Thursday, 27 August 2009

Lest we forget...

Hubby called from just outside Swindon, before his interview. He was stationary on the carriageway in traffic.

Then he told me of the lay-bys along the carriage way filled with veterans in their berets. It was a guard of honour. The slow and silent cortège of coffin filled hearse, lead by Police escorts, passed in front of him. He was witnessing the repatriation of our young men who had fallen in

We dare to get on with the day to day without a thought. I’m as guilty as the rest of us!

Now I can’t stop thinking of the men who are finally going home for the last time.


Good Luck!

Today is a big day for hubby!

Its his 2nd interview for the Swindon job. I have everything crossed!

Good Luck Honeyxxxxxxxxxxxx

If you could spare a thought, wish him Luck cause I REALLY want to move to Swindon.


Monday, 24 August 2009


The vast majority of my dreams I never remember, but last week one did float around my mental recesses popping in and out of my thoughts at the most inappropriate moments.

Dearest Hubby say one of those moments and asked what I was thinking about, I told him.

I dreamt years in the future of SD coming to visit, she was now an adult and brought with her her beau, a rather dashing young man who kindly left his white steed outside (thank god, wouldn’t have a litter tray big enough, but then again it is a dream!)

Hubs was asked by Prince Charming for SDs hand – all keeping to tradition. I handed hubby a note saying ‘next will be the request to pay for said marriage (said like Jack Sparrow!). They will not be leaving here with a cheque. We have not seen SD for years and we should not have to pay for the privilege!’

I know, I’m cringing at that, the claws were out and there was a hint of cat like hissing and spitting is in the air!

As dreams do, it then jumped to a week before the wedding and Hubs and I were involved in the preparations at SDs house. Her Grandma was telling us in no uncertain terms to get out and don’t bother coming to the wedding. I then turned to SD and said your Grandma is paying for the wedding have a nice life and walked out.

If you can work out what my overactive imagination is getting up to when Im sleeping, let me know cause I don’t!

Back to reality!

First thing out of hubs mouth –‘Don’t use money as a weapon’

Not what I was expecting!

Then I thought about what I have used as a weapon, yes I have used money as a weapon. When SDs behaviour was at it’s worst she lost pocket money. Then I started thinking about the big picture.

Suzie Orman says:

Never use money as a weapon or a shield. Money itself has no power; our actions, attitudes, and decisions give it influence.

That observation could be made against practically any object or situation –

????? itself has no power; our actions, attitudes, and decisions give it influence.

Putting that in the context of a stepfamily. What weapons do you carry in your arsenal?

Is your arsenal full of positive actions, attitudes and decisions?

Remember: Do not let your weapons backfire on you!


If any of my fellow blogger would like to pick this topic up I would be most greatful. Still trying to get my head around the dream let alone the consequences of using money as a weapon within the stepfamily dynamic.

A Stepmum Cafe first !!!!

What can I say !!! Thank you Mesina for bestowing this award.
Ist brought a smile to the beginning of a new week.

The Rules:

1. List five current obsessions

2. Pass the award onto five other blogs

hmmmm, my obsessions? Well here goes:

1. Hubby- Can you call your husband an obsession? I suppose seeing as I love him to bits and is No. 1 in my life I can get away with it.

2. Stepdaughter - I do obsess over SD, I obsess that one day she will see that all we have ever wanted was what was best for her.

3. Photography - I have completed my Level 1 City & Guilds, but can't afford Level 2 at the mo. Doesn't stop me from clicking away though!

4. Moving - want Hubs to get Swindon job, but also want him to be happy in what ever role he gets.

5. Write a book - one day I will actually get off my butt and grow my synopsis into a completed book!

Now for five lovely blogs I feel deserving of this award:

1. La Belle Mere - A down to earth lady
with a fantastic blog. Her writing style and wit make for an enjoyable read and you do not even have to be a stepparent to appreciate it.

