Attention world…I am now an awarded StepMom!

In case you weren’t already convinced of my Step-Mom awesomeness – this AWARD now proves it!

Today after meeting with my publisher with the list of oh so many things to do, I received the Laine Blogger Award from a wonderful fellow blogging Mom,  Mom-Spirational, and for a second I was reminded how great I must actually be!

There is of course, as with any hard earned award, a catch.  I must now share with you all the answers to 5 super embarrassing and hugely evasive questions ( you only wish) and then pass on this daunting task to 5 other equally if not more deserving bloggers who I personally think ROCK the sense of BEAUTY in a blogging sense.

So here goes.

1.  What is Your Current Beauty Obsession?

Easily Victoria’s Secret Such a Flirt body lotion. There is something to be said for a lotion that takes a rushed 10 minute shower of a thirty-something mom of 3, whose children believe that shower time is not private time, nor any time in the bathroom for that matter (see there is the evasive embarrassing part) and makes you feel like you just soaked in starfruit and white orchid milk bath! Oh the secrets Victoria holds.

2.  What is the One Beauty Item You Wish You Owned?

A secret high tech weapon that terrified the crap out of any hair on my body and didn’t cost a dime! No shaving, no tweezing my eyebrows or sitting in the car at a stoplight utilizing the BEST natural light that finds every imperfection and those same 3 chin hairs that pop up in the same spot every other day…but then again what would I do without the need for that control of finding and plucking those little boogers!?!

3.  What is Your Favorite Topic To Read About?

Honest, true-life, biographies about any person that wasn’t/isn’t afraid to admit to the world that they messed up, didn’t follow the path of everyone else, that did their own thing, and figured life out. People baring their souls to the judgement of our ridiculous world is very inspiring!

4. What Inspired You to Become a Blogger?

In short, you always hear people say they didn’t ask for your opinion, or want it. Well in my opinion my opinion is a good one to matter, so I made a place where people come for just that, MY OPINION!

However, on a more real side, I like millions of others, have been through hell and back – and with what I have been through, there is no way I could let the lessons I struggled though, the paths I built one pebble at a time, go un-shared, and un-validated to the many people who need to know they aren’t alone.

5.  What nail polish are you wearing right now?

Nail polish – nope, nada – ACRYLIC – Rockstar Baby!! Its a sparkly blue which makes the sounds on the keys as I type either as happy or irritated as I feel like being.

And now for the awesome part…..My 5 choices of blogging awesomeness

A family Rearranged

Becoming a Stepmom

A Blogger and a Father

Strong Stepmom

SooperDad Blog of Awesomeness

Thanks again for blog-spiration!

I’ve followed…

I’ve followed my heart, I’ve created my own path and I did it all for myself. I’ve failed, I’ve fallen and I did it in front of the world. I got back up, I learned from my mistakes, and I became a better person. I redefined my priorities, I fell deeper in love with my children and myself. I ended relationships and friendships, only to build new ones, or to allow for them to build new ones. I’ve never been the girl that does what she is told, I don’t sit back and watch and wait and see. I’ve allowed myself to feel, to love, to laugh and cry. I’ve dealt with loss, and goodbyes I never planned on, but am thankful for both.

I’ve learned I have alot of learning left to do, alot of mistakes to make still, and Im ready for whatever comes my way. I’m okay with people not understanding me, or thinking I do things wrong. I am okay with building my own path, my own way, because I am me, and that’s who I plan to stay.

I’m thankful for my children, the ones I gave birth to, and the one that I get the pleasure of loving as if I did. I ‘m thankful for my daughters infectious personality, her smile and laughter that light up a room and the way she allows me to feel like the best mother in the world. And for, my son, who’s eyes light up my entire existence and wakes up my soul. My children are the greatest gifts and if i all I do in life is be their mother, I will be completely satisfied. I’m thankful for our home, which is modest but filled with fun, laughter and so much love.

I’m thankful for my husband, for his unorthodox approach to life, his dedication to family and his unwavering ability to love me regardless. Im thankful for his family who has accepted us, my children, me with all my flaws, with open non-judgmental arms.

