Welcome to the Mamahood Stories guest blogger series!! I have asked several special mamas to write posts for this series and I really believe they are going to encourage you and build you up! My wish is that as you read these posts leading up to Mother’s Day, you are encouraged and exhorted to love on other mamas, waiting mamas, and women longing to be mamas!
Today’s post comes from Sweet Candace Sanner!! Candace and I were pals when we were little girls and through marriage we became cousins!! She is mama to three girls and one boy (two of the girls are step children) and she mamas them well!! I’m so delighted to have Candace on here today sharing her beautiful thoughts and words on step parenting!
Let’s be RAW, I mean REAL, let’s talk STEP-PARENTING!
Step-Parenting is HARD and surely not for the WEAK, there is no other way to say it, but it can be very rewarding! When I started out on this journey I was on a high, cloud 9. I had one biological child, two biological children in heaven from miscarriages and I was gaining two children that I did not birth. I thought no one and nothing could stop us from being one big, happy, loving family, boy was I in for a reality check. People do not tell you the many trials and hardships you will face in your marriage, your home and individually just by taking on this role of an *over-night new parent*.
Things I know now that I wish I knew then:
PROTECT your marriage relationship. You need to constantly invest in your marriage, read books, take classes, go to conferences together to strengthen your bond and continue to grow together. The most recent one we did was “The Art of Marriage. Do not wait until there is difficulty; guard your marriage right now. Because the devil is out seeking whom he may devour and without a constant investment and constantly choosing TOGETHER to bring God into your marriage, man will crumble. You have to be a united front and work together as a team there is no other way to be successful in this very challenging lifestyle.
Ephesians 5:31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”
Never stop DATING each other. There will be times, chapters in this journey where everything around you may seem like it is falling apart and the moment it starts trickling over into your marriage is the moment your foundation starts to crack. It is so important to keep dating and setting time aside intentionally to just be happy, laugh and spend one on one time with each other kid free, detail free, no phones. Reminding you why you CHOSE this person to walk through this journey with.
Ephesians 5:28 “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”
Be prepared to have this unexplainable love and willingness to take a bullet, climb mountains, take ridicule and be emotionally beat down for the sake of these children that you did not birth. You will grow to love them unconditionally and be willing to die for them in a moments notice, NO MATTER WHAT and you won’t be able to explain it or care what the reason is. But when your “kids” get attacked or become hurt at different times in their life you will have this passion and drive come over you that will make you stop at nothing to protect them from whoever may be causing them pain and sometimes, most times, it is their own family! People may even judge you for that kind of love and stance toward children that are “not yours” but it happens and when it does you have arrived; you have officially become more than a step-parent you are an “additional” parent. Those children may not know it yet, and there are times that can be the hardest part, but one day they will see just how fortunate they are to have more than just two parents who love them like no one else on this earth. Becoming a step-parent is so much deeper than just stepping into a child’s life, you take them on as your own and dna doesn’t come into play. There is no his or hers, or step, there is simply “OUR” children.
Ephesians 6:4 “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
No one will ever fully understand the sacrifice or your family dynamic unless they themselves have a blended family, so be careful who you confide in and befriend. Because there are times you will feel lost and alone and reach out to anyone that will lend an ear but unless they lived it or are living it, they will not get it. Those individuals though their heart may be right can guide you in a way that just doesn’t work for your family or your marriage. Look for trusting, morally sound, Godly individuals in similar situations or join a group because there will be times you will need some encouragement and someone who just “gets it” but doesn’t tear down.
Philippians 4:6-8 “Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.”
Take time for YOU. I understand this is easier said than done. I for one thought for the longest time I could handle it ALL and people who went out, or did things alone or without their family were crazy. But in the end, what I found, is not taking some timeout time for myself was making ME crazy. Now everything in moderation folks but you need to have something that is a healthy, safe outlet for you and that brings you joy in that time alone. It could be soaking in a bath, working out, taking the dog for a walk, whatever it is that brings you a few minutes to catch your breath and be alone. It is so important that you take care of you so you can give your family the best version of yourself.
Proverbs 31:26 “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
Becoming/being a blended family is very challenging but it is a very precious and beautiful thing. There will be unique challenges that typical families do not face. There is no way to be prepared for them all but keep in mind you and your spouse are on the same team.
Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Stay tuned for more Mamahood Stories! If you missed the first , the second post, the third post, or the forth in this series go give them a read! I am really excited to share all these lovely stories with you!