Saturday, November 23, 2013


Today you are ten. Its a big birthday for you. The first double digits. The first birthday that has made your daddy start to panic and wish he could slow down time. For me its the fourth birthday I've been around for. In fact the first time I met you was to celebrate your seventh birthday.

In the past year I have been amazed at witnessing the person you are becoming. With each passing day we can see more and more of the person you're growing into.

You are funny. Intenionally funny. You always have a clever comeback when Daddy teases you. You come up with things to say that witty and quick.

You are starting to assert the fact that you are growing up to everyone around you. You roll your eyes when Daddy tells you he loves you and tries to get a hug. You tell him not to call you "sweetie" and not to treat you like a little girl. And for the most part you mean it. But you still climb in his lap to watch TV and you still love laying with him at night.

You are all girl. You are obsessed with red lipstick. You love girl talk and on Halloween when your mom and I got you ready you were in heaven. You told us how much you liked getting ready with "all the women".

Ten is a big year. I vividly remember the year I was ten and all that came with it. Being a girl is the best. But sometimes it can be the worst too. And it was in my tenth year that I began to figure that out. Most likely you will too.

But you're brave. And spirited. You're ready to take the world on. And you will. I know it. Daddy knows it too. But go easy on Daddy. You may be ready for lip gloss and staying up all night with the girls. But Daddy will always think of you as his little girl. Let him baby you every once in awhile. I promise I will make sure he behaves in public.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

On Community & Support

Before I started a blog I thought Twitter was all about celebrities self promoting and for reality tv addicts to discuss who should get voted off of Big Brother. It was only after reading another blogger's tips for increasing your blog's popularity that I realized how much more Twitter could be. For step moms (and I'm sure many other groups of people) it can be a lifeline.

Imagine a community of women who are all experiencing the same things you are. A community of women ready to lend an ear, offer advice and can truly empathize. Its incredible. (Not to mention the fact that I can now spare some of my real life friends from having to hear every detail of my life as a stepmom!)

So here it is in a nutshell. My advice for step moms out there needing support. Needing a community.

Join Twitter. Search #TwitterStepMoms. Follow these wonderful women. Read their posts. Ask questions. VENT. Read their blogs.

If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to support a stepmom. Find that community for yourself. There are so many women out there who understand what you're going through. Find them. Connect. Share your struggles and (hopefully) your successes.

Through Twitter I have also discovered another online community that is full of stories from incredible people about their family dynamics. You can check it out here: Family Fusion Community

I've personally written two posts (so far) for them. You can check out my posts here: A Daddy Keeps You Safe & here: Time

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I have a love/hate relationship with holidays. Its (seemingly) inevitable that something comes always up and drama ensues. So as much as I anticipate "our" holidays and love planning them, I always feel the dread and play out the "what could happen" scenarios in my head.

Up until Halloween my gut was always right. A holiday would approach. Drama would arise. The day would come and be great but there was always the aftermath of the drama to deal with. There was always the awkward exchanges and resentment on both sides.

So with our first parenting time agreement deemed Halloween on the horizon I held my breath and waited for the call. You know the call I'm referring to. Every person in the coparenting world knows the call. To my surprise (shame on me for expecting the worst) the call never came. But when my husband let me know that his daughter's mom would be getting her ready at OUR house I planned to stay busy and out of the way. Just to be on the safe side.

Imagine my surprise when she (my step daughter's mom) arrived and told me that she didn't want me to feel like I couldn't help with the getting ready. And when she actually suggested that I do the makeup and she do the hair? I couldn't have been more shocked. But, are you ready for this? It was nice. It was pleasant. It was actually kind of (gasp) fun. And my step daughter? She was over the moon. She loved getting attention from both of us at the same time. She clearly enjoyed having that experience. Of both of her "moms" getting her ready. And isn't that what its all about?

The next day I thanked her mom. Including me was a big step and it was a lovely gesture. Not to mention its what was best for our child. The added bonus is neither of us had to miss out. We both got to be involved.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

True Confessions of a Step Mom: The GUILT Edition

"I should do more."

"I could do more."

"If this was actually MY child would I do/say/act/think/feel differently?"

We've all been there. Everyone of us has felt it. The guilt of not being enough for your stepchild. The guilt of not being a "perfect" wife.

This weekend I felt the crushing feeling of this guilt and even though I did everything in my power to make the guilt go away. It didn't. It lingered and festered until Sunday when we dropped my stepdaughter off. And then did it disappear? No. Its still with me twenty four hours later.

On the surface nothing was out of the ordinary about this weekend. We had a nice, relaxing Saturday morning. Followed by a jam packed rest of our day and a late night for all three of us. And ended the weekend with a lazy Sunday at home. Very typical of our routine.

But mentally I wasn't as present as I could have/should have been. And I knew it. At the movie on Saturday I was aware of this. While we were carving pumpkins my nutty family drew me out of my thoughts and I was able to be completely be in the moment with them. But once we finished I felt myself drift back. By the time Sunday hit I'm sure it was not a secret that I was in my own world.

Like I said before, I knew I wasn't living in the moment. However even the self awareness didn't help. I was stuck.

If I was the biological mother to my stepdaughter would I feel this guilt? Probably. But I would also have the luxury of time. In this situation I do not. My time with my stepdaughter is limited. And knowing time is limited magnifies that guilt.

How do you handle guilt as a stepmom, as a biological mom, as a wife? I know I can't be the only one plagued by this emotion.

Monday, November 4, 2013

To Have or Not To Have

I want babies. 

I dream about babies. I obsess over everything pregnancy and baby related. I would take your baby if you offered it to me. Kidding. Or not. (Mostly kidding.)

I've wrote about this longing before. I've wrote about my struggles with adding a baby to our little family. My husband and I endlessly discuss whether we should start talking about the possibility of a baby now or wait until we know its happening. As in I'm pregnant and ready or not here comes a sister. Or brother. (Can you tell which I would prefer? Ha.) 

And as much as my husband and I have always speculated on how my step daughter would feel with a new addition, we (read- HE) has been too chicken to directly ask her.

Cut to this weekend, after family pictures, when we are standing around and talking to our photographer about her recently announced pregnancy. And the inevitable, "You two are newlyweds, what are you waiting for?", comes up. To which my step daughter promptly replies with a very firm, no questions about it, "Nooooo....." 

Hmmm. I guess we now know her feelings on this subject. My question is what do we do from here? Like it or not babies are in the future. If I have it my way, the very near future. So do we talk to her about it now- or later? 

And once we have this conversation how do we help her be okay with it?