Friday, January 13, 2012

Tough night as a step mom...

I'm not too emotional on the internet. Really, I allow many things to roll off of my back. But tonight is a tough night and I need to vent. I chose to do it on my blog for two reasons, first off, I don't even know if anyone even reads what I post or even cares about what I post and second if anyone is reading, I'd like to know that there is someone out there who can either relate or mutter some words (that I'll later repeat to myself) that could guide me through future tough nights like this. The truth is, they happen about once a month.

You see, my bonus daughters come stay with us every third weekend, then we have them for 9 consecutive weeks during the summer. They live in Bend, Oregon. It's 3.5 hours to drive there and 3.5 hours to drive back from there; over the big mountain (Hood) and through the snow Dec-March/April. My amazing husband makes this drive on every third Friday after working a full day at work; he drives all the way down and brings them all the way back. They usually get home around 9:30 pm, which is pretty late for a 4 and 6 year old. We feel it is important to be a family and for them to know that we are family. So we do it. I spend most of my day on the friday that he leaves cleaning the house and preparing meals for the weekend so that we can spend most of our time together having fun. I also spend a lot of time worrying about David being in the car in those weather conditions.

Every time he picks them up the little one always throws a total fit. And his heartbreak starts all over again. They both break their daddy's heart. I hate standing by to see that. It's the same things every time that we talk to the little one about what's wrong and why she doesn't want to come to her Portland home. "You never buy us anything." And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen! All of the things that I have come to despise about our modern American culture is being instilled in these two little girls who happen to (also) call me mom. They get every little thing that they ask for.

What ever happened:
To discipline?
To working for what you have?
To taking care of the things that you own?
To using your imagination to entertain yourself?

I could seriously cry. And maybe I have. a little. or maybe a lot.

We have rules in our house and we will stick to them. No matter what.

Although they are not here all the time during the year, they are here for the majority of the summer. They have a little brother who adores them. I don't want them to infuse him with the ideals that have been set by the woman they spend most of their time with. Period.

Don't get me wrong, I love them. It is very hard sometimes, and I struggle with the guilt of "do I love them enough?" But honestly, during the summer when they are at their Portland home, they have manners, they use their muscles, they do chores, dress in modest clothing, listen to actual kids' music and turn into absolutely delightful little girls.

Now, please, if you have read this rant of mine, say something. Anything that I can repeat as a mantra to get me through the next tough Friday night. It'll be here in about 3 weeks.

And if you have stuck around to read all of this, thank you. It is raw and real.



  1. Oh Laura I can relate in a way. My son goes to his dads house during holidays now that we live so far but it used to be every weekend. I love my kids and spent all my time and energy being a mom, kissing booboos, being strict when needed, overall being a parent, all this without the benefit of child support or even support from his other parent.
    Now all I hear about is how much more his dad buys him and how much money his dads spends on him.
    Nevermind the 20 hours I spent in the heat of August making him Apple Butter becuase he begged for homemade. Ot how each day I spend hours homeschooling him and trying to teach him right from wrong.
    I do hear you and the hurt it causes.
    My relief is knowing that when he is an adult he will remember and know who taught him to be true, and that no matter what he dished out I as a parent was always loving supportive and there.
    My reward will come from a great son who will make a great partner and maybe dad becuase I taught him that.
    You little girls too will realize this and it will happen soon rather than later. Kids are so smart!

  2. You're an amazing mother. It's all you have and all you need. Keep loving and staying true to who you are as a mom. You can't control much else besides the example you set. They are good girls; it just sounds like they need more time around better role models (like you and your husband). They will learn eventually. Have faith. And remember you don't struggle alone.

    1. Thank you so much for these words! The girls will be here next weekend and this is definately something I'll read again and repeat, "You can't control much else besides the example you set." It's so easy to get tangled up in the moment of heartbreak than to see the future benefits of staying true to your process as a parent. I adore our family, and as a mother I simply want to see the absolute best out of all of my children and know that they are well equipped to handle this world with grace when they are adults.