Kids, parenting

I Love You Right Up to the Moon and Back

I-love-you-right-up-to-the-moon-and-back

As a little girl I loved hearing I love you right up to the moon and back! When I heard it I knew that my mom loved me so much! Now that I am a mom I love telling my kids that I love them right up to the moon and back. My daughter who is 2 loves this as well! Every night I tuck her in and give her a kiss and tell her I love her. She then tells me she loves me. I follow it up with I love you right up to the moon and back and then in her tiny two year old voice she says, “I love you moon and back, Mommy.” It melts my heart every time!

Kids, Mom Life, My Life, parenting, Product Review, things that work

How To Limit Screen Time with Tweens and Teens

This post contains affiliate links.

I have a love hate relationship with technology! I love it because it offers so much information right at our fingertips, but I HATE it because how much it sucks my kids in! I mean let’s be honest with video games, new YouTubers popping up everyday, and a variety of other ways to suck our kids in if we aren’t careful they will be “hooked up” to technology from the time they get home from school until bedtime, excluding the 5 minute break that they take coming down for “family dinner” to scarf down some food! And we haven’t even begun to talk about what they could possibly find on the internet!

I have tried so many things with the boys trying to get them to not spend so much time using technology, but each method has failed. Mostly because I hate being the bad guy! I don’t want to listen to their whining when I take electronics away so I end up giving in and giving it back to them. I am also inconsistent because it is so hard to monitor how much time each person has spent on technology! And on top of that, you can’t really chase Tweens and Teens around asking them if they are on their devices without being the “most overprotective mom” in the entire world.

How-to-limit-screen-time-with-tweens-and-teens

I knew Chase would be getting a phone for Christmas and part of me was scared to death as to how much MORE he would be on the internet, so I started searching for different ways to limit the amount of wifi that each child used as well as have some sort of internet security in place to protect them from a lot of inappropriate stuff out there and that is when I heard about Circle with Disney.

What is Circle With Disney?

Circle with Disney is a device that you hook up with your router that controls each device individually on your wifi network, that is all controlled through an app on your phone, so it’s super convenient.  It allows you to place time limits as well as security limits on devices and individuals that are hooked up to your network. Circle with Disney allows me to set wake up and bed times, off times throughout the day, filter content, as well as look at the history of where each person has been on the internet. I can also pause each person’s wifi or give rewards for good behavior with a click of a button on the app on my phone! I don’t even have to be home to do this!

circle-with-disney

 

How Does Circle Work For Our Family?

We have had Circle with Disney for almost 2 months and it has worked fantastic for our family! At first the boys were using their entire wifi allotment within hours of waking up and they of course would come beg for more, but now they have learned to use their wifi when they really want to play a game or watch something on YouTube. Very rarely are they using all their wifi on their personal devices in a day. They have discovered the outdoors and other activities that they really enjoy, they are no longer getting up at 6am on Saturday (because they know the wifi is off) and family dinners are now longer than 5 minutes!

circle-with-disney-2

 

I love knowing exactly where my kids have been on the internet and how much time they are spending there. I no longer fear about them running into inappropriate content because I know it is being blocked. I have also discovered how much time I waste in a day on the internet and limited myself as well so that I too can be productive!

Circle with Disney is $99.00 and has been worth every penny because the wifi is no longer a battle I have to fight everyday with the kids! If you want to limit wifi and have struggled doing that I can guarantee this will work for you! They also have a monthly plan that protects devices when they are off the wifi network as well if your kids decide to start using data when they run out of wifi for the day (mine haven’t tried this yet because they know they will lose their phones for a very long time if we go over our data plan!)

If you struggle with screen time like we did, Circle with Disney can really help solve your screen time problems! Click here to purchase Circle with Disney at Amazon!

How-to-limit-screen-time-with-kids

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Kids, parenting, Parenting is hard

How to Lose a Pacifier in Just 3 Days!

How-To-Lose-a-Pacifier-in-3-days!-2

Each toddler has that one thing that they love more than anything in the entire world!
For some it’s their blanket, for others it’s a favorite stuffed animal, and then there are those kids that love a certain toy…

I wish my daughter loved one of these things that I wouldn’t mind her always having with her, but it wasn’t… My daughters favorite thing just happened to be her PACIFIER!