2. The Stepmom's Tool Box - Peggy is a wonderfully caring lady and has set up the stepmom's toolbox to provide resources and help for those stepmums struggling in a blended family.

3. With Eyes Wide Open - I love this blog. It is a warm and honest insight into a stepmothers life. We worth the read!

4. Kimmythingy - You know all those things that are necessity but dont hit you in the face until you need them, well kimmythingy tells it like it is, with a sprinkling of wit.

5. The Wonderful World of Step-motherhood - This blog is thought provoking and a great read in all areas of life, not just step-motherhood.

Congratulations ladies.


Wednesday, 12 August 2009

And it's only Wednesday!!!!

Monday - Hubby's told his contract terminates end of next week! Great bombshell to start the week with.

Tuesday - Recruiter calls hubby has a 45 minutes 'chat' over the phone on a prospective role. Recruiter puts hubs forward. Employers has quick chat with hubs over the phone and sets up an interview!

Wednesday - Interview! 30mins after hubs leaves he gets a call from recruiter they want him back for 2nd stage interview on 27th (isometric testing, verbalisation and presentation testing - rather him than me!!!).

Boy do that company work fast!!!

It would be a move to Swindon if he gets it.

Isle of Man job still in play too.

Stepdaughter, God Bless her. We have to remind her she is only 12 and freaks when you say she is a child, but she said on the way home last weekend, 'I will miss you if you have to move far, but I love you and understand.'

She maybe a child, but she can be mature when she needs to be.

Friday, 7 August 2009

My Album!

A dear blogger friend, Life of a Stepmama, tagged me!!! lol

What great fun and the cover, I think, looks brill!

Here are the rules:
1 - Click The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.
2 - Go to The last phrase of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.
3 - Click The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover art.
4 - Use photoshop or picnik.
5- Tag some friends to join in


1. Mesina
2. Toolbox Girl
3. As soon as I can think of anyone that has not already been tagged you will be next!!! whahahaha (wicked laugh!!!!)

The New Dilemma!

What a week!

My hubby had two job interviews, one on Monday the other on Tuesday.
I have had earache most of the week.
My boss has expected miracles from me when he drops things on me to complete yesterday (but I think the majority has one of those!)

The 'piesta resistance' - the job hubby really really would like, has a phone interview on Tuesday. Whats the deal with that then? Well he is in the running for this job, the agency have told him he ticks all the boxes. The company have had this position open for six months now and all the people the prospective employers have looked at are not suitable.

Im so excited!

We will have to relocate to the Isle of Man - Island between Ireland and Wales!

I get the feeling he is looking for reasons not to take it.
Having to pack up the house - told him I have sold 5 houses and moved so thats not an issue.
Its not fair on you - hell I want to move he just has to get the job!
Stepdaughter visits - he has said she is at the age were she will want to spend more time with her friends etc. This has already started asking to go to a party instead of our weekend.
The expense of visitations - he will be earning loads more and we could see about once a month instead of every other weekend.

For me the dilemma is I WANT THIS. No disrespect to any english, part of my family is english, but I have not settled here and find the community spirit Im used to in Ireland does not exist, and I struggle.

The Isle of Man is 31miles long by 13 miles wide, the associate in my office is from the Isle of Man and he told me if its community I want then I would be going to the right place.

If hubby gets the job then what. Im worried that any issues raised in relation to my stepdaughter would make me resentful and I dont want that. I dont want to feel trapped either.

So there you go the next dilemma in my stepmum life.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009


I can safely say as a new stepmum I walked into my new family situation, three years ago, totally naïve. I can still hear the words in my head ‘stepdaughter comes first’, ‘don’t worry I’m sure we will get along just fine’; after the concern voiced by my hubby.

Then at the first ripple when my toe hit the stepfamily waters it was like a ten ton truck, driven by my husbands ex, trying to run me over. Must stress though three years on and we are all on a more even keel now. Phew!

If I had only been honest with my husband and more so myself the stress, tension and heartache would probably not have existed and a few years of life not lost. I do know that ‘what doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger’ and Im very much alive. I have come through it and although there may be the odd hiccup Im honest with my husband and myself.

