Tips For A Step Mom

Hi everyone! Jennifer here, hanging out trying to bring some valuable content for you all! Okay so by the title of this post you can tell what it’s going to be about, so let’s get right to it. I’m a step mom. Yes. I sure am. My husband and I dated around the time my step daughter was about 4 years old. She was the cutest little cheeky baby! Anyway, point is, I knew about her existence even before we dated since the hubbs and I were high school acquaintances. We dated in 2009 for about a year, so I always count that year as being a step mom because I took on the role from the beginning. That makes it about 8 years total. 3 years partially parenting her, and 5 years of full time parenting with her living in our home. Because of this, and some dramatic events that took place during these 8 years, I feel like I have something to offer as far as advice and tips. I want you all to know that I’m solely basing this on my personal experience. Having said that, here are my top 6 tips for step moms out there. Even if you’re just dating someone with kids that could potentially be “the one”, I think you need to hear these tips. I really wish there would have been more people around me that went through similar situations as me because maybe hearing some advice from said people would have eased the process for me… maybe.. I guess it’s different for everyone. I will say this, though: If you’re here to know how to be the best step mom, then you’re in the wrong place. I only learn as I go and trusting God through all these different phases of being a step mom is truly what keeps me sane and centered. And I didn’t make “Trusting in God” one of the tips because that’s just a given in my book! Anyway, now I’m just ranting on! Let’s move it along!

Tip #1: Don’t force your step child to call you mom.

I speak of this because we made the error of trying to have my step daughter call me mom from the beginning. I know, I know, what were we thinking, right? I honestly don’t have an answer for that other than we we’re wrong and I regret this so much! I gotta cut myself some slack, though, because I jumped into this step mom thing head on and I seriously didn’t know any better. Either way, the lesson was learned and my step daughter started calling me mom on her own when she was 7.

Tip#2: Know when to say that you’re a step mom and when to avoid it.

An example of when I would not mention that I’m a step mom would be at one of my step daughter’s friend’s birthday party while I chat it up. I want to respect my step daughter’s privacy as much as I can and not put her on the spot and make her feel uncomfortable. A place where I would mention that I am her step mom would be when I take her to a doctor’s appointment.

Tip#3: Love your step child no matter what.

Loving a child that is not yours is a choice that you make, it’s not something that just happens. When my husband and I were dating and I knew that he was the man I wanted to marry, I made the decision to love this child that was not mine. From that point on it was a promise that I made to her and it happened right away. My step daughter was 4 when I met her and she was the sweetest little girl, so it was not hard to love her dearly. So I did, and still do. Even now that she’s 11 and pre-teen years and hormonal changes are more and more apparent. I love her.

Tip#4: Understand that your step child will love their mom forever, no matter the circumstances, and respect that.

This is the case in my situation. My step daughter still sees her mom, not too often, but still does. She has no resentment or ill feelings whatsoever towards her mom, so that’s something that I have to accept and respect. She has a great and forgiving heart so I would not expect anything less of her.

Tip#5: Never speak in a negative way about your step child’s parent, especially in front of your child.

In the beginning of my relationship with my step daughter, there was a lot of drama going on, so I am guilty of saying things about her mom that I should not have said. What I never did, and I’m proud on myself for, is say anything bad about her mom in my step daughter’s presence.

Tip#6: Always strive to have a civil relationship with your step child’s mom, if possible.

That is my goal, and always has been. It was never possible until probably last year (2016). And let me tell you that it is crazy to think that I’m on speaking terms with her mom. I think at some level I knew that it would happen eventually, but never actually pictured it in real life. Not sure if ya’ll know what I mean, but it’s here. We are on speaking terms, and it’s finally all good.

And that’s is for my tips based on my 8 years experience as a step mom. This is definitely a subject that I will try to touch base on more often as God leads me to it. One last thing: PRAY, PRAY, PRAY for your step child. I thank you for stopping by and giving precious time of yours to my blog. I also made a You Tube video on all these tips, for those of you that are more into watching videos. I’ll link it below for your convenience. Let me know your thoughts, and also all you step moms out there that have been at it for way longer than I have, I’d  like to hear some of your insight!

 

Until next time,

Jennifer C.

