Monday, August 31, 2009
While I read a lot of stepmoms' angry responses to the treatment they receive from their kids' bio-mom, I can't help but feel left out. I sit in the opposite camp: my kids' mom and I are chums. Bosom buddies if you will. In fact, if I had a major health issue and my husband and mom weren't here, she'd be one of the people I'd turn to in an emergency.
It's strange, but true. We're not only friendly, but friends and it almost feels weird.
I've written (what almost feels ad nauseum) about being the exception to the rule and other such ideas about stepmoms who buck the wicked trend. It breaks my heart to read about women -- whether they be bio- or step- moms -- who have such tyrannical responses to one another all because one or both women have their feelings hurt.
I don't mean to sound all Mother Theresa like here, but I've had my feelings hurt plenty of times by my husband, the kids and their mom and you know what -- I got over it. The world doesn't revolve around me and I don't expect it to. I want some peace and harmony, not drama, and so I choose to swallow my pride sometimes and learn to compromise. And you know what, it works for me.
Being friends with my kids' mom does cause me concern. Ironically, my concern has to do with how it comes across to other Stepmoms: am I a stepmom superfreak because I've "befriended the ex' and actually have proposed going on a family vacation with her next summer? Am I a Sally McWeirdo because I invite her over for dinner or plan birthday parties with her? I can never tell and it makes me feel self-conscious.
I came across Wednesday Martin's blog post today about befriending the ex and I felt so out of place after reading it that I felt the urge to leave a comment. Wednesday responded with comforting words, but as I read and reread other's comments, I still felt a little strange, like I was picked out of the class as the "different" one even if that difference was a positive thing.
Ladies, whether you're friends with the ex, indifferent or hate her, do you ever feel like a stepmom superfreak?
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I didn't have enough to do the other day so I decided to create my own award: The Wickedly Awesome Blog Award. (See fancy blog award badge at left designed by yours truly). I wanted to create something that combined the snark of the wicked stepmom myth with witty prose and cool web treatments. The Wickedly Awesome Stepmom Award isn't just an award to spotlight stepmoms; it's an award for their blogs as well. I'm in constant awe of the cool widgets and designs I find on everyone's sites so I wanted to honor that in addition to great content.
Believe it or not, I already have our inaugural recipient: Meggan R. of Meggansamom.com. You can see her blog snapshot below, but I highly advise you check her blog out and subscribe -- stat. Meggan is HILARIOUS. She's incredibly witty and charming and yet so completely normal. She's both a mom and a stepmom and wrote her first blog about her vagina (I'm telling ya, she's a total hoot so scurry over now and reader her blog....go ahead.....I'll wait. Just make sure you come back here okay?)
Whew...You came back
I asked Megan to tell us a little bit about herself and her blog for those reading at home and desperate to learn more about Ms. Wickedly Awesome Blog Award winner.
Can you describe your blog/website?
My website meggansamom,com is blend of many aspects of my blended family. I say that my website is “finding the funny and fabulous in family.” At the heart of the site is funny and light hearted takes on all the wonderful trials and tribulations of family life. I also have a style page called Super Style and I am very excited about my video cooking page I professionally record in my home kitchen with my husband, who is a European pastry chef. It is called Kiss The Cook.
Describe your stepfamily.
I have two amazing and well bribed teenage stepsons age 16 and 13. I also have a toddler boy who is 19 months old, also bribed, but with cookies. My husband Ettore is from Switzerland, and is twenty years older than me. We have been together five and a half years, married for three, speaking for two. :-)
How long have you been blogging?
I have been blogging 8 months. My first post was Dec 3rd, 2008. It was about my vagina, the thing that got this whole blogging thing started when I delivered my son.
What prompted you to start a blog?
Being a parent of three boys I had a lot of free time and thought I could make a lot of money blogging…lol. No really what started me blogging was the encouragement of friends and family. I was emailing funny stories about my family that I had written. My emails were being forwarded on to other people. Eventually I began to get emails back from people I didn’t even know saying they liked my stories. People began asking me to blog. I had NO idea what a blog was. My stepson Harrison had to tell me and show me a few blogs. He and my other stepson Reilly call me “Techno Rocky”, because they say I am from the technological Stone Age.
