Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What the ex should know about the step!

What the ex should know about the step...

1. She isn’t playing house with your child and your ex-husband.

Stepmoms are trying to build their own family, a very real family that includes their husband, and children who aren’t theirs.

Some of them will grow to love their stepchildren and some won’t, but they’re doing their best to ensure the child still grows up feeling happy and loved.

nurturing a marriage and trying to figure out their role in the stepchild’s life. And while you knew your place in your child’s life from day one, stepmoms can spend years trying to find theirs.

2. It’s not about YOU.

A stepmom’s priority is her marriage. When she does something for her stepchild, often the motivation has nothing to do with you. It’s not about trying to make you look bad or make you feel “less than.”

The motivation is the safety and happiness of her stepchild. The motivation is the love she has for her husband.

She’s trying to do the right thing – just like you would.

Similarly, when she supports her husband, the intention is not to go “against” you. In fact, there are times when stepmoms actually side with mom, although — unless you have a decent relationship with the stepmom in your situation — you’d never know it.

3. Stepmoms often feel powerless and alone.

Stepmoms have no legal rights with their stepchild. They understand this; their stepchild already has a mom and a dad. It can make a woman feel unimportant and insignificant. It’s a feeling only a fellow stepmom could understand.

In addition, stepmoms are often powerless when it comes to their stepchild’s behavior. This is a struggle, because they are greatly affected by the unwanted behavior, but they don’t have the authority to do anything about it. If they’re lucky, their husband will be supportive and listen to their concerns, but this isn’t always the case.

4. When you contact their household, it often feels weird and disruptive. Stepmoms know you have the right to call your children as often as you’d like. And they understand you need to talk to your ex occasionally about parenting issues. But it can still feel like an intrusion. Stepmoms are constantly struggling to find ways to bond with their stepchildren. And when you call, it interrupts the activity in the house and their stepchildren are immediately distracted. Any bonding that was going on is gone.

Stepmoms may feel as though you’ve crept into every aspect of their lives. And your calling their house is another painful reminder of that.

5. Stepmoms don’t cross your boundaries on purpose, they just can’t see them.

Many moms complain that the stepmom is trying to “parent” their child. But a fundamental problem seems to be, what moms consider “parenting,” stepmoms consider “being responsible” or “supporting their husbands.”

Remember, many stepmoms aren’t sure of their role. They’re stumbling along, figuring it out as they go. And it’s difficult to try and do the ‘right thing’ only to realize you’ve just caused mom a coronary. It’s not intentional.

Stepmoms wish there was a rule book. They wish the situations were black and white. They wish they could be on the same page as mom and dad, and know how to handle every situation. But they don’t. This is where neutral, open communication would be to everyone’s advantage.

Unfortunately, for many stepmoms, their first experience of mom is an emotionally-charged phone call, email or text telling her she has “no right” to do whatever it is she did. To a stepmom, this feels like you’re kicking her when she’s already down. It comes as a shock — because again — her primary intention was to help her husband and care for her stepchild.

6. Stepmoms are often disrespected or ignored by their stepchildren. There are various reasons for this, chief among them understandable and agonizing loyalty conflicts for the child, but regardless — it still hurts. Stepmoms are only human!

Life isn’t always flowers and butterflies at the other household. Many children feel weird about having a stepmom. They don’t know what it means or what to do with it, so they act out or just ignore the stepmom, which is awkward for everyone.

And most stepmoms don’t have “unconditional love” to fall back on. When a child misbehaves, wreaks havoc, or throws a tantrum, parents may get angry and frustrated, but their unconditional love makes it bearable.

Stepmoms aren’t so lucky. There’s no unconditional love coming to rescue them from wanting to scream at their stepchild or run the other way, sob somewhere private, and never look back. All they have are difficult feelings and nowhere to put them.

But they do come back, day after day, because they believe their marriage and their stepfamily are worth it.

7. A simple “thank you” can go a long way.

Stepmoms wish you’d give them even the smallest acknowledgement. For a lot of women, being a stepmom is one of the hardest things they’ve ever done. Often, their needs and wants come last, their schedules aren’t their own, and they’re affected by a situation they didn’t create.

Many stepmoms take excellent care of their stepchild, with little or no reward. They get no thank you, no love from the child, and no appreciation from anyone but their husband — if they’re lucky.

They make many sacrifices in order to be with the man they love. So to only be referenced as “she” (or even worse), or to be completely ignored by you, can hurt them deeply. What they wouldn’t give for a simple “thank you” or a nod in their direction.

