The Good Stuff.

I’m sitting down to write this and it’s 9:06 PM on Friday night. My family is out for the evening and the house is insanely quiet. I had to take advantage of this momentary lull to actually FINALLY do some writing.

Over the past month, I’ve started at least 6 posts, only to leave them in my draft inbox. I can’t even sum up motivation to write lately, it’s so weird! If I had published a post, it would go something like this:

Monday- I ran today. It was a good run

Tuesday- I ran today. Bad run.

Wednesday- Guess what? I ran.

Thursday- I’m going to blow your mind right now-I ran today!

Friday-A day off from running.

Saturday- I ran!

Sunday-Wouldn’t you know it, I ran today, and it was longer than all of my other runs!

Mileage total: Lots of running and tons of some whining along the way.

I couldn’t bring myself to post those obnoxiously boring details and figured that no one would want to read that drivel anyway. I can chalk my lack of motivation and inspiration up to the fact that I am TIRED. The kind of tired that starts in your brain and works its way down to your toes. This kind of tired is the stealer most of my time and all of my energy.

This has been a year of learning and of good changes for me and my family. You may remember that I became a full time mom to my stepdaughter this past summer. I’ve never been so tired, happy, worried, proud, run-down, laughed so hard, cried so much, or been as confused and concerned as I have been over the past few months. I can’t describe it any better than that. If I had to use a word to describe 2015, I would go with “LEARNING”  or “NEW”. HAHA…and maybe “TIRED”.

I don’t have any kids of my own, so obviously, this was a giant life change. When it happened, we were still on summer break–this made it an ever BIGGER life change- My summertime life was pretty much me, on my own, doing whatever I want all day for 3 months. But into my life entered a sassy 8 year old.

I’ve been in her life since she was just 2 years old and since she was so little, she doesn’t remember a time that I wasn’t. We would have our visits with her on weekends and try to cram family stuff/friend stuff into those 2 quick days. It still never felt like enough time with her, though.

This past summer, I never expected to become a full time mom, and I didn’t expect to learn all the things that go along with it.  I know that I thought that when I eventually became a mom- it would come naturally to me and I wouldn’t have so many NEW things to learn. HA. HAHAHAHAHA. 

There have been mom fails.. like the fact that I didn’t know I couldn’t send my daughter’s medicine to school with her and I didn’t know she needed a note for every new person who picked her up. And there have been struggles that keep me up all night, like the struggle to get my little one to sleep in her own bedroom. And the struggle to establish routines with little things like showering and lunches and homework. So many new things. (Homework-I’m looking at you!)

There is exasperation…I find my myself at a loss for words sometimes because I literally do not KNOW what to do in some situations because I’ve never dealt with certain things before. I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the time I’ve gone to my SIL, Mom and MIL for parenting advice. This is all brand new and I might as well have gotten a baby instead of an 8 (now 9!) year old.

Through all the confusion and exasperation, I have found that I’m adjusting.  I’m even adjusting my running! I used to do every single long run on Saturdays and I’ve been consistently stubborn with this for YEARS..Seriously, I can’t remember otherwise. I truly never thought anything in the world would change my routine of long run Saturday. Now I have a little buddy with me on Saturdays (my husband works) so my long runs are always Sundays. Things change, and you have to adapt to those changes and roll with the punches.

Most people don’t like change. I’ve always been a fan of it.  I like new things because it shakes things up and helps me grow. Without a doubt-this has been the biggest year of change for me. My best friend is fond of saying “Everything happens for a reason”. And as much as I used to hate when she would tell me that (it mostly came on the heels of a breakup), it is actually a 100% true statement. I know this little one needs me. So all the change and growth and learning and sleepless nights is to help her.To see her is like my heart is walking around outside of me. Its so weird and awesome and awful all at once.  

