As a child, I loved playing house. I was always the Mommy and my trusty Cabbage Patch doll was my daughter. Having a family with multiple kids and a husband was not optional to me. But throughout my twenties and into my thirties, I struggled with life. I couldn’t figure out a direction. I tried teaching, and it actually made me question if I ever wanted to get married or have kids. The job sucked the life right out of me and left me with no energy for dating or any kind of relationships.
After I found my groove in data analysis and writing code, I began to realize that those dreams of my childhood had resurfaced once my life settled into something manageable. However, my timeline didn’t necessarily line up with the universe so I spent a lot of those years single imagining how my family would look and what kind of mom I would be.
And then I met my husband and his two kids. Suddenly all those ideas about my family and how our lives would be got tossed out the window. Being a stepmom means loving kids who aren’t biologically mine and who I have to share with another woman who IS their biological mother. It means constant compromise and relinquishing full control of my life to someone with whom I don’t always get along. It means that I have to allow chaos and complexity in and be OK with it. But it means more love than I ever imagined possible.
I think God planned it this way. I really do. My flexibility has been stretched farther than I ever possibly thought and I have learned that all those preconceived notions about what parenting is and how things “should” be in a family are just ideals meant to be challenged. I learned to adapt and to figure things out as I navigated what step parenting means (and believe me, I’m still navigating that one). There is no my way when it comes to our parenting. The nature of a blended family is constant compromise so I learned that even before my husband and I had a child together. And for that, I am ever so grateful. Because looking back at those ideas of what I imagined my family life to be makes me cringe.
Being a stepmom prepared my heart in so many ways to be a mom that I can’t imagine doing it in reverse now. My two older kids had my heart long before our baby came along. And watching them love on their little brother is something I just can’t see enough.
I love our family and the way it came together.