A fellow blogger Mesina author of And Then There Was Me…. Defines honesty in a fabulous post, ‘The Many Faces of Honesty’
Imagine for one second, your life without honesty. Honesty enters your life in many forms, has been there from the time you arrived until the day your last breath is taken. Think about it, you don't have to look that hard to see……..
I will continue with further extracts in a moment, but I would like to keep to the main point of honesty within the stepfamily.

My Husband …. I started as a stepmum and kept all my annoyances and irritations that my stepdaughter unwittingly hit me with. Taking the remote and flicking channels while you were watching your favourite unmissable programme. Taking the phone and making calls without asking permission. Raiding the fridge etc. etc. I had to ask permission as a child, why not her!
The tension and pressure built up and up until one Sunday it exploded!!!
Boy did it explode!!
Crying, arguing and at one point talk of separation. I can look back now and see if only I had been honest with him!
Eating away at a woman's heart is a secret she keeps in silence. To unleash it would change the life she knows. She tries hard to confront the door she keeps tightly closed, she opens her mouth so many times to give it away but only silence ensues. That is the fear of honesty.
I was scared.

My Stepdaughter…. I thought I was going to be her best pal. I thought we would go girlie shopping and do all the girlie things together. But she was not interested. It was rejection and dejection all with a smile. It left me confused. If I had been honest with her instead of trying to win her over then things would probably be different.
Somewhere today a Mother is laying her eyes for the first time upon her newborn baby. After many months she is finally able to see the shining face she's longed for. Nothing exists in that room except that child and she cries. That is the beauty of honesty.
I needed to remember she already had a mother.

Myself … above all else I needed to be honest to myself. I was not and it caused such tension and raised emotions. You can not know how being a stepmother can affect you and your married life unless you have walked a mile in our shoes.

So I put it to all new stepmums be honest with those around you, but most of all be honest to yourself.
It doesn't always feel good and sometimes we sacrafice so much in order to live our lives honestly. But compare that to a life lived dishonestly and I assure you it is better to face the pain than live a life of lies.

Thank you to Mesina for granting me permission to use extracts from her blog post ‘The Many Faces of Honesty’ you can view the full post by clicking here.

Monday, 3 August 2009

The Stepmothers Prayer

Dear Lord,

Help me to have the patience of a saint when I see my stepchildren get away with the things I did not.

Give me the intelligence of MENSA combined to know everything I need to and already should on raising another’s child.

Help me keep a level head when my husband is mistaken for the ATM machine and keep my feet on the ground when a few kicks up the behind are in order.

Let me have understanding in all things even when half of the requests, such as you need to take the kids on holiday baffle me when they were taken out of the country for a two week holiday three months before!

Help me be the loving mother to children that wont let me.

I pray you can work these miracles of miracles.


~ Written by BAS

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Calling all Stepmums

A fellow stepmother and blogger - Toolbox Girl author of The Step Mom's Toolbox is on the search for Step mums to assist in completing her book. I will let her explain in her own words:

Go on, have a go!


The New Format

OK help settle the argument!

Hubby thinks the new format is overpowering. What do you think? Be honest, you wont hurt my feelings.



Friday, 31 July 2009

MY weekend!

Yepee!!!!! Ive finished work and my weekend has started!!!

Domino's Pizza tonight, eaten well all week so tonight is a treat. Then maybe a film from the DVD cabinet. aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh chillin!

Lie in tomorrow, a LITTLE housework, finish #2 cardigan for Birth Mums new baby and maybe get some writing done.

Hubby going clothes shopping!

Lets pray for an uneventful weekend!


Where is a Stepmum in the proverbial landscape?

A father's goodness is higher than the mountain, a mother's goodness deeper than the sea. -- Japanese Proverb

Put this proverb into the stepfamily dynamic and where does that leave a stepmum?

