Sucky Step Parents

I always tell my friends its not easy being a stepmom. But let’s be honest, being a step parent is far from easy! Though there may be many struggles and hurdles when being a step parent, there are things that you need to keep in mind to better your situation, whatever it may be. Don’t be a sucky step parent, embrace that with the love of your spouse, along came a bonus of blessings in your step children.Your step children will have inner and outer traits of your spouse, how can you now want to love them? In my opinion, step parents are bonus parents for children and put in their lives to give them extra childhood memories and more love.

Drama

Drama flares up when people are jealous, still have harsh feelings, are control freaks, and make decisions that benefit themselves instead of the children. You have to learn how to pick and choose your battles. Is something really worth arguing about and exchanging harsh words over when it’s out of your control and just going to distance your step child from you? I think not. If it’s something petty that is crawling under your skin, blow it off, it’s not worth upsetting all parties involved or being upset over it yourself. Also, never involve children in any arguments or try to pin them against parents or step parents. Every time you involve children in arguments, it robs them from childhood time and exposes them to adult issues that they may not understand and be too much to handle.

Give Credit

So you may or may not like your spouse’s ex, but, your stepchild has wonderful manners, grades, always respectful, and says great things about their other parent. They are obviously doing something right, so before you decide to hate on your spouse’s ex for immature reasons think of those things. Giving credit works both ways too. If you are the custodial parent and your children love your ex’s new spouse, don’t be jealous, and be thankful! Would you rather they treat your child like dirt? If you are blessed with your child having great step parents, being appreciative of them and giving a simple thank you would mean so much. Not all blended families are that lucky.

Sharing things

Sharing the child’s things between the two families is often a touchy subject. What’s the point in fighting over clothes and toys when they don’t belong to you, your spouse, or your spouse’s ex and belong to the child? Be mature and don’t argue over material things. If something holds sentimental value that you purchased, then that’s a different story and it may just take some simple explaining to the other parent(s) and/or children.

Family ties

When you marry someone with children, they are a package deal; even more so if your spouse has full custody. The children involved have no choice in picking their step parents. You have to keep in mind that their lives were completely different prior to you and some may still even be going through a rough time accepting the divorce. Be patient and understanding with your step children; all good solid relationships take those two things the most.

Be Fair

If both your spouse and you have children, keep in mind that after you get married, all children are YOUR children together. Not one of them should get any special treatment over the other. They should all be loved, supported equally, and taken care of all the same. That should go for discipline as well. Everything being fair in the household also teaches your children respect authority and to treat all walks of life with kindness.

Show some respect

Whether you like your spouse’s ex or not, that is who they had children with. They will always be in your life as long as you are with your spouse. Be civil and respectful; keep the best interests of the children in mind, and be a good example to them. Even if the other party doesn’t meet you halfway, at least in the children’s eyes you are the bigger person. It’s not that hard to do.

Communication

Good communication=good step children. Always keep positive when dealing with negative people because positivity always wins. If your spouse’s ex is constantly trying to create some sort of drama and you are doing just the opposite, it gets noticed by the children. Don’t stoop to a low level; be the bigger person, it’s so much better for the relationship with your step children, your spouse, and yourself.

In closing

Every blended family is different. All we can do as step parents is be a good influence in our step children’s lives by consistently being the positive reinforcement. Challenging yes, worth it definitely.

Step Mom & Step Daughter Selfie

Step Mom & Step Daughter Selfie

 

My 4-Legged Heart

Fate unexpectedly brought love into my life 2 years ago. He wags his tail with excited when I get home, licks my face like I’m the biggest lollipop in the world, and has little glistening eyes of joy when he looks at me. Just a dog you say? No, this is a big heart on four legs; he runs, jumps, rolls around, and sometimes sleeps all day but has nothing but unconditional love to give. The days I was alone, with no one to comfort me in sadness, he was there to squeeze. When I felt unloved and like my life had no direction, he would lay his little head on my chest and the look he would give me was filled with hope. When I was angry with myself for decisions I had made, he’d throw his toy duck at me to make me laugh. When I was separated, there were many days I would sit outside in tears, looking up at the sky and wondering when the pain would go away, it was him that would lift up my arm with his little wet nose to snuggle next to me, letting me know everything was going to be OK and get better.

Now that I am happy, my days are much better and my future seems brighter, he is still there, happy to see me, eager to love me, and always ready to comfort me, day and night. So you see, this isn’t just a dog…this was another life put into mine to be rescued, when all along fate knew it was I that was going to need the rescuing. No one will ever understand the love you can have for a pet, unless you have that love for a pet yourself. I know other pet parents out there know exactly what I mean.

Happy 3rd birthday to my dachshund, Razoo; I hope we bring just as much joy into your life, as you have into ours. Many barks to many more healthy years here with us.

