About

I’m a part-time stepmum to a range of Boys Of Various Sizes, struggling with the dramas and relishing the happy moments of this jeboggling role I took on so blithely.

To introduce myself and my (occasionally reluctant) family:

Me, early 30s, no kids of my own, living in northern Australia (but I’m guessing the step m.u.m. spelling might have given a hint there!)

Partnered over two years with my lovely man, The Lovely Man.

And thereby playing stepmum to his personal Aryan Horde -

Boy A, 11. Very smart, very blond.

Boy B, 9. Also very smart and only slightly less blond, and

Boy C, 8. Very smart, very blond, very cheeky.

Are you getting the picture of cookie-cutter children, at all? The Lovely Man always says My ex-wife and I decided not to worry about paternity testing. They look so much like him that it’s sometimes a little disturbing.

My blog name is offered in a spirit of ironic self-deprecation; I’ve made plenty of Stepparenting 101 errors and will no doubt continue to make more unto eternity.

The Lovely Man and I face the extra challenges of living a vast distance from the boys, but embrace fly in-fly out step/parenting with dedication and enthusiasm and a schedule that tends to evoke dropped jaws amongst spectators.

Basically, the Lovely Man spends a big chunk of each four weeks in another city and state with the kids, and I join him for most of that time. Plus we have extra time with the kids during holidays. Even my eyes cross at the logistics, sometimes.

We work hard with and without the boys, try to make the most of our peripatetic lives, use our frequent flyer points for good instead of evil and even find time to churn out a novel or two!

I love a natter and can be contacted at stepmumoftheyear at me dot com.

18 responses to “About

  1. Stepalicious

    Okay…I’m in love! I’m so glad that you posted on my bloggy, and that I came to visit you! I’ve only had time to read a few of your posts…but ohhhh you have a spin that is wonderful!

    Have a super day! Looking forward to visiting again soon!

    Smoochies!

  2. Ohio

    What a treat to have happened upon your blog. You tell a great story! Thanks, too for not sugarcoating the MOST DIFFICULT JOB that I know I’ve ever done — step mothering. Ugh, not my favorite job either.

  3. Thanks for commenting on my blog, it has allowed me to find yours. It is always so nice to find other stepmoms who really know how difficult it is to blend a family. Your honesty here is awesome! :-)

  4. It’s taken me a while to get here, but I’m glad I stopped by. Love what you have to say, and I can’t wait to read more:) Thanks for all your comments on my site too.

    PS- At the risk of sounding patronizing- I ADORE australia and all things australian. I’ve spent a bit of time there and so wish I were there now:)

  5. Thanks for your kind words. I’ll be following your blog now. Veddy, veddy interestink.

  6. Hi, Stepmumoftheyear! I’m so glad you commented on my blog because now I’ve found yours! :)
    Let’s stay connected!

  7. The Step In Mom

    Hey-

    I am restarting a invite only blog. E-mail if you would like an invite.

    SIM

  8. I really wanted to invite you to my blog, but I can’t locate your email address. Contact me if you want to be included. thestepmomfiles at gmail dot com

  9. Vicki

    Stepmumoftheyear…

    Have you heard from anyone who has experience with step children whose mum died of cancer?

    This is my situation, so I do not have the “other mother” involved. I do, however, know they resent me and my involvement in the house and their lives. Now I deal with them watching home videos of the “first” family, and having them resent me because I’m not her. I do not watch the movies because I don’t want to be sucked into that old life of theirs. My husband lets them watch these videos, out of our presence.

    The older one is quietly angry because she knew her mother and must do without her. The younger one just thinks life would be better if her mum were alive…mum would do all the things for her I don’t do, but make her do (cleaning room, two days of loading dishwasher, emptying two wastebaskets…on a schedule, not at 10:30 pm)

    I read much about step families with the biological mother involved, good or bad, but not with a deceased biomum. The girls are 20 and 15, and both resent me. My husband is wonderful! Works so hard to make everyone happy…and he loves me so. (Our sweet comment to each other is that I say I love him more than he loves me. He says not so…that he loves me more than that.) After four years of marriage, I am finally learning to “keep my mouth shut” and not knit-pick, tattle, or criticize. I try so hard to let my husband find the not-done chores and spilled drink on the floor. He, then, can deal.

    Is there any word out there about this?

    Thank you for listening and thinking. Your writings and thoughts are beautiful and helpful. Thank you so much!

    • Oh hon.

      Sorry I haven’t replied before now!

      It sounds like your stepdaughters are deep in teenagerhood; it’s a resentful age and you probably cop it heavier than even their parents would.

