I realized as I had lunch with Stephenie this week that I’ve had a rough couple of months. Since August, really. It’s been hard on a multitude of levels, but mostly hard because I can’t talk to anyone about it.
Being a stepmom is hard. HARD.
And I realized that the silence is not helpful. And I realized that when stepmoms are silent, we leave those just now entering the journey to fend for themselves and we leave them to feel alone. And that’s not good because it’s also where I am and you know? Parenting itself is hard. But parenting in an isolated state? Harder. Way harder. WAY WAY WAY HARDER.
So. Jack. Jack started middle school this year. And we had not anticipated it being the adjustment it has been. I won’t go into much here, for privacy’s sake, but .. it’s been hard. And I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t felt like ALL-JACK-ISSUES, ALL-THE-TIME since August of last year.
Caveat: I realize how callous that makes me sound. Or it doesn’t, but I worry that it does. I never know what eyes will read this and since I’m careful about what I put out there, I’m worried that you don’t get the whole story. Which, obviously, you don’t. So. Grain of salt, is what I’m saying here.
I guess I don’t remember much of an adjustment – socially – in middle school. I remember not easily picking up the whole your-schoolwork-is-your-responsibility thing. I remember taking a class in 6th grade that embedded crucial study habits. But beyond that, I don’t remember it being as difficult as it appears to be now that we’ve got a kid starting off.
Having said that, I will fully admit that my patience is thin regarding our present issues. Because I just don’t remember it being so hard.
And it’s not just grades. It’s a lot of stuff. It IS grades, make no mistake, but it’s .. boundaries? Honesty? Respect? It’s a lot of things, and they just seemed so out of nowhere that I’m lost and frustrated (Stepmomming: Frustration for Years! – patent pending) and .. I’m bordering on resentful.
This video is kind of making the internet rounds today and it had me dissolved into a pile of tears in my office because this came from a local middle school. Not Jack’s school in particular, but does it matter? It’s applicable. And about two minutes into this video, aptly named “I’m Human”, I am kicking my own ass for not remembering how hard it is. At this age, at the ages after it, NOW. It’s hard, this human thing.
And when we’re left to fend for ourselves, it only gets harder.
Be gentle with eachother.