I’m a Terrible Stepmom

1b9e9523df49fe8cac07d5ed2aee3dbbSo, Memorial Day is here. FINALLY, another three-day weekend. I was so excited about this that I started mulling over different activities for the husband and I to do and why I was so looking forward to the upcoming weekend.

  • I am going to take Friday off
  • I get to sleep in Friday AND Monday
  • We can finally fix the grill canopy
  • Maybe I’ll get another palm tree and plant it so I can’t see the people behind our house walk around their kitchen naked. (Have you heard of blinds? I don’t want to see your beer gut!)
  • Ooo! We could go fishing in the morning one day
  • We’re celebrating my husband’s birthday on Sunday, so POOL TIME at my neighbor’s!!
  • Sunday is just like another Saturday!
  • (Gasp in excitement) We don’t have the kids for FOUR DAYS!!! … (Gasp in horror). Oh my God, I sound like a terrible person.

As I thought back about the list and all the things I was so excited about, I realized that most of them revolved around us not having the kids. I can take Friday off and sleep in because the kids will be with their mom from Thursday through Sunday. We can get stuff done around the house and yard because we won’t have to drive Teen2 anywhere. I can walk around my house naked if I want to, change my clothes or pee with the door open, and heaven forbid, have loud sex.

So, I felt guilty. Or, rather, I felt guilty that I didn’t feel that guilty about being excited that the kids were going to be gone. Shouldn’t I feel sad that they won’t be here? Aren’t I supposed to mope about and lament how much I miss them? Isn’t that what moms are supposed to do?

Does this mean I’m a bad stepmom?

I mean, my own mom can’t go two days without calling me or asking me to come over and visit. “I miss you,” she says, “When do I get to see you?” she presses, “Why don’t you come over today?” She pleads.

Geez, mom, I saw you three days ago and I talk to you on the phone EVERY DAY.

Alas, I digress. Anyway, we finally get to live a few days as the rightful newlyweds that my husband and I are. We were only married for about four months before BAM! Insta-mom! Here are your teenagers! Enjoy!

For a few days I don’t have to listen to the arguments, or “can I have this” or “you have to get me that”. I don’t have to mediate fights, find out what Teen1 did to his car this time, I can do whatever I want around the house without worrying about dropping everything to pick up Teen2 from school, and I get to spend three whole days with my husband. We can even make out on the couch!

Usually, by the end of the two weeks we have the kids, I’m ready to be alone with my husband, stay up late with our friends, make poor decisions like “eh, just one more cocktail in the hot tub is fine”, and just worry about me for a change. When the following week rolls around, I’m energized and ready to be super stepmom again.

Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t like being a stepmom. I love it! But, let’s be honest with ourselves, we all need a break sometimes. It could be from work, from friends, from family (ahem), from whatever, or we will run ourselves to the ground.

So, is it bad that I’m looking forward to the kids being gone for four days? No. I’m sure they are more than ready for a break from us, too. It doesn’t mean they don’t love us, and it doesn’t mean I don’t love them. But sometimes, we just need a break and to take some time for ourselves.


I’m a Terrible Stepmom — 1 Comment

  1. I completely relate and empathize to how you were feeling, Lauren. When my stepson needed to find a job, I was thrilled when he finally found one. Until he told me that his orientation was on the Tuesday before he was to go on a trip with his mom and sister for five days. Oh no! He had to go on this trip! I was in need of a serious break. I had the next five days off from work, and I was planning some much needed downtime. If my stepson didn’t go on this trip, he would be here with us. The entire time!

    This is how our conversation went upon me hearing he had gotten a job:

    Me: Did you tell your new boss about your trip?
    Him: Oh! I forgot to! But, it’s okay. I just won’t go.
    Me (on the inside!): What?? No, no, no, no! You need to go on this trip!
    Me (out loud, calmly): You can still go on the trip. Just call your boss and let him know that your mom planned this trip awhile ago.
    Him: I can’t do that! I will lose out on the job! I don’t want to risk it!
    Me (out loud, getting panicked!): You need to call him and tell him! It’s not a problem! He’s not going to not hire you for an already planned trip!!
    Me(inside): Calm down… You’re getting hysterical…
    Him: Well, I’ll tell my mom and see what she says…

    Thank goodness, his mom agreed, so he left a message for his new employer. But, he never heard back. I told him to call again, but he wouldn’t… I checked in with him everyday, but still no call back. I, again, told him to call one more time, but he didn’t want to. I was getting hysterical again. Finally, my SS asked me, nicely, to let him handle things his way.

    Then, it turned out that he got the day wrong for his orientation. It was the Tuesday AFTER his trip. Whew! A big sigh of relief.

    Now I would get my space, my time alone with my dogs. But, then the guilt set in. I have been working so hard to eradicate the “evil stepmom” persona, but suddenly I was feeling just like that- the evil stepmom. The stepmom who didn’t want her step-kids around.

    Did it really mean that I didn’t love these two children I was helping to raise just because I didn’t want them around for a few days? Thank goodness for good friends, because that’s who I turned to to figure this out.

    When my friends admitted to wanting time off from their bio-kids, I instantly felt a reprieve. Okay, so I wasn’t a horrible person for wanting space from my step-kids since they, too, wanted time away from their “real” kids.

    Guilt is a strange emotion, isn’t it? It can eat you up inside. I knew I loved my two stepchildren, but how quickly I doubted that, just because I needed a break.

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