Did your blog evolve into a Stepmom blog or start out as a Stepmom blog?
My blog was always a family blog that incorporated married life, my stepsons, step-parenting and my baby.
What do you find the most challenging about being a Stepmom blogger?
For me the most challenging thing about being a stepmom blogger is editing and leaving out material that is personal concerning my stepsons. I made a promise to myself that I would be wide open on my blog and not edit MYSELF, but I found almost immediately that I really had to be careful what I write about the boys and what they are experiencing and what we as a family, or me personally, might be going through that is deeply sensitive in nature concerning them. My stepsons read my blog, as well and their Mother, and her friends and family. As much as I might want to “vent” in the blog about step-parenting I save that for therapy and try to blog mostly about funny and touching stories about the whole family.
What do you find the most challenging about being a Stepmom in general?
I LOVE being a Stepmom, but the most challenging thing for me is to be seen as “just” the stepmom, or the “new wife.” I do plenty of homework with my stepsons, celebrate their victories, dry their tears, give hugs and encouragement, laugh with them, worry about them, carpool all hours of the day, take the boys to and from practice, work to pay the bills for them, ride bikes with them, feed them, and love them…and the list goes on. I want to be a great stepmom and a positive adult in my stepsons’ life. It can be hard to be on the outside looking in. When I let others get me down, all I have to do is spend time with my stepsons and realize my great relationship with them is all that matters, not what others think. Until I found the stepmom blogs out there I felt so isolated, like the only stepmom on the block. The beauty of blogging is that is completely opened my eyes to the wonderful stepmom community of women who are wonderful, dynamic, and caring stepmoms who GIVE A DAMN and are going through so much of the same thing I am. I really appreciate the stepmom community and am honored to be a part of it.
Who designed your blog and would you recommend them again?
My blog and logo was designed by a wonderful web and logo design firm called Zest Studios. www.zeststudios.com I would HIGHLY recommend them!! They are extremely talented and creative, patient with me beyond belief, and professional. I had a million and one ideas swirling around in my head and they turned it all into the beautiful website, logo, business card, and stationary I have today. Zest Studios can work with you on projects both big and small.
Favorite social networking tool? I currently twitter at Meggansamom
Would you like to be considered for a Wickedly Awesome Blog Award (it's okay to nominate yourself. No, seriously, please do)? Shoot me an e-mail and we'll get the party started.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
My piddles get darn near elevated when someone leaves a comment on the blog to let me know they've left me a blog award. Such was the case earlier this week when Peggy Nolan of The Stepmom's Toolbox (a blog I love love love by the way) listed The Erin Experiment as one of the blogs deserving of the "Your Blog is Fabulous" award.
Well thanks my fellow Stepmom Blogging Posse Sister! Smoochies to you!
The rules for the award are as follows: I'm to list my top 5 current obsessions and then bestow the honor on some of my favorite bloggers.
So, in absolutely no order of preference, my 5 current obsessions are:
- Writing. When I'm not working on my book, you can usually hear my fingers tapping away on my blog or one of the dozens of other projects I have in the mix.
- My Cats. Yes, it's a little old-lady oddish but I have extremely lovey-dovey cute cats and I spend most of my late evenings alone in the house without my husband or the kids to deliver hugs. If I need to pet a cat (or three) to hear a loving purr then so be it!
- Pole dancing and Karate. I may not run marathons or do tae-bo in my sleep, but I do have a varied set of interests when it comes to fitness. I test for my Karate yellow belt on Sept. 2 and I have a Pole Dance Recital on Aug. 29 so my mind is consumed with these things right now.
- Organizing things. I cannot stand clutter and piles make me crazy so I tend to gravitate toward organizing things even if they don't need it. It's almost a sick obsession but at least it gets work done around the house.