      Although, I’m quite sure that if their mum was still alive she would be getting attitude as well…

      There is stepfamily literature that suggests that stepmothers to children whose mothers have died can get a very hard time of it. Clearly, it’s easier to idealise a mother who has died and they therefore never experience doing the “hard yards” of motherhood such as enforcing boundaries or requiring chores to be done etc.

      Does your husband talk to the girls about the kind of woman their mother was in a realistic way, like saying how she could get moody, or was anal about the bathroom being clean, or always said she wanted the girls to follow XYZ rules as they got older? Or even that she encouraged him to remarry when she knew she wasn’t going to survive her illness? (Obviously, only if it’s true!)

      I suspect that dads in this situation might often try to paint a perfect picture and avoid saying anything about the mother that might suggest she was more human than angelic in order to preserve the best possible memories of the absent mother, which could (I’m guessing here) hamper development of the relationship between the stepmum and the kids.

      Obviously, there’s no place for criticism, but balance might be good!

      I’m glad that you have such a strong and loving marriage, but it must still be hard. I would guess that some widowed dads might have trouble setting firm boundaries with kids on the basis that they had “been through enough” losing their mother. I don’t know if that happens in your family?

      A friend of mine who lost her mother young recommended a book called (I think) “Motherless Daughters” – maybe something like that could help them, or you, or your husband.

      “The Smart Stepmom” and “The Smart Stepfamily” also, from memory, talk specifically about the challenges of remarriage to a widower with children.

      Good luck.

    • Vicki

      Thank you for such in-depth reply. I am re-reading it, and absorbing. It is such a relief to hear words sent in my direction.

      My husband restrains himself from making negative comments to his girls about their mother, and has only remarked that she would kick them from one end of the house to the other if she encountered their messy rooms and lack of cooperation. Perhaps he will reach a point where he WILL speak in realistic terms about her. At the present, she is regarded as a saint, but not mentioned directly by him to them.

      I will investigate the books and continue to read your blog. Please continue your valuable entries. Many thanks!

      V

  10. lucy

    Well I am just LOVING this blog! You are a gifted writer ; insightful, fair and funny! It is such a relief to read of your experiences and know that someone else understands the extraordinary challenges of step parenting! I’m only a year into step parenting having sustained a long distance relationship for a year before that ,and have shared care of my own 3 lovely munchkins aged 14,12 and 8. My full time stepson is 14 too – a great kid – very accepting – but still, it presents a handful. The challenge for me lies not just with parenting/step parenting 4 children but coping with a very angry, manipulative ex. She lives interstate with my gorgeous man’s two younger children ( 7 and 5). Despite being in a long term relationship herself and living in a lovely home, she continues to undermine and interfere at every opportunity to create as much real pain for gorgeous man as possible. All at the cost of her lovely oldest boy. It is heartbreaking and profoundly difficult to witness ( and endure!). My own ex and I have a positive, mostly amicable relationship and so my 3 have no experience of the same conflict or stress that my step son has suffered.
    Your musings and humour are a comfort and an inspiration and i look forward to every blog. I would love to chat more sometime!

  11. Thanks so much, Lucy!

    My email address is above if you ever want to get in touch.

    B

  12. Thanks for visiting our place (I’m still impressed at how you found it). I think this relationship has cured me of any willingness to be a step-parent. To be fair I was never very willing anyway, but in this case the ‘blowing me off for his kids’ killed my affection for him, and I know myself well enough to know that attempting to persist with it would be living a lie. I know I have really, really hurt him with the way I broke it off (dumped via text message), but I suspect it’s the only way he’ll ever learn.

  13. Pingback: Casting shadows « Stepmum Of The Year

  14. Well I am just LOVING this blog! You are a gifted writer ; insightful, fair and funny! It is such a relief to read of your experiences and know that someone else understands the extraordinary challenges of step parenting! I’m only a year into step parenting having sustained a long distance relationship for a year before that ,and have shared care of my own 3 lovely munchkins aged 14,12 and 8. My full time stepson is 14 too – a great kid – very accepting – but still, it presents a handful. The challenge for me lies not just with parenting/step parenting 4 children but coping with a very angry, manipulative ex. She lives interstate with my gorgeous man’s two younger children ( 7 and 5). Despite being in a long term relationship herself and living in a lovely home, she continues to undermine and interfere at every opportunity to create as much real pain for gorgeous man as possible. All at the cost of her lovely oldest boy. It is heartbreaking and profoundly difficult to witness ( and endure!). My own ex and I have a positive, mostly amicable relationship and so my 3 have no experience of the same conflict or stress that my step son has suffered.Your musings and humour are a comfort and an inspiration and i look forward to every blog. I would love to chat more sometime!
    +1

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