I realized that today marks 16 months of marriage. Weird anniversary milestone, right? I have been contemplating a top ten list of things I’ve learned as a stepmom, but figured I may as well turn it into a Top 16 List in honor of our 16 months of marriage. (Let’s be honest, I’ve learned hundreds of things, but some aren’t as suitable for print and you’ve gotta draw the line somewhere). I’m sure I’m not the first stepparent or new parent to point out some of these, but they are definitely true for me.
16 Lessons StepMolly Learned as a Stepparent
16. Soccer balls and basketballs come in different sizes. This may not seem like a big deal or may even be a no-brainer for those of you who are more athletic than I. But when confronted with 5- 6 choices of sizes + colors, it’s a paralyzing moment of indecision.
15. Carry snacks. But if you forget to carry snacks, tic-tacs will do in a pinch.
14. Dessert is a powerful motivator.
13. Always insist they use the bathroom before you leave the house. Even if they insist they just went.
12. A punishment of no TV hurts the parents more than the kids…especially during cold weather.
11. There are few toys that thrill as much as a large, empty cardboard box.
10. Unless you’re 100% certain, buy each kid the same color. Of whatever it is.
9. Kids who you have to drag out of bed on a weekday at 6:30am will be by the side of your bed on Saturday at 6am, ready to begin the day.
8. The same children who try to bargain their way out of getting a shower then whine ridiculously when it’s time to get out of the shower.
7. They really do hear everything you say–especially when you talk in a low volume two rooms away.
6. Routine is good. For everyone.
5. They may not be able to find a misplaced, beloved stuffed animal but can find a speck of onion (or other undesirable vegetable) mixed in their meals.
4. Kids may be resilient, but make no mistake, divorce is hard on them
3. Favorite colors are a really big thing. When Tim and I were dating and I was getting to know the kids, then ages 4 & 6, we had many conversations about my favorite color. They would ask me just about every time they saw me if my favorite color was still blue. They were shocked that it never changed. Yoseph’s current favorite color is golden, which is not the same as yellow, so please don’t make that mistake.
2. Anticipation of holidays and vacations is magnified 100x with kids. I’m someone who has long enjoyed a Christmas countdown. Now, the kids enjoy it right along with me and even help me justify my excitement!
1. Those moments when they impulsively hug you or tell you they love you sometimes take your breath away. I really didn’t expect that. I have grown to love them and it’s so humbling that they have grown to love me, too.