Are we the sun? - not even on the same planet


Are we the horizon? - ever distant

We can choose where we want to be. I know some may think 'no we cant', dependant on where you are in your stepmum journey; but always remember you do have choices.

I could have said I am the rock my husband stands on, but when I thought about it that really is restrictive when I know I have more involvement with my stepdaughter.

So I choose to be the Ozone layer, holes and all! Don't get me wrong, I do not see myself as the last form of defence before outer space, but that crucial layer that encompasses my family. My stepdaughter is the core, quite literally.

I hear you! Why do I include the birth mother in my world, because she is. I have accepted that and moved on, which has made things alot easier and stressfree.

Mum, Dad, Kid and Stepmum all have a place in the stepfamily world, it's just where you choose to put yourself!


What would happen if the stepkids moved in?

La Belle Mere - Being a Step-mum makes you mental

La Belle Mere, author of the La Belle Mere blog, has written wonderful articles which I have linked to below:

Being a Step-mum makes you mental - Part 1

Being a Step-mum makes you mental - Part 2

Being a Step-mum makes you mental - Part 3



'Must Read Article' Award Winner

Im nominating the

'Being a Step-mum makes you mental' - series by La Belle Mere

Who is also a follower of this Blog, so may find out here before I have formally told her! lol

Brilliant articles with wit and charm that are sooo true.


Remember if you have found a poignant article on the web, share it here!


Apologies for my Lack of Posting

Things lately have been rather hectic.

My father was diagnosied as terminally ill with cancer.
My stepdaughter is moving in with us (supposedly, one minute she is, isnt, is, isnt you get the idea)
My pay has been cut in work due to the current economic climate. (it is now less than what i earned 5 years ago!)
My own health is all over the place and my head is god knows were!
I have not enough hours in the day.
My Passion Test is none existant.

I could go on, but I think you know were I am coming from.


Thursday, 2 July 2009 survives!


I am happy to say the Stepmothers Support Group, has survived a hackers attack this week.

All the admin team do a stirling job!

Keep up to good work.


Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Wednesdays Words of Wisdom

To bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself on
ce in a while. ~Josh Billings


Tuesday, 30 June 2009 hacked?

I have just tried to go on my beloved sister forum at and got 404 Not Found error messages. When I tried to go to home page this is what I found:

It Reads:
'Hey Stupid Fly Catcher Obama! Stop talking about Iran and telling to your dogs (UK, France, Germany) to talk about Iran and Iran Election. Keep working on your f**ked country and try to solve economic crisis in your hungry country! Iran's election doesn't have problem and Moosavi with his tiny brain will be in jail in near future, so don't pay your time and money for him and for his fans. 70-80% of Iranian people hate Moosavi nowadays... We never cheated in elections and even Moosavi knows that. So stop this stupid things! OK????

I pray that is backedup somehow and this valuable resource for stepmothers worldwide is not lost!


'Must Read Award' Nominations

Though I read alot on the Blogosphere, I am pretty sure I have not read everything.

If you have found an article that you think is a must read for Stepmums please leave your nomination, with a link to the article, as a comment.


Monday, 29 June 2009

The Stepchildren in your wedding

Its very easy to get swept up in wedding plans, but you do need to consider the stepchildren.

They will most likely have settled into a routine between both parents houses, then all of a sudden the dynamic is changing again. This is when you may find most resistance.

A slow introduction to the stepchildren will help things seem less confusing for them.

Set out to build a relationship with them. This will be hard as you will most likely have to go at the childs pace and all children are different.

If you wish to include them in the wedding party you could make them bridesmaid or page boy, sprinkling rose petals or handing out orders of service. Whichever you chose it will go towards reassuring them they have a place in the new family and are important to you to be included in the wedding.

There are books that the children can fill in and keep , also you can ask them to help you make small decisions eg. will we sprinkle 'Hearts' or 'Just Married' confetti on the reception table. The little things will mean so much.

