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Break Through in Mother's Day

StepMat789's picture

I have read over and over it takes 7-8 years to blend a family...

I have been part of this community now for five years and I have my ups and downs and I have come here many times to vent due to my blended family issues.

My husband and I have six kids between us, they all lived with us until they started flying the next.  This year we have had two of them away at college with the final two at home.  Every year on Mother's Day, I struggle.  My mom died a few years ago, my skids normally do everything imaginable to ensure I know I am not their Mother on Mother's day even though I am the one who washed their uniforms, packed their lunches, made sure they got from point A to point B...and who was always there for every single minute of their playing time and performances.  (Their BIO mom lives many hours away and only graces them with her presence twice a year.)

This year was the first time I was happy to great Mother's Day head-on.  I wasn't going to worry if the skids put on an elaborate production for their grandma and aunt and left me with nothing but avoidance.  This year I was beyond surprised.  The two college skids came in with big smiles on their faces and my heart sank, they walked up to their grandma and gave her hugs and kisses and a card, they walked up to their aunt and gave her hugs and kisses and card.  They both stopped at me, bend down and gave me hugs that lasted for a minute and gave me a huge card.  We all sat and ate and the oldest SKID actually sat next to me at dinner.  When everyone was opening their cards, I opened mine.  Out came two long letters handwritten by both of them.  I was racing through the first line and the tears started to fall....

The year of them being in college, realizing the sacrifices I made with my career to put them through a private university, all the times they said I went above and beyond and how I shaped them into the people they are today.   Then the apology, they listed just about every time they knew they broke my heart and apologized.  

Of course, I cried.  Then one of the college SKIDS said to me, being away from home and hearing how our friends have parents who don't care, or a step parent who hates them, made us realize what we had and what we don't ever want to live without.  This next part, really stuck to me....

Our dad is better off with you in his life, you bring out the best in him.  I am better with you in my live because I have learned to love and trust where I didn't feel that way before and because of you, I have strong positive relationships in my life....which is true...because they have changed since they went to school.  

This morning, when my husband dropped me off at the University, one of my skids was walking to class right in front of the building I was going into, I hollered over.  With a huge smile the SKID same running over and first thing, "Did you have a great Mother's Day?"  I said the best.  Then we started talking about finals.  

So I am going to take this moment and burn it into my brain.  So for all of us Step Parents, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  I have wanted to give up a hundred times....but didn't.  Finally, when I got to the place where I wasn't going to let it affect my mood, I saw a change.  My husband sat there in awe yesterday, I think he shucked a tear or two as well.

Happy Mother's Day to you all! 



RogueSM's picture

This was nice of them to do and glad you got the recogntiion you deserve.  

Siemprematahari's picture

So happy to read this and know that you are an awesome MOM/StepMom......even if they didn't acknowledge (although happy they did) you please know that you are amazing and nothing will ever change what you have done for them and the impact that you have had in their lives.

Rock on StepMat!!!

shamds's picture

said she read it takes 10 years for a family to properly blend. She was at the 8 year mark and i was around 3yrs married to hubby. She totally understood and remembered all those initial feelings and treatment we get. 

She told me even though it may appear everything is fine it really isn’t, she still has those issues with behaviour problems like her youngest sd but other than thay everyone is fine. 

She said it was important to communicate as a family and lay everything on the table with skids how you feel etc. I am 4.5 yrs married and no hope. It just feels it gets progressively worse... skids are not ever gonna sit down so we can hash this out... 

its great when skids are able to reflect and appreciate they had it really good compared to others...

thinkthrice's picture

but it is NOT the norm.  If there is even a SPECK of immaturity/jealousy/"punish dad for moving on"  in the BM combined with a smidge of Guilty/Disney Daddy in biodad, there will most likely be zero "blending."

StepMat789's picture

I learned some very important lessons during this 10 years of being married:

1.  I love him and all the baggage he and I brought into our marriage.  All the wounds, scars, insecurities, hope, beliefs, dreams and love and yes the brainwashed, broken, amazing children we have.  

2.  My perception of things isn't always reality.  In the beginning, I forgot to put myself in my Kids/SKIDS shoes.   They never asked for a new family, new sibs, or a new step parent.  They are children.....not adults.

3. I failed many, many times.  I about gave up a hundred times.  But, I always tried to do the best I could....because that is who I am.

4.  I had to force myself into "not caring" sometimes and put on my game face mode because that is how I survived.  

5.  I learned in order for me to make the change, I had to let go of some of my own ways of doing things, expectations, and let them help drive the direction.  My favorite is when I just refused to clean the house for a week, did only my laundry and my kids, didn't cook for them, took me and my kids out for dinner.  They had a wake-up call when their underwear wasn't clean, they couldn't find a clean fork and there was no milk for cereal.  All of a sudden it was time to clean up the house, and I was there to lend a hand and I learned the cute little soap that no one uses, really had no place in our home of 8.  Letting go....

6. While this stepmat, has been walked on numerous times, mocked, ridiculed, and ignored.... I learned these SKIDS can change.  Because they did something for me that I will never forget....they said they were sorry.   They realized the hurt they caused and acknowledged my dedication to them.   Now, does that mean the next time they are home they will not be using my antique quilts....oh, I am sure they will...which I why the top two in the chest are not my antique quilts but rather ones I picked up at an auction dirt cheap....the good ones are stored below.  

7.  In the beginning of our marriage and starting our blended family, I wish I would have been more open and less of trying to make our family run the way I grew up, how my kids were growing up, less schedule and more listening and enjoyment of each other.   Time takes it tole, and I am 100% certain as my children, all of my children continue through the pathway of life....more bumps will occur.  I just hope I can remind myself the solution and not the driving force.  

BLENDING DOES HAPPEN.  Love to you all.