Author Archives: Totally Jessifiable
This is the story in the news about retired Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling’s where a celebratory tweet to his daughter opened the door to two men’s vile and sadistic remarks ultimately causing him to call them out. Read about this father’s love and his lesson all parents should be teaching.
I thank God every day that Facebook and Twitter, instagram, vine, Youtube, all of it, did not exist when I went to High School. I can’t imagine the dumb stuff I’d have been caught saying and doing.
If you are a dad this is something you well know already, if you are a dad with a daughter this is likely to get your blood going. If you are a boy, or young man, or husband, and you haven’t experienced children yet, or haven’t had a daughter, it’s next to impossible for you to understand.
My daughter, my one and only daughter, has worked her ass off playing sports the past 9-10 years. She’s loved it, and I’ve loved being able to both watch, and coach along the way.
Last week we were told she’d been accepted to college and will begin playing softball there next year.
Clearly an incredibly proud day.
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This morning I received a letter from a fan of my Facebook page named Bobbie Ann Phillips and as I read it I knew instantly this needed to be read by all of you. This is her story and its an honest account of how it feels, of what we don’t expect, our fears and our goals. Enjoy!
” I never imagined I would have to co-parent with an ex of mine, much less an ex of my new husband. I did know I would be co-parenting with my own husband. I never imagined my husband would be someone else’s ex husband. I never thought I would have to share some of “my” weekends and “my” holidays, separate, from “my” son. I never thought I would have to long for the chance to do those same things with and for a son whose dad is dead. I also never thought my deepest fear would be that my third son may someday meet the same fate of a broken home. I never thought I would be fearing completely loosing two of my children if my marriage ever did fail. I never thought most of my scheduling would revolve so much around picking up one set of kids at 6p on Friday, meeting to drop off another kid before or after that, and then meeting back on 6p Sunday for drop off of two kids and then meeting before or after that to get another kid back. I never thought I would both look forward to, and dread those weekends at the very same time. I never imagined I would explain to two of my three biological children why daddy can not be here, or does not live here and the reasons be because of such different circumstances. Circumstances that would cause as much hurt for both of “my” boys and myself as both situations do. I never even imagined my children would have different dads. I never thought I would have “other” kids ask me why my husband, their dad, is not with their mom. I never thought I would be making beds, cleaning laundry, preparing meals, buying necessities, and supporting “other” kids. I knew “my” kids may look past all I do for them and it would hurt some. I did not know having “other” kids look past those same things would hurt as much. I never thought I would have “other” kids sometimes resent me for my role in their lives. A role they only want their mom, and their dad, to have. I never thought I would feel so much hurt for them, and for my husband, because they too come from a broken home. I never thought I would love each person in “my” blended family so much that I would wish each child could have their mom, and their dad, in one home. If I had that wish though, several of my biological children would not exist, and I would never have a chance to even meet two of my “other” children. I would have never met my husband. I never thought I would have to accept that because someone I loved died, and because a different relationship failed I would find new love and create a new family. I never thought I would agree that when one life ends another begins. I feel as though I have personally lost two lives and began a new one each time. I feel I am on my third life, and feverishly pray for it to be my last.