I believe that kind of recognition can heal wounds.

But it’s important to grasp the implications of a bigger context here: being a stepmom is uniquely difficult and confusing. If you’re a mom, could you see yourself struggling in her shoes?

Perhaps, one day, with a better understanding of each other, the mom/stepmom relationship will be one of championing the other, instead of automatic conflict.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Being on the other end....

I am learning that sometimes we just have to dig down deep and just keep trying even if it makes no sense what so ever. Even if it means loving a person we despise the most for the sake of the children.

One thing I wish with all my heart is that birth moms(like myself) would see that no matter what there are step-mommies who are always doing for the kids. I do this everyday even if that means I have to swallow all my pride and hate for the mommies in the world who do not get this. Because in the end the persistence, that moment of kindness shows the children that no matter what wrongs others do, we are still good people trying to do good things by the children. 

I have realized that getting angry and ignoring the fact, that as an adult, sometimes you have to do things you don't like, (Such as accepting the new person in your ex's life) is all apart of growing up into a mature and beautiful person. And isn't that what we want our children to be at the end of the day? 

I'm at that point in my life where I am sick of hearing the complaints on what someone else does or doesn't do the way you think it should be. We can not control anyone other than ourselves. At the end of the day our actions speak volumes to the children in our lives. I can honestly say, with all my heart, that every day I try to show the children in my home that no matter what their other family members or outside parties do or say, that I am stronger than stooping to a negative level and/or giving up. I will always talk nicely about their dad and step-mom or biological mom while they are around. I will always encourage them that no matter what happens at this very moment they have been blessed with more family that loves them than most people in the world. That there are times when people who love you will do things that hurt us but its ok. These people will always love them no matter what they do right or wrong. That its just a part of life. 
I will support my children and step child to know no matter what their "real parents" whether they do good or bad that they love them in their own way. Same goes for "the other parent." If we do not teach these children that people make mistakes either out of anger or vengeance or just stupidity then they grow up angry, confused, and hurt. And its a parents job to make sure that at any age their children understand this. Other wise your truly no different than the parent that you feel is wronging the children to begin with. 

I sit here daily struggling at times to even speak to people anymore. It seems nothing ever gets through in these situations. YOU are the only one who controls YOU, but as a parent you have the responsibility to guide any and all children around you. And if you cant see that even some things that you do are no different than the other parent or parents then your not seeing the bigger picture. You don't honestly know what goes on in that house any more than they know about yours. But like everyone in these high conflict situations we all assume we do based on what someone else says. There isnt a single day in a childs life when they are not learning from what adults do around them. So we need to look at the bigger picture instead of what we want all the time. For the children not for us!  I have not seen one single action for the child, but my 5 children know every single day, THEY ARE LOVED BY ME, BY THEIR DAD, BY THEIR STEP-MOM, and THEIR SOON TO BE STEP-DAD!  I will love and teach my soon to be step daughter, SHE IS LOVED BY ME, BY HER FATHER, and HER MOTHER (and anyone she chooses to have) no matter what.  AND NO ONE NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON WILL TAKE THAT RIGHT AWAY FROM ME!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Living With Guilt

Guilt… it is a word we adopt early in life and come to believe is a character trait to practice with pride.

Guilt…we are led to believe means putting the needs of others before your own and carrying guilt proves you are self-less and good.

Guilt seems to be a huge bi-product of divorce and second marriages…needlessly …do other people apologize for falling in love?  Today, I am not in the guilt trap!  It is just that – a trap and one that leads us on the path of negativity. We are not responsible for the happiness of others yet we often feel guilt when those around us are unhappy.  Guilt does rob us of energy and spirit. I would much rather focus my energies on my self-care and my relationship with my fiance' and children. I choose courage and love. Guilt has no place in my life. I may make mistakes but I live with a pure heart and try my best each day. And that’s the best I can give!  I held on to so much guilt about my divorce, even though I had to get out of such a toxic relationship. I always feel bad for any pain my children had to endure. If I think they MIGHT endure more, mama bear kicks in and guilt starts it cycle.

I shouldn't carry guilt for wanting to be a Women and Making friends.  I shouldn't carry guilt for wanting to not be with my children every waking minute of every waking moment.  I should not carry guilt for loving someone, and knowing there are healthy boundaries.  So many times you think your acting out of normal behaviors, but the underlying thoughts are reactions of guilt.  Many people use guilt as a way to communicate, and cause the infamous "guilt trip" to have you bend to their ways.  When at the end of the day, this is engraved in their souls from years of lack of something in their own lives reaching out for it in their present live

BAN GUILT from our vocabularies, from our lives and from our thought processes. And here’s the kicker…actually putting in the effort to Ban Guilt and do what you need to do for yourself, serves others much better than the alternative.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Why Am I Me, and Not Someone Else?

