Monday, September 13, 2010

What I've Learned About Being a Step-mom

As a list lover, I feel it is appropriate I share with you what I have learned so far about being a step-mom in list format.
  1. You have officially become the keeper of "stuff".  You will carry and be responsible for stuff that doesn't belong to you.  You will not be surprised to find Batman, gum wrappers, and used tissues in your purse.  And you will stop cleaning out your purse because you don't want to know what else you will find in there. 
     
  2. Your nice clean car is now a thing of the past.  Crumbs will mysteriously appear in your car, even though no food is present, and footprints will be everywhere.  Fingerprints are not just for windows anymore.  You are not surprised to find fingerprints on the ceiling of your car.  Invest in Magic Erasers and Awesome, trust me.
     
  3. You care more about another person's bodily functions more than your own.  After a while, asking "did you poop today?" and "do you need a tissue?" 50 times a day does not feel weird or intrusive to the other person's privacy.  
     
  4. Farts happen.  Especially in the car, just crack the windows for a second and hope your mouth was not open at the time of the fart.
     
  5. Nudity does not bother you anymore.  Neither does peeing outside.  You just hope they go to the backyard instead of the front.  (We have neighbors you know!)     
     
  6. Kids will call you out.  If you are being grouchy and mean, they will tell you.  Most likely, you are being grouchy and mean so apologize, admit they are right, and stop being Captain Grouchypants.
     
  7. Kids are sponges and will repeat everything you say.  This includes swear words and phrases like "here's the deal".  "Here's the deal" is my personal favorite...until I am the recipient of the phrase, especially when I am not in a negotiating mood.  So don't say anything unless you are prepared to have it repeated back to you.
     
  8. Your personal space perimeter gets adjusted.  Before you enjoyed a nice healthy distance between you and others.  But now, having someone in your face, constantly stepping on your feet, or stealing the covers doesn't bother you very much anymore.  However, you may never adjust to having someone outside the bathroom door while you are trying to do your business.
     
  9. You start to use parental phrases you swore you would never say.  You now find yourself saying "because I said so" and threatening to "turn this car around right now".  You can give a lecture on any topic at the drop of a hat.
     
  10. You realize you are going to make mistakes.  You are going to forget things, you are going to hit them in a head with a softball (it was an accident!), you won't always say the right thing, and sometimes you may get into disagreements about how many Silly Bandz are acceptable to wear to school.  Being a step-mom does not come with an instruction manual and you have to figure it out as you go.  Cut yourself some slack, learn from your mistakes, and pat yourself on the back for being an important person in their lives. 
It is incredibly amazing and fun to shape this little or big person and watch them grow.  Just because you don't share DNA doesn't mean you aren't a family and an integral person in their life.  And when you are lucky to have a kid like this, it makes it all the farts, lack of personal space, and mistakes worth it.

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