The Stepmommy Diaries

The Stepmommy Diaries

Marrying a man with children comes with a great many surprises.  Four surprises to be exact, two of those are 4 and 5 years old.  We will call them Thing 1 and Thing 2.
The fact is that my Additional Babies (Thing 1 and Thing 2) were hard to love.  I know that sounds harsh but it’s true.  It was hard to develop a bond, with munchkins that I could not keep.  Afterall, how could I love something that was not mine?  I couldn’t answer that.  

Each hello was exciting, nerve-racking and bittersweet because I knew that whatever we taught them would have been forgotten by their next visit or not practiced while they were gone.  I knew their visit would be temporary and I had to guard my heart and not become attached.
Being the Stepmommy was not all that I had imagined.  My expectations were crushed by the reality of the situation.  After a not-so-fun day with Thing 1 and Thing 2, I sat on the toilet and thought of how maybe we had all misunderstood Snow White’s Stepmom. She got such a bad rep!  At that time I could completely relate to her. 

I can think of some of the times when Thing 1 and Thing 2 thought I was the Wicked Witch of the West:
  1. Say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’.  No, you may not talk to your daddy as if you are his boss.  You must show respect in the manner you speak to him and always be kind to him.
  2. Yes, you must clean after yourselves.  Even in the wee ages of 4 and 5, you must pick up and help around the house.  This may be your temporary house but it is still your house and you must maintain it cleaned and picked up.
  3. When inside, use your inside voice.  So simple.  For yelling and jumping and getting the jitters out, we have this awesome backyard for you to play in.
  4. Your job is to play and learn, do just that.  Electronics are not your sole source of entertainment, revert to #3…the awesome backyard.
  5. You must read and write or scribble.  These two things will help you immensely as an adult and will make school more bearable.
  6. No gossiping!  Playing mommy against daddy is not nice.  They both love you immensely all you have to do is love them back.
The relationship between me and my additional babies is one of the hardest I’ve ever had to work on.  I can honestly say that it did not come naturally. 
It took me a while,
  1. To get into the rhythm of two munchkins coming and going  
  2. Splitting my affection between my own teenager Munchkin and them  
  3. Accepting that my Prince Charming had others he split his love with  
  4. Letting go of the little things that bothered me but I could not change
  5. Accepting their personalities, which are so different from mine and my own teenager Munchkin.  
It’s a fine balance, almost like a dance being a Stepmommy.  To love but not overstep, to be there but not take over the role of the mother, to accept their natural personality but groom them to be a better version of that.  

I’m still learning, I’m still growing.  Thing 1 and Thing 2 are helping, Prince Charming is helping, my own Munchkin is showing me how.  Everyone is so patient as I learn and get use to this new role and its lovely.  Wish me luck as I step intoThe Stepmommy shoes.

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Why Having Girlfriends Matter So Much

Why Having Girlfriends Matter So Much

At Mystic Grape sans Jade. From left to right: me, Francis, Michaela, Denize

 Women empowering women, girl tribe, success group, you name it they are all out there and for good reason; a girl needs another girl to relate to.  In my case, I have four ladies that I can completely relate to.

Meet Michaela, the mean one with the softest of hearts that will stalk your ex with the proficiency of a seasoned P.I.
Jade gets off work in time for face mask time
Meet Denize, the hyper one, she’s like the energizer bunny; goes on and on and on.  Have a work out with her; I dare you…double dog dare you.
Meet Francis, the rude New Yorker who calls it like is and is the hostess with the mostest.  I can always rely on her for honest advice.
Meet Jade, the cool Californian. Nothing seems to set her off unless that is she spots someone doing the wrong thing and then that cool interior gets ruffled a bit…I mean a lot.
All these ladies make up my circle of girlfriends.  They are similar enough to me to share common ground and different enough to help me grow and learn from them.
I saw a video from the AARP about old folks, and they said that once someone stops learning and growing mentally then, that’s when they can be considered old.  With these ladies, I will be forever young!

