Tag Archive for stepmom

Seed Sowing Time in a Blended Family

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!

Deb

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!

A Look Back at BlogHer 2011

Last summer was our first summer as a blending family and we wanted to take a special trip. We decided to go to San Diego, and we had a blast! So much so, my youngest wanted to go back this summer. We did a lot of the touristy type things. We went to a Padres game, took a harbour cruise.

We would have regretted not going to the San Diego Zoo to see the pandas. How often do you get to see a panda?

My husband took the boys to La Jolla for a day. 

And, being the amazing husband that he is, he made sure that we did my must-do when in San Diego.

He took me out to The Del and we watched the sun set. “Some Like It Hot” is one of my favourite movies, and I’ve always wanted to go to The Del. I can check that off of my list. Thanks, babe!

A Visit to BlogHer 2011

While we were there, the BlogHer conference happened to be going on just down the street from our hotel, and some of the stepmoms I had met on Twitter were going to be there. I don’t have friends who are stepmoms so the chance to meet these women in person was HUGE for me. They had already been such a lifeline for me on Twitter. Who woulda thought? Twitter.

I had been thinking about starting a blog for a while, and even before we left for vacation, I purchased my domain name. Us, San Diego, BlogHer? Divine intervention? My husband encouraged me to go check out the conference for a day. I am blessed to have such an encouraging partner. And was I glad I went! It was amazing! The women were amazing! They were so nice, so welcoming, interested in what everyone blogged about. They asked about my blog, gave me advice based on their experiences. I couldn’t have asked for more. As my decision to go was totally impromptu, I didn’t have any idea what to expect. It was definitely a learning experience. If you ever go to a blog conference, take business cards. Lots of business cards.

The StepMom Breakout Session

BlogHer had scheduled a StepMom breakout session. If I recall correctly, there were about six of us in the session — me, Lisa from HersHisandOurs, Heather from CafeSmom, Barb from Evil Stepmom Speaks, Diana from A Life Well Blended, and Colleen from MommyAlwaysWins. Not a lot of turnout but we all quickly realized that there is a need out there to provide positive, encouraging support for stepmoms — we need to foster our community. You should check out the article that Heather over at CafeSmom wrote about it.

I left San Diego energized to get started on my blog. I brainstormed ideas for posts on the flight home, I made all sorts of notes on things that I wanted to be sure to include.

And then school started.

And then school ended.

And here I am, almost one year later. Finally getting the blog I talked about up and running. I think I needed that full year with my husband, kids and stepkids to get my feet underneath me a bit more.

It really is all in God’s perfect timing. I can’t wait to see where He takes me and the blog from here.

The Backstory

Mine is a messy family story. Not the messiest by any stretch, but not storybook or Leave It to Beaver like either.

My Immediate Family

I know a bit about blended families. I’m the oldest daughter in a blended family. Here’s a picture of me and my sibs … I don’t think of them has halves, just as my brother and my sister. My mom married my dad when I was 8. I say my dad, because he adopted me a year after the wedding.

My brother is 11 years younger and my sister is 14 years younger than I am. Don’t you know that I got some strange looks when I was 14/15 years old carrying around a baby! We didn’t really grow up together as they were still young when I left for college. For me, I’ve always felt more like an aunt to them than a sister.

Here’s the other side of my family who live in a different state. That’s my bio dad, my grandmother, my step-sister and my half-brother. I didn’t meet any of these people, and that includes my biological father, until 2001. I was in my mid-30s. I think I look like my dad.

My mom and dad divorced when I was around 2-years-old. For most of my life I wasn’t allowed to speak about him or ask any questions. When I did meet him, I asked about why he gave me up for adoption, and he said that while it was the hardest thing he did, he agreed with my mom about not having to travel from state to state, and having a different last name than hers. I know they meant well. 

My father passed away unexpectedly in 2006. I am thankful that I made the decision to go see him the few times I was able to.

My Blending Family

My husband and I married, and started blending our families at the end of 2010. He was my 6th grade and 12th grade boyfriend, and I’ll share more of that story later. It’s just crazy how it all happened! We still look at each other and can’t believe we’re married. So, this is all of us today …

Family Picture 2011

 Yes, it’s our backs. And, yes, it’s a poorly Photoshopped pic at that. Sometimes you encounter opportunities when dealing with family pictures and blending families, and you need to find alternate solutions. I messed around with Photoshop so we could have one picture where we’re all together.

It hasn’t all been easy, however, we try to do the best we can at all times. Here are a couple of verses from the Bible that we like to rely upon:

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” ~ Proverbs 27:17

“Yet in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” ~ Romans 8:37