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.
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
∗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.
Being a mom means more than having given birth to a child. Its loving and knowing a soul before you even see it. It’s carrying, and caring for a life completely depending on you for survival. It’s giving air to the lungs that grew with-in you, and sight to the eyes that will never see you as anything but mommy. Its sleepless nights, its nursing scratches and scrapes, its being stern and protective. It’s teaching them to talk, to walk and to eventually run. It’s learning to hand your child to a stranger to let them teach what you cannot at times. It’s bracing them for a fall, and dusting them off after they do. It’s seeing them cry, and not knowing how to fix it, so you sit on the floor and hold them and cry right along beside them. It’s teaching them, that they are smart, capable, funny and giving them the security to do great things. Its building their self-esteem, supporting their dreams and loving them unconditionally. Its letting them go, letting them fail, and teaching them how to get back up. It’s going without, so that they don’t have to, and being okay with it.
Being a Mother, is a gift that is unimaginable to any woman who does not have a child in their life. It’s a connection that is unmatched and insurmountable in any form or other relationship. It’s a love that grows continually, a love that always wants more and better. It’s being terrified that you can’t prevent pain, injustice, heartbreak, and at times even death. It’s laughing at jokes that aren’t even funny, but the way they say it,makes its hilarious. Its listening to stories, that go on and on without a point. It’s always being available for the “mommy watch ME’s” and “mommy I need you”. It’s drowning out the word MOM repeated over and over, in attempts to get your attention. Its songs sang out of tune, and settling squabbles with siblings. It’s being mean, and teaching hard lessons, that hurt you inside so deep you want to cry, but you must stand strong with resolve. It’s being strong for them, when you are weak. It’s smiling when you want to cry, and crying when you’re smiling with pride.
It’s looking through photographs and feeling your heart swell with love and happiness when you see the beauty, the happiness and life in your child’s smile and eyes. Its confusion, mistakes, uncharted territory and blind folded guessing. It’s snuggling on the couch watching a movie, braiding hair till your fingers hurt, it’s being woken up early on Saturday morning because they want to crawl in bed and be close to your heart. It’s having the worst day, and having them hug you and tell you ”mommy I love you”, and needing nothing more.
It’s a blessing, a gift, a relationship that never ends, and a love that never dies. It’s the best thing I have ever become, the greatest love I have ever felt and the best part about being me.
Dad verses mom appears to be an easy win for Moms, right? You’d think it would be a slam dunk because we are natural multi-taskers, nurturers, nurses, teachers, homemakers, maids, etc. I mean, come on, we literally do it all! Or, do we? We can tease them and share random facts which are absolutely true and humorous like these things…
Dads never sleep, they are simply resting their eyes. Even if they are snoring – they are resting their eyes damn it!
Dads can’t change diapers, they will throw up! It is a scientific fact – proven by the obnoxious, melodramatic gagging met my our mere thought of even asking for help.
Dads can’t go grocery shopping. Cheap, coupons, budget and list are not words that exist in his vocabulary.
Dads have a whole different time frame. In a minute – can literally be in a minute or the minute they see you actually doing what you asked.
Dads clean house without being asked for three reasons. 1. Sex 2. They want something 3. They did something already.
However, the truth is dads are kind-of AWESOME! Yes, there are single parents who fulfill the role of both parents, and this isn’t meant to negate that in any way… but there are some things I think dads just do better than moms.
First, dads know sports. They are the first to teach competition, the desire and drive to win, to be #1, the absolute best at anything and everything. They teach dedication, practice makes perfect and its okay to fall down as long as you get back up again. And, it’s a bonus for Moms because there is nothing more sexier than seeing your spouse out playing sports with the kids!
Second, dads understand that “mom doesn’t understand”. I mean, who better to understand being misunderstood than dad, right? You can tell him everything, and he can completely sympathize.
Third, dads are a sons best friend. They know everything boys. Video games, sports, fishing, ball games, hunting, you name it they can do it together! They also know all about those “changes”, why your son is still in the shower, why mom may not want to clean up those dirty socks on the floor, or lift up the mattress at a certain age. Needless to say anything further.
Fourth, dads are natural conquerors. Whatever you need, they have an idea of what they can construct to do it! They can also get anything down from the ceiling, the roof, the top shelf etc. They know just how to fix, or repair whatever a child needs especially if it creates a project! (Extra kudos if said project supersedes mom’s honey do list) Same with lessons on cars, car repairs, etc. They are great at teaching with their hands, those are their best tools.
