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May 19, 2014

7

happy stepmother’s day!

by diaperbaggage

may 18th, 2014

 

now do you know what today is?  it’s interesting because even the people who are supposed to be recognized today most likely have no idea it exists. there actually is such a thing as National Stepmother’s Day. the third sunday in may. there are no advertisements for it, no spouses and stepchildren scrambling through stores searching for the perfect gift to say “thank you”. this day will go by as every day does for most stepmothers; with no recognition. no appreciation. in short; no one gives a shit. this is surprising to me given the growing number of stepfamilies in our country. divorce and remarriage are everywhere. stepmothers are spreading around the globe like cancer. and treated as such. you either are a stepparent, have a stepparent or know a stepparent. and yet still the world is trying to ignore our existence. we aren’t asking to be recognized on mother’s day anymore, we got the shit beat out of us over that one. now we have our very own holiday, one day out of 365 when the stepmother is to be, dare I say, honored. appreciated. loved? well now i’ve gone way too far.

perhaps we have walt disney to blame for the bitter taste in ones mouth when we say “stepmother”. but at least he gave us a role in the family. can’t say the same for the mothers. he killed those poor bitches off in the first scene. but not all stepmothers are wicked. most of us are pretty freakin fantastic. ca793d7f4a0218447c89b3b4a32be3ad   i choose to honor all the courageous souls who have been CHOSEN to take on this challenge. God is too smart to make mistakes. he elects only the strongest, most resilient, most empathic, and those with the greatest capacity to love for this gig. he knows how extrafreakinordinary you are. he made you this way on purpose. because even though they don’t know it, and you probably don’t either, those kids need you. and so does your spouse.

think of what goes into the decision to marry someone who doesn’t have kids. there’s a helluva lot of contemplating, probably years of auditioning for one another (unless you’re one of those vegas brides). a whole lot of pros and cons and that’s just to decide whether to share your life with ONE person. now think of what goes into the decision to marry a person with kids. all the above times the amount of children he has plus there’s your ability and willingness to deal with the kids mom to factor in.  you’ll have to agree to give up the honeymoon period, the newlywed year when you’re supposed to have sex all over the kitchen 8 times a day without having to worry about children around to get grossed out and traumatized. you’ll have to give up your social life and weekend date nights because you’ll have the kids on weekends even when you two have worked so hard all week that you barely got to speak to one another. you will always be married with kids, there will never be a time when it will just be the two of you. the exciting milestones in your life that you have waited for FOREVER that will make you so freaking happy you’ll want to explode -your wedding, the birth of your own children, etc. you’ll celebrate quietly because they’ll bring pain and mixed emotions to his children which will bring stress and worry to your husband. the child in you will resent them for that. the adult in you will try hard not to. the marital challenges you two will have he never had to face the first time around because there wasn’t a divorce, or hurt children. and even after ALL that thinking and determining, after you’ve made the decision to love everyone he comes with, to sacrifice, to open your home, life and heart to all of them, you STILL had no freaking idea what you were getting into and you’ll want to punch the people who insist you must have.

your marriage begins when everyone else in the family has reached their wit’s end. so basically your marriage has all the makings for a nuclear disaster and you’d be lying if you said you didn’t want to bolt out of it at least once a week. and yet you stay. we stay. because there will never be anything we do that is more challenging therefore nothing could ever be as rewarding. even when no one acknowledges the things you have given up, changed, done YOU know how far you’ve come. how much you’ve grown. how great you feel during a bonding moment with your stepchild. YOU are proud of yourself. and you damn well should be.

i always say the ingredients to make a stepmom are:

1. marry a man with kids

2. have 1000 layers of skin

3. possess the ability to bite a hole through your tongue.

the ingredients to survive being one:

1. expect NOTHING. then instead of being disappointed, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

2. keep on doing the next right thing.

the ingredients to make a successful stepmom:

i have no fucking idea. i’m not that good a cook.

so HAPPY STEPMOTHER’S DAY to all my soul sisters out there!!!! and if you have a stepmother in your life choose today to not be an asshole to her. she is not your mother which is all the more reason to thank her for what she does for you. just in case i’m the only person to appreciate you today you could always pretend you got these cards in the mail: 35a9b420a8a8edbac7b1a84fabbf7fb3d02f71d2f4cb062c398a646cb82e7799e60e9c8f906c4d638072ba85760b77dc and to the three gifts in my life i am eternally grateful i chose; Casey, Cameron and Christian- being your stepmother is my greatest challenge and greatest reward. you are free to hate me, like me, tolerate me or love me. i have and will continue to make many mistakes as your stepmom. i have done and will continue to do many good things as your stepmother as well. remember we are all navigating through unfamiliar, uncomfortable territory together as a stepfamily. trying to draw lines within boundaries and love is like creating a piece of artwork. it can be as beautiful or as disastrous as we choose to make it. i promise to try to be a grown up even though you know it goes against everything i am! and no matter how tumultuous things may get between us over the years ahead know that you will always be my Princess Buttercup, my Teeny and my Tiny. but don’t let things get too tumultuous cause karma’s a bitch and you never know, one day you may become a stepparent! wpid-img_20140517_172335.jpg wpid-img_20140517_172056.jpg lastly, to my husband who made me a stepmother-i’m getting you back one pet at a time…….   10255849_10152895484179569_2774882139355726051_n

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Kelly Lawrence-Keithley
    May 19 2014

    Fabulous! Such an incredible struggle so much of the time! Love my three steps beyond belief. I think your most poignant bit was the “expect nothing, and then you will be pleasantly surprised.” I have a tough time with that one, especially since I am unable to have my own children.

    Excellent piece, Lauren!

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    • May 19 2014

      Thank you for your comment Kelly! I’ve often wondered if I could have survived stepmotherhood if I didn’t get to be a mother as well. Knowing I am Colt and Jett’s world gets me through the rejection I sometimes face from my stepkids. Not having your own children during those times must require a great deal of strength. I admire you. Your stepchildren are incredibly blessed to have you as their stepmom and I hope they not only know that but let you know it as well 😉 XO

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  2. Nicole Coughlin
    May 19 2014

    Don’t feel bad that you missed out on being married without kids because you’re a step mom. I also missed out on that fun adventure because I’m a teen mom. Oh well maybe in our Next life

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  3. lisa
    Sep 28 2014

    Thank you for sharing your post. Out of all my friends I’m the only one who is a stepmother. Yes, I chose to be a stepmother but WOW! I understand and agree with you 100% on everything you mentioned. I married my husband when his child was 9. The child is now 18. I know I’m not his mother but we became super close. From school projects, driver’s license, senior ring, and bonding conversations…… I’m not asking for a medal bc I provided those things listed above but I would like my husband and stepson to say thank you just once would be nice.

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    • Sep 30 2014

      Thank you so much for your comment. Stepparenting is truly an isolating experience. Even when you have friends who are stepparents. Rarely does anyone want to admit how they really feel about it. I suppose we all fear our husbands or stepchildren will get mad at us or be hurt if we admit out loud how agonizing it can be. We spend our lives taking care not to hurt their feelings (often at our own expense) so it’s hurtful and maddening when the people in our own homes don’t consider ours. It is a thankless job and can be hard,sometimes impossible to find rewarding. Do you subscribe to stepmom magazine ? That always has helpful articles. It’s good to read other people’s stories in similar positions so you stop feeling like something is wrong with you or you’re a stepmonster for not always tackling this role with a smile on your face
      😉 and keep checking back here, I’m sure I’ll continue to vent my stepparent frustrations all over this blog ;-)- hang in there!!!!

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  4. ash
    Dec 11 2014

    wow youre super hot! lol

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