How I Unexpectedly Stopped Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding was always something that I held dear to my heart. It was something that I wanted to do with my son, but I was so inexperienced and gave up on it sooner than I should have. When my daughter came along I was determined to give it my full effort and dedicate time towards achieving her breastfeeding time to at least 1 year. I was finally at the hospital ready for my baby girl to come and when she did it was the most beautiful little chunky face, pulled back eyes and pink little lips. She was perfect. After a little bit of time holding her skin to skin, I began attempting to breastfeed her, and I kid you not, she latched instantly! I knew right there that our nursing journey would be much different than it was with my son. Well that’s how it all started and it has seriously been great ever since, but now it is over, and done before our 1 year goal.. This really saddens be because it happened so unexpectedly and I was not emotionally prepared to let go.

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Okay, so baby girl was 10 months old when my husband and I took a weekend mini-vacation to San Francisco to spend time alone and to celebrate our 7-year anniversary. Can I get an amen?! God knows marriage is work and an everyday decision to love. Anyway, my husband and I had been lacking spending time together, due to work and life and kids. I mean, can you relate? So we were very excited to spend that weekend together without the kids running around and needing us, as kids do.

 

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I made arrangements for my mother-in-law, sister, and mom to watch all 3 kids for the 3 days we would be gone. I packed all my stuff including my breast pump to keep producing milk while I was away so that I could continue to feed baby girl when I came back 3 days later. I made sure to leave plenty of formula for her to drink in the meantime. So the day came to fly away on our anniversary and spend mommy and daddy time away. While we were in San Francisco I pumped 3 times a day, but I had to toss this precious milk away because I had no proper storage to keep it and bring it back home. So every time I poured it down the sink I felt horrible.. knowing that my daughter was home drinking formula instead. By the third day in San Francisco I noticed my milk supply was decreasing. I started expressing about 6-8 ounces per pump on the first day, and by the third day I was at about 4 ounces per pump. I began to worry and feel bad about the idea of drying up before my desired time.

When I finally got home I hadn’t pumped for hours because our plane was late and there was nowhere to pump in the airport. I had so much milk ready to be expressed that I was in pain. So I couldn’t wait to hold my kids and then nurse baby girl. Well she was sound asleep and my mother-in-law told me that she was struggling to fall asleep and she had just managed to. I felt bad so I didn’t bother baby girl. I went into my room and I pumped the necessary milk so that the pain would go away and went to sleep.

The next day I couldn’t wait for baby girl to wake up so that I could feed her! I was putting so much pressure on her to help me produce milk again. Lots of it, like before. She finally woke up and she was very happy to see mommy and so I put her to the breast and she latched as if I’d never been gone, which I was so happy about. Every time before that, I would feel the milk coming down for her after maybe a minute of her sucking. This time I felt nothing.. I sat there praying out loud, asking God to please let this cycle continue. I tried for the next 3 or 4 feedings, but it was just not happening. Baby girl was not eating and I knew it was gone… I cried every one of those times that I tried to feed her and no milk came out. I felt like a horrible mother for leaving to San Francisco and drying up her milk supply. I hated myself for every time I mentioned how badly I wanted to stop wearing breast pads and how uncomfortable it was. I was a mess. I wasn’t ready to let this go. I wasn’t ready for my baby not to depend on me in that way. I wasn’t ready to stop holding her while she ate. I wasn’t ready to stop looking into those beautiful brown eyes while I nursed her. I just wasn’t ready. In my head, that’s not how I saw this path ending. It took me a couple more days to get used to the idea that this was my life now. This was my baby girl’s life now. And after praying for peace in my heart, I got it.

God gave me the peace I needed in my heart to understand that things don’t always go as planned, but that is perfectly okay. He showed me that I don’t have control over everything, but that is okay too. And most importantly, He showed me that my baby girl would be just fine, that I should be proud that I was able to exclusively nurse her for 10 months and that I should be grateful that I didn’t suffer physically to dry up my supply.  So now, I am at peace with it. It’s been a month since, and I can finally put my thoughts in order and share this with you all.

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I really hope this serves as inspiration or hope for any women out there going through something similar!

Here’s a verse for you to meditate on:

Ecclesiastes 3:11  

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

Thanks for stopping by! – Jenny C.

