Stepmemo

A note to stepmoms everywhere


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Unicorns In Training

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Courtesy giphy.com

Yeah I fell off for a bit. Sorry, I just kind of quit life for a little while. I noticed a few things, gave everything I had to the kids and a side project or two, and tried to relax.
I’ve felt a lot better after my husband forced me to go shopping and get some nice new things for me. When I was a kid, my mom would get dressed up and go out. She didn’t have a lot, but she had nicer things than me. She also would take naps a lot (she was a single mom working full time, taking care of 2 kids and a mentally ill mother). I understood, naps were kind of a big deal. Both of my parents took them and we (the children) respected that.
Lots of women don’t give themselves time or nice things. They keep putting the kids first and making sure they have new clothes and new shoes so they aren’t singled out in school, and that teaches them a few bad lessons. First, it shows them they are more important in the world than you. They trump you. Some children will see and appreciate your sacrifice, but most of them won’t. They don’t understand the big picture, they just see you, giving them all and taking none for you.
Second, you are showing them how to parent, and that you take no time for yourself when you take care of little people. If this was healthy, this wouldn’t be the number one complaint among mothers.
Take some time, take some money. Not much, but do the basic stuff. Take care of you.
The kids were all very impressed that I bought new clothes, and they keep eyeballing my new boots. I have to guard them with my life!
The kids are proud of me when I finally give in and do stuff for me, but that’s not normal. At their mom’s house, she comes first, sometimes at the cost of everyone else. So the kids have a comparison. This isn’t a view most kids have. I try to show them a different way, that they can still be loving and take care of their families without sacrificing time and health, but I don’t do so well. When I have them by myself, I don’t even take the 20 minutes that I take when my husband is home. I give all to them because I’m taking the place of 2 people. I want to show them a balance, but that’s hard to remember when you have 3 young people all super excited to tell you about their day, and ask big ugly life questions, like “how did the holocaust happen?”. Yeah.
How could you turn that down?
But now that they are older, they see. They know I love them and would do anything for them, like switch jobs and work a second job. Shop at a second hand store and stop having date nights.
But I have to teach them how to be self respecting women who doesn’t need a man’s approval. And that is why I need to start doing a better job of keeping up with myself. I need to be am example of a woman proud to be in her own skin.
Seems easy enough, right? ;P

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It’s a Monday of Michelle

The envelope itself.

The envelope itself.

Happy Monday everybody! The Monday hurricane blew through with less force than usual today. I was pleasantly surprised to get an unusual amount of work done for a Monday. And I found out it is unusual to raise your hand during a meeting like a 2nd grader (frantically wave it around with a determined look on your face). What can I say, I work at a church, my boss is very longwinded. I had to stop him somehow.

Halfway through my day something unusual happened; I got a call from the middle child. Now, if I am going to get a phone call, it’s usually the oldest. So I was kind of scared something bad had happened to her or it was something she was afraid to call me about, but it turned out to be something pretty neat.

A few months ago, the kids came home from school and were complaining about how much their lunches suck at school. They said that the fruit they were offered was moldy and they have to take it, but they also have to pay for it. The middle child pointed at Michelle Obama on tv, and said “hey, isn’t she supposed to be fixing this?” We said, “well, yeah, kind of”. Then she said she was going to sit down and write her a letter. So she did, and it was good. I was pretty impressed. We mailed it off the next day and said that it was great that she stepped up and tried, even if she got nothing back.

Today I answer my phone, and the middle child is almost out of breath “Jessie! I got a letter from the White House!!!” She was crying. It was adorable. I asked her what it said and she said “I don’t want to open it until daddy is home! Oh, he’s calling, hold on” then she put me on hold, and in her excitement and emotions, she forgot about me and hung up. When she opened it, there were autographed pictures of the first family and a letter addressed just to her. She had been noticed by someone important.

I helped her find frames for her new documents. I want her to be able to see that she is important, and she was worth remembering, even to the first lady.

Then I went through my Facebook with the kids and showed them all the things I post about them. They were¬†surprised how much I post about them, but they loved that I “see” them, and that in my world, they matter. And I tell everyone about it.