When I saw this photo, I had a good laugh because it speaks so much to how I often feel in my life as a stepmom and with a partner who frequently is away on business. One day you are in the center of a busy life, fussing about meals, schedules, activities, implementing family goals and trying your best to raise a little one, have a healthy relationship with your man, and have a home that everyone loves and enjoys being a part of.
Then everyone leaves and it all goes silent. I watch other moms with their kids who they enjoy and get to be around 24/7 and I wish we could have that kind of stability and continuity. I feel sad that we can't make even some simple parenting dreams come true like team sports. It's impossible to get the little one involved in a team when she's in two cities far away from each other for part of each week. Either she misses practices or she misses games or both.
It feels like we are constantly stopping and starting our progress because of continually changing custody arrangements put upon on us by the court. Family traditions have to be fluid because you don't spend every holiday together every year and frankly you don't know what to expect each year, things always seem to change. I constantly have to say no to really fun family events because my family won't be around. I have to get used to the deafening silence when they leave me here alone. One day I'm making three meals a day and then for up to a few weeks I'm not even making a meal for myself. Sometimes I feel like the central figure in a family and then suddenly feel like the star of Single And Alone In The City.
Even more demoralizing is to realize that it will always be this way. We will always share this child. We will always have her for only part of the time. Most frustrating of all is that this is despite her wishes, her dad's wishes and my wishes.
So while I continue to find my way through this sometimes shocking yo-yo life, I have to find a way to count my blessings, let go of feelings of failure than can sneak in when we can't be like "normal" families and look at all the good we can enjoy. And when I have down time, it's a good time to rest up, make plans and look forward to the good days together.
Can you relate to my yo-yo life? How do you manage it? I'd love you to share.