My Morning Routine

Hi all, how’s your Wednesday night going? I’m sitting in bed trying to blog while my 5 month old and 3 year old are playing and trying to grab my laptop! I need a trip to the grocery store right about now because every mom knows that’s “mommy-time”, “me-time”, amiright?!! Anyway, today’s been busy for me. My daughter performed a dance at her school and it was in the middle of the day so I’m still recovering from leftover things to do around the house. Well enough of my ranting. Here is a video I made to give you a small glimpse into my home and what my mornings typically look like. I hope you enjoy it! Let me know if any other videos you would like to see in the comments and thanks for stopping by!

xoxo Jenni C.

 

A Day In My Life

Good Morning All!! Well right now it’s about 8:47 in the morning here in San Diego and I’m sitting here in my living room with y 3-year-old son. He’s watching Clifford and I’m here, having mommy-time. I thought I’d give you a glimpse into a typical day in my life. So here’s what today looks like for me.

6:45 am: I woke up and took some chicken out of the freezer for today’s dinner then got ready to take my daughter to school. We walk to school so it’s a good way to fully wake up and also a good time to spend some time talking to her and give her a little bit of my undivided attention that sometimes I can’t give her during the day. Today we talked about how she’s excited about 6th grade and she’s ready to get her fundraising started for 6th grade camp. She’s seriously a good sales little woman. We also talked about how she wished the sun would be out and I told her I like cloudy days like these and I also mentioned she’s getting better and better at doing her hair. We got to school and I walked her to her classroom and said goodbye.

coffee7:45 am: I walked back to the cafeteria for the “Coffee with the Principles” meeting they were going to have. This is a great way to get more into what my daughter’s school is up to and also to get to know the principles and some of the teachers in her school as well. Oh, and you can never go wrong with a cup of coffee and cookies at 7:45 in the morning and raffle for a prize. I walked home afterwards with no prize in arms ha ha, but a better understanding of what is going on in my daughter’s school.

8:30 am: I got home and my son was already awake and in my bed with his daddy. Daddy is off from work today
so there are a few things we’re taking care of. I bring him to the living room and we hang out for a little while before daddy & sister wake up. My daughter always sends my son a little snack from her school’s cafeteria in a little lunch bag so this is the time he will open it and eat it. This is also the time where I can read him a book to him or play something with him.

Banana-Oat-Pancakes 29:30 am: My husband wakes up around this time on his days off and we make breakfast together. Today we will make my famous (and delicious)
banana-oatmeal pancakes since I have about 4 bananas that are about to go bad. Once breakfast is ready my husband and son will eat and I will go nurse my daughter. After she’s done, I will have my breakfast then clean-up the kitchen.

 

10:30 am: We just purchased a car off Craigslist but it needs a few repairs. One very important one is the Air Conditioning system! With temperatures reaching past the 80s here in San Diego and with 3 kids in the car, we definitely need this fixed asap. So my husband will be taking the car down to Tijuana to get that fixed for a better price.

Laundry11:00 am: I will start by putting a load into the washer, and while that gets going I will clean my room and my bathroom. I will probably cut up a green apple with peanut butter for a snack for my son and me and take out a Gerber for my baby girl. Then I will put the load into the dryer and start washing another load while the first one finishes drying.

12:00 pm: I will get to dusting the living room and sweeping the floor and then fold the dried clothes and put the washed clothes into the dryer. At this time I will wash the potatoes and get them ready for the oven, then wash some broccoli and steam it.

playdoh1:00 pm: I will get the Play-Doh out for my son and sit him in a high-chair to play while I nurse my daughter for the second time. Can I just say Play-Doh has been a life-saver for me when it come to entertaining my son. He literally will spend a good hour to two hours playing with it!! I love this stuff! Anyway, once I’m done nursing I will put baby girl down for her nap and finish up cooking the chicken breasts I thawed earlier and I will also be making lentil soup.

2:15 pm: If my husband is back from Tijuana, he will stay with the kids while I go pick up my daughter from school, or he will go himself, but if he’s not this is the time I will start prepping to go pick her up. I’ll have my son put on his shoes, brush his hair and teeth and get myself and my baby girl changed (If we’re not already). I’ll put the kids in the stroller and off we go.