To  say her pacifier was her favorite thing  is a huge understatement! I think she would choose her pacifier over food if she had too; in fact there were times when she would take her pacifier out just long enough to stick a piece of food in her mouth and then she would shove her pacifier right back in. We could not go anywhere without making sure she had a pacifier as well as me having two spares just in case she lost one. It was bad! My 2 ½ year old was addicted to a pacifier and I had NO IDEA what to do about it, until one Wednesday at our Wandering Wednesday link party, where bloggers come and share great blog posts, I found an idea from Have Twins First on how to ditch the pacifiers in just three days! It was an idea she found here called Bye Bye Binkie: Ending the Pacifier Habit. I read her post and sort of laughed because I thought to myself, “YOU HAVE NO IDEA JUST HOW ADDICTED MY TODDLER IS… I mean that thing is in her mouth for at least 20 hours a day,” but I decided it wouldn’t hurt to try it out!

how-to-lose-a-pacifier-in-3-days-2

How You Lose the Pacifier in 3 Days

Step 1

From what I read from Have Twins First and Bye Bye Binkie, the process starts three days before you actually take the pacifiers away. You do this by starting the conversation about the pacifiers going away.

So 3 days before, I prepped my daughter telling her how big she was getting and how she could do such fun things. She of course agreed that she was so big. I then said there were babies that really needed her pacifiers because they were little and that they really needed those pacifiers… She happily agreed (Yes, I was still laughing inside thinking this will never work). We had this conversation 5-6 times a day for the next three days. Each conversation lasted less than 30 seconds.

how-to-lose-a-pacifier-in-3-days-1

Step 2

It was the big day, Day 3, the day I had been dreading… I went through the whole house and found all the pacifiers because I knew if she had to find them she would have a major meltdown when it was time to give them away.,Then  I only needed to get the one she had in her mouth! I distracted her with some candy and took the last pacifier and shoved them in the bottom of a drawer in a dresser so she would never be able to find them.

Then it happened, she asked for her pacifier! I told her that we gave them to the babies. This satisfied her! What?! Was this working? Throughout the day she continued to ask for her pacifier and I continued to tell her that we gave them to the babies.

No Pacifier at Bedtime? Send Help!

We made it through the day without any major meltdowns because we didn’t have a pacifier and I was relieved! We got ready for bed with our normal routine. We sang and gave kisses, and then it happened… She asked for her pacifier. I reminded her that the babies had it and she lost it… There was no comforting herShe sobbed…I told her the babies were so happy and she made the babies happy and I kissed her again and left. She cried herself to sleep that night and my heart was breaking… I was so tempted to go give her a pacifier, but I didn’t!  

The next morning she woke up and sadly asked me for her pacifier, I reminded her that the babies had them now. Throughout the day she continued to ask, but less frequently than the day before at bedtime it was similar to the day before, but not as bad or for as long. After a few days she was no longer asking for it during the day, unless she got hurt doing something. Nap time and nights became easier too, and got to the point where she was laying down without crying.

It’s been one month of no pacifiers and our life is so much better without pacifiers! Our toddler is happier (I never thought that would happen!), she talks more, and plays more. Honestly taking her pacifier away was the hardest thing I have had to do as a mom with her. There were many times where I thought, “this isn’t worth it”, or “if I gave it to her she would just stop crying”, and many other tempting thoughts, but I am SO glad that I was strong enough to stick to the plan because we are so much better off without Pacifiers!

Screen Shot 2018-02-08 at 12.45.55 PM

I know that it is heartbreaking to take their pacifier away for them and for you, but I promise if you stick to the plan you will be pacifier free and you will no longer be searching for the lost pacifiers under the bed at two o’clock in the morning!

How-to-lose-a-pacifier-in-just-3-days-3

 

.

