How I’m Rocking Motherhood in my Blended Family, How it Started
As a little girl, I always knew I wanted to be a Mother and I knew I wanted two children, two years apart. So the time comes you fall in love, you get married, you have a baby. Following my childhood created plan, as my daughter turned one, I realized that if I wanted two babies, two years apart, I was going to have to be pregnant soon. Oh, my word. There was no way I was ready for that. So, a year passed then two and three. I was entering my 30’s and didn’t want to be an “old” mother, so I broached the subject to my husband. And wouldn’t you know it, he had changed his mind, he didn’t want another. Our daughter was 5 and in school, she could get dressed, go to the bathroom, feed herself, and she slept well. He didn’t want to go back to night time wake-ups, diaper changing or daycare expenses. I fought hard that neither of us were “only children” and that our siblings meant the world to us and how could we not give our daughter that same opportunity. I won and we had our second daughter.
How It All Changed
After our children arrived our marriage changed. We were never the same. There were many times that I thought about divorce, but I was afraid of how it would affect my girls and what my family would say. I had the mentality that I would stick it out until the kids were grown up. But, 20 years into our marriage my husband had a suicide attempt. It was extremely hard on the girls, and caused a lack of trust for me that ended our marriage. I stuck it out for 14 more months with him, afraid if I left that he would attempt suicide again. I came to the point where I knew my family had fallen apart and we were doing more harm than good to the girls and each other so I divorced him.
A New Beginning
It wasn’t long after that a friendship I had for many years blossomed into more. Neither of us knows how. We often look at each other and say “how did we get here?” We fell in love, got married and I was blessed with a bonus daughter and son. My plan for two children has multiplied into four. This is where my blended family began and it has taught me so many things about myself.
I was tagged in this series Rocking Motherhood by an amazing mom blogger Stephanie Lowry, author of Sicmama.com Her story shows unconditional love to raise a family members children while growing her own family, it is truly inspiring. I’m grateful to have connected with her in the blogging community and that she presented this opportunity. I didn’t believe I was rocking anything, let alone rocking motherhood. After sitting down and really thinking about all the things I do now I can truly say I’m Rocking Motherhood. Thank you for helping me see the things I do well.
So… this is where you learn How I’m Rocking Motherhood In My Blended Family
1st I Put My Children First
My first husband didn’t agree with that, but my Best husband and I agree that children have to be the priority and we come second, to a degree. I know that I have to take care of myself too, but children are only young for a short time then they grow up and move away. They need to know they matter, and that we love them. We have time at night for us after they go to bed that we use to talk, snuggle and watch TV and movies. Most of our date nights are when the younger children are with their mom and my youngest daughter has something planned with a friend, or they include the children.
2nd My Children Now They Can Rely On Me
I have always been there for my girls. School trips, Band Concerts, Doctors Appointments, Sporting Events, wherever they want and need me, I am there. Since my divorce, their father moved out of the country, and has only come back twice. I am their go to parent. This was proven to me when my oldest daughter asked me to walk her down the aisle at her wedding and not her Father. This was a truly amazing honor.
3rd I Am An Advocate For My Daughters’ Disabilities
Both of my daughters have visual impairments. My oldest has Optic Nerve Atrophy. This is a progressive eye disorder where the Optic Nerves waste away causing loss of vision, even up to the point of vision loss. There are no cures or surgeries that correct this, and glasses do not help either. Essentially, it is just monitored and we go for regular eye exams to keep up to date on her vision.
My younger daughter was born with bilateral congenital cataracts. Of course, we have all heard of Cataracts as we age, but I had no idea that you could be born with them. Her cataracts required five eye surgeries by her first birthday. She has no intraocular lenses in her eyes so she is sensitive to bright lights. She has also developed glaucoma, so daily eye drops are needed to keep her eye pressure down. She wears very thick bifocal glasses and her vision is the best it is going to be at 20/80 with glasses on.
I have been there for every eye doctor visit, every surgery, and every tear over the loss of vision. I made arrangements and made sure they were being followed for the girls at school. I help with the driving with my oldest daughter’s husband because she cannot have a license and will do the same for my younger.
4th I Helped My Teenage Daughter Through Her Pregnancy
They were the words that make every mother stop breathing “Mom, I’m Pregnant” She was one month past her 15th birthday. For me in my heart, there was no choice but to be there and help her in whatever way I could. She had a very complicated pregnancy ending up on complete bed rest from 20 weeks on. She had regular doctor’s visits with her local doctor, as well as visits with a high risk doctor an hour away. She also had extra testing, ultrasounds and hospital stays for questions of preterm labor. I was at every appointment, and by her side for every admission. She managed to hold out and deliver a beautiful baby girl at 38 weeks. She defied the stereotype of teenage moms by finishing high school and graduating with her class on time. She earned a CNA certificate through the schools vocational program, so she had a job to support her baby. I am proud of how she juggled school, work and motherhood. I do believe I helped set a good example for her. Now she is Rocking Motherhood too.
