Real Talk: Being a (Step) Mama

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Like I’m said before in my intro, I’m a (step) mama to two awesome kiddos. There is this huge taboo thing surrounded with step parenting and being a stepmom. No one wants to talk about it and everyone thinks that me and bio mom must hate each other’s guts. Well, ya’ll are all wrong there and we actually KICK ASS at the co-parenting game.

Was it easy? Hell no. It has been a long 8 year struggle. We have had our ups and downs with everything else in between. There are two sets of parents involved in making decisions, consequences, and helping shape two little human lives. So far ya’ll…I don’t think we’ve fucked them up. I think they are turning out to be some pretty awesome little adults now. I mean going from 18 month/3 year old to 9/10 year olds, we’ve done a damn good job keeping them both in one piece…most of the time.

To be honest, I never thought I would be playing a role in co-parenting with my husband’s ex-wife. That is my husband’s job, right? But it actually takes all the parents to help raise children in blended families. They say it takes a village, right? It’s a tricky minefield to navigate around and I never realized how many toes there were that I could be stepping on. This is also a role that I have taken on that I never thought I would. It doesn’t only make me feel like I have a say about what goes on, but the kids see all of us working together, for them.

Real talk though: The things that come out of people’s mouths about what they think a stepmom is, is astonishing.

Oh, so you aren’t their REAL Mom?”

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Pump the breaks right there Linda, every step family is different!

We split our time with their Mom every week so it is pretty close to 50/50. I make their lunches, I take/pick them up from school, I buy school clothes, volunteer at their schools, and I got to every extra curricular event I  can. How does that not make me a real mom? I never knew it would be this hard to explain to people that just because they didn’t come out of my hoo-ha, didn’t make me any less of a mother figure. I learned quickly that these are scenarios that I will most likely endure for the rest of my life, even in front of the kids. It’s all on how I respond to it in front of them that matters. It also helps that the kid’s bio Mom totally has my back on this part too! So suck it, Linda!

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There were a lot of things I thought I “knew” about marrying a man with kids from a previous marriage. I “knew” I wouldn’t always come first, or even second at times. I “knew” I would have to be careful about what I say around the kids (adios sailor mouth). I “knew” I would have ex-wife issues to deal with and I “knew” I would have more responsibilities now that two little kids would be in my life for half of the week. I thought that was the gist of it and everything else would just work out, but then things would get tough and emotionally draining. That’s when I would hear, “You knew what you were signing up for when you married a man with kids.”

But did I really know? Does any stepmom really know what they are signing up for? Would anyone ever say that to a first time biological mom? Of course they knew what they were getting into when they got pregnant! (Yeah RIGHT!) Every step family is different and it isn’t a walk in the park. It takes time, compromise, love, and always — ALWAYS putting the kids first. Even when you want to use every cuss word in the book.

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