 

Kids, parenting

Be Who You Needed When You Were Younger

It’s so easy as parents for us to get wrapped up in the day to day things that we have to do. It is easy for us to forget what we wanted most as a kid. For me, it was time with my family. I loved Friday nights growing up because we would always have Friday night game nights and late night Taco Bell runs. Now that I am a parent I love 9pm because it’s bedtime, but I need to do a better job of being what I needed most as a kid, which was late nights bonding with my family! What did you need as a kid that you can give your kids now?

be-who-you-needed-when-you-were-younger

Kids, parenting, Parenting is hard

How to Transition from Homeschool to Public School

I am that parent who never envisioned sending my kids to public school. Let’s be honest, we were having so much fun learning at home and getting to go on vacation whenever we felt like it, why would we ever choose to go to a “real school”?  I had homeschooled for 10 years 2 months and 15 days when my 15-year old son decided to issue these words, “Mom, I want to go to highschool!” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, but I wanted my son to experience high school if that’s what he really wanted to do, so off we went into an unknown territory for our family.   

#1 Vaccinations

The first step into entering public school is making sure all your child’s vaccinations are up to date. If you choose to not vaccinate then you will be required to sign a waiver and get it  notarized.  I currently live in Texas which has a few more required vaccinations then where we previously lived, so you want to make sure you check your state’s vaccination requirements.  You cannot assume, like I did, that all of the state laws are the same.  Get to know what vaccinations are required in your state for your children to attend school so there is no delay.

One important option for those parents who do not vaccinate is that some states have waivers that you can request to opt out of certain vaccinations so check into that if you choose to not vaccinate.

#2 Current Report Card

While homeschooling it’s important to keep track of any grades you give your children on assignments and tests.  This information will be helpful to the school so they know what your child knows and he/she will not have to repeat courses you have already taught.  I did not use an online homeschooling program so this made things a little tricky and held up the admission process. So you want to be sure to keep great records while homeschooling just in case they will ever attend public school.   

#3 Testing

One thing I made sure to do each year was to give my kids a national standardized test.  I went through Abeka. This was required where we lived, even though we only had to submit the results every other year. Each state is different though. Texas, for example, has a state test as well as national tests that all students must pass in order to move to the next grade level.  Therefore, to satisfy the state, and prove my child’s grade level, he was required to take the state test for the previous grade level.

My son was a little bit nervous about doing this and I thought he might change his mind, but his desire to attend high school was greater than the anxiety he felt about taking the exam.  (Of course he passed with flying colors…. Yep, teacher of the year right here, just saying!)

#4 Adjustment Period

Being homeschooled allows for parents to remove the negative effects of peer pressure that can be present in public schools.  During the first month of attending high school my son realized that being the “class clown” was not the smartest way to go.  He also quickly understood that teachers were not like parents and they did not accept late work.  This was the hardest part of the transition! It took patients as I watched him struggle through the adjustment.

How I Dealt with the Adjustment Period?

No parent wants to see their kids struggle, so I searched for the right thing to say or to do. I learned through this adjustment period that teenagers need guidance without it appearing to be lectures. So what I chose to do was offer a few soft words each day help him find his way.

#5 Other Ways to Bond

Now that my kids go to public school, I no longer get to spend as much time with them like the old days.  So everyday after school we all sit down at the kitchen table and they work on homework and I work on other projects to be able to spend time with them. Since my kids started public school it gave me a chance to go back to college and take some classes, which has been fun because we have shared each other’s successes (good grades on test) and cry with each other during discouraging times (usually when I feel overwhelmed my kids are there to help encourage me to continue).  We have bonded in new ways, which I would  never have imagined prior to them going to public school.

Transitioning from homeschool to public school has been a journey that I did not think we would ever take as a family, but our family has now done it twice and been successful both times we have done it!  As I look  back I think the transition was the hardest for me!  I used to look forward to waking up everyday and spending it with my kids teaching them, but now I look forward to them coming home and telling me about their adventures at school.  I still work closely with all of their teachers (love that the school has everything online for parents to see each day) to make sure my kids are on track.  Making the move to public school was the right choice for our family.

What were some of the most difficult things you encountered transitioning from homeschool to public school?

