“Something borrowed, something blue, something old and something new!” I am not sure the meaning of this was meant for the modern day world of marrying someone with kids. It is certainly new to anyone who jumps into raising someone else’s children (even if you have your own). Marriage, despite the fairy tale or Meghan Markle version, is difficult enough on its own. Throw some kids that are not yours in and pull out the boxing gloves from time to time. 🙂
When I was a little girl I envisioned getting married young(ish) living in a house with a white picket fence in a neighbourhood full of children riding their bikes. I did not dream about all these kids with the same last name coming and going within my own house. I have been married for four years and together for over seven. We started with five kids, and had two more together. Logistics alone are something that we spend more time on than our predecessors could ever imagine. Not to mention the parenting coordinator put in place to help negotiate schedules, etc. with the ex. I can’t make any promises to stepmoms out there who are looking for that perfect solution to make their role easier. The reverse is when people try and share with me their view on how to deal with A, B, C or D to Z. I know how easy it is to give advice rather than to follow the same advice.
I can tell you that with a solid foundation and some time alone with your micro family (whether it is the two of you, your kids together) is extremely important. Structure and consistency is also a big one for us, and for the kids who are involved. If I didn’t have these two important pieces of our very large and complex puzzle, I am not sure how we would survive. Time alone with each of the kids is also extremely important which makes our point above about logistically challenging. I married this wonderful man because I love him dearly. I still am in love with our large family. I am not writing this pretending we have a perfect family and we have zero issues. That would be silly not withstanding what most people’s Facebook profiles depict. Yes we have many challenges, yes we have many unnecessary issues, and yes we have made mountains out of molehills; BUT WHO HASN’T?
One of the best things that has happened to me is to have launched Social Stepmom. Why? Definitely not the lawsuit that was issued against me by my husband’s ex. Even though this experience has been a lot of time and work, it has led to me connecting with other stepmoms all over the world with similar problems. I have been able to meet in person more woman than I would have in the past who share my low moments. Through other stepmom experiences I have been able to feel normal in my not so normal life. I am so grateful today, on my wedding anniversary for our strong foundation, being ridiculously organized and other stepmoms out there who I can celebrate with or cry with! So whether it is a platform like Social Stepmom or just bumping into another stepmom, reach out or lend an ear. It is simple and it may be just what someone needs, maybe even you!
So today I thank all those out there (from Toronto, Germany, London, to NYC, LA – you know who you are) for making my days brighter and helping me celebrate the love we formalized four years ago with the hope and strength I needed!