The honeymoon is over.
Meet me, the official bitchy step-mom who makes lunches, does laundry, buys double hairspray AND double hair gel (because heaven forbid we share if our dna is different), & becomes a freakin' contortionist in her quest to make everyone as happy as possible.
I may sound angry, but in reality, I'm not. I'm just resigned to the fact that over the last week, I have been put in my place, so to speak. The everything-is-smiles-and-love rug? Pulled out from under me. My "I'm going to make everyone happy, and we'll be the happiest family that ever lived happily ever after" bubble? Burst, and disgusting ooze came out. True story. My gushing about everything going soooo unexpectedly well? Meh.
Truth be told, I'm having as hard of a time adjusting as everyone else (even you, my dear bonus daughters). Laundry for 8 isn't the same as laundry for 5, no matter how ya fold ya. Slice it anyway you please, but dinner for eight isn't as simple as dinner for 5. Let's face it...food choices that 8 people from totally different "normals" can agree on? Non-existent. And being "mom" to 6 isn't quite the same as mom to 4, especially when 2 of the six don't want a mom, a female role-model, or even anything that closely resembles a female authority. And by authority, I mean presence in the house other then "visitor who only talks to her own kids".
I mention laundry a lot, I know. It's almost as if it never existed until now, the way it's changed in my perception of "what is a big deal right now, what isn't". I don't mind the task. And it really isn't a big deal, at all. It's just...different now. Like everything else. Things are changed.
Last night, I had an emergency "girl chat" with T's younger daughter. I guess I had hurt her feelings with something I said earlier in the day, and on top of being picked on in school, she was drowning in the "everything has changed in my world" sea. She dealt with it by calling me a female canine, behind my back, in front of my daughter. Who, of course, told me in the midst of our "girl chat" regarding her bad days, sadness, grumpiness, and "my whole world has changed" sea-ventures. And I wasted no time in addressing the issue, and restating my one non-negotiable....if you have a problem with me, tell ME. Don't talk behind my back about how I yelled at you for being awake at 8 am on a day you stayed home sick. Especially when it was just a question, asked out of curiosity, and explained as such when 2.6 seconds after it was asked, it was obvious I ruffled your feathers. Don't carry around a deep seated, three-day-long anger at me for something I did (but don't know I did), or didn't do (but thought I did). Just talk to me. I'm not the devil. I don't (usually) bite. I have grumpy days, just like you. I don't even care if you don't wanna like me. I'm not the enemy. I'm just the woman who moved in, and wants to make this transition as easy on you as I can...
Tears. And silence. And a pretty clear air of I'm being misunderstood, or at least unheard. Even this morning, I didn't even get a good morning, screw you, or thank you for the lunch you packed. And it's spread to her older sister, who undoubtedly has been told all about our "girl chat", with a twist. So yippee, I've somehow managed to alienate both of them, without even trying. I guess that's what evil stepmothers do. And my daughter apparently deserves the cold shoulder as well, because she told. Sigh.
I love these girls, with all my heart. I'm determined to make this work. I am just now painfully aware that for awhile, it's going to be like walking through a minefield, blindfolded, with snowshoes on. Cue a lightening storm. Yes, like that.
It gets better, or so I'm told.