Razoo & April Monterrosa

Relationship Stalling

Those of you in long term relationships probably talk to your girlfriends and/or family about this topic all the time. You’ve been a relationship for a long time, maybe even have kids, and your other half has not yet popped the question.  Now I’m not talking about couples that agree to not get married, marriage isn’t for everyone. I am talking about women who dream of walking down the aisle with the man they are in love with. The ones that always hint they would love to be married. You have put in years into being with your boyfriend, accepted him for all that he is (even his kids), and moved in with him under the impression that he is going to get on his knee and soon pull out that diamond ring. You look forward to Valentine’s Day, Christmas, your birthday, and any holiday that would give him the chance to take this step finally…and every year that goes by…nothing happens.

Being divorced once, engaged, and now remarried; I can honestly tell you why your other half has not popped the question. It’s simply because they do not want too. When a man loves a woman (or vice versa), he will do everything in his power to make her happy. If she wants to seal the deal and get married, he will make that happen. No ifs, ands, or buts…whether it be a big or small wedding, there’s always payments, savings accounts to take advantage of, and hell, he can get a part time job! Eloping to courthouse is not expensive at all…just FYI.

relationship quotes

Friends that have been in this situation have vented to me and I always ask them what their boyfriend’s excuses are for not wanting to tie the knot. Let’s see…my all time favorite one…money. That is the crappiest excuse ever! Get another job if you half to…stop spending money on things that are not needed…grow up and make your woman happy. Money comes and goes…with a little hard work this wedding can happen. Next excuse…”I’m just not ready”…really? But you were ready to move in together and share bills? And even have children?  Come on now, how fair is that? Another good one…”we’ll plan it next year”…why  NEXT year and not THIS year…if you do wait to start planning that next year and nothing happens AGAIN…yeah, he most likely  does not want to get married.

I could go on and on and list excuses as to why these men full of excuses do not want to get married knowing their woman wants to. I was with an excuse maker myself, I learned that the excuses never changed and the more time went on, I still was not getting what I wanted from the relationship. You have to ask yourself if you are willing to put what you really want aside just to keep the peace in the relationship…or keep your boyfriend period. Do you really want to settle? If so, then don’t complain. I do know a couple of friends that gave their other halves the marriage ultimatum, I don’t know if I’d want to pressure someone into marrying me, but it did work for them, and they do seem happy. My husband left a 12 year career and moved from another stated to be with me without even being asked. So again, when a man really loves a woman, he will do whatever he can to be with her, make her happy, and most of all put a ring on it and make her his. Know your worth and stop waiting around for something that you know is not going to happen.

marriage

 

Step-Families & Smartphones

I belong to a few step family and step mom social media groups, one of the most common questions that gets posted is about the blended families being on each other’s social media pages. Some families agree with being on their step children’s parents social media pages to be able to see what they are doing and get pictures. Now while most blended families would disagree with this, in my opinion, it all depends on the situation. In my case, I am very open on my face book page; every person on my friends list knows me personally, my family, or is a close client. Though I think my stepdaughter’s mom is really cool and we get along well, I feel that I am not that close to her (yet) to share some of my personal posts. My husband no longer has any social media pages and other social sites I am on, like Twitter and Instagram, are public because I don’t mind sharing those.

I understand Facebook is a great tool to exchange pictures, but for blended families, there is a possibility it can also stir up harsh feelings, cause drama, and I don’t think exes need to keep tabs on you and your spouse’s whereabouts and vice versa. Some things are just not sharable and some families don’t even get along at all to even want to be on each other’s social media pages.

Email and texting is another great way to exchange pictures and video, but when you have tons of pictures (as I usually do) and big video files, email and text does have a limit and you are not able to share them that way. The best thing that has worked for my husband and I, is Dropbox.

dropbox-logoWhat’s Dropbox? “Dropbox is a home for all your photos, docs, videos, and files. Anything you add to Dropbox will automatically show up on all your computers, phones (android and iphone) and even the Dropbox website — so you can access your stuff from anywhere.

With the Smartphone craze these days, everyone has downloaded an app or two on their phones. The Dropbox app is a free download and service (unless you need more memory) and can be accessed anywhere. I even use it for work files and sharing pictures with my family. I take lots of pictures and video wherever I go, it is time consuming to have to upload them to the computer and then break them down into emails. With Dropbox, we click on all the pictures we want to share with my step daughter’s mom, upload them to her Dropbox folder, and she can view all of them in minutes due to the shared folder feature. With the shared folder feature, you can add anyone to the folder via email to have access to any of your folders.

Dropbox can also be downloaded to your laptop, desktop, and tablets. If you ever lost any of your devices or got them wet, your pictures, videos, and files are safe in your Dropbox folders and you can access them anywhere you can log into your Dropbox account. To learn more about Dropbox, check out their website. With such a neat and handy app, there should be no reason for blended families not to share pictures and videos of the children between them. Please share this idea with other step families.

For Stepmoms on Facebook, be sure to visit this great Support page: https://www.facebook.com/StepmomSupportPage

Shine Beautifully

 

 

 

 

 

Step Mom Stories 1

Today my husband and I went Halloween costume shopping for my bonus child (aka stepdaughter). This was the first time I went shopping for my favorite holiday, in one of my favorite stores for someone other than myself. If you knew me personally and how much I love Halloween, you’d understand. We had so much fun on our mission to find the complete Elsa costume. It may be early September, but as big of a hit Disney’s Frozen was, some places are already sold out. After driving out of town and to the opposite end of the city from our home, the mission was accomplished.  Luckily the Party City team was very helpful in our search and was the main reason we found everything easily.

