A Letter to My Son…

My Dear Boy,

It is no secret that on the day you were born I looked into your perfect brown eyes and apologized for being your mom. There are days even still I wonder if I was the best mom for you.  If I have done enough for you. If I did everything I was supposed to do for you. Am I missing something? Did I not teach you something? Was I enough for you? I will always wonder that. I was always feel I could have done a better job for you. But I fought and clawed to provide you with everything I could give you. You didn’t always have everything you wanted, but you had the things you needed. It wasn’t always easy. There were tough days and then there were tougher days. But each time I struggled, I looked at those same brown eyes and unknowlingly you gave me what I needed so I could be the best mom I could be for you. I wasn’t perfect, but I did my best. I watched you grow. I sat with you while you struggled to read. I tucked you in each night with a story and a kiss for your stuffed cat. I placed a star on the potty chart each time you earned it. I watched and cheered you on as you kicked the soccer ball, got knocked over in football, and discovered the amazing lacrosse player you have grown into.

As you left elementary school, buzzed through middle school, and graduated high school, I stood by you each step of the way guiding you, lifting you up, and mostly begging you to do your homework. As you graced your high school graduation stage, I held your dads hand and we cried. You were the baby no one expected much from, not because of who you are  but because of who your parents are. We were so proud of the kid that we had as teenagers as you graduated from high school. We had no idea who or what you would grow into, most of the time we held our img_4489_2breath hopping we were making the right decisions for you.

Tonight you are a thousand miles away from me sitting in a house on your college campus. Tonight I know you need me. Tonight I know you are a little homesick and you are a little scared. You are so close to becoming an adult and feeling as if your safety net is disappearing. I know how scary that feeling is. But I need you to remember who you are. Who your parents are. We are fighters and although you never had to fight the way we have, you have that in you. You are brave, strong, and tough. If you are anything like your parents and you are, you will be OK. If you ever feel as if you  not enough or afraid, I need you to dig down deep inside and remember how much I  love you and that I have moved mountains for you. You have the same ability. You are a fighter. You are amazing and you will never be alone.

At some point you will need to spread your wings and fly solo. You will need to take everything I have given you and taught you and put it all to use. I will not always be around for you to talk to or to fall back on, so I will continue guiding you down this road of life until I can’t any longer.

You are loved so very much and I would not be who I am today if you did not pick me as your mom. Thank you for picking me.

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think” Winnie the Pooh

Destruction from the Inside Out…

I slowly pulled up to the pharmacy drive though. My 15 year old son sitting next to me in the passenger seat taking up more room that he should, chatting away about the demise of one of his favorite social media apps. We talked a little about it as I shuffled though the paperwork from his dr’s office looking for his prescriptions. As I found them I heard a voice coming form the other side of the pharmacy window. I looked up and in the reflection, I saw her. Not me. I saw her looking back at me with the same eyes, cheek bones, lips and I shuttered a bit. I blinked in hopes of opening my eyes, she would be gone and I would see myself looking back at me. When I opened my eyes she was still there. While I managed to talk to the pharmacist, hand over insurance cards, and tell my son how awful it was that his app was going way, a million memories flooded my mind. I remember my last conversation with her over two years ago.

I was in my kitchen and I had just found out I was getting published for the very first time. I remember being alone in my house and jumping up and down in my living room. I yelled and cried and I was so excited. This was something I never thought was possible. I had worked so hard to get to this point and here it was. I remember the first thought that came to my mind.

“She’s finally going to love me”.

In that moment I was not sure if I was more excited about being published or my mom finally loving me. I got on the phone and called her straight away. She answered and in the same moment my excitement beamed form my voice, that excitement was torn down, lit on fire and to left to burn until it was a pile of ash and soot surrounding me. I hung up the phone and with the echoes of her nasty words ringing though my ears, I slid down against my wall and hit the floor. I sat like a rag doll on my cold wood floors with my head tilted to the side, I watched as my tears began to puddle below me. With tears still dripping from my eyes and anger in my voice I yelled at God. I begged him to tell me why my mom did not love me. What is wrong with me? I pleaded with Him to explain to me why I was so unlovable.

Growing up I had no idea what was wrong with me. I could not please her. I could not love her enough. I could not do anything to make her happy, except fail. If I was failing she was happy, but only temporarily. It wasn’t until I began my recovery that I realized there was nothing wrong with me. She is unhealthy. For whatever reason she is not capable of being the mom my siblings so deserved to have. The adult in me can understand what was going on with her. She loved us, but she had some issues going on that prevented her from being the best mom she could be. But the kid in me is still begging to know why I was not good enough. It can still be a daily struggle.

Not feeling loved by your mom, for any reason, will destroy you. Not feeling loved by the one person who is suppose to love you fully without conditions, can mess up relationships. I have felt unlovable, not good enough. Not feeling loved has led me to people pleasing. If I buy him this or take him there, he will love me. I have been conditioned to beg for love, and that is unfair. Please do not take this as me blaming my mom for my issues, but she has played a role.