It would also help if the stepchildren were introduced to the others in the wedding party before the big day so they feel more comfortable if others are looking after them for any period of time throughout the wedding.

It is more to consider, but it will be worth it to have a happy bridesmaid, rather than a child out of their depth, crying or throwing a tantrum for attention!


Tool Box Girls Must Read articles on Self Deception

ToolBox Girl, author of the Step Mom's Toolbox blog, has written eye opening articles on Self Deception. Below are easy links to these articles.

Part 1 The Stepmom's Self Deception
What is Self Deception

Part 2 The Stepmom's Self Deception
Tool Box Girls Journey of Self Deception in her remarried and stepmom life.

Part 3 The Stepmom's Sept Deception
Examples of self-betrayal and how self-betrayal plays into the self-deception that keeps us stuck in the muck.

Part 4 The Stepmom's Self Deception
Continuing the discussion on how Self-Betrayal and Self-Deception impact your remarried life and your role as a stepmom.

Part 5 The Stepmom's Self Deception
The Grand Illusion
Introducing Arbinger’s concept of Collusion and how this plays out in our Self-Deception.


Friday, 26 June 2009

TGI Friday

Well the end of another week!

What now for the weekend?

My stepdaughter will be with us this weekend and she will probably be doing a lot of soul searching.

Apart from that we will not be actually doing very much as I have just had a pay cut and the belt needs severely tightened.

What are you doing?

Michael Jackson

Michael Joseph Jackson
29.08.58 - 25.06.09

'Gone but not forgotten'

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Poll: How do you feel when your Stepkids arrive for visitation?

Inspiration ...

The Thursday Think Tank

I have often wondered how my husband felt with the step family dynamic. Therefore I have tried putting my size 4 feet into his size 11 shoes.

1. He still has ties to a woman he divorced and dislikes.
2. He has to deal with parenting his child from a distance.
3. He has to deal with a preteen going on 30 that dislikes her father telling her what to do.
4. He has to deal with any fall out within his second family that his first may bring.

Now what can I do to help?

Well the first I can do nothing about!
The second I can talk to my husband and maybe open new directions of thinking, but accept my limitations.
The Third I can support my husband, but accept I can not control others feelings.
The Fourth I can influence and make sure that if there is fallout it is minimal.

Dont deceive yourself that you can fix everything you cant.
Know your limitations!
Do what is in your power to do.

This ties in beautifully with a fellow stepmum who has written a series of articles on Self-Deception. I urge you to read these articles!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Pass the Partner

The Daily Mail have reported Mr Justice Coleridge speech in Parliament calling to stigmatise those who destroy the family and said a 'National Commission' is required to find ways to stop the 'epidemic' of divorced families.

Surely this is a stretch too far!

A National Commission to stop divorce. How can the government possibly think they have the right to interfere in someone elses life to the point that if a marriage breaks down for any number of reasons they will be stigmatised to ensure the marriage stays intact and to use financial incentives as a solution to do so.

I wish our Government would stop thinking that throwing money or financial incentives at a problem will make it go away, especially when they make it their business to mess with peoples lives!

Apparently statistic show that:
~ 1 in 3 marriages end in divorce
~ 1 in 10 children live with both unmarried parents
~ a quarter live with a single parent.

What next!

Stepmum Feelings: Resentment

Resentment can cause stress and anxiety, even depression so it is from the outset a very unhealthy feeling to hold.

As a Stepmother the feeling of resentment can manifest itself for a number of reasons. The common reasons are:

~ The time that your new family revolves around someone elses child.
~ The 'invasion' of your home when it is your partners visitation.
~ The cost and money taken from your household.

Initially you may feel resentment towards the child, but in realistic terms its resentment of the situation.

Suggestion to Help Deal with your feeling of Resentment:

Write it down.

Take a piece of paper and write down ALL the things that cause you to feel resentful.
You can make it as detailed as you like.

Now re-read it several times.

Ask yourself these questions. Are they really that important? What can I do to change them? Then look at who or what the majority are centred around. If it is one person (say stepkid) then ask yourself what can that person do to stop me resenting them?

