Sunday, October 30, 2011

Doing My Best...

Being a stepmom is challenging at times, especially when you have expectations of proper behavior.  Since J-man moved in with us the summer, we, my husband/his father and I, have been trying to instill proper manners and life lessons.  Please and Thank you are the obvious ones that we remind him of constantly, but there are bigger issues such as interrupting when people are speaking and starting sentences with "Not to be mean...".  I understand kids get excited and want to tell you something immediately, but patience is a virtue and interrupting a conversation without the words excuse me is rude.  I'm trying to instill the simple rule of if you start a sentence with not to be mean then you shouldn't say the sentence at all because the sentence is most likely mean and therefore should not be voiced.

There is a difference between raising a child from birth or a very young age and becoming a parental figure when they are much older.  I cannot relate to how he feels because I had an extremely stable childhood, but I am trying my best at making sure I am understanding of his emotions and life changes while creating a stable and loving environment.  I am very proud of how well he is doing and the progress he is making.

Honesty is key in our family.  I will not stand for lies and he knows that now.  Secretly, it cracks me up that he thinks he can actually get away with telling a lie to me. Umm, sorry kid, but your entire face says "I'm telling a lie right now."  We had a conversation about honesty a few days ago and I used the story of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf."   I think it worked because we were able to relate it to other actions later in the week. 
We say grace before meals every night and we take turns - Ryan and I used to take turns, but now Jared joins in.  At first he was really nervous about messing up, but we explained to him that there isn't a right or a wrong way to pray and that any conversation with God is good.  We try to incorporate the four types of prayer as well: (1) Blessing and Adoration (praising God), (2) Prayer of Petition (asking for what we need, including forgiveness), (3) Prayer of Intercession (asking for what others need), (4) Prayer of Thanksgiving (for what God has given and done).  This is a subtle way of instilling prayer and the constant presence of God in our child's life, but over the past few months it seems to be working.  He is much more eager to say grace, asks about bible stories, tells me something he reads or sees is like this biblical story!  When we go to church we have him bring his children's bible and he reads the passages. 

I don't want you to think our little man is a bad kid because by no means is he.  I am just expressing my challenges of being a stepmom and how important it is to me to raise a stellar little human who has a strong relationship with God, is honest, has manners that people will notice, and really understands what is means to live a good life.

The other night we were driving home a little later than normal and he started asking me about what I pray for. I think he was taken aback when I told him I pray for the ability to be the best stepmama for him and I ask God for help to be a better person, wife, friend, mom, daughter, because he told me I was great already!  It was adorable.  Every time he asks me about something that we talked about a few days/weeks before, I melt inside because I know he is listening and caring. 

Much love.


  1. Sarah, I loved this post! You definitely have your hands full (not in a bad way, but that age/situation can be very challenging). It sounds like you are doing a great job! This reminds me that I really need to start teaching Christopher about interrupting. It been a big problem lately:( I also like how you're teaching him the different types of prayer too.

    The kid's Bible for church is good. We do that with the boys too. Anyway, sounds like you're doing awesome. Parenthood can be tough, but he's lucky to have a good stepmom :)

  2. Thanks Marjorie! It's nice to know that some of the problems I am dealing with are normal for all kids. Sometimes I blame myself or the situation, but I have to remind myself that all kids are kids and they need to be taught and reminded.
    The kids bible for Church is amazing! I will do that with all my children.

  3. You have a hard job! I think step-parenting can be more challenging than any other kind. Sounds like you're doing great!

  4. Thank you Ania! I can't make the comparison because I don't have any children of my own, but so far, I've heard that "I have it good" even though it's been challenging. I don't think it's fair to compare children though. They are all each unique and will present you with different challenges and joys along the way. It's the beauty of life!


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