3:00 pm: I’ll be back home by this time and will put my baby girl in her swing, my son will go play in his room and my daughter will go change and start her homework while I finish up serving dinner. When I’m ready to serve I will call her to set the table and I will serve, we pray, and enjoy our food. When we’re done, my older daughter will clean up the table, put any clean dishes away and go do her homework. I will finish cleaning the rest of the kitchen and sweeping the floor once again.

MOVIEATHOME4:30 pm: I will play a movie for my son so he can watch while I nurse my daughter for the third time. My older daughter will get ready and make herself a snack so she can  leave for a church event she has.

6:00 pm: I will make another snack for my son, maybe ham, cheese and crackers. Then I will sit him down to play with play-doh for the second time.

8:00 pm: I will nurse my baby girl again and let my son use the tablet in the meantime. My older daughter will arrive from church and get ready for bed.

9:00 pm: I will serve the kids cereal and send my daughter off to bed. I will brush my son’s teeth and get him to bed while my baby girl is in her crib.

10:00 pm: This will be wither mommy-time, or mommy and daddy time.

relax311:30 pm: My husband heads off to the gym and I catch up on my Bible reading, spend time with the Lord in prayer and sometimes I will work on my devotional from my Bible Study at my church. This is the fuel that keeps me going and keeps me sane. I don’t function the same when I don’t keep myself checked with God. After this if I still have energy in me and if I’m not sleepy yet I will watch TV for a little while until my husband comes home.

12:30 am: My husband will return from the gym, take a shower and then we’ll go to sleep.

So this is basically it for my typical day. Of course you all probably know that the day changes often with my 3 kids. They have their own schedule and could care less about mine haha.

Anyway I hope you all were able to get a small glimpse into my life as a mom. I’m thinking of doing a video of this to post on YouTube. What do you think?! Thanks for stopping by  ✌🏼️😉

xoxo

Jenni C.

5 ways I De-stress

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Hi all today I want to share with you how I de-stress myself every few days or just whenever I feel like I need it. Sometimes I feel very overwhelmed with life and with my long list of things that need to get done. I tend to get stressed more than I would like to, but I’ve realized that every few days I need to have some “me” time and relax. Here are 5 ways that I do that.

1. Connecting with God
This is the most important one of all! I try to at least once a week detox myself from the negative emotions in my heart or thoughts in my head that are toxic.The best way to do that is seeking God and his peace. I pray to Him and ask for peace in my heart. I thank Him for all he has done for me and the lessons he’s taught me. I try to connect with Him through reading his word or doing a devotional or praying in private. Spending time with him is vital to my sanity. I always have peace in my heart after time with the Lord.

2. Taking a long shower
Now I’m not talking about an everyday quick shower, but a long spa shower. I usually just jump in the shower in a rush and in all honesty I don’t shower everyday. I just can’t with my 3 kids running around. My husband gets home around 8pm, I serve him dinner, and start our night routine which is putting kids to sleep, cleaning, nursing my baby girl, etc. So all in all my “me” time is really scarce. So when I schedule a long shower, it really feels like I’m in a spa. I put some
music on and run the water while I prep my pjs. I jump in the shower and take my time. When I step out of the shower I’m able to put my hair treatment on, brush my hair, even braid it  sometimes haha. I put my lotion and face cream on and let my skin absorb it. I get dressed and by this time someone already needs me. Either my son has to use the restroom, baby’s fussy, School papers need to be signed. So when I’m out the door it’s straight back to reality, but feeling refreshed and most definitely de-stressed.

3. Running errands alone
On the days that my husband is off from work I try to get out of the house and run all the errands that I didn’t run all week. So during the week I plan my “to-do” list and have it ready. I leave the baby fed, and my toddler fed as well and off I go. I try to stop by and treat myself to a decaf coffee or some sort of drink just for me. I drive and start working off of my to-do list. Something about driving around listening to music with the windows down just relaxes me.

4. Listening to really loud music
When I have cleaning around the house that I’ve put off for a few days and I finally get to it, I’ll blast Pandora and just start cleaning from the living room to the dining room to the kitchen. Listening to music makes a difference for me when it comes to cleaning. Also my toddler will start dancing along to the beats and that definitely brings a smile to my face. By the time I’m done I feel relaxed.

