This is a wonderful blog to follow. I just had to share this post she made today because it’s so incredibly true, especially if you are or ever have been in the world of step parenting. Thank you for your words of inspiration and encouragement!
Wise Words Wednesday is dedicated to profound quotes and sayings I have come across that I want to share with all of you. There are times where I’m going through my reader and find some interesting and wise quotes. Those quotes sometimes help me through a tough day by making me stop and think or […]
Over the past several years, we have had a pretty steady schedule as far as splitting the week between homes with Charlotte. The schedule that we had for a very long time was set up Wednesday-Saturday. The one we had in place over the past year was Thursday-Sunday, and our newest one, due to Charlotte starting Kindergarten, is Friday-Monday.
I guess being someone who is normally okay with some change in life, transitioning from the first to the second schedule was no biggie. She was still little; the shift didn’t feel that different to me. ( I have to say though, it always threw me for a loop when we’d have to change it up for one reason or another and get her on a slightly different schedule. Whenever that has happened in the past, I’d totally forget what day it was. I suppose I’m a creature of habit deep down.)
We’ve only done our Friday-Monday schedule once so far. She just started Kindergarten last week. I’m 100% positive that I will adjust and life will feel back in balance after we get in our groove. As of right now though, I feel slightly chaotic (mostly just in my head, not outwardly). I haven’t fully adjusted to having two kids for the entire weekend yet. I don’t really like admitting that because it makes me feel like I’m complaining about spending time with my kids together, as a family. I’m really not complaining about it. I am just used to something different, so I’m going through a transition phase.
Back when we did our Wednesday-Saturday schedule a few years ago, I hadn’t had Willa yet, so having part of Saturday and all of Sunday free to spend with Derek (or by myself if he worked) was so nice. Life seemed so much simpler then, when I think back on it now….because it was. Shortly after Willa came along, the schedule shifted to the Thursday-Sunday routine. This, like I said before, didn’t take all that long to get used to. We had it down pat. Derek would teach Thursday nights, so I’d have both kids, make dinner, wind down, he’d come home, we’d put the kids to bed. Friday I would go to work and Derek would be with the kids, I’d come home, we’d go out and do something together or hang out at home (he doesn’t work Fridays). Saturday I’d have both kids in the morning until the afternoon while Derek taught lessons. I’d set up a play date with a friend, take them to park, or just hang out at home until he was finished, then again, we’d do something as a family. Sundays we would relax in the morning, then figure out when we were going to meet Charlotte’s mom to drop her off, then I’d have the rest of the day to kind of chill out. Up until now, Willa wasn’t so mobile and didn’t have that toddler energy she has these days, so it was easy for me to go to a store or go home and watch a show that wasn’t kid oriented.
Now things have turned up a notch (in a good way!). Charlotte is a big school age kid now and Willa is a full blown toddler. This new Friday-Monday schedule has kind of put me into an internal frenzy. It isn’t because I don’t love having my family together the entire weekend, and it isn’t because I can’t handle change. I actually love those parts about it. Having both kids all weekend has made our life feel more “normal”, less “blended”, in a way. It’s just the simple fact that as a working mom putting in a full 40 (or more) hours during the week, coming home, making dinner or doing grocery shopping all with a toddler in tow, then the entirety of the weekend running around and doing pretty much everything kid related, I kind of lose myself in the mix. It can sometimes feel like there isn’t a spare second for just me or for just Derek and me. That’s the part that can really get to me. I know that for me, to be the best mommy I can be, I have to have those moments to myself or with my husband, alone. I know we will work it out and there will be loopholes that will give us that time we need as a couple or alone time to do things individually. Like I said before, we just need to find our groove, make plans, and roll with the tide.
Our oldest daughter is starting Kindergarten tomorrow! 😥
I like referring to my stepdaughter as “our oldest”, or something along those lines, because although she knows she is my stepdaughter and I am her stepmom, it feels so much less divided when it’s referred to that way. Love is love, family is family, no matter the titles and labels.
It’s crazy that the little chubby cheeked, newly turned 2 year old that I remember when I first came into her and my husband’s life, the one who was obsessed with Elmo, Wonder Pets and running around the house in a diaper, is GOING TO KINDERGARTEN! Holy moly. She was dropped off with her mom this morning, and now (as of tomorrow) begins her 12 year school career; a new chapter in her life and ours.
It’s one of the most cliche things to say. “Time Flies”. It really does though. We now have a school-age kid, about to turn 6 years old, and a wild little toddler, nearly 2 years old. When I think back on the last 4 years, there have been highs and lows (sometimes extreme highs or lows). The stepmom gig has been a life altering thing for me. If I could see myself in this role 4 years ago, I’d probably laugh at my clumsiness or uncertainty. I have grown and evolved into the mom I am today because I was given the awesome opportunity to be a mom to Charlotte first. I got to see what it felt like to put someone before myself before actually giving birth. It was such a blessing and I believe I am a better mom to Willa because of it.
