Friday, February 14, 2020

WHAT LIFE HAS BEEN LIKE AS A STEPMOM...



ME: TOP // BOTTOMS // TOMMY: TOP // BOTTOM

I think most us of has one point in our lives dreamt about having little babies, becoming a mom, and having a family. When we're young, no one thinks "Wow, I can't wait to be a stepmom". Being a stepmom isn't a role that I thought I would ever have but everything happens for a reason and here I am; a full time stepmom. I'm not sure what you would label my role at this point; mom, full time step mom, parent? 

For me, being a step is truly harder than being a "regular" mom. For me, being a step mom is second guessing EVERY SINGLE THING that I do or say towards Easton. I'm constantly telling myself, "don't be that stepmom in Cinderella". Questions that I use to ask myself over and over are "Am I treating him equally", "Am I discipling Easton the same way that I do with Liam and Chloe", "Are my parenting skills the same throughout all 3 children", "Will I ever feel like he's mine"? 

My honest truth is that I didn't feel a connection with Easton until maybe a few weeks ago. There were many months that I felt guilty about not feeling the same way for him as I did Liam and Chloe. I  shared my feeling with friends and family and learned that the way I felt was okay. It's okay that I don't have that instant loving connection with him. It's something that grows over time. It wasn't something that I could force myself to feel. Even though I felt this way, I made sure Easton never knew. I would hug, kiss, and tell him "I love you" just as much as my other two children. 

For me, being a stepmom is a whole new way of life. I've learned from my mistake and have better myself as a parent. I've broken down the way I'm going to share about my step parent life into questions that y'all have asked. 

COMMON QUESTIONS I RECEIVED AS A STEPMOM: 

WHAT DOES HE CALL YOU? 
Easton has referred to me as "mom" for about 3/4 months but didn't actually call me "mom" until last month. For example, when he was speaking to Liam he would say "Mom, is calling us for dinner". He would avoid calling me "mom" directly. His first time calling me "mom" directly was when he was using the bathroom and there wasn't toilet paper, lol. I heard him yell "MOM! MOM!". Easton's mom passed away way too early and we didn't want him to feel that he didn't have a mom. Easton knows he has two moms and that one of his moms passed away. In no way am I ever going to try to replace her. With Easton being so young, we decided that I would be called "mom" versus "stepmom" because our situation and how young he was. 

HOW HAS HE TRANSITIONED? 
Easton, honesty had a very hard time transitioning into our family. His habits, diet, manners, language, was A LOT different than ours. It was hard trying to raise a child that was raised completely differently than how Tommy and I raised Liam and Chloe. It took Easton maybe 4 months to get into the hang of things. One thing that has really helped him is a strict schedule. I've started a strict schedule since Chloe was born and it's so important for us to function properly. Our family is obviously again (Vietnamese) so that meant Easton diving into an entire new culture. He was picked up so much Vietnamese in such a short time. This is his norm now and he's very happy. 

HOW ARE LIAM AND CHLOE COOPING?
It was very hard for Liam in the beginning. Liam had only become a big brother less than a year ago and overnight, all of his stuff and space was shared with Easton. These two would wake up every single morning and argue over anything. It drove me insane for months to the point where I was ready to give up on watching Easton. I actually purchased a 3rd row car so that I could place one of the boys in the very back to prevent them fighting. Fast forward 7 months and these two love playing with each other. Yes, they get into little arguments but they're so short lived. They're each other's best friend. I went through a lot of time outs but they learned eventually. 

DID I ADOPT EASTON? 
No. On paper, Easton isn't my son. Luckily, I haven't had any problems showing proof that I'm his mom. I'm ready to adopt Easton today, it's just the matter of starting the entire process. Those offices and the entire process is pretty dreadful. We'll have it done by the end of the year. 

WHY DO YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND LIVE IN DIFFERENT CITIES? 
Tommy is based in Fort Hood, which is 3 1/2 hours from Killeen. We've decided that we want our children to grow up in Houston so we started setting things in motion in Houston; school, friends, a stable life. When Easton first came to us, I said "NO, there's no way I can raise him by myself in Houston for 1 1/2 years". How am I suppose to take care of 3 children all alone? I was truly the ONLY one that could take Easton in so I felt that it was extremely forced. I didn't feel content with it until about last November. Being a stepmom truly takes time; time to connect, time to be okay with everything, time to being a mom to a child that isn't biologically yours. 

WHAT ARE SOME STRUGGLES YOU WENT THROUGH? 
I struggled with a lot but the main thing I struggled with is obviously not feeling connected like I had mentioned, his sensitivity, and lisp. Our family isn't all that sensitive and I get that from my mom. When my child falls to the ground, my first reaction is "get up, you're okay". Easton's norm was that an adult would get a pack of ice, a bandaid, and popsicle to make the boo-boos go away. I felt guilty because I knew he wanted to be held and cuddled but that's not what I would do to Liam or Chloe. It's been a learning lesson for both Easton and I. He has had to learn how we live and deal with things and I want to say that he fully picked up on that last month. 

One HUGE problem we went through was Easton's lateral lisp. Tommy and I were actually the ones who noticed that he had a lisp and that wasn't until he was 5 1/2 years. Easton went to multiple speech lessons and it helped a bit. Juggling a full time job, 3 children's schedule, family time, and a speech class twice a week was very hard. Easton couldn't say his "S's, C's, or X's". He wasn't able to say his own name and we could tell that he would feel very insecure about it. 7 months had passes and we weren't getting anywhere. I actually looked up a youtube video two weeks ago and really made him practice it for 4+ hours a day and the day after his birthday, he said his FIRST "S" ever!! I could immediately tell that he felt a lot more confident, proud, and happy. 

HOW IS EVERYTHING NOW? 
I never thought we would be where we are today. For half a year I felt that things weren't going to change. I would always wish that someone would take these responsibilities away from me because it was TOO much. After Christmas, things started getting a lot better. I started to feel a connection, I could tell that Easton started to feel connected, and our family overall was a family of 5. Not just a family of 4 plus Easton. We're very content and happy with life. 

Easton and I have come such a long way and we're in such a good place. We're still learning from each other and there are still mistakes but it's getting better. Being a stepmom is so so difficult but I think one thing that helped me improve was asking myself "What type of stepmom did I want to be"? I'm doing the best I can and that's all I can do.  

If y'all have any questions, I'm completely open! Please dm or email me! 

Thank you so much for reading! 

xo,
Annie


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