Something happened today though. After all the laughter, fun, and excitement, there was pure silence between my husband and me on our way home. I wasn’t sure if he was angry, upset, or sad. Come to find out, it was all of the above. I think it finally hit my husband that he (we) are not a part of many big events in his daughters life. Sure we have summers, holidays, Face time, Skype, and pictures. But that is not the same as walking her to the first day of school, waking up at night because she is sick, taking her trick or treating, and going to school plays. Divorce and living in different states changes so many things between parents and their children.

shine beautifully

This is my second time being a step mom; it is very challenging. I am grateful that my step daughter’s mother and I get along; everyone is on the same page when it comes to behavior issues, and we are able to speak with her daily. Everyone’s relationship has changed drastically in the last couple of years and for the better. There are just some things as a step parent that you have no say so in, feel like your opinion doesn’t matter, and most of all fix things to make them easier for everyone.

Being a step parent, as much as you’re involved, you are still an outsider looking in. It was hard for me to see my husband so down and out today. Not only did he miss out on many things in his daughters earlier years, now that he has spent time with her and misses her, it’s harder to not be a part of her everyday life. Sadness filled his face as he told me we were going to miss out on Halloween, we will always miss the first day of school, and there’s got to be some way we can change that to where we can all get to enjoy those things. As his wife and the step parent, I was quiet and listened. I told him he needs to be honest and if he wants more information, time to talk to his daughter, pictures, and Skype time; it’s OK to ask for that.

I am all about communication to change things for the better. He was not raised that way and is learning that is how things get solved. Eggshells are constantly walked on in situations like these because the feelings of very different people are involved. I hope we can somehow make this separation not feel as rough as it has been for him. As a spouse, it’s hard to see your other half sad and missing his child. Like I said, being a step parent is very challenging. I plan on sharing my step parent stories to reach out to other step parents. I want them to know they are not alone.

Husband Modeling his Daughter's Elsa Costume

Husband Modeling his Daughter’s Elsa Costume

 

 

Online Dating Advantages

Many people are against online dating and of course you do hear the horror stories. If you are careful and safe, online dating can be a way to lead you to many amazing people. I know many couples that have been together quite sometime that met online…I happened to be of them and celebrated my 4 year anniversary just yesterday. For those of you already doing the online dating thing, good luck and hope you find what you’re looking for! Of course you can debate the advantages and disadvantages of online dating endlessly, but let’s look at the advantages of online dating websites and be positive about this new way of meeting people.

1. Because online dating is more about interacting by email and other electronic means than it is about admiring each other’s looks, who you are plays a greater part from the beginning than it does in an offline relationship.

2. Anonymity is also an advantage of online dating websites because it allows people to speak more freely.

3. You can rule people out based on their profile while selecting others who look interesting based on their profile information – definitely a big advantage of online dating over offline.

4. The factor in 3 above means that you save a lot of time in finding the right person.

5. If you are rejected by someone online it affects you less than if you were dating face-to-face: that has to be another amongst the big advantages of online dating websites.

6. Online dating is generally safer than offline dating. You don’t share your contact details with someone until you are really sure you want to, someone you have been talking to for a while and with whom you feel comfortable.

7. It’s very exciting! Offline dating is very exciting too of course, but the power and functionality you have in looking at lots of people’s profiles and contacting lots of people who sound nice is a very stimulating thing in itself!

Date

My 4th Wedding Anniversary

The Labor Day weekend vibe always brings back memories of our spontaneous decision to elope on a rainy Labor Day weekend 4 years ago. I cannot not believe how fast the years have gone by; being friends for many years, deployments, long distance dating, traveling back and forth between different states, huge life changing transitions, hitting a really rough patch, separating, and fighting for what we both didn’t want to end brought us here…still together. Every day I learn something new about my husband, myself, and married life. But after all the bad stuff we both went through before working things out, I feel we are on a new level of getting to know each other. The little details you think go unnoticed have turned into the big things that stand out the most. wedding anniversary

For better or worse has a whole new meaning to me now; I think the both of us needed to lose each other to realize how much we loved one another and what truly mattered.  No communication has turned into being completely open, that lead to more respect, and has moved us both closer to each other. Big decisions and life changing obstacles have become so much easier to handle and deal with together. Even though we lost what we had before our separation, what we gained has been so much better. For those that took those vows of marriage and going through a rough time, take some time out to collect your thoughts, stop being angry, and make sure you do everything you can to make things work as long as your spouse is meeting you halfway. It’s worth it.

This year we spent our anniversary at home, laughing with my step daughter on Skype, eating take out, listening to the Bob Marley station on Pandora, and enjoying our home. It even rained today just like it day the day we eloped…Simply perfect…

Sept. 3, 2010

Sept. 3, 2010-Labor Day Weekend