Have you ever wondered this? I guess this is a thought that only works if you believe in having a soul. I'm sitting here typing and controlling what I think right? It's my soul who is doing all this.

But why am I me? Why do I have my flesh and skin and not someone else's. Couldn't I have easily been someone else? Sometimes when I am in a room with many people I can be completely alone.  I can look over at a single person a few feet away and think to myself, "Wow, they are right there inside their own head living. Here I am inside my head controlling me.  They are so close...what's stopping me from getting my conscience inside their head.  It cant be that hard to pass into another person's being. With proximity (sometimes not needed) and the power of the brain I am surprised people don't do this more often. It sounds far fetched to many and completely unfathomable, to even entertain the idea.  The problem running in my head is I think if the person sitting there across from me had, for just one minute, any idea what it was like to be in my shoes they would have a simple understanding of me.

To everyone except me, my question is a silly question. There are things in this world. Things are things. That's it. You just happen to be you and your coffee cup is your coffee cup.
The staggeringly wonderful result I get from understanding this answer is:
The thing the soul in which "you" are aware of could have been anything. A holocaust victim, a calf in line at the abattoirs, or some dog who wouldn't care about it anyway. It could even have been a grain of sand or a hotel, but then it wouldn't have known it was. You really are you and you know it. (So do we?) Rejoice!

In reality, it is the only question worth asking. We take for granted our surroundings and attach ourselves to everything and anything. Our idea of our self is really just that, an idea. For example, If we see racism, we may decide "racism is bad". Then we will tell people "I am against racism" and we consider ourselves to be made from this standpoint, essentially becoming the totality of our experiences and personality traits. But is that who we really are? How can it be? Personality can change at any moment given the right circumstances. For example the same man who is against racism, may one day change his mind if he is robbed by a man from another race. So who are we? That is the question. Who better to ask than yourself? Ask yourself "Who Am I?".

In the process of finding yourself in your quest of "Who Am I?" remember to
1.  Accept yourself and others for what they are.
2.  Appreciate yourself in what you are right at this moment.
3.  Spend time listening, with the intent to learn.
4.  Treat each person you come across with respect for the person that they are.
5.   Offer yourself and others encouragement after you or they fail.
6.  Listen without trying to fix the other person.

I don't want my one regret in life to be that I was someone else.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Preconceived Ideas

Have you ever found yourself believing that a situation was going to be one certain way and it was completely different?

"Positive attracts Positive" why is this so lost to people?  I am just as guilty from time to time.  I notice it periodically when dealing with my children.  When your cranky their cranky!  When you claim they will exhibit a certain behavior, they will exhibit it.  Encouragement can go a long way. 

Now does this work all the time??  Can you be the light, the sunshine, the smile at the end of a dark tunnel and still experience some horrible actions being done unto you?  Absolutely!  I hate to burst your bubble.  Do not let it stop you from being that person.  Sometimes there is a lesson in life from the action being committed upon you, and sometimes it is a lesson needed to be taught to the other person.

"How can this be so Rebecca?"  Yes, you may have to look at why you allowed that person to do what they did to you.  However, the lesson to be learned was theirs and not yours.  Your reaction could lead to how that lesson is received.  No this does not give you permission to "SHOW THEM," but if you continue to move forward and not sit back and allow the behavior to continue you just may be giving them the opportunity to grow.

Today, I am going to be the web that binds us together.  It doesn't mean I have to stay on the web.  It just means that my part will be acknowledging there is a connection in the mind, thoughts, and actions between you and I!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Courage doesn't require you to roar!

What a wonderful statement.  I have learned a lot about courage lately.  I used to think that courage meant doing things despite what anyone else thought, and without fear.  I used to!  Sometimes, people do things in spite of someone else and they claim it is courageous.  The emotion of anger not only wounds those it targets, but also destroys the hearts of those who nurture it. 

When your personally attacked sometimes the quiet is more important then "the roar."  I have never met such negative humans then in this time right now.  Our earth is surrounded by vanity, anger, pain, jealousy, and many other destructive behaviors.  How does one survive the attack?   I thought it was courageous to attack back to let out the ROAR!  Your negativity won't bring me down, so in spite of you I will fight back!  I realized I was just a part of the destruction. The assumption of fighting is physical, and I will state right now I am not in anyway talking about the fight of physicality.  But rather the carnal need to destroy another human, to break them down to the point you feel content and they feel nothing but angst.