I never thought I would be the “other” parent that another parent would resent. I am that parent whose mere presence in a child’s life causes another adult resentment, and pain. Though “her” family ended long before “mine” began, I never imagined my place with my husband would be a stark reminder of another woman’s lost place with her husband. I never imagined That my place with my step children would be a reminder of “her” time she “has” to share, with me. I never thought my loving them could hurt her as much as it would if I did not love them. I do acknowledge that my presence does cause these things, though completely unintentional. I never imagined two children who “are not mine” would have me so wrapped around their little fingers. I did not know I could love a child I did not give birth to so much that it literally hurts. I did not know I would want to fight so fiercely for my time, my bond, and my place with two children who I feel with every bone in my body are mine. I knew I would have children that would fill my life with love, joy, hope, chaos and clutter. I knew I would do everything in my power to protect, love and cherish every moment with “my” kids. I knew I would become a mom by choice to children I gave birth to. I did not know that I would have that same desire to love, protect and cherish children not born to me. I knew there would be times my children would be angry with me. I knew I would make mistakes and cause hurt. I knew I would mend the hurt, calm the anger and explain why I do what I do to “my” kids. I knew I would both reward and punish “my kids” with no remorse because that is my job as their mom. I did not know I would feel so guilty by my own presence that I would overly reward, and seldom punish the children I did not give birth to. I never knew I would feel I don’t have the right to demand and earn respect from “other” children as much as I do from “my” children. I never thought I would always worry my actions and words would favor “my” children over the “other” children so much that I actually show more favor to “other” children over mine at times. I never thought I would say I am an ex, a wife, a mom, and a step mom, All in one. I am all of those things and I am these things at the very same time. I sometimes struggle to decide which hat I am suppose to wear at which time. All of these inner struggles are real, and part of my life. I am exactly where I want to be. I realize I am exactly where God planned me to be. I do have the husband and children I did always long for. I am thankful for all the good and bad that comes with this life and these roles. Yet I have no idea how to navigate my happiness and love without someone else being hurt, or resentful, in some way because of it. I have no idea why I even care that my presence, my role, and my place effects any person other than my husband, and our children. I just know that I do care.
I do not co-parent with my ex’s new wife or serious girlfriend, not yet anyway. I do know that the day will come when I will. At least, I pray it does. I do want “my” son to have another parent love him. I do want him to have someone else he can learn from, respect, love and cherish. I so want him to know I am okay with him loving some “other” parent. I want her to know that while her presence may cause some stinging, I’m happy to share “my” son with her. I want her to know that he’s “our” son, and that “our” will include her. I know that during my time as a step mom I have learned many things to do, and not to do both with “my” son and towards the “other” parent. I hope I will remember to respect her, and to honestly cherish her. I hope I will remember I should view any person my son loves as an extension of himself. I love “my” son, and so I will love those he loves and that love him. I hope I can remember I should love “my kids” mom because they love her and she is an extension of them. For the love of a child even the most difficult situations on all ends I am involved in will be handled with love and care, by me, for them regardless of how the opposing end on either side of these blended families are behaving. That is my goal anyway. I know I pray daily that God shows me the way to do all these things with Grace in each of the roles I am fulfilling.
~ Bobbie Ann Phillips
I got suckered in. That is how it happened.
I’m sure the same has happened to you as you scroll through your newsfeed on Facebook and some silly post catches your eye. For me, it was – – type your name into Google with “is a” after it and see what comes up. Clearly I was avoiding working and jumped right on this humor train. Typing it in, I dreamt up all the cool possibilities, Jessica is a Rockstar, Firecracker, Comedian, maybe even a Genius…but nope, I got, Jessica is a poop. Too bad the search terms weren’t “is the” instead of “is a” but some day I will be the poop, it is a dream I will keep striving for.
Somewhere it amused me just enough to recruit my house husband to do the same and see what the google gods would spit out. Matthew is a poopyhead, is what we got. Jessica is a poop, and Matthew is a poopy head.
“Of course you would be the head poop, because you are so bossy” I say to him as I am flicking him – well poop. Then it hits me “We are two P’s in a poop, you know like two peas in a pod, but poop, oh my goodness there is two p’s in poop – get it?” At this point I am dying laughing, and he is laughing solely because I have obviously cracked myself up – and every time I say something funny, I follow it up with, “get it?” to which he always replies – “Yes, I got it!” Ah, this man gets me every time.
Goofiness is next godliness, it far surpasses cleanliness – trust me. Although, there was that one time they all collided at once.
Early one morning, I thought I’d slip into the shower and surprise Mr. Poopyhead, I just didn’t realize the kind of slipping that would be involved. At the time I slipped in, he was fully soaped up, and as soon as he turned, and saw me, he slipped and slid trying to maintain balance, which at that moment was none at all, and before I knew it, he was on his back half in and half out of the shower – with a look of humiliation and “why would you do that” all over his face. I DID NOT LAUGH, but I wanted to, so badly. Reaching for a place to grab to help him up was tricky, but we did manage it. After he dried off, he says to me “I bet that would of been funny to watch” and I erupted with the laughter I had held in. He quickly followed with “I’m guessing this will be on your page later, huh?” And, I fell in love with him a little more.