How did we meet?  

We asked ourselves this in our recent sleepover party (yes we do those as grownups).  In the beginning, each of us had different perceptions of the other, and if we would have allowed those perceptions to become true, I must say we would have never gotten this close.  Our love of fitness changed those opinions.  There is something about a grueling one-hour fitness session that makes everyone come together while being in physical pain.
Through those sessions, we realized that we were more similar than different and that we actually liked one another!  Now we even use the ‘L’ word…cue the heart eyes emoji.
It all started with a few lunches, then brunches and late night get together, and now we are sleeping over each other’s houses, telling each other our deepest darkest secrets and farting.  That last one is when you know that your relationship has transcended into a higher level: Super comfortable zone!
In a world that is so frantic, stressful with so many fast moving pieces, having my girls around me, make me stable.  Is as if the world stands still when we are together, talking, laughing, or sometimes crying.  They have become my sounding board for ideas, my psychiatrist for when I need to vent, my life and style coach, and most recently my hair remover specialist (thanks, Francis and Denize).  
Because they love me, Francis and Denize taking
care of my ingrown’s while Jade looks on
I don’t mind having the girls over my less-than-clean place because I now they will just brush off the pet hair from the couch, open the wine bottle and turn on the TV, no judgement no questions.  For someone who doesn’t get too close to others and has a hard time connecting, these fabulous ladies are a blessing.  
I think every girl should have a girlfriend or two or three or four in their life who can encourage, mentor, and advice them.  A friend who is more like a sister, who loves them unconditionally, supports them and gives candid words of wisdom.  There is an adage or more like a meme that says “Friends are the family that we choose for ourselves,” this is so true for the girls and me; we chose each other.  
Now go out there and find your soul sisters!
Growing up….a Kidtrepreneur ~ Crazy 4 Blogging Challenge

Growing up….a Kidtrepreneur ~ Crazy 4 Blogging Challenge

Crazy 4 Blogging Challenge from a WomanPulse Blog

Growing up I was kidtrepreneur.  My sister and I were ingenious on how to turn a dollar…or more like a peso into two pesos.  We were the masterminds of the small business network in our Catholic school in the Dominican Republic (Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro).  The Good Idea Fairy landed on our shoulders one day when we noticed how we had an open market for selling homemade treats during recess.  We figured the treat was easy to make; all the ingredients were at home, it was low cost to produce, and we could sell small portions at a price that will more than recoup the cost of the ingredients and labor. 
A kidtrepreneur 
Just like that, we decided to put some time aside after school into cooking a large quantity of the snack and bagging it into individual servings, in preparation for sales.  The very next day our book bags were noticeably heavy from carrying our merchandise along with our books.  We convinced one kid to taste it, he liked it, told others and liked that our business was en Fuego.  Five cents was the agreed upon price for our homemade treat, and we sold each and every one of the bags. We came home feeling so rich that day with our book bags sounding like maracas from all the coins being tossed around as we ran home from school.  
A Dominican Peso
We had money we thought! We felt so elated that we immediately devised a plan to expand our business and add origami toys to our repertoire.  Paper planes, paper flowers, paper guns, you named it, we fold it, shaped it, colored it with our crayons and sold it to other kids in our neighborhood.  I tell you what at the ripe age of 6 and 7, Donald Trump had nothing on us!  We were selling seven days a week and amassing peso after peso in our tin can piggy bank.  
As young children we learned a powerful lesson, how to follow through on a vision, work hard to see it through and then enjoy the fruits of success.  
Flavored condensed milk triangles from the Dominican Republic
With our hard earned money we treated ourselves to bazooka bubble gum, loli-pops, flavored condensed milk triangles, ice cream, pastries, and anything sweet, we could buy that our grandma refused to buy for us.  We were like Leonardo Dicaprio on Wolf on Wall Street, high…on sugar.  We felt the biggest rush ever when we made something out of nothing and earned a profit doing so.  Aghhh….those good ole’ days of being a kidtrepreneur….