Have You…

“Have you blogged lately?” my darling husband asked, after a seemingly restless evening.  He doesn’t read my blog much (not that anyone does,) so it meant a lot to me that he noticed that I hadn’t put many thoughts down as of late.  I felt oddly heard?  Noticed?  Acknowledged?  It felt good that he’d asked about something that I’d been doing… or haven’t for that matter.

I’ve been pretty stressed out lately.

I’m not as happy as I once was with my work situation.  I mean it’s a far cry from the job I had before that made me come home in tears every day.  But the back and forth back and forth just isn’t okay.  Re-negotiations on my pay scales, approved overtime to work on special projects no longer available because a part timer person will just be brought in to take on some of my regular tasks so that I can focus on something else that has nothing to do with our company.  Not enough staffing to be able to take a sick day when I can barely breathe.  Worrying about if there’s going to be enough money in the bank in a few months to be able to pay all of the expenses.  That should be a personal problem, not a professional problem.  Overtime that was supposed to be paid out weekly in the new year turned into time-in-lieu instead…..trying to figure out how to take 6 weeks off from work between said time in lieu + vacation time.  It just sucks ’cause the bossman is an excellent person and has helped our family out a great deal.  But when it comes to workflow, everything is in shambles.  If I were single without stepchildren, maybe I wouldn’t care as much, but my marriage and my relationships with my husband’s children are more important to me than that.

Which brings me to my next point of stress.  Being a step parent sucks sometimes.  It’s wonderful because it’s filled a little bit of a void I’ve had on the kid front.  After having 5 miscarriages and not being able to have children of my own, I sometimes struggle with knowing I’m an amazing parent and that I have a lot to contribute to a tiny life…..it’s just that I can’t bring that life into this world.  It sucks because something that happened before me dictates part of my current life.  It sucks more because I don’t directly have a voice in the matter; thankfully my husband stands his ground now and voices what’s best for all involved, even in the face of objection.
Over the last 2 years, my step kids’ bio mom hasn’t given me the time of day.  I’ve tried to put many different olive branches out there and have tried to bridge the gap.  I’ve gone out of my way to try to not cross boundaries and to put a hard divide between mom and step mom.  I know that I’m not her favorite person.  I know that she has certain insecurities.  And that’s okay.  But what’s not okay is not giving another human being a certain degree of common courtesy, then just inviting yourself over to interact with them.  I’m sorry, if you can’t so much as say hello to me in a public place, you have no business trying to integrate yourself into my life.  I’m thankful that he told her no.  I’m thankful that he stood up for me.  I wish I could stand up for myself, though.

Anywho, these things have been weighing on me.  Plus being sick hasn’t helped.  The kids were sick, then I had a fit of allergy madness, then my husband got sick and is getting over the crud, but now the kids are back and one of them is sick…again…. I swear they’re always sick. Sometimes it just feels like there’s always something, and no amount of self care really helps alleviate the stress.  So that’s sorta where I’m at right now and the reason for the lack of blogging.  Hopefully soon I’ll snap out of it and will have the mental capacity to write on a regular basis again.

 

Lazy Day

Because of the most absurd custody arrangement that my husband is subjected to, every Christmas day is fairly uneventful. We dropped the kids off on Christmas Eve and proceeded to have some much needed time together.

We had a full on lazy day.

We stayed in bed longer than normal. We had a huge brunch and played video games. We watched some Netflix. We cooked supper then played some more video games. Aside from a couple of hectic phonecalls, today was pleasantly uneventful.

We needed it.

I don’t think people truly appreciate the impact that the occasional lazy day can have on people. How well it can help rejuvenate and refresh you from being so run down.

Happy Canadaversary

Exactly one year ago, my dog and I came to Canada. Mold in my home displaced me, so I ended up moving to be with my husband before we anticipated. How have I been the past year?

Well let’s see. I married my best friend, became a stepmother, and now have an awesome family. I got my permanent residency. Per my last post, I’ve found that I don’t mean as much to some people as I thought. It’s a lot colder here. I’ve been treated like absolute shit by my stepchildren’s mother. I’ve been treated incredibly by everyone else. I had a horrible job, then got a really great one. I’m a lot less stressed. I’m healthy and happy. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve grown as a person.

Canada looks good on me. I’m thankful that I had the ability to pack it all up to be able to be with my husband so that we could have a new life together. Happy Camadaversary. It’ll be nice growing old here.

Til Ikea Do Us Part

“In sickness and in health, til death do us part.”

Maybe there should be something about insanity and Ikea added in there.

My husband and I live in a small, but comfortable, two bedroom home. Here they’re called suites, back home it’d be considered a duplex or a mother-in-law apartment. The house was finished being built about a year and a half ago, the price can’t be beat, and our landlady is amazing. The downfall is that my husband has 3 children, so things can be a little cramped when they’re home here.

When we decided to lease this place, I started the hunt for some furniture for the kids. I opted for the Tuffing bunkbed from Ikea. It holds twin sized mattresses, but is also short and low to the ground – tall bunks make me nervous from a safety standpoint. Plus, of the two bedrooms, one is quite a bit smaller than the other. We’ve had the two older kids in the smaller room and the youngest in our room, which was fine, but limited their play spaces. This weekend we opted to change the arrangements around and put all three kiddos into the larger room, giving my husband and I the smaller of the two so that the kids have more room to play, even with their little brother’s bed in there too. The final result is fantastic, but it was certainly an adventure getting there.