When you like someone, it’s cool, but when you like and love someone – its far better. His bad days are my bad days, and vice versa. When he wakes up cranky, I’m not above dancing naked and being a goofball to make him laugh. Or waiting until he gets all dried off from a shower to spray him with the shower hose, or after he washes all the soap off – to either rub my soapiness on him, or just squirt the bottle of soap all over his back. One thing I don’t do is sneak into the shower anymore. In fact, I loudly announce now that I am joining him, and to stop soaping up!!
We have fun, we laugh, we enjoy each other, and if I had to choose who to be two P’s in a poop with, its him, hands down every time.
By now I’m sure you along with every other pissed off plus sized woman has seen or read about the travesty of Wal-Mart. How dare they! How could they? Those assholes. I’m no size 2, 6, 8 or even 10 – but what I am is not concerned with bashing Wal-Mart along with the rest of you.
Maybe in your head it plays out something like this; Corporate Wal-Mart purposely and maliciously enacts a team skinny initiative. It will launch at 12:01 a.m. and be viral within hours. Prior to the live launch Headquarters and Stores nationwide held conferences on how this will piss off millions, how sales will drastically decrease, and plus sized people everywhere will be humiliated and outraged. We will rule the world one skinny person at a time. Muahahaha! Initiate team skinny domination in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
Or, some asshole idiot that updates their website, who is probably pissed off over the fact that he/she like many other employees work their ass off, with little pay or recognition decides to type “Fat Girl Costumes” into the code matrix, pops some popcorn, then sits back waiting for the show to start. And, their final check.
Weight is a hefty issue, pun intended, and I don’t think fat or skinny is at all relevant anymore. Pitch perfect’s most loved character was FAT AMY for god’s sake! I wanted to be Rebel Wilson for Halloween last year, so if I made myself heavier looking I am horrible person? Are you freaking kidding me?
What about MADEA, Tyler Perry plays her in all the Madea movies, he wears a fat suit, with big ole floppy boobies and a house coat! I love her, and have thought of being her. Is that making fun of old African-American heavyset women? Or appreciating a hilarious character that isn’t afraid to speak her mind and using a hyster to dump a car on its roof, when a lady steals her parking spot!? I.loved.that.part!
In fact some of the greatest movies include fat suits. Here are just a few: Robin Williams, as Mrs. Doubtfire. Martin Lawrence in Big Momma’s House, Eddie Murphy in The Nutty Professor, Mike Meyer’s as Fat Bastard in Austin Powers!
In other words, we are able to appreciate the humor until someone unknowingly pisses us off? Oh my, did you see, Wal-Mart offers a Fat Tinkerbell costume for men, and a fat suit in general? Who cares? If my guy dressed up as Fat Tinkerbell, it would be funny. And, the fat suit, would totally help me pull off being Madea, and most likely cheaper than going to other costume shops who will no doubt have the same type of costumes.
It has nothing to do with being fat, or not being fat – it’s about having fun. And, if you are this sensitive over your weight, then I’m going to say what every other person is thinking, do something about it besides bitching and complaining online or on twitter. Your issues with weight, and the worlds insensitivity to it, are yours. If you are thick and in charge, love it and rock it – more power to you! If you’re not happy, fix that, within yourself and finding healthy alternatives. Because waging wars with every person, site, publication and store that offends you in some way is a never ending battle, the will never be won.
And, because none of this really had anything to do with Wal-Mart anyway.
This is incredible, and the best part was that I could see it as written by my husband to me.
It was early in the morning when I was still half asleep with bleary eyes… and the wife was already up and getting dressed… that it happened… I snuck a peek. I admit it. She was getting dressed and I rolled over and I snuck a peek. And I’m not ashamed. You know why?? Because my wife is a goddess. She doesn’t realize it. But she is. Because you all are goddesses and I don’t think you don’t realize it. But you are.
You don’t know it but you’re beautiful even at 6 in the morning rushing out the door to work trying to find the perfect heel to match the third outfit you just swapped from the closet. You’re beautiful.
You don’t know it but you’re beautiful even when you’re annoyed at us for leaving clothes all over the floor or the seat up in the bathroom and you…
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It is true, you may be scared and uneasy maybe even willing to self sabotage it once it arrives – but the ability to love someone new, a last ditch effort of maybe this could be the elusive one – is there inside everyone. But, why? Why not just completely rule out the possibility of love, why don’t our fears of rejection and heartbreak – keep our hearts locked down tight? And, what do we gain from loving again?
