My journey to motherhood was anything but typical. I woke up one morning as a single woman and went to bed that same night as a mother of three. I began dating my husband back in 2015. He was a widower at the time with three children -that were ages 14, 12, and just shy of 2. I knew that by becoming part of his life that I was becoming part of theirs as well. About a year and a half later, we got engaged and then learned that he would have to PCS (permanent change of station) to another base. This was one of those defining moments in a relationship that had the potential to make or break us. We collectively decided it was best for me and the kids to stay behind because they finally had some sense of stability and we wanted to retire in Florida.
The following January began 22 months of me being a fulltime mom -- which is something I had never done before. I managed to produce a teenage driver and high school graduate, get another child into a magnet program, and prepare an aspiring world-changer for the time of her life in preschool and then kindergarten. There were many lessons I learned along the way but the biggest lesson is that I'm capable of so much more than I gave myself credit for.
As we transition to the next phase of our lives, I've gained the confidence to share my experiences with other moms and stepmoms alike that may be trying to find their way.
Early on in stepmotherhood, I used to wonder what my purpose was. There were things that I went through that I didn't quite understand -- and I always used to ask myself "why". Why am I having these difficulties? Why am I constantly being given conditions on how I should and shouldn't love these children? Why am I being told to wait until I have my own children to see what motherhood is truly like as though I wasn't being initiated into motherhood every second of the day? Why are people being so cruel and not speaking life into me the same way I am speaking life into you right now? I asked myself these questions for over 5 years, oftentimes through tears.
This journey to motherhood has been anything but typical. However, finding the voice I needed to share my story has been so healing and freeing. I know I'm not the only stepmom who is parenting children that are close to my age. I also know I'm not the only stepmom that is parenting children that have experienced the loss of a parent. Everything I've experienced to this point has been to help others -- not just my husband and our children and I intend to continue using my voice and my platform to help my fellow stepmoms find their voices as well.