Blended, Dads, Divorce, McBradys, Moms, Sibblings, Steppareting

Is Being a Step-Parent Blogger the Norm? 7 Reasons Why I Started Mine.

I “started” this blog and the idea of a step-parenting ministry when I was struggling with being a Step-Parent and a parent to my children. I was blind to the knowledge of just how many “Step Parenting” blog and books are out there. All I knew was I wanted to find my people, have a glass of wine with them and lift each other up while complaining about those who bring us down.

On a daily basis, I get Instagram and Twitter requests from Stepmom/parent blog writers. There are a ton! I thought my situation was somewhat unique. I knew I wasn’t alone but I had no idea just how many others are out there that are feeling just like I am.

Now, I don’t know about them and their situations. I can assume we have a lot in common but as I said before my situation is unique just as each of theirs is. So here is why I do what I do:

1. The need to share – there is nothing more comforting than the words of someone else solidifying exactly how you feel by saying “YES! I know exactly what you mean!” When I complain about a step kid or need to vent about a co-parenting issue, my friends who are married to the same person they fell in love with after high school and had 2 1/2 kids and look at me with pity when I say these things, do not get me… You know what I’m talking about. Other step-moms and step-dads – you get me! Sorry, we like frilly toothpicks, so we’re in a club (Mitch Hedberg.)

Friendship is born

2. Step-Parents/Divorcee’s/Single Parents… You are my people: when we plan our nights out or events around when we have kids and when we don’t have them…. you get me! I seriously do not know what I would do without some of my divorced friends. Granted, some of my best friends are those who have never been divorced but most likely divorce has touched their lives in some way or another. So they also get me.

Find your tribe

3. I need the church to recognize this is a low hanging fruit and a need in our communities and I’m willing to head it up. MOPS you have your people– old lady Wednesday bible study, you have yours — Table Groups you have yours. Hey, step-Parents, divorcée, single mom and dad? Nope, not in the church. At least not mine, yet… but they know me and they know I’m here whenever they are ready to admit the need.

4. Broken people need each other and we don’t need the shame that comes along with divorce and re-marriage. I don’t care if you cheated or were the cheater. I don’t care if he left her or she left him. I don’t care about who is to blame. We are ALL sinners and we all deserve grace. Freely and without question. No sin is greater or lesser. Lord knows I’ve sinned. Big time. And I know people who have forgiven me despite how my actions affected their life or their families. I want to pay it forward. So if you are broken, or you broke the someone and now you are broken because of it. I’m here. I want to offer you grace and I want to love you, always. The way Jesus loves me.

Broken

5. I want to end the shame of divorce. We are in the year 2018 people!!! It’s time we stop judging everyone for not living the way YOU think they should. Jesus came to us in human form to show us His compassion and to teach us that no one is beneath Him. God is the only person who can judge us. The only commandment we were given was to Love. Love your God before all else and Love your neighbor as yourself. That’s it! Now.. go… Love them all!! Everybody, always. (Bob Goff, my new hero)

bob-goff-quotes

6. I wanted to show my kids strength in weakness. I’m putting it all out there. My story, my history, my failures! I’m not proud of all of them but they are who I am. They do not define me but they made me WHO I am today. That person is someone I’m pretty proud of – considering my childhood with alcoholic parents, divorce, sin, etc.

While reading, “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis, the chapter, “I will never get passed this” she talks about her brother’s struggle with mental health and ultimately suicide and how it shaped her life. It devastated her and she describes that as one of the most difficult moments in her life. She could have taken that tragedy and fallen victim but she didn’t… she used it as a defining moment to get through 52 hours of labor, build businesses, write books, etc. NOTHING in her life was harder than that time and she refused to give up on anything else because nothing could be harder than that. All of this goes to the point that she went through it and had she not, she would not be the strong, resilient person she is today. So when we think about these horrible moments that have shaped our lives, we have to appreciate the honor they serve in making us who we are today.

This realization took me to my own story. I also lost a brother to suicide. It was a pivotal moment in our families lives. His wife, 4 children, my sisters, our children, our mother, and father, his real father… None of our lives were the same after that time. This is all to say that I, too, have been through some stuff, man. Here I stand today, strong, surviving, recovering, living, and loving.

They say storms make trees grow deeper roots. The ones who have been through the toughest of storms and stand stronger. I have gone through some things that aren’t as bad as some but are way worse than others. My kids are watching me. I can tell them all day long to sit up straight and wipe your tears and stop being the victim but it’s when they see YOU do it that they actually listen. I’m not perfect but I’m still going. And my kids see that.

storms-make-trees-take-deeper-roots-11psh28

7. There is a saying for step-parents that says “A step-parent is one who made the choice to love when they didn’t have to.” Yes, I chose to love them but I had NO clue what I was getting into when we first began this adventure 9 years ago. My husband had so many {naive} dreams on how this whole McBrady Bunch was going to go. Then they got shattered by life. Real life. The best part is God knew the entire time where he was going to place me and which kids he would place into my life. Today, my bonus kids are two of my most favorite people. Not without trials and tribulations but I know they love me and I’m positive they know how much I love them. Truly, I have no step-kids. They’re just my kids. Sure, they have their own mama but I get to be the bonus mama. And that my friends is the icing on the cake. It’s hard work but so worth if you put in the time. So no, I didn’t have to love them but they both made it pretty impossible not to.

Broken (1)

I’m hoping all of these blogs about Step Parents are reaching their people {their tribes}. I don’t need a giant following or to go and give speeches at StepMom conferences (yes, that’s a thing.) I just want to be the best wife and bonus mom I can be without all the labels. That’s why I chose not to put the word “step” in the name of my blog.

McBradyMom is my story about who my little “big” family is. The man of the house is McDonald and we’re all one big Brady Bunch. It’s hard, it’s tiring at times, it’s trying but overall, it’s worth it. They are my people, my tribe, my beloveds.

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