Read More at http://www.divorcedmoms.com/articles/why-im-not-afraid-to-love-again
Do you have an ex in your life, which makes your life hell? Does it feel like even though your spouse got divorced, that they are still married? Would it surprise you to find out that you put up with more than you have to, simply because the ex says you do?
Below are nine ways to stop allowing the ex to run your life. And, how to remove the welcome mat from your porch and your forehead respectively.
1. You didn’t marry them; they are not your ex.
This person your spouse or significant other married and consequently divorced, was not who you planned to spend your life with. The word exclude, starts with ex, do just that.
2. The ex does not own your spouse just because they share a child.
If your spouse is the non-custodial parent with visitation; it is difficult, but not impossible. Though no longer a team in terms of marriage, they are a team in terms of the child/ren. The ex can only control what the divorce decree says. If the ex has sole legal and sole physical, s/he has the say over schooling, medical and religion. However s/he is required by law to encourage and nurture a relationship with any and all family members of the child’s non-custodial parent. This includes stepfamily, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Better yet, did you know your spouse has a right to daily phone calls with their child, unless noted differently in the divorce decree?
3. If you want to attend a school or sporting event – you can. Doctors’ appointments too.
Sporting events are public; anyone and their grandmother can attend. If you want to go, go. Same goes for school recitals, back to school nights, etc. In fact most schools will do separate conferences so that both homes are involved in the child’s educational progress and needs. In terms of doctors’ appointments you can go with a spouse, or have your name added to the child’s file as someone who has a right to medical care and information. It is really no different than having access to a credit card or utility bill that may be solely in your spouse’s name. You can gain information and have some involvement.
4. Your spouse’s visitation time is your spouse’s choice to spend it how they wish.
The ex-spouse cannot commit you to anything on your time. This includes sports, doctors’ appointments, birthday parties etc. It is a double edge sword though because if by not taking the child to certain engagements will hurt the child in the process, it is a no win situation. But, by no means are you required to do it.
5. Follow your divorce decree, not the ex’s divorce commands.
It can’t be any more plain stated than this. The divorce decree is your spouse’s bible in a sense. It states what is expected, allowed and forbade. Non-custodial parents have more rights than most realize, like rights to medical and school records. Do your research.
6. If your spouse and their ex share joint legal and joint physical custody – your spouse’s say is just as important as the ex’s.
One is not more than the other. In some cases, one parent may have sole physical custody, while both retain joint legal custody. You need to know the differences of these and what your spouse has.
7. The ex can only control what there is no control over.
If a void is visible, the ex will invade. One place the ex will try to invade is your marriage. This is your territory – be territorial enough to remind the ex, this is not their place, and their existence will not be tolerated. Stand your ground.
8. The ex’s issue with you, is a reflection of an issue with themselves.
Any parent who is content with themselves and their own level of involvement and parenting they provide will never limit or control the parenting or involvement of anyone else. This is a well-known fact.
9. In terms of child support, do your own math and research.
Many parents pay more than they should, and feel as though they have to roll over and take it. If your spouse feels there is a substantial change either in their income or the ex’s, request a review. If your spouse is on disability or the ex is on disability make sure the child support office is aware. You’d be surprised how many parents overpay because they failed to double check or request a review.
There you have it, nine ways to limit or exclude the ex’s involvement in your home, your marriage and the relationship with your stepkids.
∗Don’t be a Mom, be their friend
∗Don’t be the disciplinarian
∗Stepchildren should be allowed to misbehave
∗It is easier without the other parents involvement.
∗You will eventually grow to love them, and they will love you.
Chances are, if you are a stepparent, you’ve had these said to you by either a successful stepparent whose life is perfect – and possibly lives in denial, a family member or worse; your own friends. Here are five common myths, and tips to prevail.
#1 Don’t be their Mom, be their friend.