- Mosquito Bites. I wish I weren't obsessed with them right now but I sat out on my new deck furniture for a few nights in a row and now my legs are covered in little bites. GAH!!! They itch so much I want to scratch my legs off!
Now the good part: handing out the award to other blogesses:
Brandilouwhoville - First of all, her blog's name cracks me up so much I wish I would have thought of it. Ms. Brandilouwhoville is an Illinoisan just like me and I've come to the conclusion if she lived closer to me, we'd be BFF's. She writes about stepmom life as well as other topics including photography of which she's totally awesome.
The Chellebox recently celebrated a birthday and an anniversary but that's not why I'm giving her the award. Her heartfelt posts warm my heart and she doesn't sugar coat her struggles with missing her stepdaughter when she's away. She seems to be an awesome stepmom and for that, I think she's deserving of the award.
Mama J's Parenting Posts is written by Diane Fromme who is an author, mother and stepmother. She pens Mama J's Parenting posts with a tagline that supports conversations about raising girls. Her blog is informative in a not-quite-over-your-head way. She often uses examples from her own life to convey her points which always makes me feel like I'm not alone in this stepmother thing.
With Eyes Wide Open in addition to her incredibly intense green eye image, EWO has a great sense of humor which comes out in her writing. She's incredibly insightful and strikes me as the type of woman that's fun to be around in person.
To all of my stepmamas, blogging or not, smoochies to you for all you do!
So, as Pink says, "please, please don't leave me"
Friday, August 21, 2009
One of constant reminders I have of her -- other than her son :-) -- is a calendar she gave me for Christmas this past year: Wise words for busy women.
I love this calendar. There are days when I rip off the date and hold on to the 3 x 3 piece of paper, either posting it on my whiteboard above my desk or in my jewelry box or wallet.
Some of my favorites so far include:
- We women who do too much usually don't do too much in just one area of our lives.
- When we are caregivers, it often is not the physical work that is so exhausting. It is the emotional work that we do every second as we strain to be presented to another's process.
- We may feel like we don't have another ounce left to give. Yet our inner process never gives us more than we can handle. We may not like handling it, and we can handle it. It is when we refuse to handle our lives that they lock up on us.
While I can't send everyone who reads this a calendar (I can give you the link should you want to buy it yourself though), I can share some wise words for all of you wonderful and wise women.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Between the Stepchicks/Stepmom Magazine survey and my up-to-my-eyeballs stepfamily research for my book proposal* I've uncovered so many stepfamily facts, the most fascinating one being that if census figures stay on keel, Stepfamilies will outnumber nuclear families by 2010.
That being said, no wonder Stepmom Blogs are popping up like politician's pants. One of my vanity feeds is for stepmoms and I swear, I see a new site on the list every day.
So I'm officially declaring it here: Stepmom Blogs are the New Black. Oprah, Rachel Ray, the chicks on the View, Regis, Kelly, Redbook -- If you'd like to contact me for a quote or to appear on your show, I can be ready yesterday.
*If you are a literary agent or a book publisher, please email me about a great opportunity. I've got an idea, a proposal and a rather large book of literary agents I need to start sending my proposal to right away.
Q. When did you know you were in love with me?
After our domestic weekend together on or around our 4th date.
Q. What is my most attractive physical feature?
Your rack. ;) (I am male, after all)
Q. What do you miss most about me when we're apart?
Well, there are some obvious answers here, but mostly, having someone around to discuss interesting things with. It gets tiring talking to yourself all the time!
Q. On a scale of 1-10, how awesome of a stepmom am I?
10 - you broke the mold.
Q. If something were to happen to me and my awesomeness, would you try to replace it or remain single and struggling to cope with my absence?
You are not replaceable. At my age and level of cynicism, I would probably become an old hermit!
Tee hee hee. I love this guy. Just wanted to dedicate some blog space to my favorite fella. Feel free to ask him a question in the blog comments and I'll see if he'll answer it.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
So I'm proposing a get-together for anyone in the Chicago viewing/reading area in the next couple of months. Shoot me an email if you're interested and if you have any suggestions where and when we could all get together!
