Being a stepmom is like being on a constant rollercoaster ride. Sometimes the ride is fun and you’re laughing until tears stream down your face. After you exit the ride, you scream, “Let’s do that again!” Sometimes the ride gets scary. Your heart starts beating as the fear of the big drop heads your way. You think to yourself, “Oh sh*t, what did I get myself into?” Sometimes you’re whipped upside down at 100 miles an hour, your hair is all over the place, sweat is dripping from your face, and you’re a mess. Then you look at the picture taken of you mid-ride and you say, “That wasn’t too bad.”
As much as I love rollercoasters, the stepmom rollercoaster ride is much more complex. The rollercoaster of emotions we experience is wild and…normal. Yes, I said it. Normal. I know it doesn’t feel normal but stepfamily life will never be as easy as we would like it to be. Heck, life in general will never be as easy as we would like it to be.
Before meeting my husband, I had this idea of what falling in love would be. I imagined getting married and having a family. Then I met a man who was divorced with children who brought along some baggage. Suddenly my dreams changed. I never pictured falling in love with a divorced man with children. I never envisioned growing up and becoming a stepmom. But I had to accept the reality. After all you can’t help who you fall in love with. Then when I became immersed in stepmom life, I had ideas of how that would be. Once again my ideas had to shift. I once read a quote by Jamie Tompkins that really spoke to me. When talking about her stepfamily life she said, “The family I can’t imagine my life without today; everything I never knew I always wanted.” I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes the most beautiful things are gifted to you in the most unsuspecting ways.
There is no play book, manual, or guide to being a stepmom. As we make our way on our journey we encounter bumps, fast speeds, reverse mode, upside down flips, and dizzy spells. We may scream our heads off. We may smile from ear to ear. We may feel adrenaline. Some days your head aches. Some days you want to do it all over again. Sometimes it becomes too much. Other times you want it to slow down. Remind yourself that this ride is meant to have all of these elements. Remind yourself that you were put into this situation for a reason. Remind yourself that you are strong enough to conquer this role with confidence.
It’s not easy to accept all of the highs and lows of stepmom life. When you can accept this rollercoaster as “normal” it becomes much more fun. You’ll be more likely to scream, “Let’s do that again!”
Buckle up, check your safety bar, and get ready for one hell of a ride!
-The Fastening My Seatbelt Stepmom