Skip to main content

How I Got Here and Who I Am

There is a lot of almost in step-parenting. And I am almost a step-mom. I am not sure I like the whole idea of being a "step". I have been stepped on. It hurt. I don't want to be the expendable one, the one always wondering if the love is conditional or unconditional, the add-on, the black sheep, the person being blended into a blended (or not-so-blended) family.

I am a historian by profession and I like the history, the etymology, of the word. Old English used the word steop for orphan. In that world, it would mean that step-mom would be someone who took care of an orphan, someone who married a widower, someone who stepped up. There are versions of this same connotation in Old German and in Norse (stiuf and stjup respectively). That I can wrap my head around, the idea of a step mom as a woman who stepped up. The woman who helped the kids step up to the next level. The woman that forced the ex-wife step up her lazy parenting game. I like that version. I have always been a retro girl in a modern world.

That is where I am coming from. That is who I am. I dive head first into every single thing I do. I do it all. I don't "kinda" parent because I don't "kinda" do anything. My kids (I know they aren't mine but they feel like they are) therapist was once sitting down with me, my fiance, and his ex-wife to help us sort something out and he said, "Well I will let you all go because I know you (looking at my fiance) are tired after a long day at work, and I know you (looking at the ex-wife) are probably busy, and you (looking at me), well, you are just a ball of energy so I am sure you have 100 more things you want to get done today." My fiance turned to him and said "shes just a ball of fire".

There is so much step taboo in our world today. Evil stepmothers in movies, the whole idea of the other woman, the idea that simply by giving birth you have some special trait that makes you better than any other woman on the planet. Its societal, I think, since I have done nothing short of be an ideal stepmom since I fell in love with my fiance and yet STILL I am judged. I do not know how to get away from that but I think positive word choice matters. My fiance and the kids celebrate me on Mother's day. I refer to the children as "my" and "our" kids even when it is hard. As hard as it could be for any parent to share their parenting role with another human, we make choices (and sometimes choices are made for us) that make that a reality in today's world. And, in my opinion, any parent worth their salt would learn to move on and get over it because you have MORE PEOPLE LOVING THE KIDS!  How could that ever be a bad thing?

There is a lot of almost in step-parenting. You almost feel like a real parent. You almost have legal ties to the kids. You almost feel like you are influencing small humans so that they grow to be amazing, kind, and brave. You almost fill the empty holes in your heart. But how do you do it all for kids while still feeling the almost when you are the kind of person who doesn't settle for things like "almost"?


Popular posts from this blog

Summer Memories Jar

Bonding with kids can be hard. As you may have read, it was the hardest thing to do in my life. For me, it made finding my soulmate seem like it had been a cakewalk. Think about that. Here I was, a survivor of domestic abuse, a 30 something who had to find herself again after that 13 year relationship/marriage had ended, somehow waded the waters of the dating pool and found not just a boyfriend but someone who felt like home to me, and amidst all of that I was trying to deal with bonding with kids who had a birth mother whispering in their ear about me and my intentions and lying about their father. I didn't stand a chance. 
Eventually, I stood up, brushed the dirt off of my face, and declared to myself: this is my life and my love. I don't know what exactly that moment happened, but I remember the overwhelming feeling. I was not The Bear That Wasn't, I knew exactly who I was and I was not going to let someone who was feeling insecure or jealous steal my sunshine. 
I reso…

Top 10 Connecticut Family Day Trips Not to Miss!

1. Falls Village
We have to start with FV because that was our town! There is a beautiful outlet of the Appalachian Trail you can access right near the region's High School and you can catch a view of the Great Falls with a short walk from the village itself. There are a few little shops and an annual car show but the view is what makes FV a little home in my heart. The best part about exploring this area is that the great outdoors are always free to explore. :)

2. Dinosaur State Park, Rocky Hill
This place was AWESOME and I am not entirely sure why so many people I come across who live in CT have never been here. Obviously, I was coming from a different point of view, I moved to the northwest corner after living in a huge state (NY) so I wanted to see ALL of CT basically immediately. This is an interactive museum built over top of real authentic dinosaur tracks that were found in 1966. The inside also has a fun little kids center and outdoors there are activities on weekends and…


"Listen. This is just a dream. But very clever people can hear dreams. So please just listen. I know you’re afraid, but being afraid is all right. Because didn’t anybody ever tell you? Fear is a superpower. Fear can make you faster, and cleverer, and stronger. And one day, you’re gonna come back to this barn, and on that day, you’re going to be very afraid indeed. But that’s okay. Because if you’re very wise and very strong, fear doesn’t have to make you cruel or cowardly. Fear can make you kind. … It doesn’t matter if there’s nothing under the bed, or in the dark, so long as you know it’s okay to be afraid of it. So listen. If you listen to nothing else, listen to this: you’re always going to be afraid, even if you learn to hide it. Fear is like… a companion. A constant companion, always there. But that’s okay. Because fear can bring us together. Fear can bring you home. I’m gonna leave you something just so you’ll always remember. Fear makes companions of us all.&…