As I mentioned above, the Tuffing bed is great because it holds twin mattresses instead of kid sized ones and it’s fairly low to the ground. (I can make up the top bed without having to climb up there.) The downfall? It’s a major pain in the ass to put together. Even bigger downfall? It’s an even bigger pain in the ass to take apart and reassemble. But we did it. There was blood. But we did it. There was cussing. But we did it.

We did it.

And you know what? It gave me this odd sense of added security in our marriage. My husband and I have always worked well together, communicated efficiently, and BOTH put a lot of effort into our marriage. Tearing down a large piece of Ikea furniture ad reconstructing it together with minimal issue feels like an odd token of our ability to work together. Take that Ikea!

I hope the kids enjoy their new space as we try to save up for the ability to move into a larger home in the future ❤️

Super Dad

Y’all.

My head has been pounding most of the day. It’s been an exhausting weekend. I’m not sure if they’re feeling off or if something happened before they were dropped off to us, but the kids have been in a crabby and erratic mood most of the weekend. It’s abnormal. Like the twilight zone. Like night and day. It’s been rough.

Somehow my husband has been magically hanging in there keeping the household ship afloat whilst I’m trying to take a nap. It’s not working great because the youngest is still squealing, but at least it’s a giggly squealing now. He’s been in that phase recently where if he doesn’t get what he wants or isn’t picked up, he just starts screaming. According to the other two kids, their mother just gives into it and gives him what he wants to make him quiet down. I hope that isn’t the case, as I really don’t want him to grow up thinking if he throws a fit he will get what ever he wants.

Anywho back to Super Dad! I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to our household. I do the meal planning, budgeting, scheduling and all that. He just sits back and enjoys the ride since he’s been the one who had to do all of that on his own for years. I needed a break today to ride out this headache before it turns into a full on migraine. I know I struggle with just doing things myself and not asking for help. But he’s gone above and beyond to do all the things I would normally do. And without a single complaint. He’s got board games and story time going, keeping everyone relatively occupied and happy….and without the use of screens! It’s been good for the kids to have one on one time with Dad too. He’s been able to pick up the ball that I usually roll and is keeping it going no differently than how I would.

And ya know. That’s something I feel like every couple should be able to do. Give and take. But it’s not always 50/50. Sometimes its gotta be 60/40, 80/20, hell sometimes even 98/2. Thanks for being my better half today my dear.

Super Dad to the rescue!!

Stepmother’s Day

I am a childless mom and motherless. That sentence is incredibly hard to share. My own mother was a pillar of physical and mental abuse when I was a child. My step mom meant the world to me even though I didn’t get to see her as often as I’d have liked as a child. And after a multitude of miscarriages, full time motherhood was not the in cards for me. My husband did, however, share three beautiful children with me. Though I did not bring them into this world, I would do almost anything to make them happy and safe. My love for them did not begin from the womb. My love for them began by choice from the heart. It doesn’t make me any less than a mom.

My oldest step son made me a card for mother’s day, but I don’t think he knew how to get it here to his dad’s house. I can’t fault him for it and I desperately wish things could be a little more civil. I wish he felt he could be more open with the relationship he has with me instead of feeling like he has to hide. But it is what it is. It breaks my heart that he curls up in our arms in tears every time he has to go back to his mom’s, begging to be able to stay a little longer. I just tell him that I know how he feels, that daddy and I love him, and that daddy works hard to try to be able to spend as much time with him as he can. I won’t lie, sometimes it’s hard not to tell him it’s because his mother won’t work with us on scheduling and that almost every request for extra time with the kids he has made has been denied. But we can’t. We must never place blame or speak poorly, no matter how true it may be.

Despite not being able to see the kids for mother’s day (which is fine,) they made a point to make sure that I knew I was loved and appreciated. They asked their dad if they could pick out a present and card for me. They picked everything out themselves and it was beautiful. I cried. A lot. It’s amazing how tiny little hands can cradle your entire world.

And I made sure to send my step mom a card and called her as well. Because she deserved it.

So to all the stepmom’s out there, I see you. I feel you. I understand you. And your kids may not understand right now the lengths you go to be the duct tape that keeps the family wheel moving smoothly, but I know. I feel that deep in my soul. Hang in there. It gets easier. ❤️

Happy stepmother’s day

Marriage First

After my post about being the second wife, I feel the need to go a step further, step on more toes, and say even more. Apparently my thoughts are taboo and controversial to many folks. Good.

Here’s another controversy for you… Brace yourselves: You kids shouldn’t always come first. DUN DUN DUN!!! Now before you go on a witch hunt and throw me to the wolves, hear me out.

First and foremost, I’d like to let it be known that if you were to ever attempt to harm my step children, I will spend the rest of my life in prison, no questions asked. My husband and I would make it work. They mean that much to me. However, they are not always #1 in our lives – we are. Does that mean we neglect them in any way, shape, or form? Absolutely not. What does that mean then?

It means we have no problem asking them to color or have some quiet time so that we can unwind a little and have a moment to ourselves. It means that we don’t hide our affections. We hold hands in front of them. We dance in the living room together in front of them. We occasionally kiss in front of them. We make date plans with each other that don’t include them in front of them. We work together as a team in front of them. Why? Because they need a strong example of a good relationship, an example of a good marriage. They need to see that it takes work, love, appreciation, and communication to make relationships work. Furthermore, they’re collateral damage of divorce….they need to see something other than the negativity and strain that they’ve experienced and seen between their biological parents. They need to have hope.

So date your spouses. Put your marriages first. Because in order to be a great parent, you need to have a great foundation. (And if you’re a single parent…. Take care of yourself. Put yourself first time to time. Burnout is a thing and kids need to be introduced to self care too!)