Thursday, August 12, 2010

Stepmotherhood

        So I have had this post swirling around in my head for a while now and I have been ready to write it for a variety of reasons.  Mostly I am afraid of the backlash that might come from it or the less than supportive comments I might receive.  I have already heard that I knew what I was getting myself into when I married the Sheriff but that doesn't change the reality of being a stepmother.  Its a difficult job even under the easiest of situations and ours, while not the most difficult, would not be considered an easy situation.
        I have been around Kiddo since day one of my relationship with the Sheriff because he has primary custody.  With the Sheriff's ex being in the military and living more than 2 thousand miles away, there is no weekend visitation to offset the time we have Kiddo.  Instead, he spends the summers with his mom and the rest of the year with us.  At 6 years old, that is confusing for him and difficult for us to explain.  With the summer drawing to a close and school starting back soon, the Kiddo's return to Texas is upon us.  He will be home in a week.
        Now this is where the area of my concern comes in.  Prior to the summer, Kiddo would stay with me some and with his grandparents some while the Sheriff was at work.  On the weekends, he would split his time between our house and theirs.  Typically I had him one day and I had one day off.  Once he returns, he won't be spending time at his grandparents anymore.  It's all on me.  There will be some days that the primary responsibility of caring for Kiddo will fall on my shoulders because the Sheriff will be sleeping (gotta love the night shift).  To say I am anxious about this would be an understatement.  I am terrified.  I am worried about losing some of the freedom I have had over the last 3 years of being single (and even before thanks to deployments).  I am worried about Kiddo's transition back to our house after spending so much time with his mom and how is he going to react to her upcoming deployment.  It just feels like a lot to take on all at once and I am overwhelmed at the thought of all of it.  My husband is trying to be supportive and understanding but the truth is he will never understand what it is like to be standing where I am standing right now.  All I can do at this point is pray that everything goes smoothly, hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
      

Quotes about being a Southern Woman

  • "The biggest myth about Southern women is that we are frail types--fainting on our sofas...nobody where I grew up every acted like that. We were about as fragile as coal trucks." ~ Lee Smith
  • "A southern girl is a girl who knows full and well that she can open a door for herself but prefers for the gentleman to do it because it demonstrates a sense of respect. After all, every girl wants to be treated like a princess. We know how to make sweet tea and grits while telling you everything about any football team in the SEC. We pick our battles and fight with the heart of a pit bull while still maintaining grace and elegance. Our mystique is that of a soft-spoken, mild-mannered southern bell who could direct an army, loves her momma and will always be daddy's little girl." ~ Cameran Eubanks
  • "Southern girls are God's gift to the entire male population. There is absolutely no woman finer than one raised below the Mason-Dixon line. Once you go Southern, may the good Lord help you, you never go back" ~ Kenny Chesney

Back to the Land of the Married People

After being married for 4 years, returning to the world of Single People was difficult to say the least. Dating sucks and I now had a whole new set of baggage to carry from my divorce to make things that much more difficult. I had a lot of hang-ups related to what I had experienced during my time as Army Wife that I knew those would carry over into my new life. Some were good, some not so much. I knew I was a lot more independent and opinionated than I had been when I dated in my twenties and I hoped I was stronger but I still managed to let guys get to me in some ways worse than before I got married. Fortunately with the Sheriff, I felt pretty opened and comfortable to talk about my issues (and his as well) so that we could work through them together and hopefully not face some of the same problems in the future.
The Sheriff and I met in the Singles department at our church. A singles department which has been pretty successful at bringing couples together. Since I started attending GHBC in the fall of 2008, we were the 7th couple that met in the department and ended up getting married. Prior to our engagement, I heard a lot of complaints about the couples getting married and leaving their single friends behind. Those who voiced these opinions felt that marriage had changed these people and the married people acted like the single people were beneath them. As someone who has been on both sides of the coin, I knew the truth behind this complaint. Married people don’t think single people are beneath them but marriage does change you.
When I got married the first time, I found it hard to stay friends with my single friends for a variety of reasons. For one, it can be awkward to the lone individual when everyone else is paired up. For two, your priorities change. You no longer just focus on yourself and having fun whenever you want. You have another person to think about now and it isn’t as easy to work around two schedules as it to work around one. The sad part for me was that when I got divorced, the same was true. Granted I moved almost as soon as it happened but it was still difficult to continue friendships with those who had been around me during my married days.
What I have come to realize as I re-enter the Land of the Married People is that the singles are just as bad about alienating the marrieds. When the Sheriff and I got engaged, I noticed that certain things began to happen. The girls I was friends with in the group no longer invited me to join them when they had ladies only evenings. Comments were made about our presence in the group further pushing the fact that the Sheriff and I were the odd ones out to begin with. Someone even once asked about a month before we left the department why we were still there.
So here we are back in the Land of the Married People. Starting over again. Following a path that is familiar yet different. I know I will take some friends with me and some will choose to stay behind. In the end, it will be both of our faults.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Stroll Down Memory Lane


