What are some of your favorite parts of motherhood?
It’s scary to be a stepmom, but I loved it all. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a mom. I was involved in their lives and they were in mine. I loved cooking and baking with them from an early age. Also, I taught them music, and we played and sang together often.
Homeschooling was wonderful. I was nervous about it at first. But my sister was doing it, so I tried kindergarten (which wasn’t required) and we enjoyed it. That was the year my daughter was born and it gave Brett and me bonding time. If Mikaela was fussy, she was in a Snuggly (I guess today this is called a Boba wrap?) around me which left my hands free to teach. I think she learned a lot that way, school came easier for her. Each year we talked about the school year. Every year the kids chose to homeschool. Hands down.
What are some challenges you’ve faced as a mother? How have you worked to overcome them?
My initiation into being a stepmom started right off with a preteen and a teenager. One got chickenpox while Michael and I were on our honeymoon, and the other got them when we arrived home!
My husband and I sat down with them before we married and talked about things. They wanted me to adopt them but because of moving several times it never happened. Michael told them that I would end up being their mother longer than their biological mother. And we decided they would call me “Mom.”
Michael said he would always back me up when it came to discipline, and they were not to try to play us against one another. What I said would be “law” and if I dealt out a punishment, only I could change it. We had some of the typical teenager-mom issues. But really not many big issues that all moms don’t have.
Becoming a family
I was never referred to as their stepmom. And I love them like my own, and they love me the same. As a matter of fact, after 32 years, one of them sends me flowers every year on the anniversary of their mother’s death. The card always reads, “Thanks for being my mom.”
In what ways have you and do you share your faith with your children?
It’s a lifestyle.
Everything seems to have something to do with faith in our lives. We have had many discussions around the dinner table. (Dinner table: what an important routine for the family!)
Being a pastoral family, our kids were saturated in our faith. I wanted to have a family devotion time, but my husband felt that they got so much from being at the church (all the time) that he didn’t want to force more on them. I did get them to have Advent devotions with me most years. (Church attendance is vital.)
Get Involved with their Schooling
We also homeschooled our children, and they received Bible training through that. We used the church Bible quizzing lessons, and we were deeply involved in quizzing. I suggest to every parent I know to consider homeschooling unless there is an excellent private school in their area.
Once they were old enough, they were involved in any special programs we had at church. They enjoyed every minute…well, maybe not every minute. One son still enjoys being “the tech guy” in the sound booth. Our daughter taught herself to play the guitar and she and her husband are on the worship team at church.
Pray for and with your children. After the car accident, going to school was very traumatic for Brian. He was dropped at his school that day and the accident happened on the way to the high school. We ALWAYS prayed with him before he got out of the car. ALWAYS.
This is an excerpt from an interview I did with Stacey Shannon at Families with Grace. You will find the full interview on her website. Moms with Grace: Mandy Farmer – Families With Grace Stacey has shared here at Mandy and Michele as well.
Other guest posts by Stacey
Managing Your Anxiety: Two Fabulous Tools
Your Identity is More Than Your Chronic Pain
Pastor’s Wife (retired) & Chronic Pain Warrior blogs about how to make it through anything by relating her own life experiences to her writing. She is passionate about her love for the Lord and desires to spread that passion to others. She has a great desire to encourage women who are following behind her.
2 Comments on “An Experienced Mom & Stepmom Shares Parenting Encouragement”
Your heart comes through so strongly here. Thanks for sharing practical, hopeful words.
Thank you so much Natalie. I pray that my words are helpful to you and others. God bless.