I don't think I'm a saint at all. I was raised well by a good mom and Mr. Awesome Stepdad. It's not really in my nature or my style to say "No, I won't be a team player blended family."
I, apparently, swallow my opinions a lot (otherwise known as biting my tongue or swallowing my pride). I haven't always liked it and it's not always easy but somehow, I manage to suck it up and keep my mouth shut about things in my blended family life that I don't agree with.
If there is anything I've learned about being a good stepmom, it's that being friendly with your kids' mom can make or break your relationship with the kids, your partner/spouse and even her.
It's not always easy to like a woman who may or may not hold the keys to your life's happiness. You know she shouldn't have control over your life but she does. You're a stepmom -- it's part of the territory.
Don't get me wrong, swallowing your pride (or biting your tongue, whatever you want to call it) does hurt. If I had a nickle for every time I wished I could have said no to an extra support payment or paying cart blanche on a shopping spree for clothes that were only worn once, my husband and I could retire tomorrow (except of course, he'd still have to pay child support). I probably have a good year's worth of resentment built up in my system and ready to blow if something really got me mad enough.
But I chose to not get that mad. Instead, I channel my energy into my blog and other endeavours. If you're one of those people who reads my Facebook updates and comments about how busy I always seem to be -- that's not just my husband being gone; that's me transferring negative energy into something more likely to benefit me. Simply put, I'm not busy, I'm annoyed but I keep my shut about it for the sake of my family. I'd rather be friends with my kids' mom then get aggravated that we don't see eye to eye on everything.
But that's me. I'm a swallower.
I've always wondered what it would be like, though, to say whatever came to my mind whether it pissed people off or not. To be the stepmom that everyone is a little afraid of because she doesn't take shit from anyone. I'm in awe of her. I want to be her -- in an alternative universe. I just can't see myself doing that though.
But I'm curious, which one are you: an opinion swallower or a spitter?
*sorry Mom. Katy was bound to read about these options at some point. Smoochies.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
1. IF YOU ARE BIO MOM AND INITIATED DIVORCE – THIS IS YOUR NEW REALITY…SHORT OF THE THREE A’S – ALCOHOLISM, ABUSE OR ADULTERY (EVEN THAT CAN BE WORKED ON AND RECOVERED FROM) DON’T LEAVE YOUR KIDS / DON’T GET DIVORCED…YOU ARE NOW REALIZING THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR ACTIONS.
2. IF YOUR HUSBAND INITIATED THE DIVORCE AND ALL ATTEMPTS (i MEAN ALL) TO RECONCILE WHERE NOT SUCCESSFUL…I TOTALLY SYMPATHIZE…SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS.
BOTTOM LINE AMERICA —-WWWWWOOOORRRRKKKKK AT YOUR MARRIAGE EVERYDAY…GET HELP IF YOU STRUGGLE, HAVE PATIENCE IF FRUSTRATED….HIRE A PRO TO HELP YOU…YOU WOULD NOT HIRE A PLUMBER TO BUILD YOU A CABINET WOULD YOU…AND PS GIRLFRIENDS WHO JUST WANT YOU TO :FEEL GOOD” OR “BE HAPPY” ARE NOT HELPING YOU….SEE A PROFESSIONAL / PASTOR ETC.
The comment was left on an already talked about post on the Stepfamily Letter Project site I run with Jacque Fletcher of BecomingaStepmom fame.
Aside from the obvious pisstivity I was feeling because of the all caps writing, the content really pulled my panties into knots. I really loathe small-minded holier-than-thou folks who think divorce is criminal. It hits a little too close to home for me because had my husband not divorced he wouldn't be my husband (and I like the guy so it would have been a real shame).
And so I did what any normal warm-blooded witty stepmom would do: I took to my blog and asked my lovely ladies to vote.
The results were comforting. 92% of respondents agreed that divorce should be a last option if everything else hasn't worked. 8% thought you should go ahead and do the deed if it's not working.