There isn’t a gift I would or could want, because God has blessed me with an amazing end to a year that could have ended so differently. My life is perfectly imperfect with a perfectly imperfect love, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

What I want him to know…

One day without much notice this little blonde hair baby came totting into my home. Barely able to walk on your own, you were holding your daddy’s hand.  My life changed in that moment, almost the same as when you hear the words “you’re pregnant”. Except in my case, I didn’t have nine months to prepare. Didn’t spend countless hours searching for the perfect name, or daydreaming about whether you’d look like your father or me.  My body never carried you; I never felt your first kick or heard your first heartbeat. The love that created you, wasn’t mine, and the air you breath and the life you were given were not from me.  My heartbeat wasn’t the one you fell asleep to at night, and my voice wasn’t the one that would make you turn you head.                                                 

“There are a lot of things that I wasn’t – But listen to this instead”

Nine months of preparation was never needed with you, because you were someone I had prayed for all along. Countless hours are spent saying your name, sharing every funny little story, every sweet moment with whoever will listen to me share. Being just like your father, and having his smile and personality is all I could have ever hoped for.  The first time you laid your head on my chest, and fell asleep in my arms our heartbeats were one in the same. You were not someone else’s child; you in that moment became a part of me.  Your love was a gift to me, your innocence brought me youth, and your father showed me a completely new life.

You became a brother, and gained a big sister and brother.  Quickly you became best friends with your brother, and your sister couldn’t go anywhere without you.  They protected you, cared for you and loved you instantly, not because you were different, or special, or “extra” – instead it was because you are their brother.

Somewhere along the line, those nine months I lacked of worry and concern over how you would be or who you would be – I’ve made up tenfold.  Because when your heart hurts, mine does too. That’s why I want to say these things to you

My love for you is a bond that took time to create,

It’s not one that can be easily erased;

There will be times when you may have to choose,

My promise to you is to understand if I lose.

*****

My job as your stepmom is to understand,

I’ll always lend a helping hand;

Although my place may not be first,

I’ll be beside you through the worst.

*****

Your mother and I do have one thing we share,

Well two I guess to be honest & fair;

We of course share you, an adorable little man,

And we share moments of being your biggest fan.

I can CARE, because I CHOOSE to… Damn-it!

Why does my opinion matter, why does what I feel, the pain in my chest, or the tears that I cry matter, when I am only a step parent. I can’t possibly understand how it feels to love a child, to care for a child, to want so badly for this child to have the very best, because they are not my blood from my own body. How dare I even complain, or waste my time with things that I can never fix. The right to care ended the day my stepson came out of her vagina instead of mine, the day my husband married her and had sex with her, and shared the life long commitment of raising a child with her. They made this life decision in a moment of passion (dare I to speak it) and now that the marriage is over – and my husbands temporary lack of judgment has expired – we now get to deal with the never ending reminder of I have no rights – ever.

Lets put the fact that she is a mother who not only talks down my husband to his son, who forces her 3 year-old son to flip off his dad and tell him he doesn’t love him, or that she has moved 7 times in 3 years, or that she will drop him off with hfmd without even a mention to us, or how to properly care for him, or even the fact that she has totaled her car 2 times in the period of a year because she is irresponsible and reckless. Lets also put aside the fact that for 3 years, her grandmother is taking care of her and our son, she pays their bills, she provides a roof over their head, because she refused to work. But, why would that bother someone who doesn’t care? Why do I find it odd, that when their are two Parents, one that is living with a grandparent, and one that works, has their own home, provides for himself and his family, isn’t given the RIGHT to be the full time parent, simply because he has a penis!

Imagine being told by someone that simply because you are the dad, you are not going to get full custody. Actually, try it this way, have your brother who you have watched worked his butt off to be the best father to his child, and put up with more than his fair share of crap from the mother, and then watch him fight for a place in his child’s life, knowing he is the best place for your nephew or niece and then not feel sick or saddened when you hear that because he is a dad, he can only hope for a little more than every other weekend. Magnify that by an unimaginable percent, and think of that man being your husband, and watch him fall short, without saying one word, without having the right to say anything, do anything, just sit there quietly and soak in his heartbreak – but remember you are not allowed to feel any of this – because you are not his mother, you don’t love him the same, you don’t matter.