And I’m learning. I’m learning that some of my favorite times come when I least expect it. Aly and I have fallen into a Saturday morning routine and we make a whole day of having fun and I LOVE IT. We are beginning to develop routines and have learned that showers work best with the music playing on her IPAD, and all meals are to be accompanied with milk..not juice. Warm cozy clothes are the fave and jeans have got to GO. Homework is best done RIGHT when we get home, and when listening to music, we are in agreement that it should always be blared LOUDLY (preferably Tay Tay Swifty)

Little things mean so much more now too. Like when she gets out of bed and immediately gives me that big bear hug. Or when she spontaneously tells me she loves me. And when she falls dead asleep in my arms and I have to carry that little beauty to bed. Man I love that. These little details trump all the confusion and the worry and make every single struggle worth it.

And along with that you learn that a new chapter in your life has begun: It’s making sacrifices and thinking about the future All. The. Time. Its giving up sleep and nights out and learning to deal with the parent swap off of responsibilities. In short: It’s a lot. (Kudos to you single parent families out there!)I have so many questions! Does it ever get easier? (I don’t think it does) Will I ever have all of the answers? As much as I would LOVE to ask Santa Claus for THAT for Christmas…I don’t think that I could ever actually get all the answers. I’m learning that parenting is kind of a learn-as-you-go thing. 

I once heard a quote somewhere that went like this: 

To adopt a child means that my child grew in my heart instead of my belly.

I love this message and it rings true for a stepparent too. Since I’m a step-mom: There is always going to be a struggle. I can’t imagine that ever going away. We stepparents have different challenges. And with those challenges come different rewards. I’m learning that I’m probably Aly’s stepmom for a reason because that kid is turning into my little mini me and I love it. I’m never goingto be her “real mom” and that is ok. I’m her “other mother” and that is in its very own class of amazing-ness.

I sat down to write about how un-motivated I was to write about running . I started typing and this is what ended up coming out! I guess I just wanted to get all this out and it  ended up being pretty therapeutic. I know that I’m blessed to lead this little bitty life of mine and everything that is happening now makes me a very lucky individual. This is all “The Good Stuff” in life and not everyone is as lucky as me! So thanks for reading and I hope I didn’t bore you with my non running babbling! Next time, I promise it will be running stuff! Sometimes, that little thing called LIFE gets in the way and changes us. And if you are luck enough, your own life will be filled with the good stuff, too!

 

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24 thoughts on “The Good Stuff.

  1. I love how honest and real this is! Even having 3 kids, I do believe that being a stepparent and being thrown into the game late, with different challenges, is hard and special in its own way! You are giving it your ALL that I know your daughter will feel that and it will shape her in the best way possible!

  2. I love this post. I’ve taken a step back from constantly posting about my daily drivel and really using writing as a form of creative therapy – writing about shit that actually matters – and it’s been so refreshing. I love the way I feel. I imagine you feel similarly after writing a post like this one!

  3. Such an amazing heartfelt post. I loved reading this and love everything about the honesty of your situation. I can’t even imagine how hard it would be to make such a huge adjustment all at once in your life. But you handled it – no, even more, you EMBRACED it. You gave your all to your little one and it makes me happy to see how much love you both have for each other. You’ve clearly stepped up your game in every aspect of your life and it’s so amazing to see a little glimpse of this 😀

  4. This is wonderful in so many ways. I know so many people who are step parents or who are products of step parents. it doesn’t need to be negative thing, and people like you who embrace it (and can be real about the highs and the lows) are what it’s all about. Seriously, awesome.

    • Thank you so much! I love hearing positive things about other step parents. Whenever I find out that one of my students ahs a stepparent, I immediately ask if they get along. 99% of the time-the answer is “yes” and it always makes my heart happy 🙂
      Thanks again for commenting!

  5. I’ve loved watching you grow into your new role as a “full time Mom” (capital M!) on FB and IG. Anyone who tells you that you aren’t a mom? send them over to me. Moms are like Homes–they are where the heart is.