And for that ^, I am grateful.
I recently read another blog post by a stepmom and it really hit home. She listed all the reasons why being a stepmom before a mom has been a positive impact on herself as a woman and a biological mother. It’s all so true. Being able to know what it feels like to be in that role before technically have that title is HUGE. At least it is if you’re like me. I’m sure everyone feels differently. It also makes me want to hug Willa that much harder because I have her with me always. No back and forth, no shared time, no planning schedules and vacations around someone else’s life. It’s difficult having to do that with Charlotte. There’s a lot of things both sides miss out on because of that split time, and I can’t imagine how hard that must be for her mom, so I am thankful on so many different levels.
*If you want to share or comment or anything at all, please feel free. As I’ve said before, I love being a part of something and I love when people are able to relate. It’s a nice feeling!*
Oh, and look at this child! I seriously found this on my phone this morning and had to share. This picture is the definition of Charlotte in visual form. She took this of HERSELF and it’s awesome and beautiful!
Hidden Valley Fruit Farm. It’s just an old barn on the side of St. Rt. 48 N. There’s something about that old barn that always brings out the very best and most magical moments in my little family.
While I was still pregnant with Willa, Derek and I brought Charlotte there to enjoy the atmosphere, pet/feed the animals, play and jump in the bouncy castle. I mused about how sweet it would be once both my girls would go back together and jump in that castle, playing and having the best sister fun. It happened! I swear, the smallest things in life bring me so much joy!
The trip wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. Willa still whined for me to pick her up after having been there for like 20 minutes, and Charlotte still talked a few octaves above normal speaking level, needing to be hushed. Business as usual. But, I don’t know…there’s just something in the air at the place. Watching the girls run around, play house, do the kid maze, and of course, jump in that famous bouncy castle, really pulls at my mommy heart strings. It’s like all the woes of day to day life cease there. I stopped thinking about the monotony of work, the bills that still need to be paid, the small frustrations of toting two small children around in public. It’s carefree and blissful. We left Hidden Valley in great moods, pastries for next morning in tow, already so eager to go back again. In the fall they have hayrides, pumpkin and apple picking, and all other fall festivities you can imagine. (Swoon!) Needless to say, we will find ourselves back at that little roadside attraction sooner rather than later.
Sometimes I try and think about what kind of person I am and I realize, each one of the layers that stack together to create Dusty are filled with honey, maple syrup, and any other sticky sweet sap that acts as the glue of my personality. Thinking back on moments like we had at Hidden Valley, or any comparable experience, well my eyes with tears of happiness. The littlest thing in life are what truly resonate with me and what makes my little world go ’round.
I am not someone who tends to get overly riled up about any certain thing. Yes, I have moments where things bug me and I’ll vent to my husband or my best friend for a few minutes and move on. However, I’m certain we all have one or two things that really do set us off considerably compared to those small annoyances in life. Mine in particular is hypocrisy.
Due to hypocrisy, I have found myself in a raging fit of yelling and crying (which is extremely out of my character). I have found myself making rash decisions I later feel silly about after I’ve come down from my bout of temporary insanity. I have found myself seeking out any kind of something I can find to relate to just so I know I can’t be the only one who’s been affected in this manner. Just typing this out makes me feel like my blood pressure is rising, as I’m rehashing all the instances that have turned me into a madwoman due to someone else’s pure lack of self awareness.
My point in this tiny soapbox rant is this (and I am by no means saying I am perfect and have never been hypocritical about anything in my life): Please. PLEASE. Try to put yourself in another person’s shoes in any given situation. Do this when it involves you personally and do it when it doesn’t, and ESPECIALLY do it once you are put in a position where you are able to understand something firsthand, where maybe you couldn’t before. I know this may sound super vague, but I do not want to hash out personal details that have spiraled down a rabbit hole that has created my ultimate pet peeve. Kindness, honesty and understanding are very respectable qualities. It can be difficult sometimes, and it can be a test to your patience, but it really means something to others (and yourself) when you are. Be self aware. Not to the point where you are self conscious, but self aware of things that you are putting out into the world through your words and your actions. There is nothing worse (in my opinion obviously) than someone so hypocritical that it blinds them to all the double standards they are setting.
I love you, but somethings I cannot/will not for you:
1. I wont play favorites
I love you, I love your step sister. But I will never play favorites; I will always love you just as much as her. No you didn’t come from my body like she did, but I did fall in love with you just the same, and I had a choice whether or not to love you, and I do, unconditionally.
2. I won’t compete for your love Yes, you are only with us half the time, yes the rules are 100% different here than they are at your moms. Yes, we constantly hear that you don’t want to be here, because Mom is more lax, gives you sugar, and is more “fun”, but I refuse to bribe you for your love. No, I won’t take you on a million shopping sprees, go out to eat…