5-simple-steps-on-how-to-transition-from-homeschool-to-public-school

5-things-to-remember-when-transitioning-from-Homeschool-to-Public-School (5 Things) - JY

 

~Written by Jennifer

Kids, parenting

How Do You Stop Yelling?

Despite the fact that I have my degree in marriage and family studies and have taken parenting classes and early childhood education classes I still struggle at parenting at times. It is no secret that one of my biggest challenges is Yelling in the heat of the moment. If you don’t believe me go read, I’m a Yeller.

I yell. I yell too often, and then my kids ask me why I have my angry voice out?

I’ll be honest at first it feels totally justifiable why I am yelling, I mean they aren’t listening, but then mom guilt comes in and I realize that I shouldn’t handle things that way and then I feel really bad.

10 days ago I committed to not yell for an entire year, and man it’s been hard at times, but I haven’t yelled… I have been super close many times, but then I remember that I am in control of my actions…

 

So… How Do You Stop Yelling at Your Kids?

How-to-Stop-Yelling-at-Your-Kids

First, Let’s Chat About Yelling…

In order to be successful at something we need to set ourselves up for success, so how do we do that? We need to understand why we yell in the first place. I have come to understand that yelling for me is me losing complete control of the situation. Therefore, I have to make the choice well before the situation occurs that I am going to stay calm no matter what, I know… Easier said than done.

Find Your Triggers

I have thought long and hard about why I lose it with my kids and 9 times out of 10 it is close to bedtime when I have a plan and things are not going according to that plan. With me being able to recognize my trigger I am able to make changes to allow me to not become as frustrated and allow my emotions to take over. I have learned to have some flexibility in the plan. Yes, bedtime in our house is at 9pm, but is there really that big of a difference between 9:00 and 9:02? 10 days ago I would have said, “Yes!” but after realizing to be a little more flexible our nights have become better, and I have less of a desire to yell…

What are your yelling triggers?

Recognize that Yelling Doesn’t Work

I know in the moment we think that yelling is the best way to handle the situation, but in reality it doesn’t help anything and it doesn’t work. Yelling makes the kids sad, you get an “angry face” and it just makes the situation worse, followed by you feeling guilty for yelling at your kids.

Plan Ahead

I know this sounds ridiculous, but think about those situations that make you the most frustrated and plan how to handle it differently the next time it happens.

For me, it’s usually when I say, “It’s time to get ready for bed.” And then like clockwork my night goes to hell in a handbasket… I think the boys take this as a nightly invitation to start horsing around, tripping each other, bring out their accents from around the world, checking one last thing on their phones, complaining that they are hungry, and the list could go on and on as to what happens.

So now 10 minutes before it’s time to get ready for bed, I tell them we are getting ready for bed in 10 minutes. After those 10 minutes, when it is bedtime, I already expect that these shinangenz are going to happen, so when they do I am not instantly fired up and ready to yell. I also have planned my Positive FIrst Response, “Boys, I don’t think you heard me the first time, It’s time to get ready for bed. Please head to your rooms and get your Pajamas on and then brush your teeth.”

So to recap the changes I have made with planning ahead: 1. Thought about the situations that makes me most frustrated 2. Planned a Positive First Reaction and 3.Gave the kids warning that bedtime was coming up, rather than springing it on them when it is time to get ready for bed. These simple steps have helped me keep my cool.

In The Moment When You Want To Yell

It’s time to get ready for bed and the boys are now chasing each other around the house trying to trick one another. One is trying to pants the other and the other is screaming for dear life… It’s here! The moment we planned for… I am angry. I am frustrated. No one is listening and I am about ready to lose it. How do I calm down so I am not the crazy shouting mean yelling mom? 

Talk Calmly, but Firmly Using Simple Phrases

This is when we need to use every ounce of patience we have and we need to take a deep breath and calmly, but firmly announce what is supposed to be happening. Do this with simple short phrases. In my case I calmly, but firmly state, “Boys, it is time to get ready for bed. Go to your rooms and get ready for bed.”

Respond, Don’t React

Certainly it would be easy for me to chase the boys around the living room or to yell at them when they are yelling at each other, but this doesn’t work because it is me reacting to the situation based on emotions. We need to respond effectively to what is happening rather than reacting.

