Motherhood Isn’t Always About the Kids

Motherhood Isn’t Always About the Kids

I am 34 years old and have 4 kids, 2 step kids, and one angel baby, all ranging from 18 years to 10 months old. My motherhood journey has been just that. A journey. A crazy, messy, beautiful, roller coaster ride of a journey.

I often think about my 20 year old self about to give birth for the first time. I remember that day of the ultrasound. I went to the appointment by myself and wore all pink because I knew I would never be able to handle a boy. I even wore pink socks and underwear. It HAD to be a girl. Because Lord knows I would absolutely DIE if it was a boy. Luckily for me, she was a beautiful 7 lb. baby girl. And so was my next baby three years later. (On the same day I might add!)

I look back and think about how young and naive I was as a mom of two little girls. I loved them and would do anything for them but looking back, that life was about me. My problems. My struggling marriage. My domestic abuse story. My messy divorce. My issues. And they were just along for the ride. My ride.

Now as a mom of six, this LIFE is about them. But this journey, this journey is still about me.

I have had to “find myself” with each baby, each wrong turn, each mistake, each celebration, and each choice I’ve ever made. The one thing that’s stayed constant is that I’m a mama.

So, yes my motherhood journey has been just that. A journey. A journey of learning who I am with each one of my babies. I am definitely not that 19 year old girl with that unseen pregnant belly out of wedlock and scared to death of what was to come. Nor am I that 24 year old with two babes under four, fresh out of a divorce and oh so lost and lonely. Nor am I that stepmother who was desperately trying to make my new blended family work. I am all of that and here I am with two new kids, 13 years later… and guess what? They’re both BOYS. And I couldn’t be more smitten with them.

I feel like I’m in the middle zone now. That zone between what I once knew and what I know now. That period where I can change a diaper with my eyes closed but I also know the fragile depths of the teenage years. As I look ahead, I can only envision what my children will grow up to be. And as I’m in this moment, I can only try to shape that for them now with our own version of parenting. I’m just winging it like I always have, yet now it’s just with a little hindsight in my back pocket and I may or may not know myself a little better.

Motherhood isn’t always about the kids. Sometimes it’s about the mamas. The first time mamas who think they know what they’re doing and the second time mamas who still feel like they have no idea what they’re doing. Its about the mamas with no one else. It’s about the mamas overwhelmed by EVERYONE else. It’s about the mamas going through a divorce. It’s about the mamas rebuilding a life. It’s about the mamas just trying to get by. It’s about the mamas who are grieving. It’s about the mamas who haven’t held their children yet.

And it’s about the mamas who are still on the journey.

We love our kids but sometimes, every once in a while, amidst everything life throws our way, between every waking moment that we’re taking care of babies and feeding big kids, after the laundry is done and the dishes are washed, after mama has taken care of everything else…. we have to remind ourselves that this journey is still about mama.

Xoxo,

MK

To My Stepdaughter

To My Stepdaughter

Wow Kami, you are 18 today! My husband’s first born and our oldest. I think back to the first time I met you. You were just as sweet, so bubbly, kind and always, always smiling. I remember your bedroom. When I started dating your dad you were 8 and I visited what is now my home for the first time, and I remember your bedroom with the pink and purple comforter and the stickers all over your dresser. You came to visit every other weekend like clockwork and my daughters would get so excited to see their new big sister. You were ecstatic to have sisters. I will never forget your spunkiness and how happy you were to see us every time you came to visit. You instantly loved me and my daughters and my family. And then when I got pregnant with both boys, you were overjoyed. I never imagined that little bedroom would be your little brother’s bedroom, navy blue with boy toys everywhere! Our family has grown and changed so much.

When I became a stepmom, I was skeptical that you and your brother would accept me as your mama. I was expecting some rebellion. Daddy’s girl and all. Now daddy had not only a new wife but two new daughters. But you surprised me every time you were with us. You never made me feel like I wasn’t good enough. You never made me feel like you loved me any less. I saw the way you watched me. But not with inspecting, jealous eyes… but with curious, inquisitive eyes. When we were in the car, while I was doing my makeup, as I fed the new baby. I saw you trying to impress me. You have ALWAYS loved me like I was here all along. And I can’t tell you how much I have appreciated that over the years.

Being a stepmom in our family hasn’t been the easiest job, I’m not going to lie. Our blended family dynamics are unique and one of a kind. My daughters only have one mama, as they have never had a stepmom. Life is different for them. Your dad and I are their only parents and this is their only home. But you have had to grow up with two sets of parents. I’m sure that has not always been easy for you, especially when you were younger and had to split your time between two homes… two sets of rules… two different lifestyles. You have gone from being an only child to having a TON of siblings on both sides. You always had to share basically everything and you never once complained.

One thing that’s for sure is how lucky I am to have you in my life. I’m lucky our children have a big sister, BB, who loves them so much. Being a stepmom has taught me SO much. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve learned lessons. I’ve had to bite my tongue. I’ve let little things get to me and probably said things I didn’t mean. I’ve had to hold my feelings back. I’ve cried tears I didn’t want you to see. I never thought this gig would teach me so much about myself. Thank you for being patient with me.

Things we never get to tell you…. because well, life. We have ALWAYS looked forward to your visits! You have grown up to be a beautiful young lady. We love who you’ve become. You’ve made choices on your own. You have your very own car, that you bought yourself! You have a real job. And even when you wanted to quit your job because it sucked, you didn’t. And that says something about you, your willingness to stick with something. You’ve made it through your first serious relationship and I’m sure you’ve learned some things about love and life in that. You are strong. You know when to walk away and when to keep going. You never let your guard down. You always hold your head high and never show your vulnerability. You’re funny and witty. I believe you’re ready to take on the world. You are smart, caring, and compassionate. The thing that stands out about you the most is how selfless you are… I think that’s the best trait you got from your daddy.. always caring about others and how others feel. We are so lucky to be your parents.

I asked your siblings to describe you in one word. This is what they came up with…. pretty, amazing, gorgeous, and Brady says clean??!! Haha!

That pretty much sums you up girlfriend! Although life has now shown you what it’s like to be an adult with plans, work, and things to do, and we don’t get to see you as much as we’d like to, you are always loved! Thank you for allowing me to be your mom and for being a daughter I never knew I needed! You’re not my stepdaughter, you’re just my daughter and we’re just family. I love you! We hope you have an amazing 18th birthday!

Xoxo,

MK