I’ve arrived at a place in “stepmommydom” where I just don’t care what other people think anymore. Let me explain.
I get up every morning, I make my husband and I breakfast, take care of the dog, the fish, thaw something out for dinner and get ready for work. If it’s during the school year, I then drive children to school, if not, then I just go to work, leaving children instructions to keep busy.
I go to work, and then I come home, clean up, make dinner, drive kids to assorted practices and make trips to stores. I do whatever housework I can squeeze in, or like this week, make home repairs.
I do volunteer work that I really love, so I make time for that also. I don’t get to sit down and watch TV much. I’m running at about 75-80% of full capacity at any given time. It doesn’t take much before it’s too much.
It’s tiring and can be frustrating at times, and you know what? That’s life. But some people have asked me to do more, and when I tell them I just can’t, they get upset with me. And I just have to let them be upset with me.
They usually don’t have kids; they usually have this weird stuff called “free time”. They usually have something else that I used to have, “expendable income”. I don’t expect them to understand, they don’t live my life. I just have to let them be upset.
And that’s what I mean when I say I don’t care. I have to really analyze a situation, judge how much energy it’s going to take, then opt for the safe side. I have to say “no” a lot, because I don’t get to say “no” to the kids a lot. What happens in their life is not often my decision, but it is my duty to chip in and help out.
I understand that this is an area that most moms and stepmoms have a hard time with. No one wants to make their family upset. I used to feel that way too, but then I would overwork myself to keep them all happy. I wrecked my health, and they weren’t there to help me back on my feet.
It’s up to me to make sure I am able and functioning to take care of my family. That means protecting myself and telling people honestly that I can’t do things. And fully expecting them to be upset, but also expecting them to be adults and to get over it. If they can’t, that’s also not my problem, it’s theirs.
I’ve said it before that blended families are complicated. All parenting is complicated. This is a balancing act that a lot of people try to figure out, and not everyone wins. And just when you think you have it figured out, something else will come up and you will have to do this all over again.
But the less I try to please people outside of the house, the happier the people inside my house are. It really has made a big difference, and my people really understand. And so should your people.