Set Consequences/ and Follow Through

If talking calmly doesn’t work using simple phrases, then it is time to set a consequence. “Boys, if you do not start getting ready for bed right now, then you will lose your wifi after school tomorrow.” Okay… So in our house this usually is what gets at least one of them bolting to their room because a life without wifi is like the ultimate punishment. I know what the parenting books say, the consequence should go in line with the punishment. So if they aren’t getting ready for bed they should have to do it sooner the next day or early to bed… This does not work for us. We have a few things that if I threaten to take them away I can be guaranteed fantastic behavior immediately, the wifi being one of them. So find a consequence that works for your kids. It probably is a different consequence for each one of them. 

If your kids don’t do what they were supposed to after you set the consequence, then you have no choice, but to follow through. If you don’t follow through your kids will now realize that you just like to give “idle threats” and that you really don’t mean what you say, so they will never believe any consequence you set, ever.

Walk Away

If you are about ready to lose it, it’s time to walk away and get a few deep breaths… I know you might think this is letting the kids win, but really you are winning here because you are recognizing that you are still in control of the situation. Most of the time when I walk away the kids usually start listening. If the problem is still happening when you come back then you are able to deal with the situation with more patience.

Walking away from a situation also shows my kids that it is okay to walk away from situations they are in before they lose it. It teaches them it is not okay to scream or shout and we can all take a moment to compose ourselves before dealing with the situation on hand.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

When the situation is escalating and you want to yell, using humor might be a good alternative. Making a joke and laughing can change the situation completely. When I tell a joke the boys stop chasing each other and start wanting to tell jokes. I then let them tell a joke and then they head off to get ready for bed. Problem solved! We avoided Yelling and they are now getting ready for bed, and bonus! Everyone is happy!

After I’ve Yelled

Let’s be honest… I yell… I feel like crap… I feel like the worst mom in the world… I feel like I am majorly failing… I feel like my kids hate me. So what do we do once we yell?

Apologize

Tell your kids you are sorry, and really mean it. This is important to do this because they need to recognize that everyone makes mistakes, even their mom and dad! It helps them learn how to apologize also when they are in the wrong. 

Show an Increase of Love

Parenting can be hard! So can being a kid, trying to figure everything out. In those moments after we lose it, we need to make sure that our kids know they are loved. We need to take this time to give them some extra attention, spend some quality time playing a game or reading a book or give them some extra hugs to make them know how much they are loved.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up!

For days after I yell I worry that my kids hate me, even though they show no signs of hating me… I mean kids are really the most incredible forgiving individuals in the world! It’s easy to think that we are the worst parents in the world and that everyone is a better parent than me, but that doesn’t help anyone! So pick yourself up and figure out what you want to do better next time! I know you can do it! 

What have you found helps you to not yell at your kids?

 

Kids, Mom Life, My Life, parenting, Parenting is hard

One Day This Will All Be Gone and You’re Going to Miss This

One Day This Will All Be Gone-2

Yesterday I got nothing done because we were on a two hour delay from school.

Today I had to drive everyone to school because it was simply “too cold” they said to get on the bus.

But one day I won’t have any kids at home anymore to help get ready in the morning.

 

Yesterday I did 5 loads of loads of laundry and it still didn’t look like I had done any.

Today I have washed, dried, and folded 4 loads of laundry and have three more to do.

But one day my washer and dryer will be empty and there won’t be folded piles all over the table.

 

Yesterday I slept all day because I had mastitis.

Today I fed a child 9 times taking up approximately 4 hours of my day.  

But one day my kids will be grown and I won’t get those precious moments with them anymore.

 

Yesterday I listened to my baby “cry it out” until I couldn’t handle it anymore.

Today I was greeted by my 2 year old at 10 o’clock at night who was scared and didn’t want to sleep alone.

But one day my bed will only be filled of the snores of my husband.

 

Yesterday I picked up a gazillion toys around the house.

Today Today I picked up a gazillion and one toys, 19 pairs of shoes, 5 winter jackets, and 13 socks.

