I went from not being a mom to a part-time stepmom to practically now, a full-time stepmama (at least to 1 of the 2 boys). While my husband’s custody agreement with his ex-wife is 50/50 on costs and time spent with each parent, the boys have kind of made their own arrangements, which seem to work just fine.
The older one spends most of the time with his mom and visits us an average of 3 days every week, while the youngest one does the exact opposite and is here with us practically 99% of the time. The kids are more comfortable and happy this way and that’s what matters most. It seems to work, at least right now, so we’re all on board (biological parents and stepparents alike).
Now, to say it’s been a bit of an adjustment would be an understatement. You see, it’s taken me a while to get used to doing things the way my husband and his ex would do things, so-to-speak, where the kinds and their routines are concerned.
Growing up, my mom would wake me and my siblings up early every weekday and we’d go to our grandparents’ house to have breakfast with them. Every day after school, we’d stop by their house again and have an afternoon snack and break before heading home to do homework and eventually dinner and bedtime routines.
Things here were nothing like that.
Boys would not have breakfast at home, but rather in school (IF they had time or even liked what was being served), and honestly, there was NO morning routine, aside from the waking up and getting ready to head out for school. After my husband’s divorce to his ex-wife, hubs did establish a routine with the boys, but again, nothing like what I was used to seeing.
It was more of a single-father-of-two-boys type of routine.
At the beginning, since we only had the boys 50% of the time, establishing routines was difficult; not to mention when they started changing up the “house schedules” by staying at the other house when it was the other parent’s turn. It ended up at a point where we didn’t know how many boys we’d have when. Maybe we’d have both of them or maybe just the one (the youngest, who’s here 99% of the time). Plus, whenever the boys came back to our house, there seemed to be an adjustment period (mostly 1-2 days upon their arrival) from rules/routines at their mom’s house, to those at ours. Now, that we know what kid will be where, hubs and I decided to start setting routines into place.
Every morning, for example, we wake up earlier than necessary, but by doing so, we are able to cook and eat breakfast before school/work. We’re able to chat and relax while getting ready for the day instead of waking up simply to rush out the door, which is what we used to always do. This has also led us to being more alert/awake by the time we leave the house. In fact, having this family time in the mornings has even caused us to be in a better mood overall.
At 2:45 pm I head on out to pick up Jo from school and if we don’t have any errands to run, we head home where he enjoys an after-school snack and some free time before sitting down to do his homework. By the time hubs gets home from work, Jo is showered and ready for dinner and some family time before bed.
We’ve set simple yet very efficient routines in place that so far seem to be doing wonders for us not only individually, but as a family as well. It’s amazing how something so simple can be so rewarding. We’ve noticed a truly positive impact by starting off the day right.
Now, if only holidays and special occasions were this “easy” to manage/plan. Ha. I look forward to figuring that part out. Oh, the joys of being a stepmama! Wouldn’t change it for the world, though.