The other thing that pisses me off about this comment is that it invokes the the "stay in it for the kids" defense which boils my butter. True, kids are affected by divorce but not necessarily the way people think they are. Kids suffer a greater effect by having parents that don't get along than by having parents in two different houses.
Are there any stepmoms who come from blended families that would agree with me? I'm curious what people's blended family experiences are.
Friday, August 14, 2009
The commenter went to good lengths to point out that couples shouldn't divorce, that they should work on their marriages -- either for the sake of their kids, the sanctity of marriage, blah blah blah.
If we, as stepmoms, think about it, wouldn't our partners having stayed in their relationships have prevented us from meeting and/or marrying them? What do you think of people who tell couples they shouldn't divorce and should stay in it at all costs?
I plan to write a longer post about the comment (and actually point out what comment it is) in another post; however, first I want to do a little recon work and find out what people think about the notion that couples should or should not divorce.
Ladies, would you kindly cast your vote in the next couple of days and I'll share the results in an upcoming post?
The book will focus on relationships between stepmoms and moms (and in this day and age we need all of the books we can get on that, am I right?)
Jennifer is asking for Mom and Stepmoms to fill out separate but similar surveys in hopes that she can compile them into a book about these unlikely pairs of friends: Moms and Stepmoms.
If you and your kids' mom get along fairly well and would like to fill out a survey, I've attached a link to Google Doc versions of each survey that you can download and send to Jennifer.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
If you do get along, then read on. I have an opportunity for you.
- Jennifer Newcomb Marine of No One's the Bitch fame recently alerted me to a project Eve Claxton of StoryCorps is doing on Mom/Stepmom relationships
StoryCorps is the National Oral History Project. Our mission is to record the stories of everyday Americans across the country and to archive them in the Library of Congress.
Every StoryCorps interview takes place as a conversation between two people: relatives, friends, co-workers or loved ones. Every participant receives a CD of their conversation to keep.
Sometimes we reach out to people in situations we haven't heard from before and invite them to record with us. We would love to invite step-mom/bio-mom friends to talk about their relationship together.
We're currently recording in:
- San Francisco CA
- New York City, NY
- Erie, PA
The deadline is the end of August, so if you think you might be interested, hop on the stick and write to Eve at email@example.com letting her know!
BUT WAIT!!!! THERE'S MORE....but you'll have to swing back around later because I want to give our next Erin Experiment Reader/writer her due.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Well spank my butt and call me Sally if there's not a magazine just for us: Stepmom Magazine
I've only "met" its publisher Brenda Ockun over email but ladies, she's awesome.
She's a stepmom (it would probably be hard to write a stepmom magazine if you weren't) and she's packed this online-only magazine fully of helpful tips and stories such as:
- Reflections from a Rookie Stepmom
- How to be a stylish stepmom
- Observations from a grown up stepkid
- How to establish boundaries in your blended family
- Understanding Parental Alienation
And that's just the August issue. Each month, there's more of the same. No ads, no clutter, just straight up helpful tips.
I'm digging this magazine and give it the Stepmom Erin thumbs up. Go and get yourself a subscription and do me proud will ya?
Graphic from fotosearch.com
In 7th grade, I lived with my dad while my mom settled in to her new life with my stepdad. Every other weekend I would pack up my bags and my parents would meet half way in between and hand me off like a football.
In the summer before 8th grade, I moved up to live with my mom but the weekend trips continued only in reverse.
I did this same back-and-forth all through junior high and high school. I stopped when I was old enough to drive myself which was pretty much around the time of my 18th birthday.
Fast forward 2o years later and I'm faced with a similar frustration only I'm on the other side of the equation. I'm part of the parenting tribe that gets to shuffle the kids back and forth to our house and their mom's house (which is only a mile away).
The kids have reached a point where they enjoy both of our houses. There's no comparison to the love and comfort mom provides; however, Dad's house (our house) is also in much closer proximity to the friends, food, fashion and fun that the kids are longing to indulge in.
