Stepmemo

A note to stepmoms everywhere

Is The Grass Greener on This Side?

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DSC_2028It’s official. I’m mentally lost. I’m not sure what day it is anymore. If I were to judge by my to-do list, I’d say it’s Thursday. Last night, after much confusion between my husband and the kids and his ex, the kids were whisked off to thier mom’s house. My husband and I could only sit on the couch with our brains dripping out of our ears.

Each year is a learning experience, and I learned something from this summer that no one is going to like, but I think by next summer they will all agree: everyone can’t be in an activity at the same time. This sucks.

I change the rules a lot, and it might seem like I’m being a dictator of misery, that I’m a control freak. But in reality I’m just trying to keep from going completely insane. For example, this past Christmas was just like the previous 3 or 4; we would buy something, that something would either be bought also by someone else or a conflicting gift would be bought, then after frustrating deliberation, our gift would be returned and we’d be back at the drawing board on Christmas eve. Lame. So I told the kids that this Christmas, they would get the amount of money we normally would spend on them, and after Christmas we could all go to the mall. They LOVED that idea. And that takes about 3 months of frustration away from me. Fantastic. I’m not sure what my husband thinks, but the rest of us like it and majority rules.

So this summer, we have had to run around and drive someone somwhere just about every day. Every. Single. Day. And most of these schedules overlap in horribly inconvenient ways. So even though I get home from work at 3:30, I can’t sit down and eat dinner till about 7:30. We only see each other in passing and we all hardly get to talk. I wanted them to do constructive things all day then share with us, so we could bond and grow closer. And the few weeks we got to do that was fantastic.

It just seems like summer got off to a great start then ran away from us, and all we can do is struggle to keep up. I wonder how other families do this, have kids in activities and still have a close bond with them. It almost seems impossible. And the more they do, the more I understand why my own mother bribed me out of everything I wanted to do. I ended up getting to do some pretty cool things, but never with a group of kids my own age.

I don’t know what the right answer is here, is it better to struggle and keep them involved in something that takes away from family time, or is it better to keep them cut off from the world, bonded with you and listening to you and following your guidance with trust?

They aren’t my kids, so I will not get to decide. I will simply ask them where I need to drive them.

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Author: Jessie Henry

Reinventing my life and enjoying my adventure. Living life as full as I like with no apologies, loving all of it.

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