Lately, I sit back.  I stay silent. I silently cry. I silently feel the pain. I get up. I take the attack, I move forward and realize that this is more courageous then the one who personally attacks me.  I realized that I wasn't the only one feeling the attack of negativity.  I watched on the social media sites and interaction with others; that the overall feeling is that humans have lost their brightness.  They are walking around with this dark little cloud that is driving them to attack and all of their antagonistic behaviors shine through.

We aren't perfect are we?  We all have our bad days, and we shouldn't be defined by them.  These aren't the moments I see, what I see is is who is driving the race to continue, to not just "have a moment" but to live in misery?  So how do you define your courage in a world of destruction? 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Large Families

Today, I feel the attack of my family. No, I do not have my hands full! No its not always easy!  Yes, we do have a lot of fun!  Yes, we get cranky and fight!  No my house is not perfect, but its better then most! 

 While many people will argue that children are at a disadvantage in a large family. Certainly children of large families are not indulged as often as their small family counterparts, but having the newest gadget, designer shoes, or their every whim met is not necessarily a bad thing at all. Even if one would view having to wear hand-me-downs, sharing a room, or putting up with a certain level of noise and a hectic household a negative thing, the truth is there are a good number of advantages to being a part of a large family, most which far surpass any "negatives."

My children, like any other child, suffer the same behaviors that any other child does.  It seems more then most because there are more of them. I have scuffed walls, and fingerprints and hand prints every few feet.  I have a dent in a door, because someone opened it one to many times very hard.  I have repeated time in and time out "Don't do that" or "stop arguing!"  

Yet, I will turn around and see two children laughing, that just fifteen minutes earlier wanted to rip the others throat out.  I will see an older child who claims she just doesn't care, help a smaller sibling put on a shirt because he can't do it on his own.  I see attitudes, and children exhibit bad behaviors because they have gone through some horribly hard changes in their tiny little lives, and I want to give them the world.

I am a good mom!  My children are healthy, they do a lot for others, even when they make some not so great choices.  (It is how they learn, is it not?)  Do not judge our life because you do not understand it!  Do not assume we live on welfare, or take from others to pay for our life, do not assume that my children are lacking things in their life!

1. We have fun!
2. There was a time that I couldn't handle it either...so telling me I don't know how you do it, I can barely handle my two, is no different then me and what I do.  If you are diligent to train them with love, they grow up into lovely “big kids.”  They won't always be terrible house wrecking toddlers, they will soon be teen terrors!  Enjoy it in the moment!
3. They learn if your bored it really is your own choice!
4. We eat every meal together!  There is never a dull conversation!
5.  They learn the meaning of responsibility, accountability, and how to handle conflict.

MY CHILDREN ARE NOT ACCIDENTS, yes I know how I got them, I know what caused them to come to this planet, and please do not assume that we are struggling!

Don't ask you must "have good jobs" because my response will be, "Yes we have a great job, its called parenting!"  Not that my finances are your business, the truth is, having several children makes you smarter about where your money goes. My partner and I budget carefully because we have to and want to.

Do people who assume that mothers of many are unhappy and stressed simply feel threatened? Perhaps because they don’t enjoy motherhood? I never asked for the title, but several friends have dubbed me SuperMom. Would this cause another mom to feel inferior and make inappropriate comments to me?  I love the fact that I am a mom, and I have mad a great choice.

No my home is not a mess all the time
No we do not live in chaos, we are living
Yes we get a quiet moment to ourselves and we have learned when to enjoy it
No we do not live off the government, or even better… child support (don’t make me laugh with that last one!)
No my house is not always loud and crazy
Yes we spend time with the children individually
Yes my significant other and I get alone time
No he does not work 70 hours a week to get us by
No we are not a disadvantage or are we a disadvantage to you
No my significant other is not a saint for taking us all on (he loves us) we aren't burdens
Yes I will be adding one more to my brew of 5, my five will take her under their wing and be there for their wonderful soon to be step sister, families blend all the time!

I think from now on my answer to these kinds of inappropriate questions from now on will be simple I will turn it around on the person and ask them how they’re doing in that particular area. People reflect onto you their own concerns. They reflect what’s in their heart.  For me and my home, we are doing just fine!!