Fifth, dads are a daughters first love. A simple bat of the eyes, and daddy you are my favorite teaches little girls and grown women how to get exactly what they want! They are natural protectors and create that first sense of safety for a little girl. Daddy’s are everything to a little girl. They don’t care that she doesn’t wear a skirt, or that she has dirt on her face, they love that she can bait a hook, and loves to play with worms – they love little girls who can be boys when the time calls for it. (Now, boys that want to be girls…that’s a whole different ballgame)
Sixth, dads are calm. They diffuse situations and make sense out things, they are a natural peacemaker between mom and her children. You can call dad and even if he is pissed, disappointed or hurt, he will remedy what he can. He will also let you fall on your face, if it proposes to teach a good lesson.
The final thing I think dads do best, is teaching their children how to be a good husband, father, wife and mother. They watch the relationship between mom and dad, they see the way dads are supposed to be, how dad treats mom, and it sets forth an example and expectations for both sons and daughters. It is best said in this quote “The best thing a father can do for his children, is love their mother” and it is quite true.
read more at totallyjessifiable.wordpress.com
It doesn’t matter where the love comes from, it doesn’t matter if it’s a bio-parent or a step-parent – as long as there is love being freely given. Someone who gives their time, their energy, their love without any regard for a personal gain – solely to benefit the child. We all get some portion of this in life. A little piece of completeness.
When you look at your child/stepchild – look at them and see the child – not the other parent. See what needs they have, what talents they possess and can share with the world given your love, your time, and your extra attention. Don’t be afraid or too busy to hug them, to discipline them, or to not be their friend. Because, inside of us all we have that small place that’s missing something? Don’t you?
Two things, that’s all I really hoped my kids would be blessed with – because with those two things they could conquer the world.
One thing I wanted most for my children was for them to have a mother, an involved mother, someone who made time for them, whose hugs healed any pain, and whose ears listened to every story, worry, or concern. I wanted my daughter to have a lap to lay in, and hands to play with her hair. I wanted her to have a woman she could trust, a friend she could laugh with, and someone to show her its okay to make mistakes. I wanted her to have the woman in her life that I never had in mine, a mother. The same with Gage, I wanted him to have someone who would make him dance in the kitchen when a slow song came on, someone to nurse a scrape, tell him he would do better next time or someone to blow raspberries on his tummy until he could barely stand it. A woman for him to be proud of, the one that makes the best peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because they are made with love. And, the one woman whose heartstrings are attached in such away that whatever affects him affects her – a mother.
The second thing I wanted was for them to understand how vital their role as brother and sister to each other was. I can’t tell you the amount of times in the past nine years I have said “be nice to each other, you can’t possibly understand how important this relationship, this friendship will be when you are older!” Now, the two of them would be lost without the other. They have been this tight little twosome from day one. They were each others first real friend, and have grown into best friends. You probably are thinking – ya all kids are close, but by close I mean Gracie is like a second mom to Gage.
One of my favorite stories of Gracie and Gage was when Gage was about three months old. He was sleeping in his crib so I ran for the shower, literally! It couldn’t have been more than ten glorious minutes before I could hear crying from the other room, and I did what every mother to a second child does – continued with my shower thinking he would go back to sleep. Well, I was wrong, he kept crying, so I rinsed off, and then all of sudden the crying stops. I think to myself “okay maybe I will stay in here just a bit longer.” Then, I thought again…and all the mommy over analyzing took over and I hurried to the room. I’ll never forget what I saw when I peaked around the corner into the room – it melts my heart even now. There in his crib was Gracie about three years old, with her baby brother in her lap, her shirt pulled up on one side, trying to breast-feed him. And that is where their story starts, they have a bond that every mother wants for their children to share.
Trust me they too have their days and moments. Gracie once while watching a commercial that was listing side effects leading to mental retardation if taken while pregnant, questioned if I took that medication while pregnant with Gage. And, for about six months she called him “big tooth” because he only had one big kid tooth up front (which was admittedly big)while waiting for the other to grow in. She even tricked him into picking up dog poop for a year by trading him a pack of gum, he didn’t realize each piece was equal to a month! He too has had his moments calling her chunky or mean and teasing her about liking boys, but you try saying one thing about the other, and see how quickly the other sticks up for them. They truly love each other, my daughter sneaks in and kisses her brothers forehead once he has fallen asleep, and at night if he is scared he will ask sissy if he can sleep with her.
