but for the most part things have gone well. The boys are doing a great job blending. My step-daughter? Well, she’s struggled with the idea of a blended family, which I understand. There were/are a lot of factors at play, and we’ve chosen to meet my step-daughter where she is with all of it. She doesn’t come around all of us very often, so my husband and I have focused on keeping her relationship with her dad as intact as possible.
I am so blessed by my husband. He recognizes the importance of his relationship with her, so he ensures that he keeps reaching out to her. They go out to eat once a week, or they take her brother and go out to eat, see my husband’s mom. He took her on a trip to Vegas for her 18th birthday. He calls and texts her just about every day. Sometimes he gets a response, sometimes he doesn’t, but he continues to reach out regardless. I’m sure she may think he’s a stalker at times, but he always wants her to know that she’s important to him and that he wants to stay involved with her and what she has going on.
Our initial vision didn’t look quite like where we are now. We’ve had to let go of some expecations and learn that this is where we all need to be, and it’s okay. It’s part of a greater plan.
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
~ Galations 6:9 NLT
An opportunity for me to do what is good with my step-daughter came Tuesday night.
I’ve been trying to go to a Harley and Maudes jewlery party for months! But for one reason or another, it just never worked out. Finally, one came up that I could go to. It turned out that the woman that my step-daughter nannies for was one of the hostesses of the party, and my step-daughter had plans to go too.
My husband had dinner with my step-daughter the night before the party and she mentioned it to him and that I knew about the party too (she knew that because she and I are friends on Facebook). He told her that I had been wanting to go to one for months and that I would probably be there.
It ended up being me and my mom going, and we ran into my step-daughter there. We all sort of mingled around picking out charms and geegaws, casually chatting as we went. Very relaxed. She wasn’t going to buy anything, however, she’s been working her tail off this summer earning money for college, and her dad and I wanted to treat her to a necklace. All in all, the evening turned out to be a lot of fun!
Here’s the necklace I had made. I love it! The charms come off so I can mix-n-match what I want to wear depending on how I feel that day. Love that!
This is the necklace that my step-daughter had made. It. Is. Pretty. The picture does not do it justice.
I texted her yesterday morning to let her know how much I enjoyed seeing her. The few times we’ve met one-on-one, I’ve always tried to text her afterward to thank her for making the time (she really doesn’t have to), and to tell her how much I enjoyed spending time with her. For older stepkids, I think it’s important to acknowledge them for making time to see you as well as telling them how much you enjoyed it. In my opinion, it’s what you would do with any of your friends.
My husband and I were a bit surprised at her final response (she’s the white bubble). I’ve never gotten that kind of response before.
I’m cautiously optimistic about where we’re headed. She even made comment at the jewelry party about coming to our house to do laundry as our house is closer to her than her mom’s. We’d LOVE that! But again, we’ll see. No expectations.
Maybe there’s a time coming where we’ll begin to reap a bit of what we’ve sowed — unconditional love, consistency, support, understanding — meeting her where she is, not putting pressure on her. Even if it isn’t time to reap, we’ll just keep in sowing along.
Here’s to positive stepmom and step-daughter relationships!
P.S. From a total non-stepmom perspective, if you like funky jewelry, check out Harley and Maudes on Facebook. They’ll have a website up soon! And they don’t know me from Eve. I just love their jewelry!