But one day I will have a perfectly clean house, but will be missing the kids who made the mess because they will be grown and have their own kids making messes in their house.

 

Yesterday I said “uh huh” about 30 times to the kids when I wasn’t really listening because I was trying to get something done.

Today I let the kids play video games and watch TV so I could get something done.

But one day I will wish there was someone to talk to and someone to do something with.

 

Yesterday I rolled my eyes when Colby slid into home plate when he really didn’t have to just to get his pants dirty.

Today Tony got sweet potato puree all over his brand new shirt.

But one day I will no longer stand in the laundry room for hours trying to remove stains thinking of the memories of how they got there.

 

Yesterday I ran kids to sports practices, choir concerts, band performances, church activities, and got to eat PB and J for dinner in the car because it’s all I had time for.

Today it will be spent doing pretty much the same thing minus help from Ty because he’s out of town.

But one day I will wish I had these days back spending time watching the kids do things that they love.

 

Yesterday I was the worst mom in the world because I made the kids clean their room.

Today I will again be the worst mom in the world when I make them clean the playroom and put their laundry away.

But one day they will thank me for teaching them to be organized and clean.

 

Yesterday I felt like a failure as a parent.

Today I don’t feel much better about that.

But one day I will look back and realize that I did something right because my kids turned out pretty good!

 

So with that being said, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. I will keep making plans and to do lists that need changing when something comes up with the kids. I’ll keep doing laundry day after day so the kids have their favorite shirt to wear the next day. I will treasure the moments of feeding my baby rather than dwelling on what else I “could be doing”. I will snuggle my baby until he learns to fall asleep on his own and welcome our daughter into our bed at any hour. I will listen more when my kids talk. I will cheer louder when Colby slides into home and praise Tony for actually eating real food after trying for a month to get him to eat. I will happily treasure the time in the car of having time with the kids while on the way to their activities. I will treasure the words as “worst mom in the world” because that usually means you’re doing something right. Because one day all these things will just be distant memories we wish we still had when our kids are grown.

 

Parenting is hard. There are days where I wonder if I am making a difference. There are days when I feel like I am failing. There are days that I wish I could go to the bathroom by myself or take more than a two minute shower, but then I look at my kids and realize how have you grown up so fast? Where have all my little babies gone? And then I think, one day this will all be gone, and I’m going to miss this!one day this will all be gone, and I’m going to miss this!one day this will all be gone, and I’m going to miss this!

 

What are you going to miss most when your kids aren’t so little anymore?

Michele Signature

One Day This Will all Be Gone

 

Kids, Product Review

Helping Kids Discover Journaling

I love this time a year… A time of new beginnings and fresh starts, of course we don’t always have to wait for the New Year to do this, but it seems for the most of us we always do… For me, it usually is an excuse to still continue to eat chocolate! 🙂

One of my FAVORITE things about the New Year is taking the time to start a journal! Many people wonder why they should keep a journal. Journaling allows me to really discover who I am. It allows my children and grandchildren to one day understand my trials and struggles and exactly how to get through them (when I give them all to them when I get older). It allows me the opportunity for personal growth and self discovery. So many times I have turned back to my journal for answers that I am seeking. Journaling offers us the ability to spill our guts and really reflect on the things that are bothering us. It really helps us improve our understanding and insight on situations that are occurring around us. 

As a mom I want to have my kids discover these same benefits of journaling, but I always have felt like journals are a little above their head until now!

IMG_0819.jpg

My Gratitude and Dream Journal

I love the My Gratitude and Dream journal because it is not like any other journal that I have written in. This colorful journal is sprinkled with quotes that are not only meaningful, but inspiring as well. It also allows plenty of room for you to write your thoughts, feelings, and ideas on what you are thankful for. What I love about this journal is the fact that I don’t feel the need that I have to write in it every day, but I certainly can!

IMG_0825

Perfect for Kids and Teens

If you are trying to inspire your kids or teens to write in journals this is the perfect one for them to get started with! It allows them room to color, write, and truly express themselves on each page. It has a variety of colors and is truly inviting. It is never too early to introduce journaling and expressing gratitude to your kids, and this is the perfect book to do it!