  6. What a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing! I became a stay at home mom a few years ago and the adjustment was more challenging than I was willing to admit. Your honesty about it is refreshing.

    • Thank you so much! 🙂 It was a little hard to hit the “post” button on this because I wasn’t sure if I should..but I’m really glad I did.

      I think I would have a hard transition with that too. It’s really hard to switch lives from “full time worker” to “full time mom”…its 2 completely different worlds and mindsets!

  7. Wow, what an amazing post! I loved hearing from you but I really love that this is so open and honest. I can’t imagine the adjustment you have gone through but it is so obvious that you are doing your absolute best and are already and amazing step-mom. I would think it would be so much harder to start raising a child at 8 or 9 rather than from when they are a baby. She is a very lucky little girl to have you in her life!

    • Thanks Lisa! It’s been quite the year, that is for sure! I agree with you…I think a baby seems a little easier because even though my 9 year old is self sufficient, setting up good habits when your child is really young is a whole lot easier than breaking the bad habits (and less time consuming, haha).

      Thank you so much for commenting, it means a lot!! 🙂 🙂

  8. I wonder when/if it gets easier too! Someone please lie to me and tell me it does! Parenting is so difficult. Who knows if we’re doing it right? I was hoping that when my kids finally go to kindergarten that the teacher will say “Ah yes, you parented correctly so far. Congratulations!” And don’t worry about talking about it on your run blog! It’s so hard to not put running in perspective like that! So many runs are victories because of what is going on outside of running, rather than just how the run itself went. Keep up the positive thoughts! Running is your best friend on those tough days. 🙂

    • OMG, I was hoping for the same thing at Open House this year…maybe a little confirmation card from her teacher with a check plus or an A??? That would’ve been awesome! It’s so hard to know if you’re doing the right thing, and I question everything all the time. What is the “right way”? And too often, I compare everything I’m doing to what my own parents did. And while they were a great set of role models–> some of the things they always did didn’t work for me. So I try to keep that in mind, too! It’s hard! They should give out awards for this stuff!!

  9. Great post! I grew up with an awesome step-mom and she is one of my biggest role-models to this day. It’s cool having “2 moms”, because you learn so much from both, and it sorta expands your mind out of this “I have to be just like MY mom” type thinking, into more like “I can follow a role model, I can learn to love people who are not my blood line like my bloodline” type things. The attention you give her sounds really nice and those times I had with just me & my stepmom are some of my favorite memories with her! PS a lot of them involve blasting music! haha 🙂

    • This is so awesome to hear! I love when someone tells me that they love their stepparent (s). It’s such a great inspiration to me! I’ve never thought about how having 2 moms can expand your mindset-thanks for that.

      My plan is to take her to a Taylor Swift concert soon..She would be out of her mind with excitement!!! We share a love for music!

  10. What an amazing post … I was laughing at the beginning, thinking “hey, I ran too – we’re like twinsies!” And not expecting a long post since there has been so much awesome stuff you’ve posted on FB/IG over the last few months.

    The way that you captured everything with your daughter really touched my heart … Every child deserves a mom like you 🙂

    I remember last year (I think?) you saying something in a way that seemed to diminish your role in her life, sorta the ‘other mother’ or ‘not her real mom’ sort of thing and I said something to you, telling you to never think of yourself as less than a real mom … And it is amazing the journey you have taken since then. As I say, as a parent whose kids are our life, it is very moving to read your words.

    Cluelessness? Yeah, that is a defining characteristic of parenting … I’d say there are two types of parents: ones who have no clue what they’re doing … And liars. :D.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    • I read this comment and it made me tear up! Thank you so much. And you were 10)% right when you said that- I will never think of myself as less than a real mom.
      This comment made my day! I’m very glad that I’m not alone in the cluelessness department. I think that just when the pattern starts to become doable-I’m thrown a curveball! Oh well..it’s all part of the learning process, right??

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