Two years, 6 months & 3 days ago, I met my soul mate. Last month, me & my four children moved into his home. We brought our cat. And then we went out & got a puppy last week. Three bedrooms in a full basement finishing project are 95% complete. A house owned by me is sitting, empty of humans yet half full of my worldly possessions, fate undetermined. We still have a family room & bathroom that need to be dry-walled, painted, etc. School just started, my work schedule has changed, I'm relearning how to be a mom. Talk about strange...being a mom for 17 years, and suddenly feeling as if you don't know *how* to be a mom. I'm also back to being a "wife". We aren't married, but once again I'm finding myself no longer being the only parent, the only one who needs work clothes washed, the only deciding factor in menu planning, or the only one who hates to pay bills. Did I mention the puppy?
I'm already questioning my sanity. I've been chasing the proverbial bone for over a year. I wanted it, so bad my mouth was drooling. I pushed & planned & worked HARD to catch the bone. Now it's sitting square between my jaws, and I'm ecstatic. But, I dunno what the hell to do with it. Gnaw on it? Bury it? Give it to the cat? Throw it in the air & let it hit me on the head?
And that's why I'm here....
"Don't do it. You'll be sorry."
"It's the hardest thing we've ever done."
"It was almost the end of our relationship."
"You're crazy. It won't work."
"Patience & grace. Lots of both. It's the only way."
"Love will not be enough to hold things together."
"If I did it all over again, I would run the other way, FAST."
These are things I've been told in response to my questions about blending families. I've read in forums dedicated to step mothers (evil & angelic alike), and the general consensus was always "my stepkids are the devil's spawn". I was overwhelmed at times with the level of resentment, anger & general "I hate my life" some of the women portrayed in their writings. It seemed so....wrong. And not the kind of person I wanted to be. Not the kind of experience I wanted to have. There had to be another way. There had to be successful blendings out there. There had to be moms who were blessed, and dare I say thankful, for their "bonus kids". And I was going to be one of those, if it killed me.
I suppose I should stop here, and apologize in advance if I've already offended someone, in my very first post. For this blog to be successful, for it to serve it's purpose to *me*, I'll have to be brutally honest in every syllable. I could tiptoe around the issues, and sugar coat the words, but what good would that do? If what I'm looking for is a way to stay sane, an avenue of escape & a quest for "answers to the age-old blending without murder or straitjacket questions", I'm going to have to throw politically correct out the window, and just type. So, let it be understood, I am not potentially offensive intentionally. I'm only me.. honest, and uncensored. Moving on...
It's been almost a month. One of the hardest months I've experienced in a long while.Emotionally, it's been on par with my divorcing days. I've had a moment or two where I've silently asked myself if I was doing the right thing. I've considered "going home", and realized this *is* home. I've felt pure joy, pride, anger, sadness, hope & everything in between. To say it's been a roller coaster would be slightly less dramatic then I want to convey here...it's been a wooden roller coaster, going 95.7 mph, with a hill that flips your stomach & makes ya barf on the guy behind you, right before sending you into a bumpy corkscrew that shouldn't even exist on a wood coaster. And your seat belt is broken, oh by the way. And when you get off, you feel sick, giddy & frothing at the mouth to do it again. Silly, silly, silly. But we've all been there, right?
We've had drama (ala 3 teen girls), a few kids who want to "go home", or "go to Mars", or go "anywhere but here". We've had heart to hearts, tears & a bit more yelling then we'd like. There have been major rules broken, a few tests of resolve & commitment & consequences. And it's only been a month. I now have a bit more sympathy for the women I judged as "evil, ungrateful, bitchy step-moms". I now understand they may have it worse then me. I now recognize they may have not had a venting venue, other then the postings that spewed their frustrations. I now see a glimpse of their reality.. I still think there is a better way, hope for my story to end differently.
This is just the beginning, rough as it is. I honestly think at this stage of the game, survival mixed with love & laughter is the goal. Sanity is over-rated, ice cream & rum are not.