As a Mom, have you ever felt burned out, worn down, and just plain exhausted from what the world throws at you? Well, you’re a Mom with kids, so let’s talk about how you can always be their guiding light. In the end, I will give you my five tips to recharge and keep charged that light.
Have you seen Home Alone? The scene when the mom is on the plane, and she’s trying to recall what she’s forgotten, but she can’t. So, she forces herself to shake it off.
That feeling, forcing the shake off… that’s how I feel every single moment that my three oldest kids are with their biological mom. And, it’s just plain exhausting.
Back At It Again
It’s been quite some time since I’ve blogged. I’ve missed you, by the way- thanks for coming back. I’ll speak more about why I haven’t bogged in a while soon when I can articulate it better.
Anyway, do you know the feeling I’m talking about? It sucks. When my big kids [as I call them] were younger, and their bio-mom would visit from Georgia, I’d have many feelings of fear, anxiety, jealously, anger. Pretty much, all the bad ones. But, now it’s almost relief. Relief because being their mom has become so natural that I want them to have what they need… and they need to see her sometimes. They need her to see their lives sometimes. PLUS, there’s the bonus of less cooking and noise for just a short while. And I can recharge.
We can’t help the way we feel but we can manage it
I’ve worked really hard to manage how I feel about my kid’s bio mom, and I’ve come a long way. I’m more confident than ever in my role, that they need me and that I am enough. In my brain, I no longer look at myself compared to her. I’ve accepted that they will always struggle with their feelings surrounding her and that I will always be here to help them sift through those feelings. And I’ve accepted that sometimes that will mean being their punching bag. I’ve accepted all of it.
SO why this feeling? Well, the funny thing about being a
[step]mom is that even though I’m vividly aware that I did not give birth to my children, they are mine. And as such, when they are not here, part of me is missing.
The thing is, it’s not painful like it used to be. Because I gave up that control I spoke of- it’s not me vs. her thing anymore. They’re just not here for a few days. It’s my daughter, my husband, and me- a family of 3. But it is strange. And all weekend, this past weekend, I kept thinking, “fuck- I forgot my kids somewhere.” And then I’d remember where they were and go back to drinking. Kidding. (Am I?)
Many things haven’t changed
Many things haven’t changed, and I honestly don’t ever think they will. I am their keeper. I refer to it as their punching bag, and that’s true. But I’ve come to prefer a keeper. Because I get the privilege of keeping them whole, of keeping their secrets, this next week will be challenging because they’re upset. They were let down again when she told them she’d be here longer than she was. And again, they were reminded that 8 years ago, she chose to be without them. They need to see her; they’re happy when they see her, but when she leaves, they’re left in this wake of darkness. Darkness that she will never understand, or honestly even see. Because with her, they have to be “on,” constantly working to make her love them. And when they return home, I am the light in their darkness.
All weekend I had this feeling that I was missing something, and I was. But over time, you grow to take the reprieve because I know that when they’re back, all of my energy will go towards being their light. And, I’m not sure if you’ve ever had to be someone’s light, but it sucks everything out of you. Being a stepmom is like that all of the time. My wish for you, whatever kind of momma you are, is that you figure out how to replenish that light. Because if you can recharge, you’ll benefit your whole family and yourself will feel more whole.
I’m exhausted, but I’m also full. I am a [step]mom.
Tips to recharge your guiding light:
- Follow a wellness plan that works for you. IE: put good things in your body, move your body with intention, journal, and meditate. Not sure where to start? Do some research and find a trainer or program.
- Don’t put so much pressure on yourself; take time to do absolutely nothing every once in a while.
- Plan a night out with friends regularly.
- Pick a hobby and make practicing it regularly a priority. Note: this is in addition to your wellness plan.
- Don’t get sucked into comparing, judging, or hating your kids’ bio mom. If you don’t know how to or can’t do this, find a therapist specializing in blended families.