When I first began recovery it was to keep my ex. I stayed for me. And throughout the process I kept going because I saw myself becoming a lot like my mom. I would come home and my kids would scatter. That was scary. I didn’t want to grow old and watch each one of my kids leave and never look back. I knew I needed to change. So I began dismantling my life one piece at a time. To this day I am still learning to love the broken pieces and put them back where they belong. I still feel unlovable. It is something I am working on. But I know this is something I have to fix before I can welcome someone into my life.

Today I began the process of breaking myself down once again. Over the past 2 years I have built up a strong foundation so I could get to this point. I am strong enough to fall apart again, expose my deepest secrets, fears and regrets. I am strong enough to get honest about my life, decisions and move forward. I can get though this. I  do not know how this will look, but I am facing it. I will not be doing this alone. I have my support of B1 and the Big Guy. I am in good hands. img_0732

 

Dear Soon to be Step Mom….

Dear Future Step Mom to My Kids,

I am writing this today because you are so close to becoming my kids step mom. You are so close to leading a role we never intended to have in the first place. The position of stepmom was something we didn’t foresee in our future. We never planned for you. We never expected you. We never thought our kids would have a step mom, but here you are. In my life. In their lives. On the day’s my sons were born, I didn’t hold them in my arms, look down at them wrapped up so tight in their newborn blankets with their little pink faces poking out and think
“I hope they like their future stepmom.”
When their dad and I got married, much like everyone else, we thought we would go the distance and be together through all of the life’s events. The good ones, the bad ones, and everything in-between. Life proved to be challenging, and we didn’t last. We gave it our best shot. We lasted longer than anyone thought we would. We got married young and for the most part had no clue about marriage or even life. The day we told our sons were going to separate was the most stressful day we endured together. We sat them down on the couch and with lumps in our throats we explained to them that we no longer worked as husband and wife, but we assured them will we would always work as mom and dad. They looked up at us with the same exact brown eyes and cried. Sad. Confused. Scared. Their lives were changing forever, and so were ours. We had no idea how to be divorced. We were going into this blindly, but we both knew we had to put our kids first, always.
We promised them we would always be there for them. And we have. Their dad and I have done a great job co-parenting so far. We work better together apart than we ever did together. There was hurt, pain, and misery for both of us as we divorced and divided our kids’ lives in half. We gave up being full-time parents so we could become whole as individuals. That is not an easy task or decision. It took two mature adults to see what was best for our kids and us and to make it work. And so far we have.
But here you are. In front of us on the verge of taking on the now open position of my kids’ stepmom. It is hard for me to “share” my boys with anyone. Especially someone I don’t know. I don’t need to know the ins and outs of you. I don’t need to know your story or why your marriage didn’t work. I don’t need to know about how you parent or discipline your kids. You don’t need to know anything about me. Why I am who I am, about mistakes I have made or what has led me to live the life I live. But I want you to know about my kids. I want you to know them together and separately. Although my boys are older, that does not mean you won’t be in the role of “mom” with them from time to time. I want you to know my kids, not just be a bystander in their lives. You will be around for everything from here on out. Graduations, weddings, grandkids. For the good and the bad parts. You will be a part of their story and their lives.
I want my boys to feel safe with you. Wanted. Secure. Part of the family. I want them to feel as if they are home when they are with you. To feel they can open up to you and be themselves around you. I want you to feel the same way around them. That you can talk to them and laugh with them and be open with them. Get to know them for all the amazing things they and for all the things they are not. To accept them and love them. Not love them by default, but love them, or at least try.
So let me share a few things with you about them. A manual or cheat sheet if you will.
My oldest- He is standoffish. He is full of emotions and feelings but hides them like Easter eggs. They are in there, and you will need to figure out how to get them out of him. He is sensitive but hard as a rock at the same time. Get on his level and talk about the things he likes. He will not be interested in anything you do. That is just how he is wired. You have 2 minutes with him, and then he zones out.
My middle- Sweet as can be. Funny as all get out. Take him out. Sit him down and get in there with him. Once you start him talking, he will open up. He likes jokes. Play some pranks. Cook with him. Teach him. He’s a sponge ready to learn. As a kid he was funny. He was trouble, and he didn’t care. I hope you find comfort in him when you talk to him the way I do. Where ever he is, that is home.
The baby- What more can I say? He’s going to be the toughest one. It’s not you. It’s the step parenting role. He is still dealing with the separation and life after divorce. He did not have us together as long as the older boys did. He still has hope. His innocence is present. It may take a while to get him to open up. Football. Learn about football as much as you can, and you will have a way in. Try with him. Then try again. He’s my baby and a total mama’s boy, which does not help your cause. But I can nudge him a bit. He will be around for a while longer before he takes off for college so take some time with him. But be patient with him. He is worth the wait, I promise.
It is hard for a mom to let go of the things she can’t control and trust that someone else is going to be able to care for her kids the way she would. Please be patient with them. Please care for them when I am not around. Please welcome them into your life and protect them. It may be difficult for you to settle into this new role as my kids’ stepmom, but I know it’s also difficult for them to settle into not only the idea of a stepmom but actually having one. Their dad and I were not kids from divorced parents, so he and I have no idea how they are feeling about their dad getting remarried. I can only imagine it may be difficult for them at first. But like you, they will get used to the new role you will be playing in their lives. I wish nothing but peace and happiness for our modern family.
Sincerely,
Mom of three boys.img_0508