Write 31 Days: Being Me: Childhood

When I was in preschool and Elementary school my mom had an in-home daycare. You could say I was a self-appointed assistant director at my mom's daycare. I would enforce rules and direct games. Some people may have called me a bossy child because of this. I choose to think of it as developing leadership skills during my childhood. True leadership skills were developed in middle and high school through 4-H. Go ahead. Laugh. Picture me in boots and spurs as an awkward teen. I was in many … [Read more...]

How to Have Less Worry and More Peace

One of my very first blog posts back in May 2013 was about spring break. It's funny how much things have changed in those few short years between then and now. I remember how worried I was then. How much I stressed about this child that I loved so much, and I still do, but had so little control over. Do you ever control your children? Biological or step? No, we really don't. But back then I worried so much for his safety - physical, emotional and spiritual. I hated that time away from us … [Read more...]

Encouragement for Stepmoms (Consistent)

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 You hear how important being consistent with your child is. But it's not easy, is it? It's hard to be consistent with bedtimes, eating healthily and consequences when you're running from homework to the ball field and trying to feed your kiddo at some point before shower and bed. And what if your kid only lives with you part-time? Being consistent while parenting isn't … [Read more...]

Rerun Tuesday: No Expectations

From the archives: No Expectations We had several outstanding requests to T's mom regarding his poor grades and plans for the summer. After a couple days of not hearing back I thought for sure her response(s) either would a) never come or b) be negative. I even resorted to checking my hubby's email several times during my workday looking for and expecting the worst. I totally ignored that small voice that said even if you get a response what can you do about it now while you are at … [Read more...]

Rerun Tuesday: Overstepping Boundaries

From the archives: What if Stepmom is Overstepping Boundaries? Wow. Am I feeling convicted. I'm reading some child custody forums and keep seeing things like this... My ex-husband's new wife oversteps boundaries, so much so that it has impacted my ability to co-parent effectively. I'm sure husband's ex must feel at times that all I do is overstep boundaries. Sometimes M and his ex just can't "hear" each other and so I step in to "mediate." There have been times when the ex has put T n … [Read more...]

Rerun Tuesday: Independence

From the archives: Independence We are working on teaching T some independence and responsibility. He's almost 14 and it seems maybe we have done too much for him over the years. Helped him too many times. Rescued him too often. Consequences and structure are so important to all children but I tend to think even more so with children who split their time between homes. M and I try. There are so many extra dynamics when you co-parent with an ex. It's easy to blame the other parent for … [Read more...]

Just Keep on Showing Love

It was baseball picture day and T was late but made it in time. M and I were there because he wanted to get group photos after the pro photos were done. I made fun of M and called him cheap but really it's genius. We capture the boys personalities much more than a standard group shot can. Anyway as we were all leaving I was standing on the sidewalk waiting to say hi to T. He was going to walk right by me pretending never seeing me on the way to his mom's car. I've been his stepmom for ten … [Read more...]

Allowing God to Direct Me

The other night I had a dream about T. He was literally calling out to us for help but we could do nothing because of something to do with his mom. I'm sure this is just me worrying but I also wonder if this is an unconscious need of his and not just mine? If that is the case, how do we help him? Immediately after I woke up I journaled a prayer to God and this verse came to me... Psalm 25:4-5 (NIV) 4 Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. 5 Guide me in your truth and teach … [Read more...]

Rerun Tuesday: Dealing with a High Conflict Ex

From the archives... here are three things divorced parents need to know to deal with a high-conflict ex. 1. Communicate. No matter how wrong the other person is, no matter how mad they make you, make it work for the sake of the child. Stay in touch and communicate regularly, even if the ex doesn’t. And before you speak up, think is this going to make the ex mad and if so is it worth it? Is whatever I have to say in the best interest of my son or daughter? 2. Stop arguing. If … [Read more...]

Blended Family Dynamics

Lately I've been inspired by blogger friends and "real-life" friends who are able to have a friendly stepmom-biomom relationship. These ladies are able to have birthday parties together, take family photos, and even talk on the phone ((gasp!))!  There are times that I wish we had that too but that kind of blended family relationship doesn't work for everyone. We don't have that. There aren't family events all blended together. Just communicating regularly is a challenge for us. I sometimes … [Read more...]