More likely than not, with a stepchild, there won't be much they can do. They did not create this situation, nor did they ask to be born into it.

You may find you feel less resentment and feel better in yourself.

Remember When ...

I have been toying with the idea of a memory chest for my Stepdaughter and can't makeup my mind what to put into it.

I went through photos and visits we have made to different places and of course the bridemaids dress and shoes from her father and my wedding.

Having memories now is not important to a pre-teen, but I hope by the time she is getting married it will be appreciated.

What would you put into a memory chest as a stepmum for yourself and also for your stepkids?

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you. Robert Fulghum


The Smile

A smile is not just a reaction, but also reactive. Think of all the situations were you have been blaytantly angry and shown it.

If instead you wore a smile how would it have changed the situation?

When we smile there is a reaction in the brain that is mood altering. Not only will it help alter your mood but will also affect the moods of those around you.

It is one of the strongest facial expressions that infants naturally have from hours old which is apparently used to enhance the bonding process between mother and child.

Now use that information with your stepchildren.

Resentful/Annoyed Frowning stepmum -v- Pleasant/happy Smiling Stepmum.

Im not saying be false, but it is easy to smile and children use emotions in association. They will be happier if you are!


Some quotes that say it all:

A smile confuses an approaching frown. ~Author Unknown

Life is like a mirror, we get the best results when we smile at it.
~Author Unknown

The shortest distance between two people is a smile.
~Author Unknown

Monday, 15 June 2009

The New Stepmum

Whether you have moved in with your Partner or Married what do you expect as a Stepmum?

For the majority the first steps on the road of stepparenthood can be pretty daunting. Stop and think about it. Have you walked into a home with a Custodial Parent? Does you partner only see their kids every other weekend? Is your partner moving in with you?

Now whatever the situation put yourself in the childs position. Whos that women moving into our house? Daddy doesnt spend as much time with me now that she has moved in? I like our old place I dont want to move?

Scary thoughts right! and probably even worse for a child that may have stability issues having been bounced between parents.

It can be a major upheaval for EVERYONE. As a step parent you are walking into a family unit, with bonds and trust in place. It will take time to bond and trust with a new member of the family so do not expect things to be ideal from the moment you walk through the door, they will not. There will be work to do on both sides.

Boundaries: So that everyone including the kids know the boundaries that is acceptable you must discuss with your partner and then inform the kids. Also seek clarification with your partner they are happy for you to discipline the kids in their absence and what sanctions are appropriate. In doing this your partner will not start to feel they have lost control or that you are unfair in dealing with their children (its the authomatic defence mechanism to protect their children).

Bonds: DO NOT buy off the kids. Children will respect you more if you spend time with them. What I mean is spend time on activites together such as helping to bake cakes, making hand painting picture, having water fights on hot sunny days is a lot more bonding than buying Jimmy a new Wii game and him disappearing into his room for the rest of the weekend.

Birthparents: Regardless of the situation they have a place in the childs life! Depending on your situation that may be hard to swallow. You may never be able to accept that position, but you will have to accept your stepkids feelings and make sure whatever happens you will be there for them. In saying that though, it maybe difficult (or not in some cases) to try and work together, it will be more beneficial for the child. Just do the best you can.

Your Marriage/Relationship: Talk, discuss, be open with each other ooh and did I say TALK! The last thing you should do is clam up. This can cause resentment with your stepkids and build tension within your marriage/relationship. You must make time for your relationship and listen to your partners fears and issues, as well as being open about your own. Also work together and not against each other.

Above all else as a new stepparent, give yourself time!

Welcome to The Stepmum Cafe

A warm welcome to the Stepmum Cafe.

Pull up a chair and a cuppa, and read through the postings of all us Stepmums with issues or to share your views and experiences.

There will be articles of regular issues within Stepfamilies. These maybe instigated by myself or researched if requested by you.

I look forward to a coffee and a natter with you.