Are you kidding me? Deal with it? Why should I? Because you do? Because somewhere, someone wrote that we should act a certain way, when it comes to certain situations? Well let me tell you something, that’s not me, it never will be. I do not care if my children came from 12 hours of hard labor, or 3 years of laboring – either way I have parented them,  I have loved them when its hard, I have taught them lessons that someone else did not, I have held them when they cried, or after Dr’s appointments and shots. Countless hours of my life have been spent providing, supporting, caring, loving and investing in my children – and I damn well know that my levels of giving in those areas isn’t dependent on how much of my blood runs through my veins! Nor, will it ever.

I would hope that their are more women in this world like me, than against me. More men like my husband, that fight for their family, for their children, for the rights that today may not exist, but may exist for our children and their children for tomorrow’s tomorrow. Because those that fail to see that love is Blind, that love exists without conditions, guidelines, parameters and, BLOODLINES, are missing a whole hell of a lot more than just their sight. And I’m glad I am not one of those people, because I would choose tears, heartbreak, and continual failure, that brings me one step closer to the possibility of witnessing the right thing, the better choice, the best outcome and a happy child.

Step moms aren’t made of steel

Thinking back I feel like I instantly became a step-mom, and honestly its a little shocking that it went so seriously so quickly. I remember being at my Mother-in-laws house for Christmas dinner, and all the family being there. My Stepson walked up to me and said something along the lines of “Mommy can I have some milk?”, and I didn’t know how to answer, and not about the milk, but the mommy part. I had at that point made sure that he knew how to call me by my first name, but because my children called me Mommy, he just picked it up. I of course stumbled, and mumbled and I overheard some voices behind me asking my mother in law “Did he just call her mommy?” and she very assertively said, “Yes, she is his mom when he is here, and we don’t see the need to differentiate in our home.” Getting him his milk, and moving on without a thought, our life just moved forward from there.

Being a mother to children whose father is remarried, I understood the stigma behind my children calling some other woman, Mom. It is not a dismiss-able, minor detail, and I talked to my mother-in-law and husband about how it would make me feel, and that I didn’t want to make her uncomfortable. But, they both made a great point, I didn’t ask him or tell him to call me that, neither had my husband, he had done this on his own, and it would make him feel different if I made him stop and call me something different. But, I would by lying if I said that deep inside, I don’t still feel a little guilty that even two years later, he still calls me mom.

The difference between now and then of course, is that I am his mom, for all intensive purposes. He is the brother to my children, my husbands son, and we do everything any other normal family does. My duties as a mother to my two biological children, are no different with him, I still feed, bathe, and care for him. My husband and I provide a loving home for him, incur medical expenses, take him to regular doctors visits, kiss away boo boos, discipline him, and have weekend morning snuggle time. The only difference between me and my husbands ex-wife, is that I didn’t give birth to him. One small, MAJOR detail, that is constantly thrown in my face, a non-existent serious life event that will forever exclude me from all the future “Mom” events.

But, when we are in our little home, with our little family, I am safe from this exclusion. There is no worry about his wedding day, and when he has his first child, and what role I will play in those days, if any. We don’t talk about the day when he might come to me and decide to no longer call me mom, or the day he is old enough to not want to come for visits, and the possibility that he wont always love me the way he does now. Forgetting that I will more times than not come in second, possibly be forgotten, excluded and deemed the enemy by his REAL mom.  I forget he isn’t mine, that he isn’t fully my daughters brother, and my sons brother, and that he isn’t going to stay forever. Then, when Sunday comes, my heart feels heavy, the day is saddened, and I prepare for the disconnect that will continue my hearts beating while my son goes walking on his own for another week. Which in and of itself makes me feel like his is my son, because there is a quote that says ‘Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” by Elizabeth Stone. Which rings more truer that I ever realized.

Seeing the excitement, when we pull up to where his mother is waiting, makes my heart both happy and sad – obviously I love anything that makes his little heart happy, and even though for me personally she ranks nowhere, she makes him happy – and I know at the end of the day, if he never got to see me again, he would be just fine. Sure, he would ask about me, but he has his mom to fall back on. For me, if I could never see him again, my heart would suffer, it would break and I would never be the same, he is apart of me, he has grown into my heart, into my soul, he is an incredible blessing to my life, and it terrifies me to think of losing him.

But, this is the life I chose when I chose my husband and son to join us. I chose this when I decided to love without any conditions, to love completely, selflessly, and to never let him feel any less than mine.