In my opinion there is not a more important relationship between children other than that of their siblings. They learn trust, honesty, dependability, not to mention every bad habit we don’t want them to know, and most importantly how to love unconditionally. What about you? What is one relationship you want to encourage your child to experience?
The other day while looking at pictures of you I came across a letter I wrote when I was pregnant with you. It was full of hope and making every promise any mother intends to keep to their child. However, I promised you something that was necessary to myself, and not common; I promised to never let anyone take you away from me, and to always be there for you.
When you were placed in my arms, there was nothing in my life that I took more seriously than loving, protecting, caring and raising you – even if it meant I had to do it alone. Much to your fathers dislike, you slept with me, and I never let you out of my sight. We rarely got a sitter, and the first time you spent a night away from us was when you were almost three, and your brother was born. You were this beautiful, rosy, soft, smiling, perfect little angel, and by far the greatest thing to have happened to me, and from me. The pride I felt when I looked at you, listened to you and watched you learn everything that every other baby learned, simply left me in awe. You were perfect.
Now, here we are eleven years later, you are still perfect, it’s just you, your brother and I, and I’ve kept my promise and you’re right by my side. You have grown into this genuinely beautiful, hilarious, intelligent little girl that fills my days with equal amounts of frustration and laughter. Although at times, it can be excessive, you speak your mind clearly and precisely. You are extremely quick witted, caring and kind.
My grandmother always told me “Pretty is as pretty does” and you my sweet baby girl, are absolutely gorgeous. You are a great big sister to your brother, protective and loving. He knows he can count on you, and that at night, you sometimes sneak in when he is asleep and kiss him goodnight – which melts my heart.
Truth is Gracie, you are the first great and right thing I have ever done in my life. I know there have been times I’ve made mistakes, and I wont lie and make false promises that there won’t be more. However, I will tell you as your mother, I will give you my all. Even more you need to know that there is no way you could ever let me down as my daughter. You have already surpassed every hope I had for you thus far, and I have more faith in you every day. No matter what path you take in this life, you need to know that you are perfect just the way you are. There isn’t one obstacle you can’t overcome, there is no distance you can’t travel, and there is nothing that can ever keep you from chasing whatever dreams you want to chase. You have the world at your finger tips.
I’ve never known the love a daughter feels from her mother but I knew I was going to make it a priority that you did. My intentions were clear from the start, I wanted for you to know the safety in my arms, the confidence and security in who you were growing into as a young woman, and finding a voice that speaks volumes when necessary, yet holds silence when needed as well. Always keeping open and honest lines of communication was important too. Making sure you knew you could always ask me anything, and tell me anything because, trusting each other was and is vital. It was also important to me, to ensure that when you looked at your own reflection you saw beauty, natural, raw and effortless beauty that grew from the inside out, and that only enhanced the beauty on the outside .
I want you to be aware that your abilities are endless, to make your own path, and test the limits. Do not be afraid to love or to be loved in return. Love who you want to love, even if others dont agree or understand. You may at some point in your life love the wrong person or a bad person, so be resilient and wise enough to know you can choose to love someone without allowing them to stay in your life. Fall hard, trip, land on your ass or flat on your face, whatever it takes to learn the lesson you need but remember to always get back up. Know when to respect and obey an answer or response of NO, and when not to. Trust, believe, hope, dream and wish on every star if it pleases your heart. Know God, love God, believe and talk to him for he will never leave your side.
Ask questions, silly ones, uncomfortable ones, necessary ones, because you can’t ever know too much. Always try, even if you have ninety-nine reasons why it won’t work and only one why it will. Don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself, to be wrong or fight for something that is right. Stand against the crowd, and stand proud for your beliefs are your foundation. Kick, scream, throw a fit and cry like a baby, if that is what makes you feel better, but do it in the privacy of your own space, or with a best friend.Get it out, feel it, deal with it but most importantly once it’s out, let it go and move on. Do not let anything or anyone hold you back or tell you you can’t do something because believe me daughter, one thing I know is YOU CAN.
Give everyone a chance, the benefit of the doubt, lend an ear, a shoulder, and even your last dollar to a loved one or stranger in need without prejudice, preference or expectation of gaining anything in return. Don’t judge people or situations because you never know the struggle God has asked them to take on. And, most importantly if you forget all of these, fall short or fail, know I’ll be here always in your corner, believing in you, until you remember how to believe in yourself again.
There is no way to adequately describe the amount of life, love, pleasure and happiness you have blessed me with – except to simply say that my cup runneth over for you baby girl, cup after cup, after cup.