5th I Treat My Bonus Children Just Like I Treat My Own
I have been blessed with two incredible bonus children. I love them with all my heart. I treat them just like I treat my own. That includes love, hugs, listening, encouraging, supporting and disciplining. There is no difference in our home of “whose child is whose”. The children are “our” children.
6th I Encourage Each Child To Be an Individual
No two children are the same. Each child has different likes and dislikes, strengths and weakness, abilities and struggles. I build up what makes them unique, supporting them in every way. I encourage them when the fall and I celebrate all their success. Most importantly, even though we have household rules and expectations we do take into consideration the individual child. The 9 year old is not expected to do some of the things the 15 year old is. The 15 year old is visually impaired and she isn’t able to complete some tasks to the same result as her other siblings, she does the best she is able.
7th My Children Can Talk To Me About Anything
I want my children to feel that they can tell or ask me anything. I had very frank conversations with my oldest especially when she was pregnant. The fact that she was able to come to me made me feel like I had a strong bond with her. Both of my girls talked with me often about the suicide attempt of their father and the pain they are left with from that situation. I understand I was the only other person there with them that day and understand their feelings. They don’t always like the answers I give them, no child would. I go into conversations with an open mind and I don’t get mad at what they are saying. I listen carefully and then I offer my “two cents’. Sometimes they take my advice and put it to good use, and sometimes they choose not to. I am completely okay with that. I didn’t listen to all the advice my mother gave me either. I do let them know however, that there can be consequences to their actions and if they choose to take their own path, they have to be able to handle the results that follow. My bonus daughter and I have a great relationship when it comes to talking. She uses me as a sounding board often and she knows it is a “safe” place and that she will be able to speak freely. This makes me feel like I have proven myself and have earned her trust.
8th I Don’t Yell
Even at my maddest it is rare that I raise my voice. I have learned to say what I need to say without yelling. I am very calm and steady voiced when I am reprimanding a child. They know when they have gone too far without me yelling at them.
9th I Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk
Accidents happen, we are all human. I don’t cry over spilled milk, literally. When my youngest daughter was little she was constantly spilling her milk. It was 99 % of the time a visual issue with her depth perception. My husband would yell at her every time. She got to the point where she would run out of the room crying before her father could start yelling because she knew it was coming. Now, if I had told her over and over to stop playing with her cup and then she spilled it it would be a different situation, but even then, what point are you making by screaming at them. Don’t sweat the small stuff; it’s just not worth it.
10th I Doesn’t Matter How Out Of The Ordinary It Seems, If It is For My Children I Will Do It.
My Bonus children’s Mom lives almost an hour away from us. Our current schedule is the children come home to us after school on Thursday and return to their Mom Sunday afternoon. This means on Thursday afternoons I have to pick up my daughter at high school and drive an hour to pick up the kids and then an hour back to our house. Then I get up on Friday mornings I drop my daughter of at school, drive an hour to drop the kids off, drive an hour back and in the afternoon pick my daughter up, drive an hour to get the kids and drive an hour back. Phew, I get tired just writing about it. But they are so worth Rocking it and every minute we get with them is precious. We are hopeful that our schedule will change soon and that they will be spending more time with us.
11th – The “Bonus” Why I’m Rocking Motherhood
I’m not only a Mother I am blessed to be a Mimi. I chose Mimi because I was 41 when my first granddaughter was born and I didn’t feel old enough to be a Grandmother. I have “been there, done that” so I am ready for any situation. I treat my grandchildren just like I treat my children and because I was so young when they were born, when we are all in one house it feels like they are just all my kids. With my Son-in-law included we have 22, 21, 15 11 9, 5 and 2. We are one big blended family. So I am Rocking Motherhood and Rocking Mimihood.
12th – The Reason I am Able to Rock it
I had a great role model. I have the most amazing Mom. When I was a teenager I would have told you otherwise. Our relationship took a while to cultivate, but I truly believe she has helped me be able to be Rocking Motherhood. She has been an amazing example of strength, love and determination. I love you Mom without you I don’t know How I’m Rocking Motherhood in My Blended Family
I would like to nominate Bekah from The Mama Bear Blog, Chelle from CoffeeHeartMind , Elizabeth from Betty’s Battleground, Candice from Inked and Coded, and Bernadette from Mom And Carrot See the Guidelines below and tell us how you are Rocking Motherhood
- Thank the blogger that tagged you and link to their blog
- List 10 Things you believe make you a good mother (this is just a guideline. It can be more or less than 10)
- Tag some bloggers to join in the #Rockingmotherhood tag