Stepmoms Speak

27 10 2008

 Jean is a bio mom of three kids and has been a stepmom for 23 years. She’s a Soleil Lifestory Network Certified Instructor and a Heritage Makers Personal Publishing Consultant who believes everyone has stories that need to be written down and given to their families. To find out how you can publish your stories, visit her website at www.lifestorykeepsakes.com, e-mail her at jtravis42@comcast.net or call 952-831-0698.

My stepdaughter was 19 years old when she bounced into my life. She was energetic, enthusiastic, and amazingly accepting of me as the new woman in her dad’s and her life. For the first three years of our relationship, she was away at college, but came home on weekends and stayed with us during one summer. I became aware during our get-to-know-each-other period that along with her enthusiasm came a very direct communication style. She never hesitated to let me or the rest of the family know her opinions or desires.

The summer she lived with us full-time, she informed me the kids (my kids) were to stay out of her room and not get into her things. While the directness of it unnerved me a bit, I respected the request and informed my kids to steer clear of her room.  

Imagine my surprise when I came home one day, walked into my bedroom and the very private den attached to it and found her best friend and boyfriend using the phone at my desk, which was piled high with private papers. I was so choked with rage all I could do was turn around and walk out. There was no shortage of phones in the house. They were all over, in the kitchen, upstairs, downstairs, and even one right outside my stepdaughter’s bedroom door.  

Why I was able to contain myself, I’ll never completely know. I just knew I had to calm down in order to speak coherently. Two days later I told my stepdaughter I needed to talk with her. We sat at the kitchen table and I began by saying, “You know how you feel about your privacy, and how you requested the kids stay out of your private space – your bedroom?  

She nodded.  

“Well, that’s how I feel about my bedroom and my office. I wasn’t happy about your friends using my private area the other day…”  

She understood and honored my request to never send anyone into my office again. We remained good friends. She still loved to come home, and I’m so glad I had the presence of mind to calm down and not blast away. Years later she told me, “When you told me you needed to talk to me, I knew I was in big trouble!”

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