In the interest of starting this blog off with full disclosure, I must admit I have officially been a Stepmama for 73 days. I use the word “officially” because although I felt like a Stepmama before my husband and I tied the knot, I was always hesitant to use the word. What do you call yourself when you have been a primary caregiver to your boyfriend’s children for years? I never knew! I am thrilled to be able to officially call myself a stepmama, although it seems not much has changed except the addition of the title.
When I started this journey almost four years ago, I had no clue how much my life would transform in such a short amount of time. I was barely into my thirties and was still living the single girl life when my journey began. I wanted a husband and a family but had not been actively seeking either. I certainly was not actively seeking a divorced man with children. I mean what little girl says “I sure wish when I grow up that I will meet a man who has an ex-wife and two children from his first marriage!! Gee, that would be a dream come true!!!”? But you know what? In my case it was a dream come true. It was and continues to be that “it is everything I never knew I always wanted” cliche. It is my belief that it was God’s plan for me all along.
Now does that mean it is all roses and unicorns and gumdrops? No. No. No. I said full disclosure, remember? It is an interesting role, that of the stepmother. I remember when my husband and I first started talking about moving in together. We dated for five months before I met the children. But once the kids and I crossed that hurdle, we were full steam ahead. Within a month we were discussing the idea of living together and two months later we were all living together. Full steam ahead!
I remember being in a Barnes and Noble searching for the Stepmother section. I mean with the divorce rates being what they are in our country, surely there is an entire section devoted to blended families, right? I was in need of a good how-to book. Stepmothers for Dummies!!! A step-by-step guide on how to become the perfect blended family. Those had to exist! Imagine my disappointment when all the sales clerk had to offer me was books on divorce with a small chapter devoted to “dating again”. You were lucky if you found an entire chapter devoted to the topic; sometimes it was only a paragraph or a warning such as “beware of dating too soon!”.
I quickly went home and ordered a bunch of books from Amazon on the topic of step-parenting. My excitement of taking on a new research project and becoming the most well-informed person on the do’s and don’ts of step-parenting quickly waned. Waned is the wrong word; it was crushed like a toddler stomping on a saltine cracker until all that is left is dust. All of the books painted such a hopeful picture. My relationship was destined to fail. The kids would hate me. I would surely end up resenting the hell out of them. The whole endeavor would certainly blow up in my face. You know? The stuff fairy tales are made of.
Suddenly the wind had been knocked out of my sails. You have to remember that I was a single girl living the single life in her early thirties. And what does a single girl living the single life have? A bunch of single girl friends. None of my friends understood what I was going through or even why I would want to go down this road. And now even my greatest source of comfort had turned on me. My motto had always been “knowledge is power!”. All the books had to offer was doom and gloom. What I realized was that I was on my own. Of course, my husband then boyfriend was supportive. But he did not truly understand what it was like to be in my position. How could he? He had no experience being a stepparent. It was then and there that I thought someday I am going to write a blog. I am going to write a blog so that people have a place to go where they will not feel alone. Where they will not feel like they are the only person who has ever walked this road. Where they will feel understood. Where they will feel encouraged and supported. Where they will feel heard.
So I have been a Stepmama for 73 days. I want to invite you to take this journey with me. It is my hope that it will strike a chord with one person who has been in my position and felt alone. It is my hope that by sharing my stories with you that I will no longer feel alone. So here we go. Full steam ahead! It is a new day! We got this, right?