As I've pondered how I should take back control of my life, I've given a lot of of consideration to giving more of the parenting reins back to their mom (at least until my husband is home for longer than 36 hours at a time). Nearly every therapist, court, stepmom and biomom would tell you that's the way it should be -- that it shouldn't be me handling a lot of the end of the day child care (camp pick up, dinner, snack, etc.) and that it should be their mom.
However, if I handed back those reins, I'd also be handing away my kids' opportunities to live a somewhat normal life where they can pop over to their BFF's house without having to cross a major street. I'd be handing back the one thing I wished I could have had when I was younger -- two homes I wish I could have gone back and forth to whenever I wanted or needed.
I wish my husband's job would keep him in Chicago. I'm burned out, lonely and exhausted and have very little in-person support to lean on close to home. My attempts at trying to claim some "me" time only remind me one of the biggest things I hated about my parents' divorce: the shuffle.
What's a stepmom to do?
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Wednesday Martin has done a BRILLIANT (beyond brilliant actually) job posting thought-provoking posts on how stepmoms respond to their stepfamilies:
- Take a look at Secrets and Lies to see why you're not blogging like a mommy blogger.
- Why you shouldn't put his kids first is seriously hitting home to me right now, a point which I'll expand upon in a second
- And Jealous Much? reminds us that is perfectly freaking acceptable to be jealous of your stepkids, your husband and anyone else that stands in the way of making you feel like you're getting less than what you deserve.
As I slammed my overweight body out of plow position and into the next move (which should have felt sensual except for my extra 50 pounds that I've put on thanks to emotional eating) I realized I really need to start putting myself first and I'm not sure where to start.
I'm not getting very much exercise at all and it's starting to make me resent my situation. Most of my days I spend sitting on my behind working on a computer only to sit in traffic for an hour, pick up the kids from camp, cook them dinner, clean up after dinner, get them to their mom's house and then sit down -- again -- at a computer and work on my book. Save for a 60 minute Karate class on Wednesday and a 90 minute pole class on Saturdays, I'm not getting any exercise and I feel like a slug.
My sluggy body is starting to feel some serious aches and pains, too. From bad heel pain when I walk to back pain and shoulder pain, I won't even get started on how few clothes fit me anymore.
I obviously need to reassess my situation and carve out more time for myself (or give up on the book so that I can workout from 7-9 every night) but how.
Ladies, without my dearest Patrick, I need some guidance. How do you carve out time for yourself in your busy day without alienating everyone in your entire blended family?
Monday, August 10, 2009
While our questions tend to lean on the side of silly: Would you rather...wear the same hairstyle the rest of your life or the same t-shirt? It has me thinking of a stepmom version of Would you rather?
Consider the possible questions and your responses as an indicator of your happiness about your stepfamily life:
Would you rather...have your stepkids 24-7 or have them call you mom?
Would you rather...have the respect of your husband's ex or that of your stepkids?
Would you rather...have had your husband all to yourself for a few years or never had stepkids at all?
Would you rather...continue on with your level of happiness/unhappiness or start all over with a new man and no kids?
Think about those would you rather's and if you have your own, post them in the comments section. It's a fascinating experiment in self-reflection.
Friday, August 7, 2009
I didn't know him personally but his movies really hit home. Even though the Brat Pack was a half-generation older than me, the lines they uttered and the characters they portrayed reminded each and every one of us that we are seen as people want to see us -- "in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions."
From The Breakfast Club
Saturday, March 24,1984. Shermer High School, Shermer, Illinois, 60062. Dear Mr. Vernon, We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. What we did *was* wrong. But we think you're crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. What do you care? You see us as you want to see us - in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal. Correct? That's the way we saw each other at 7:00 this morning. We were brainwashed.
My advice: The next time someone makes a comment about your stepmotherhood, put it into context. They're seeing you as they want to see you, not who or what you necessarily are.
I forgot about this quote until I heard it in The Princess Diaries recently:
My advice: Don't give anyone consent to make you feel inferior to them.
