The Life That's Chosen Me


I'm a step-mother. But we don't really use that word in our house. I refer to Kendra and Bayley as "my husband's children" when talking to someone I don't know. They call me Jill. I once referred to Bayley as "son" (a term of endearment) a few months after I met their dad and he said, "You're not my mom and I'm not your little boy." True.

I don't try to be their mother and I don't attempt to mother them. I want to teach them things, guide them when and where I see fit and be a positive influence on their life. Maybe they don't think I'm doing any of those things or doing them well. And that's OK. I will keep doing the best I can anyway. I leave the hard discipline up to their father. I know that might not always make it easy for him. We've been together for four years and that's what feels comfortable right now. Maybe when seven or ten or twelve years rolls around I'll feel differently.

I am the mother to their half-brother. We don't use that term either. We just say "brother" and "sister". There's no half about the situation. They love each other wholly. And I love to see them together.... running and hugging and laughing. Adam calls Kendra "dok-ta" and Bayley "bobby". It's really wonderful. More than I expected.

I am their father's wife. Sometimes I say I am a second wife. Doug corrects me and says "You are my wife." I love that about him, along with hundreds of other things. He is really devoted to me and he loves me. He is really funny and handsome and he is one of the most positive people I know. He loves to have a glass of wine with me sitting in the kitchen. And he jokes about his hair. I love him, with all of my heart.

I don't really know my husband's first wife, though I've been around her several times and she lives nearby. I tried to get to know her and she wasn't very receptive. Most likely she felt the same about me. She's called me terrible names and falsely accused me of things out of her own view of her life vs. ours. I have uttered harsh words to her out of frustration. I have considered myself more than I have considered her. One day I hope that things improve. I'll be working towards that.

A family situation like ours is not easy. No family is perfect, nor is any marriage. I think one of the things most people who know me would say is I am forthright and real. I don't pretend my life is one big happy carnival. Nor do I pretend it's the pits. It's a little of both with a lot of normal in between.

There's child support and visitation issues. There's the void my husband must feel when he wishes he could tuck his three children in every night, instead of just one. There's the issues we have when the kids feel they must side with their mom, just so they don't hurt her feelings. And there's always those precious children. Stuck there in the middle, though we try to avoid that at all costs.

This is my life. The life I've chosen and that has chosen me.

For all the love you give, the hurts you mend, and the hearts you touch:
Happy Mother's Day!

Mom, step-mom or another kind of mom...
We're all in this together.
And who could ask for anything more?


Amber Kay :

I have siblings who are in 8th grade, 5th grade and 3rd grade. It drives me CRAZY when people say, "Oh, you mean your half-brother and half-sisters." I always correct them and say, "No, my brother and sisters."
I love your comment...There's no half about the situation.
That's exactly true.

Susan :

What a wonderful post. I had a "1/2" sister too who I adored and never thought of her in that way. Nor did my father or her see themselves in the "step" role.

What a wonderful post Jill. You are my avorite kind of person....

I am praying for a Proverbs 31 woman for my son and grandchildren. Hope God provides one like you. :o)

Momma Roar :

Such a sweet post Jill - like Susan said, you are REAL and authentic and I enjoy reading your blog for that reason!

Lauren@Baseballs&Bows :

What a very thoughtful post Jill! Thanks for sharing it with us!

Jamie :

I found your blog through another one's so I hope you don't mind me commenting.

I love your post. Your family is lucky to have you! :)

Vader's Mom :

What an amazingly sweet post!

I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day!

Susan :

Oh Jill, I loved this post! I am from a "broken home" where I lived with my Mother and was nurtured by my Step-Mother (who I only started calling that when I was in my 20s). I think your relationship will go through stages. I'm so grateful because my Mother and my Step Mother are friends. They both love all of us kids. When we do holidays, we do them together.

I know this is not always the case.

You are definitely one blessed lady. I love the description of your husband's response to being his wife. BEAUTIFUL.

Many hugs to you!!

:-) Susan

Melene :

Congratulations on your beautiful family and on writing a wonderful post. I have a step-mother, who introduced me to my husband, a step-father who married my mom when my sister and I were 17 and 15 and he never had children....he was and is amazing....

Happy Mother's Day to you!

Nadine :

Happy Mother's Day to you. Your post touched me. I love how you are striving to reach a goal...that's all we can do is move forward. What a lovely way to express love towards the children.

Lori :

I just discovered your blog today and have been reading it tonight... and I'm coming back. You are one of my favorites to read.

I loved today's post - so very open and honest.

justabeachkat :

What a beautiful and honest post. I can understand exactly how you feel. We have a blended family too...yours, mine and ours. (see my post on 8/18/06 about step children and grandchildren and another one on 8/21/06 about my step-sister). I always say "They may not be mine by blood, but they are mine "by heart". Hang in there. It will all be okay in the end. Especially since you have such a loving and supportive husband like I do.

Annie :

Sweet post, Happy mother's day to you!

Thanks for your encouragement :o)


Sue :

You're so right. My Mom has a "half" sister - but you know she's never been a "half" aunt. And her father was my 100% Grandfather, even though he was my Mom's "step"-father. He loved me no less than he would have had I been his blood.

You can only do the best you can in an family situation. It sounds like you do just that. Your husband's children are lucky to have you in their lives. I feel for your husband not being able to tuck all his children in every night.

Have a wonderful Mother's Day.

Sandra :

Hi, I found your blog through Annie's and I'm so glad I did, I loved this post.

I'm a stepdaughter and I was blessed to have an amazing stepmother, there were times of anger and frustration in my teenage years but I think it was the culmination of not feeling like I had a "normal" family or rebelling when she would tell me to do something.

There IS no half about the situation, it's a family a whole family....there's stages and there's good and bad days, but the kids are extremely lucky to have a loving and caring stepmother like you :)

I'll be back and visit soon, I love your blog :)


Tracey Kirksey :

I stopped by here by way of Beachkat's blog. I love this post. I, too, am in a "blended" family and at times it can be very difficult, but also very rewarding.

My hubby has been the most wonderful father to my son. We married when my son was 9 years old and now he's almost 17 and they have a wonderful relationship.

His children were already out of high school when we married and have not accepted me at all.

This was such a moving post and I will be back to check in on you!

Minivan Mom :

This was such a nice post - I, for one, adored my stepmother growing up (she married my biological father when I was 7).

Beautiful family! :)

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