It’s been a year and a couple of months since I’ve known these kids, and every time I struggle with them I think, “It must be because I’m step-mom.” When they say something rude to me: “It must be because I’m step-mom.” When I get frustrated and want to scream at them: “It must be because I’m step-mom.” When they aren’t doing well in school and I have no idea how to fix the problem: “It must be because I’m step-mom.” When the kids threw up and I felt like I hated them for making me clean up yet another mess of this I thought, “It must be because I’m step-mom.” Every time I’m at a loss for how to correct something with these kids I blame it on the fact that I didn’t give birth to them. I used to say “I have no idea, because I’m still just faking this whole mom thing.”

I was wrong.

It’s taken me a year to learn from my friends and from observation.

Every mother is still learning. Every mother wants to scream at her children sometimes. Mothering is all about trial and error since every child is constantly changing. Every mother faces situations that she really doesn’t know how to handle. Every child will say something rude to their mom. Every mom is disgusted with cleaning up puke and wishes she could just sleep through the flu season. The negative emotions and situations I deal with are not because I’m doing this all wrong. It’s because I’m a MOM. I’m not coming across situations with these children that are new to any mother out there. We are always trying to find foods the kids will actually eat, trying to figure out how to make a 3 year old stop hitting his sister, constantly reminding our 6 year old to brush their teeth, doing a secretive Hallelujah Dance when the kids lay down to bed, and we all feel like we have lost ourselves in the bustle of motherhood.

I feel like such a whiny baby sometimes when I fret on Facebook about how much I’m struggling, but I’d like to thank every one of you who have reassured me that this is all normal. Thank you for letting me in on the secrets, and thank you for letting me know I’m not the only one who is out of their mind with all this parenting stuff. Even you seasoned veterans still struggle, and I appreciate you letting me know that. Also, thank you for those of you who have taken my children and loved on them when I thought I’d never be able to breathe again.

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