If you are looking for a journal for your kids that offers more self reflection and personal growth the My Happy Place journal is just what you are looking for.

My Happy Place

This journal allows them to grow as they discover themselves through self-reflection, school and hobbies, family and friends, and helping the world.

It will help your child:

*express themselves through writing, pictures, and drawing

* Unlock their feelings, hopes, and dreams

* Discover who they are and what they want to become

* Build Confidence and strengthen relationships

* Give them awareness that they can make a difference in the world in which we live.

 

These journals were created by a mom and a daughter who had a dream to make and create products that inspire, educate, and entertain the young and the young at heart and My Gratitude and Dream Journal and My Happy Place certainly does just that!

If you are a parent or grandparent wanting to teach your children the beauty of journaling these are the perfect journals to get them started! I am so excited for my 10 year old daughter to open both of these journals on Christmas morning so that she can begin to understand the beauty of journaling. You can find both journals on Amazon here and here.

 

*These opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. For a full disclosure please see my disclosure statement.

Divorce, Kids, remarriage, Step Families, Stepmoms

You Never Really Stop Loving Your Step Kids Even After Divorce

Many years ago, when I was 20, I became a stepmom for the very first time to two little boys who were 18 months and 3 years old. Their dad, who had already been married before, convinced me that I just couldn’t live without him or these adorable little boys. I always wanted to be a mom and this just allowed me to get a jumpstart on that.

people-children-child-happy-160946

The boys would come and visit us every other weekend and once throughout the week. I bonded rather quickly with them and loved to play with them. Over time our time together increased. Fast forward a few years and the boys were living with us pretty much full time. It was certainly a full house with 4 boys (we had had two since getting married), my husband, me, and a dog all in 1400 square feet!

 

I always knew my role as a “stepmom”, but over time with the boys always there the lines slowly blurred together. I was the one that shopped for their birthday and Christmas gifts. I was the one who baked the cookies they enjoyed eating after school as well as the one who attended IEPs (the oldest was special needs) and parent teacher conferences. I was the one who potty trained the kids, cleaned up poopies, wiped snotty noses when they stayed home sick from school, and even volunteered in their classrooms. I was their number one cheerleader for them at sporting events and all the other activities they were involved in. I was pretty much “mom”, without the title. I did it all for them and I loved it!

pexels-photo-277477

Deep down I knew these boys weren’t legally mine, but they were part of me, and honestly I was mom to them, without the title. When they needed something they knew that I would be there. Some of my favorite moments were holding them reading stories or playing video games on the couch with them. I would do anything to protect them, I would put their needs above my own, and their happiness was my number one priority.

reading-77167

Overtime, my husband and I changed… We tried to work through some things, even went to counseling, but it just didn’t work out and we decided that it was time to move on. Leaving the life I had worked so hard to build was one of the hardest decisions I have had to make in my life, but I knew deep down it was the right one.

 

After my husband and I separated we made the decision to keep all the kids together through the rest of the school year. I still got to see C & C all the time, help them with homework and continue to share that special bond we had formed over the last 9 years together.

 

The day came all too quickly when it was time to say goodbye to video games on the couch and sharing homemade cookies after school. Me, being terrible at goodbyes, promised them that we would still see each other all the time at their brother’s sporting events and other activities, and that they could come visit me or call me whenever they wanted.

 

At first we saw each other all the time, but overtime it became less frequent, conversations became shorter and more fictitious and love seemed to slowly dwindle.

 

I will never forget those sweet little boys, who are now 16 and 17. I still remember their precious smiles the first day we met and how they could both light up a room with their sweet spirits. Thankfully, Facebook shares these memories with me occasionally!  I can’t help, but wonder what they are up to and how they turned out since we last sat on the couch and snuggled and ate cookies. I wonder if they think of me and miss me like I miss them. I am only left with all the memories we made so many years ago and I just hope that I made a difference in their life, like they made in mine so many years ago.

~C & C if you ever find this, know that I still love you, know that I am always here for you, and that I think of you often. If you ever need me, I’ll be there…

 

You Never really stop loving them