Protecting the Newbies

I’ve felt a strange amount of loyalty lately to an unexpected group of people… I feel this loyalty to BM’s new boyfriend and his family.

Let me explain.

Since BM got a new boyfriend about 6-weeks ago, things have seemed to progress at a rapid pace. The girls immediately met him and his whole family, and spend a lot of time with them. He lives with his parents and sister, so I’m assuming that the girls spend most, if not all, of the time they’re with BM, with him and his family as well.

The rapid progression has my husband, his parents, and myself a little concerned. Despite the fact that I think things are moving a little too quick, I am feeling a strange loyalty to this boyfriend and his family in the sense of, I don’t want us to have negative feelings about them!

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Whether or not BM settles down and marries this guy, or another guy, I know my husband is going to have a huge issue with the girls having “another Daddy.” Which I do understand… I think this is a “normal” hurdle my husband will emotionally have to face. But he has no issues with the girls having “another Mommy” in me, their Stepmom. If I can be a “second Mommy” for them, we must accept her next husband as a “second Daddy”… am I right?!

And my Mother-in-Law (MIL)… *Backstory* This weekend, my MIL noticed that the boyfriend’s mom has the girls in her Facebook default picture… just her and the girls. You read that right- this lady put her son’s girlfriend’s [of 6-weeks] daughters in her Facebook default picture. I think it’s odd too, but my MIL went off about it. Last night she said to me, “I’m going to look [SD4] in the face and tell her that she’s not her Mimi, I’m her Mimi! I’m going to tell her that she can’t love her like I can because I’m her Mimi!”

As a Stepmom, I literally just stared at her in response. When she said that, what I heard was, “You can’t love them like their Mom loves them because you’re not their Mom.”

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I understand jealousy– trust me- but come on! Over the years, I’ve gained this hyper-awareness and hypersensitivity to people who either come across hypocritical, or just rude when talking about my blended family.

And I know, my girl brain may be getting the best of me here. But we need to look at the facts… you cannot fully accept me as the girls family, and not fully accept the step-family on the other side of the fence. You cannot say I’m a great Mom, but then not give this guy a chance to be a great Dad.

And I know, this guy and this family may not last, but I really think we need to start choosing our words and our mindsets wisely now. We will be far better suited in the long run to embrace these people and continue to set a good example for the girls.

So this is my PSA for everyone who is in, or knows of, or ever meets, a blended family. Choose your words wisely. Think about the big picture before you speak. Think about what you can control versus what you cannot control, and act accordingly. Practice what you preach.

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And know that everyone makes mistakes… you can’t get this 100% right on your first attempt… but progressing your mindset is far better than remaining hypocritical, or remaining and poor role model. The sooner in “the process” of having another family added to the mix we can all get on board, the smoother the overall transition will go. Trust me, resistance is nothing but negative in the long haul.

Hang in there, Stepmama’s!

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Common Sense

One of my biggest pet peeves in life is when someone has no common sense.

I know, this isn’t always that person’s fault, but come on…

Like at work. There are always so many examples of this at work. The person who unnecessarily “Replies All” to an email. The person who screams across the room instead of getting up and walking over to the person, or chatting them. The person who does not possess critical thinking skills, so they process every project they do out loud, even if it’s as simple as adding 2 + 2.

And in my blended family, the list goes on and on as well. Like the person who puts the toddlers in flats and short sleeves in the snow, but long sleeves and tall socks with tennis shoes when it’s 80 degrees. The person who lets them wear dresses and sandals to the playground, so they continuously trip and fall and bust up their faces, knees, etc. The person who blames the ringworm reappearance on the fact that we bought store-brand medication, instead of on the fact that she admittedly did not apply the medication as frequently as instructed.

I’m a huge fan of the Bobby Bones Show, and he does a segment called “Judge Common Sense.” Callers ask all sorts of questions, and Bobby Bones makes an expert ruling, solely using his common sense. He is always spot on… every single time. Maybe those without common sense don’t think so, but I do. It’s a hilarious segment, but it is wild to me that there is even a need for this! Come on, people! Just think!

Common sense [or lack thereof] is totally out of our control, but what is within our control is how we respond… or don’t respond. As with most things in life, we are only in control of ourselves and our actions. We can choose not to hit “Reply All” just to say “Thank you.” We can choose to check the weather before we pick outfits for those who rely on us to provide for them. We can choose not to instigate an altercation around these issues, but rather, to internally process our feelings and move forward. (Or externally in writing… thank you, WordPress.)

So take a deep breath, relax, and stay smart out there, people! Happy Monday, Friends! Don’t let your annoying coworker get you fired… and listen to the Bobby Bones Show. And buy his book, Bare Bones. That is all. (No, this is not an ad) (But Bobby seriously you could sponsor my blog)

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Cutting Ties

Isn’t it in “The Rulebook” somewhere that when a couple splits- especially when it’s high-conflict, you are supposed to cut ties with the person you met through the other one? For example, if your friend and his partner split, you’re supposed to cut ties with the partner, correct?

Okay, maybe that’s petty, but honestly it keeps the peace and is just an understood, “It is what is is” aftermath of any sort of breakup. I’ve lost many friends in previous breakups, because they were my ex’s friends first. It stings a little, but life goes on.

Seriously though, if you meet your husbands-coworkers-wife, see her around for a few years, then they divorce, don’t you just cut ties? Not directly like “DO NOT EVER SPEAK TO ME AGAIN,” but don’t you just sort of pull away? That’s natural, right?

BM is the epitome of the “woe is me” persona. Always the victim, always seeking attention, never telling the whole truth. And when they split, she went on a rampage to try and “keep their friends on her side.” For the most part, this was a huge deterrent for people, and they pulled away from her. But for some, they yielded her cries of “the victim” and stayed connected. Which meant my husband backed away from them. Not a huge issue, until someone becomes a social media spy for BM. Or until someone posts “throwback pictures” of them hanging out referencing “the good ol days.” I can assure you that no matter how much fun you were having, neither your friend BM, nor my husband would consider those times the “good ol days.”

So, after two years, that acquaintance [as I call her] got the good ol Facebook “BLOCK.” She’s so nice to me in-person, and to be honest, I didn’t even care that she was serving as BM’s spy. But after seeing that line drawn in the sand, I knew it’s what needed to be done.

But why am I writing about this? Is this just a petty vent session? Nope, not this time…

Boundaries are so, so important. I hear and read from people all the time how they failed to set boundaries, and now they’re paying the price. This is not just important for people in my situation, dealing with a high-conflict BM… This is important for everyone.

Don’t let others in who are not worthy. Keep your inner circle small, but mighty. If someone is contributing more hurt than happiness to your life, let them go! If someone is posting things that genuinely upset you, get rid of them! Seriously, life is too short!

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For those in similar situations to me, you know it’s hard enough to pave your own way in a divorced man’s life. Protecting your relationship is everything! Protect it with everything you have! And if that means sometimes, you have to be “petty” as some would say and literally “delete” someone, then so be it.

Will I be rude to this person the next time I see her? Of course not. But do I know where she stands? Absolutely. And that’s fine with me.

I will rise above, and maybe others out there will follow my lead.