Mon 6 May 2013
Today’s post comes from Chrystal. She shares her heart for her blended family and the gifts that she has received from being a stepmother. Her story beautifully conveys the blessing her outlook and devotion brings to her husband and you’ll also read about the healthy relationship she has with the mother of her stepchildren. I love what she refers to as “invisible boundaries” in regards to that relationship…. it is a very insightful description. Your heart will be blessed when you read her story:
Being A Stepmom……Rising Above A Little Bit More…
In my opinion, being a step-mother is the only role that you can never prepare yourself for, ever. I have been a step-mom for almost 11 years to a set of boy/girl twins, who are now 15 years old. From the moment I met my husband, I never blinked at the fact that he had children. His children were a part of him and I loved him wholly and so that included his children. He showed me a picture of his kids the very first night we met and I knew then he was a wonderful father. We lived in two different states when we met and I did not have children. When it was time for us to be in the same state, I never even considered asking him to move away from his children. With that being said, I became a resident of Louisiana and no longer a resident of Indiana. I know moving 12 hours away from my entire family may seem strange to some, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. The rest is our history and now we have one daughter together who is 6 years old. We all love each other as a family, no “step” or “half” needed. All of our children love each other as just brother and sister, regardless of the fact that my daughter is their “half” sister. It melts my heart seeing them all together, talking, laughing and playing!
I believe my step-children have definitely been a blessing in my life. When I first met them, I did not have children of my own and they taught me some very valuable lessons on motherhood that I would have other wised never been able to learn before having my own daughter. Not everyone gets that kind of hand-on experience before their “first” child. In almost 11 years I’ve only heard “you’re not my mom” one time, and keep in mind there are two kids, so I think I’m doing pretty good! I have loved them for the entire 11 years I’ve known them and that will never change. They have always respected me and welcomed me into their lives and for this I am forever grateful, because they didn’t have to do that! The fact that they love my daughter unconditionally and don’t treat her different, is also a huge blessing.
I believe I am a blessing to my husband because I was more than willing to accept him and his children and whatever else came along with him, from the very beginning. We all know that dating after divorce can be difficult, but add two children to that mix and it is extra difficult. My wonderful husband works out of town a lot in the oilfield industry. This means that I am usually the person who communicates with his ex-wife. Hence, the fact that his ex-wife and I get along so well, is a huge blessing to him and the children. And since my husband has an unpredictable work schedule, the children are free to come and go to either house whenever they want, there has never really been a set “schedule”. I think this also makes them feel good, because they don’t have a schedule that is rigid or stressful. My step-children have always been able to come to our house when my husband is off working and that means a lot to everyone.
If you are lucky enough to have a Mom of your step-children who is genuine, honest and open to having a relationship with you, consider yourself very blessed. I have to give credit to my stepchildren’s Mom because she welcomed me as her children’s step-mom right away. I also believe that we can get along so well because she is a step-mom herself, we are grown women and I am not the “reason” her marriage ended with my husband. We are able to work together for the children’s sake and we all make it a point to be civil in front of the children. She and I have had lunch together, clipped coupons together, attended the same church and my daughter has gone to her house before so that my step-son could babysit for me. My step-daughter, her mother and I have attended my step-daughter’s cheerleading banquet together, for the second year in a row. She has always let her children have a relationship with me and that is very important. Because of this, the children know that it is okay to love me and have a relationship with me. I believe she and I could be really, great friends, if the circumstances were different and there weren’t invisible boundaries and limits in place.
I’ve always tried to make sure that my step-children didn’t feel unwanted or feel tension between houses and when they see us all do something together for their behalf, it solidifies this fact. I am not saying it is always easy because it isn’t. My husband and his ex-wife don’t always agree on everything and sometimes I act as the “buffer” so-to-speak, but we all try to compromise. Sure, there have been and there will be issues that arise, but that can happen to the everyday married couple with kids, regardless of the fact there are “step” people involved. We all like having peace in our homes, and we know that doesn’t happen unless we get along! I know that they will be exceptional adults one day and my heart swells just thinking that I will have helped them become that person! I believe that they feel loved unconditionally at both houses and that is the ultimate goal! They will be better people because we all got along and I honestly think our family is in the minority when it comes to this, unfortunately.
To my fellow step-moms, be the bigger person, be nice and love your step-children as your own. It’s no fun being miserable, so I pray for peace in your home.
Chrystal Adams is married to her wonderful husband Frank. They have three children, ages 15, 15 & 6, they reside in Louisiana. She is 34 years old and has a full-time career as a Registered Investment Advisor and her husband works in the oilfield industry. Chrystal is passionate about health and fitness, and practices Pilates and Yoga daily. You may connect with Chrystal at hadleysmama on Twitter.
Can you relate to the gifts she brings to her family? To the gifts she receives from them (including the mom of her stepkids?) Pls share