If Today Was Your Last Day, Nickleback
(first few lyrics)
My best friend gave me the best advice
He said each day's a gift and not a given right
Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by
That first step you take is the longest stride
If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last
Leave old pictures in the past?
Donate every dime you had, if today was your last day?
What if, what if, if today was your last day?
Against the grain should be a way of life
What's worth the price is always worth the fight
Every second counts 'cause there's no second try
So live like you're never living twice
Don't take the free ride in your own life
My advice: Don't live a life full of woulda', coulda', shoulda's. Don't let fear stand in your way and don't, whatever you do, back down from a challenge just because you don't have the energy for it. If you want to be a rockstar stepmom, then tell the people standing in your way of that to bite you and be a rockstar stepmom. Say it with me: B-I-T-E M-E.
Betsey was a woman whom I've never met but was married to a coworker of mine up until last week. She returned to her car from grocery shopping only to fall over her steering wheel and die because of a pulmonary embolism. She's spoken with her husband (my coworker) just an hour before she died, and signed off with her usual "I love you!" good bye.
My coworker is lost without his Betsey. His references to her are poetic and make me hope that my husband, should I go before him, is overcome with the same emotion with my passing.
My husband is a cynical, sometimes emotionally-cool guy whose romantic bones are somewhere in his knees, elbows and jock area. When we go out in public, he'll sometimes tell people I'm his wife and sometimes tell them what I do, but if I want anyone to get to know me, it's up to me to spread the word. At the same time, he's also the kind of guy who tells me he loves me every day, has never called me a dirty name and considers me a partner in almost every sense of the word.
I do wonder if and how he'd cope upon my passing. I selfishly want to know how much he'll miss me
My advice: Don't wonder, Ask. If your partner/husband won't admit to missing you terribly, then are you sure that's the kind of guy you want to be with? It may not be the best advice, but I'm just sayin' sister to sister -- think about it.
How about you? Do you have any deep, existential advice for your fellow step-sisters?
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Seriously, I practically piddle in my panties every time someone leaves a comment on this blog and when I read what awesome things you have to say it almost makes me verklempt.
One of the things I love about blogging are the people I've gotten to know online and vice versa. I never realized when I started this crazy blog that it would be something people might look forward to reading. Imagine my giddiness when folks like the lovely Miss Stepalicious over at http://stepalicious.com/ told me I'd received an Honest Scrap Award.
Per Stepalicious' post, the rules of scrap award are there are no rules. Just kidding. I'm apparently supposed to write 10 things about myself and then pass this award along to other blogs.
So here it goes.
- I am writing a book. A memoir actually. It's in its infancy and I'm hopeful that an agent and publisher will want to take it on (p.s., if you are or know an agent or publisher, please let me know) so that everyone can be reading my witty prose a year from now.
- My mom and dad are divorced and I have both a stepfather and a stepmother. I've had blended family practice sine I was 12 which might be why I'm so used to it.
- I have an iPhone. I've had it since May and can't figure out how I lived without it. My favorite Apps are: Got2Pee, WhiteNoise, Shopper, Solitare and SmackTalk
- High school and college were my least favorite parts of my life. I was awkward and had a hard time fitting in with one particular group. In college, I was battling depression and the fact that my cherry was still intact.
- My mother is my best friend followed by my sister and then my husband. My mom, sister and I are like three peas in a pod and act so much like one another it's ridiculous.
- I met my husband on Match.com on July 30, 2003. Our 4th weddding anniversary is August 6. (tomorrow/today, depending on when you read this).
- My birthday is February 7 and I've always treated it like it should be a national holiday. I'm a huge b-day celebrator and celebrate most people's birthdays almost more than they do.
- I am an organizing freak. It drives my husband up a wall sometimes because I'll organize our family into freak-outs over where a certain piece of paper went, but for the most part, when I'm bored or anxious, I organize.
- I love the Golden Girls and Sex and the City. I have a theory that every 10 years, one network creates a show about 4 women and how they relate to one another and it becomes a huge hit and syndicates itself right into my heart. I'm torn on which show claims the prize for the 'nauties.