Here’s to you kiddo and a very Happy 11th Birthday
Laying in our overstuffed chair with my now almost eight year old son, and ten year old daughter – my mind wanders. How did they grow so tall, their legs so long, their fingers and hands so big. It seems like just yesterday, there were still protected within my belly – and now their live, loud, funny and smart people. When you hear people say “don’t blink – they’ll be grown before you know” I should have listened.
Pregnancy for me was incredible. The feeling of them moving inside of me, or getting hiccups – every little kick, drag or roll, excited me to no end. Hearing their heartbeats, planning their names, their lives – imagining who and what they would be, consumed my every waking breath. Worrying clouded by dreams at night as well. What if they are missing a finger, or are born with an incurable illness, what if they are ugly?? Yes, I worried about that – you are not normal if you never worried that your kid might be the ugly kid. Yes, we would love them anyhow, and tell they were perfect and beautiful either way – but I still worried.
Truth is, my children are beautiful, so beautiful that if I hadn’t know for a fact, and attended their own birth witnessing them come out of me – I might wonder who they came from. Their eyes are green with specs in them that I believe are awesome sprinkles. Their skin tone is one many purchase in a tanning salon – or spend countless hours baking in the sun to attempt achieving. My daughter has long golden, soft, blonde hair that drops past the middle of her back – effortlessly. My son, carries a smile that aids in avoiding or lessening punishments when he rarely misbehaves.
If you are like me, you may not have planned your pregnancy to one or possibly all your children. My daughter was planned, and my son was a blessing. With Gracie – I soaked in everything, especially once I found out she was a girl! It was all over then! Everything was PINK, girly, sparkly and frilly! She was born gorgeous, truly perfect and pink. Never in my life, have I ever felt the love you feel as you hold your child for the first time – the bond, and promise to never lose sight of what is most important.
My son, he was a different story – I found out I was pregnant with him during a hard time in my life. My husband and I were divorcing and I was in a constant state of disbelief, hurt and anger. Many times I secretly hated that I was pregnant, and questioned how I would be able to do this alone? What would people think – Who would ever love me? When I found it he was a boy, I cried and was angry more – all I knew was girls..what am I going to do with a boy? They are loud, dirty, obnoxious and unruly – what in the hell was God thinking giving me a boy to raise on my own? My delivery with him was difficult, and he had a small pallet so when he cried, he snorted – something now I wish I would have enjoyed a little more. He had a small face, and a protruding chin – he was a boy. He also became my world.
It feels almost impossible to express a mothers love for her children. With Gracie, I never thought I could love anyone as much – until Gage came to me. God was smart, knowing exactly what was given to me – one of the greatest blessings a mom could hope for… a Son. My daughter is witty, spunky, too smart for her own good, beautiful beyond measure and can make me laugh when I need it most. BUT, my son, Gage – he has the heart of an angel, his eyes can tell me he loves me, misses me, needs me, is hurting, anything without him uttering one word. His hugs don’t just wrap around me, they envelope my soul. His smile – makes me regret every day I questioned why he was being gifted to me – and makes me wish I had enjoyed him longer when we were still one.
Still, I spend moments of where I just gaze at them both and thank God they are mine. It’s hard to verbalize the pride I feel when I watch them succeed at something, or do something kind for another – or at times just how they breath. Questioning myself under my breath..I made this? Me – the most imperfect person, who has made mistake after mistake – how do I deserve such miraculously perfect children to call me mom – everyday? It’s enough to bring tears to my eyes now as I write this, and on many occasions past, present and future.
The point of this blog is for those mothers pregnant – maybe scared, worried, alone. Soak this all in, every Dr’s appt, every heartbeat, every uncomfortable elbow in your side, braxton hicks or even the fiftieth trip to the bathroom. If you lay in bed alone – remember you aren’t alone – you are becoming a mother, you are the beginning of the most important person you will ever be. Nothing will ever surpass being a mom – no love will ever touch it, and no person will ever love you back they way a child does.
Life is hard, and things don’t go as planned – and when you think you have it all figured out; you’ll find out that’s not always the case. However, one thing is planned and perfectly meant for you – and that is the child your carrying both in your belly and in your heart. Enjoy them, enjoy this moment – because you never have this again. You will wake up one day with a boy who is eight and a girl who is ten on your lap – and although they won’t be tiny – you will realize you still have the whole world at your fingertips and close to your heart.