With a brand new year upon us I thought back to last year and even the last decade as to what I’d like to share for the new year… and instantly I knew. While some reading my blog below may believe it’s not for them because it’s about my life as a stepparent/parent but I encourage you to read it and glean what you can as I believe it is relatable no matter where you’re at in life.
My two New Years Resolutions came to me fairly quickly and they are: to forgive quickly and the other is to live my life to the fullest.
The forgiving resolution is definitely for another time as there is a lot to share on that one. So at this time I’d like to share about what I mean on living life. In doing so could hopefully help you avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made along the way.
Now reflecting back to almost 7 years of blended family living; if I could go back in time and can only tell my past-self one thing it would be, “do not put your life on hold”.
This thought came to me in the midst of my hub’s receiving multiple messages from his kid’s mom. Mind you, my hubs and I had put so many things on hold to not only try and avoid drama from my bonus kid’s side of the family but to also protect my bonus kids from any additional stress.
Now what we’ve put on hold is no small matter:
•Our wedding reception; when we used the money to pay for a fair parenting plan.
•All of our weekends for an entire year; when my bonus kids were with us every weekend until a new parenting plan was implemented.
•Our alternating weekends with my bonus kids for almost 6 years; when appts/activities/sports/events were scheduled during the time my bonus kids were in our care.
•Buying a house for our family; when we put in our savings, inheritance, and debt of over 100 grand (and yes, you read that number right) to fight against alienation, getting help for my bonus son, advocating for my bonus kid’s rights, and debunking stories being spread about our family.
•Moving out of state for a better career opportunity; when my hub’s wished to be closer to his kids while they grew up.
•Having a child; when my bonus kids asked us not to have any after getting new brothers from their other home.
•Buying new clothes/accessories for myself or hubs; when my bonus kids come over for their overnight stays with us and all clothing needs to be bought for our home since they live with us 1/3 of the year.
•Keeping my hub’s Mini Cooper JCW; with my hubs providing 95% transportation of all the pickups/dropoffs for his time with his kids it was decided he needed a more gas efficient vehicle. Now mind you, the distance for pickups/dropoffs is minimally 600 miles round trip per month.
•And so much more…
Yet what I’ve finally come to terms is that no matter how much we’ve put our lives on hold, or how many times we’ve allowed the other parent to change our parenting time for the sake of peace, or how many times we’ve bent over backwards to make it to my bonus kids events we were still disregarded and even had stories emerge about us.
By no means am I bitter about the things that we could have had by now but I do regret not allowing myself to fully live. (And yes there is a difference between being bitter and regret.)
Regretting that I’ve put my life on hold to make certain things happen and certain people happy. Realizing now that we could’ve been helping our kids out while also living life and making some of the things above happen. Now to clarify to those who may be thinking I am wishing I could change the sacrifices we’ve made… and to that I say no way! I am saying I wished I realized sooner that I could be LIVING instead of existing while making all the sacrifices. And wishing I realized sooner that my thinking/hoping of allowing someone to change aspects of our life for the sake of peace, just doesn’t always work.
Now if you have a coparent who is workable with you then by all means I would encourage you to keep at it, give up certain things for the sake of peace, for the better interests of your kids. But… if you have a coparent who works with you one day but then goes a different way the next day then by all means for the sake of peace stop the crazy train and follow your parenting plan to a T without engaging with the other parent. Because no matter how hard you try, no matter how much you hope, you cannot change the other parent or try to help them realize how certain actions may negatively affect the kids and you’ll only end up feeling like your stuck in a crazy episode of The Twilight Zone.
So again to any and all individuals, moms, dads, or stepparents who are part of #blendedfamily living; I encourage you all to LIVE. All the struggles that come in life or in a blended family will always be there but find a way to not let it hold you back.
And that’s what I’m now doing, making a conscious decision to live my life to the fullest. You will now find me enjoying my hub’s birthday getaway filled with delicious foods, adventures in Sisters OR, and smiling knowing I’m choosing to live my life. ✨