It was about a few months in when a friend of my significant other muttered this very statement. It was followed up by “He already has aunts, grandma, and me, he doesn’t need anyone else.” Those words are as fresh in my mind as the day she spoke them. What I should have said was this: Last time I checked, his mother hasn’t been in his life for years. Furthermore, Aunts are aunts, Grandmas are grandma’s and you are a friend. Therefore, looks like the Mom position is currently vacant, so I am just going to go right ahead and slip into whatever role his father and I choose. Instead of course I sat there with the deer in the headlights stare, and a broken heart. This is solely a decision that is left up to the people who it effects, your spouse, your stepchild and yourself.
#2 Don’t be the disciplinarian.
Okay, let me get this straight, what you are saying is that if the child misbehaves with me, I need to wait until his father comes home to rectify that? Or, if I see him misbehaving even when his father is home, I am supposed to run to his father and tattle that he is doing something wrong and make him deal with it? Whoa honey, no freaking way! Sorry, not happening, uh uh. NO. Allow me to explain why in two reasons. First, respect is built by setting expectations and firm foundations, and allowing the go around or discipline to doled about by someone else, is less effective. That simply permits the child to be disrespectful and to misbehave until dad gets home. And, the second reason is, have you ever asked your husband to take the garbage out…. it can take days!! Discipline needs to be done in the moment, direct, and efficient for it to work.
#3 Stepchildren should be allowed to misbehave.
When venting to friends about the difficulties in blended families, and building a relationship with your stepchild you hear the difference in responses when the conversation of ill behaviors arise. When you are talking about your biological childs misbehavior to another parent the responses are “Oh yep they get bitchy when their periods are coming” Or, “Oh, I would have spanked her ass, and grounded her until she was 16!” But, not with stepchildren. Those responses are “Oh, she must be going through a lot. You need to love her through this phase.” Or, “Well consider how she feels, she’s angry, lost and confused, she just needs patience.” While, I can give the benefit of the doubt and show compassion like any other parent for a majority of situations – I am not an idiot! Sometimes, kids are little shits, and do bad things, and misbehave. ALL KIDS. They all need the same reaction and same treatment. No different. Same love, same discipline – same, same same.
#4 It is easier without the other parents involvement.
Really? For who? The child? Or, me? I used to believe this myth. I was wrong. My stepsons mother is not involved except maybe three times a year, by phone – if that! Yesterday was the first day of school, and all day my mind was overrun by thoughts like, will she call? Why didn’t she call? Who does that? Sure, I made sure to ask him about his first day, and I made sure to take those all important first day photographs, his father and I took care of the school clothes shopping and the school supplies, without one care or concern from her. She is not involved with him, but she and I are involved in that she lives permanently in my head, rent free. She lives as the fear I have that she will never call, or that she will call. That she will never come back for him, or that she will come back for him. That she will always be the one he wants, because he so badly wants her to want him. I worry she will let him down either way – and there will be nothing I can do to prevent that heartbreak.
#5 You will eventually grow to love them, and they will love you.
I’ve never been one to blow smoke up anyone’s skirt, mostly because I don’t smoke and I have no business up another woman’s skirt – but nonetheless this is not always the case. Sure there are some gloriously unified step families that just work. However, there are plenty of blended families who live to respect their parents choices, and live a life without a bond or love for their stepparent. In the same sense, there are stepparents that tolerated their stepchildren until they were old enough to live on their own. A stepparent/stepchild relationship can’t and shouldn’t be forced. If it happens naturally and effortlessly that is fantastic and makes life that much easier. But, don’t be surprised or feel doomed if it doesn’t happen for you right away, or at all. You can still foster a relationship with mutual care and respect.
Contrary to popular belief no one really has the answers on how to be the best stepparent. There are plenty of articles and advice from those that have lived it, and while those should be respected if only as a differing point of view, you don’t have to agree. You need to do what is best for you and your step-family. For me, I choose to be the mom, not the friend to all my children, step or otherwise. My significant other and I are the two leading adults in our home, we are partners in the responsibility for raising healthy, happy and well adjusted children who we chose to love, care and discipline regardless of the person or whose child is whose. Children and Stepchildren, are the same. Period. Maybe, one day the lack of involvement from the other parent will change, maybe it won’t – don’t allow that to limit your involvement. Love your stepchildren/stepparents as best as you can, if you have to fake it at first, do that. If its not there, respect them.
After all, we are all in this together.