The other day at the post office, while waiting in line, I began watching a mom and her two young children. I found it interesting that her kids were doing a lot of the same things that my bio kids do, and she was saying and doing a lot of the things that I say and do. It was like looking in a mirror. Or like watching a movie of me and my kids.
“Stop hitting your brother.”
“If you put that in your mouth again, I will take it away!”
“Do you need a time out?”
“Say sorry to your sister right now!”
“Stop rolling around on the dirty floor and get up!”
“Do not pick your nose.”
Ok, I’m not gonna lie, I secretly found delight in watching this (I know that’s so wrong!) But for once my kids were not here causing the scene in public, and I wasn’t the frazzled mom with some kids food all over the front of her pretty blouse. It was someone else’s turn. (Trust me, I knew that when I picked my kids up from daycare in 20 minutes, it would be my turn, but hey, right now I was getting a few minutes of respite!). Finally I asked her, “how old are your kids?” She replied, “Two and four.” I told her that my kids were exactly the same ages, do the same things, and we have exactly the same conversations. Another lady commented that her kids were all grown now, but we as parents were all there once, and she had been too. Somehow I found relief in this, knowing that as moms we go through similar things.
And as stepmoms we do too.
I had heard that re-married couples get their honeymoon after the stepkids launch. Well this is our first year with all of my stepkids in college and out of the house. I can say that it’s been sort of sad. I guess that’s the “empty-nest” part. We truly miss their energy, smiles, and excitement they brought to our daily family life. We are learning to watch from a distance as they go through life lessons at college and in young adulthood. Certainly my 2 and 4 year old miss them tremendously. But at the same time we have significantly less stress and drama. And there’s no outside party pulling strings in our house. As a result we are a happier couple, we argue less, we enjoy each other more, we have simpler less complicated moments. We waited for this time. I think we have started our honeymoon.
I am thankful that during our turbulent “blending years” my husband and I chose purposely to use the stress to make our marriage stronger, realizing that if we did not, it might break us. And now we start our honeymoon.
I hope the same is true for other stepmoms and dads out there too!
Galations 6:9 (NIV) says: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
What are you thankful for today?