Monday, September 10, 2018

Advice from one StepMom to Another

As many of you know, I have a travel instagram account, and I recently merged these two areas of my social media life by linking my instagram and website. Not long after I added my web address to my instagram I received a message from a struggling stepmother (above). I have since written back and forth with her and we have gotten to know one another well enough that she gave me permission to share her direct message and some of the advice I gave her. I want to preface this share by saying that I respect the fact that she reached out to me because on that platform it was all very anonymous and I welcome anyone else to do the same!

There is a lot of stigma when it comes to step parenting and a lot more emotion than I had originally every imagined there would be. My best advice, which some people would completely disagree with, is to treat your stepson as you would your own child. (From our later discussion I have found that my Struggling Stepmama here has a wonderful relationship with her stepson and a deep bond.)  By trying to compete with the things that seem easier or more pleasing at his other home, all you would do is reinforce an attitude of irresponsibility. You are not his birth mother, and fixating on her will not fix anything or change anything about the family dynamic you have. You have to free yourself from the insecurity that is making you hold onto her so firmly.  If she didn't treat you right, forgive her.  If you didn't treat her right, forgive yourself.  If you are unhappy with the family you have in front of you, get over it.  Life is too short to let another human make you feel less than.  There is no magic formula for discovering how to do this but reminding yourself to be you and that you are enough is a good start. Once you let go of all the negative feelings you will start to feel free from fixating and free from guilt.

I have come to learn that no one else can take the place of a step parent! Step parents give unconditional love in a situation where it is not necessary to do so- your choice to love and bond with your stepson is magical too! Embrace that, don't compete with his birth mother! Even if you don't like the way things are run at her house- remember that fantasies kids make up about their parents unravel. As time passes he will be grateful you were there to teach him to be responsible and, if you can stop fixating on his birth mother and have a limited but positive relationship with her, he will be grateful for the life you gave his entire family. Remember who you are at where this all started: because two people fell in love.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Get Ready for NYCC and Halloween with these awesome Autumn books!

Disney Publishing loves to outdo themselves and these Fall pics (which came out this summer) are sure to get you in the mood for Comic Con and Halloween!

As if the release of the literary version of Hocus Pocus is not gift enough, this book comes split into two parts: first the original story, and then the ALL-NEW SEQUEL! Oh My Disney released this article with a little back story on the new characters! Let me just tell you that fans of this, well, fandom will not be disappointed! I don't want to give any spoilers but if this is one of your beloved films, I truly believe this will be one of your most beloved books!

And as if that hasn't been exciting enough! Britta Lunden (a writer for the CW's Riverdale) released this amazing young adult book Ship It through their FreeForm division this Spring! My teen stepdaughter had nothing but rave reviews! She started to tell me part after part and then stopped herself to save me from spoilers because "you HAAAAAAVE to read it!" It was by far her favorite summer read this year and I can say that it honestly completely reinvigorated her love of reading! 

And she was right about her review! Once I picked it up I loved the story that revolved around fandoms, friendship, and even had an awesome comic convention setting!
 If you want to check out my stepdaughter's take on her teen summer reading, check out her Instagram book review page, if you want to check out these two amazing Fall finds follow the links above or stop by your local book store! 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Our go-to Disney Park Bag!

When we first got our hands on the adorable Petunia Picklebottom Axis Backpack, I knew it was going to come with me on many adventures! We have been to countless soccer games and zoo trips but above all, it was indescribably helpful our our recent trip to the Walt Disney World Resort! My kids love this bag as much as my husband and I! They are always doing things like filling the wipe container with snacks or shoving cameras in tiny pockets that are so smart and innovative!

(Sorry for hazy pics, it was so humid I couldn't keep my lens clear!)
We loved that now that our kids our big the hidden bottle pocket fits a perfect sunscreen spray, the cooler bottom kept our waters cold on the hottest July days Florida had this year (and kept them away from our other items) and the top part of the bag had perfect space to fit our purchases, our wipes (doesn't matter how old your kids are, the wipes are always needed, amiright?), and there were so many pouches we could keep all three of the kids pin lanyards separated! What more could you ask for in a Disney bag? "A cute Disney pattern" you say.  Well done and done, besides the Pooh & Friends pattern we have there is also an adorable Mickey & Minnie pattern available! And possibly the cutest of all is the new Stitch collaboration!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Summer Reads for School Age Star Wars fans!

In our house, the discovery of Tom Angleberger's writing was a beautiful moment in time for my stepson. Not only was Origami Yoda a new take on his favorite fandom, but he and the main character share the same name. There is no better jackpot for a 4th grader, really.  He devoured the entire series, and spent most of the Spring he was in 4th grade carrying his own Origami Yoda with him all over town (and creating his own origami characters).  He was over the moon (even though two years have passed since his obsession with that series) to find out that Angleberger released The Mighty Chewbacca and the Forest of Fear! He nearly snatched it out of my hand when our Disney Books package arrived! 

When I asked him for some details to post about, he revealed many plot points and spoilers so I will simply leave it at: this is an adventure the size of a wookie! And if you doubt how much my boy loved this book, take a look at where I found it when I went in his room to swipe it for some pictures!
Next up for my Star Warrior? Rae Carson's Most Wanted a story from the Solo era. 

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