I spent this past weekend cleaning out my office and, more specifically, the closet in my office to prepare for our upcoming garage sale. The room I use for the office is the third bedroom in my house. Like the other bedrooms, it has a walk-in closet which is great for storage. Unlike the other bedrooms, it has a tile floor which makes it great to double as Maverick’s room. Because of the function of the room, it has ended up being more of a junk room than anything else. If I needed to move something or get something out of the way but I really didn’t have anywhere else to put it, it went in the office. When I had important papers that needed to be filed but I didn’t have time to deal with them, they went into the office. You get the picture...the room was where my pack rat side resided.
After cleaning out the guest room so it could be redecorated and repurposed into Kiddo’s room, the cleaning bug struck. It was time for me to tackle the office. I had told The Sheriff at the beginning of the summer that I wanted to get the house and garage into better shape while we didn’t have Kiddo around. I figured it would be easier because we wouldn’t have to be monitoring him all time so we could focus on our tasks. Well, this summer has been pretty non-stop with the wedding in Tennessee and my reunion in Alabama so we have had very little down time. Kiddo will be home in 2 weeks so crunch time is now.
What I knew about the closet in the guest room was that I had stored a lot of my serving pieces and such that I didn’t use regularly in there. It also contained boxes of scrapbooking supplies and other trinkets I had packed when I moved to Austin from Killeen. During the 6 month stay in my apartment, there were so many boxes with so little space that only the absolute necessities got unpacked. What I had forgotten was what some of those boxes contained. I found cards from the ex and his family. I found mementos from trips and events. I even found a wedding planning guide from my first wedding that I had pulled out to help my brother and his wife when they planned their wedding. Basically what I found was proof of the life I once led. A life that seems so far away now. I wasn’t sad but I did have to question how I got to where I am now. It was all a bit of a shock to the system, mostly because I thought I had gotten rid of that stuff but I remembered running out of time before the move and not being able to get to that stuff before it was pack. Since the move, the boxes just haven’t been accessible. I filled several trash bags full of those memories that are no longer mine and said good riddance to that life.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Goals



I never really set New Year's Resolutions this year, well, because I knew I wouldn't keep them. It seems like no matter I set out to do, life gets in the way and it just doesn't happen. I have 5 days until I complete school ( for the last time). Because I will no longer have to worry about posting discussion or writing papers or group assignments, I will be able to free up some time that I can hopefully focus on other things that I enjoy more. So I would like to set a few goals for the rest of the year in order to fill up some of that free time I will have.

1. To blog more - I have severely neglected my internet home since I have been in school. I recently joined two blog networks with the hope that would encourage me to write more. It isn't that I don't have things to say. I just usually think of them at times when I can't stop to write, such as drifting off to sleep or in the shower.

2. To read more - I love to read. I love getting lost in a story and letting my imagination took over. School has only allowed me the time to read about accounting. While that is my career, I do not enjoy reading about it all the time. I just want to read for fun for a change.

3. Take better care of my house - That includes many things from keeping the house clean, keeping the dog clean, keeping my family fed. We are working on this one now. We have planned a garage sale for next weekend which requires me to clean out every room in the house. We started with Kiddo's room since we were redecorating it and then moved on to the office which was my junk room and storage place for all the things I haven't unpacked since leaving Killeen. I have to tackle the kitchen and our room and then we will be done. I am amazed at how much unnecessary stuff we have.

4. Become more financially sound - I bought the Dave Ramsey starter kit a couple of months ago after reading through Dave's site and taking to heart some of his advice. His baby steps are pretty dead on for the most part. I don't agree with everything he says but it is giving me good guidance on how to proceed from here. So I need to finish reading Dave's books and start applying this new way of thinking.