- I brake for school supplies. I'm a huge hoarder this time of year. If there's a school supply on sale, it's usually in my basket or at home. It helps a lot by mid-February when the kids have run out of glue or staples or pens, but it's a total pain explaining to my husband why we needed 4 packs of highlighters on August 1.
Those are my 10 things. Now for the best part: Awards to other bloggeristas! There are so many wonderful ladies to choose from I'm afraid my brain might burst from all of the thinking...
- La Belle Mere/Confused Musings of a Stepmom on the Edge -- OH MY GOD this girl rocks my kasbah. She's a totally hip Brit and I almost have a stepmom girl crush on her she's so awesome.
- The Stepmom's Toolbox -- Peggy has given me some seriously great advice on my own blog and hers is full of practical advice.
- No One's the Bitch. Jennifer Newcome Marine and Carol Marine rock my world. Their book, their site, their humor make me wish I lived down in Austin.
- Becoming a Stepmom. Another site (and another stepmom) that make me so glad to be in the company of great stepmamas.
- I don't know if I can give Stepalicious the same award she gave me, but I'm going to buck tradition an do it anyway because her blog rocks :-)
Please. Someone slap me with the naughty stick.
I'll be posting these lovelies this week so stay tuned!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
I don't want too; however, financial circumstances are preventing me from seeing him again.
I'm also a complete wreck over not having him in my life even though we've only seen each other five times. He was one of the few people I could consistently count on to give me good advice and not see me as a means to an end.
If I were to blame someone it would be the U.S. health care system and their ally, the insurance companies, for our break-up. Both frown upon folks who actually seek mental health help and rather than give us a pat on the pack, they slap us with a "sorry, we don't cover that kind of therapy" bill.
I was up in the middle of the night having this discussion with my husband. So, in addition to being exhausted, I'm also pissed off that the thing I was doing for myself -- therapy -- is now gone.
Crap. Piss. Shit. Fuck.
I need a nap. And a hug. And a suitcase filled with hundred dollar bills.
Gah. I already miss my therapist.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Because of their business trips, I get to be a single stepmom for the week.
No mom, no dad, just stepmom.
Anyone who knows well wouldn't think anything of this. I'm a parent, I'm responsible, so what if mom and dad are out of town. I've handled far more stressful situations. In fact, I'm not stressed. I think it's going to be fun.
The hang-up comes from the folks who don't know me as well:
"What do you mean they're being left with you? But you're THE STEPMOM!"
"They're not your responsibility. Shouldn't your husband (or his ex-wife) figure out alternative arrangements?
"OH MY GOD!!! I could never do that!!! I don't like my stepkids/they don't like me enough to do that."
I've heard it all and I'm actually really proud to say that it doesn't phase me one bit that I'm the sole parent at home this week. The kids' mom and dad (my husband) trust me and I love the heck out of the kids, so what's the big deal?
It's not a big deal to me because I do stuff like this all the time. I make doctor's appointments for the kids, plan their birthday parties and register them for sports and school. It's just a another day in the life for me.
But I'm learning that I'm the exception and not the rule for typical stepmom behavior.
When I've told a few mom friends of mine our current household situation (husband travels 5 days a week and I stayed back to take care of the kids with their mom) they've admitted that even they'd have a hard time digesting that with their own kids, nevermind someone else's.
Same with my stepmom pals, when I tell most of my stepmom posse that not only do the kids and I have "Stepmom" nights (as opposed to "Dad" nights), but I also get along really well with their mom, I have to walk around picking jaws up off the floor.
Nearly everyone responds with a "I couldn't do that" or "I wouldn't do that."
As if I didn't already feel a little lonely lately, finding out that most stepmoms aren't doing these kinds of things makes me wonder if I'm even doing this stepmom thing the right way. Should I be backing the heck off? Should I not be volunteering to watch the kids all week? Should I have put my foot down and told my husband to come home?
As far as being a stepmoms is concerned, do you consider yourself the exception or the rule? And do you ever wish you could be the other?