5. Watching a romantic or funny movie
It’s very rare that I’ll sit down and watch a movie all the way to the end. When I do, though, I try to choose a romantic movie. I’m just a sucker for romance and all things love stories! So that’s my first choice of movie. If I can’t find a romantic one, then a funny one will be my second choice. I either end up feeling funny or feeling appreciative of love. Either way, it de-stresses and relaxes me!

These are just 5 of the ways that I de-stress, but let me know what your techniques for de-stressing are! Or let me know if you’ll be trying these out and if they worked for you. Thanks for stopping by!

Jenni C.

The Last Thing That Made Me Cry

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Hi All. This post is actually not that easy for me to share, but I want to be real and I want you to get to know me, the real me.. I’ve cried many times in my life, I’m an emotional person and not only have I cried when I’ve been sad, but also when I’ve been mad, and happy, and frustrated. Well, you get the idea. I hate doing it, but after I do it I feel relieved. I see it as my way to release that knot that I have in my throat! Does anyone else feel like that?

Anyway, the last time I cried was about a week ago. My 2-year old son and I are really close. I stay home with him everyday so we spend a lot of time together. Even though we’re practically attached at the hip, he enjoys spending time with his uncles, aunts, and grandparents. I let him spend some time with my mom at a birthday party and as usual checked in with a phone call. My mom told me he was fine and having a great time at the party. I was busy at home, but started to miss my son. It just feels different when he’s not around.

My mom ended up bringing him home at around 9pm. When I opened the door to get him, he was half asleep and half crying because he did not want to come home. I thought that as soon as I carried him and soothed him he would calm down and go to sleep. I mean, he didn’t see me all day, he must really want to spend time with me, right? Wrong! I tried to take him from my mom’s arms and he was not having it! I’m talking about kicking and screaming! I had never experienced this with him so I did not even know how to react. I took him forcefully and practically ran to his room to put him in his bed.

When I lay him down and tried to sleep next to him he was just pushing me away. Like I mentioned before, I had never gone through this with him so it was all new to me. I tried and tried to soothe him by rubbing his back, and head, but he was not interested. By this time my mom had already left and my husband came into my son’s room. I signaled him to take over the situation and I walked out of the room. All I wanted was to hug my son tightly and for him to hug me back. I went in my room and started crying. I was pushed away by this little boy that I love so much and it really broke my heart.

My husband was finally able to calm my son down and get him to sleep. I had to realize that he wasn’t acting like himself and that he was tired and sleepy and just wanted nothing to do with anyone. I had to accept that it was not personal, even though it felt like it was. Now my husband had to calm ME down and get me to sleep haha. Anyway, this incident has been repeated already but I’m happy to record that no more tears have been shed on my end! Has this ever happened to you mommas out there? How did you get through the first time?

Thanks for stopping by!

Jenni C.

How I potty-trained my son

Hi ladies! Well I’ve been working on potty training my 2 year old son the last few weeks. The days have been a little frustrating, but lately have gotten better because he is almost 100 percent trained. I’m so proud of him, this is a major milestone for him! He’s the smartest little boy in town and I’m not just saying that because I’m his momma.. I’ve linked the video that I uploaded on my youtube channel so that all of you can watch and enjoy! Thanks for stopping by mommas!

Jenni C.

How I currently organize my life


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Hi everyone! So up until mid March I was using my iPhone calendar as a planner. It has worked great even now, but I wanted to find a place to jot down all the meals that I would be cooking for the week, shopping lists and more. I found this amazing print-out online at www.thegraciouswife.com and that’s what I’ve been using ever since! It’s awesome and so colorfully cute! This planner has literally saved me. Here’s a link to it!

Home Management Binder – FREE Printables

As far as my cooking schedule…Now that I’ve got every meal of everyday of the week written down, I don’t struggle trying to figure out what to cook when the time comes. And even if I don’t cook the meal that I had written down for that day because I don’t have the ingredients, all I have to do is look at another day’s meal that includes ingredients that I do have and cook that! That right there is priceless! Then I just write down the things I was missing in the Grocery List it comes with and take that with me on my next grocery run.

I still use my iPhone calendar as a back-up, but this Home Management Binder is my go-to-planner everyday! I hope this is useful for all of you! It most definitely was for me! Share with me what you use to organize your life. I know it can be hectic being a mommy, but I would like to hear your ideas on organization! Well thanks for stopping by!

Jenni C.