Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Affirmations

The kiddos are back after a long two week visit with their dad in Arizona. They all participated in the annual Pat Tillman 5K Fun Run, and they all finished with impressive results. They all came home tanned, freckled, and bigger. But they still remember me, and I think they're still fond of me as Mom.

So, life is back in full swing. Food is flying out of the cupboards, fridge, and freezer. The washer and dryer are running every day, and the dishwasher sometimes twice. The towels are piling up, there is a mountain of shoes by the door, and my favorite sign of family life: there are books everywhere. Someone is always playing piano, boys on rip-sticks keep whizzing by the window, and Conor has someone besides me to play with. Life is full. Life is good.

Becoming a stepmother has been a very difficult transition. I could probably write an entire book about the truth of step-parenthood. It isn't pretty, folks, and sometimes it has little to do with the actual step-children. But I've gained confidence somewhere along the way.

This is my home. I am a dedicated mother. I work tirelessly hard. And I think I'm really, really good at what I do here. Not perfect. Not by a long shot. But I'm proud of who I am as a mother, and I believe I am a blessing in the lives of the children who come into this home, whether I grew them in my womb or not. I am not going to demean myself to myself any longer. I will stand up a little straighter and act with more motherly grace and claim this calling, for that's what I believe that it is. I think I am a really fantastic combination of strict enough and fun enough. I believe that I deserve the respect that my children have for me. And I will continue to earn it.

I am much stronger than I realized before. I can do hard things. I can forgive the unforgivable. I can keep improving (thank goodness!) and evolving. I can get up even after being crushed down. I am a good woman, and I am worthy. I think I'm doing okay after all, and I think the best is yet to come.

13 comments:

Lori said...

I think you are wonderful! Whatever or whoever is trying to put doubt in your mind, even if it's you, DON'T LISTEN!!!! ;) I guess for you it would be really hard not to listen to yourself because you are ALWAYS right, most of the time. hehe Love you! Aunt Lori

Luisa Perkins said...

Now THAT'S my Jenna. Way to go, woman!

Misty said...

This is a really great and honest post. I can't imagine how difficult a transition it is, but I really respect and admire you for it. I appreciated, especially, when you said it isn't the kid's fault that it's so hard. SO MANY of my friends who are step parents, believe quite the opposite!

Saint Holiday said...

Jenna!
This is your best post ever. Great personal affirmations. I'm very proud of you. Write that book on step-parenting. It needs to be written, and you are the chosen one to write it. I see you're taking the cognitive therapy to heart. What a terrific model for all of us!

Love,
The Ancient of Weeks

Kimberly said...

That's just brilliant, Jenna! I look forward to growing and developing as a mum and homemaker to the point that I can make a similar declaration. You're inspiring as always!

Mom2My6Kids said...

Jenna, I need to print this off and say it out loud everyday. You are amazing to me, the strongest woman I have ever known and I seriously hope to be like you when I finally figure it all out and grow up! Thanks for sharing and for reminding me that I am better than I or those around me, give me credit for.

Moody said...

Wonderful post, and thanks for the reminder to stop and take credit for what we do as moms, and appreciate ourselves. I'm usually way too hard on myself.

Julie Q. said...

This was so great to hear. Can I borrow your enthusiasm and make up my own affirmation and read it to myself every morning? Of course, it's VERY hard to give myself praise...but it's a worthy cause.

rjlight said...

yep, you sure are doing a great job!

sogratefultobemormon.wordpress.com said...

amen sister! you rawk! :)

Annette Lyon said...

I say you really do write a book about the truth of step-parenthood. It's probably much needed, and I can't imagine anyone better to do it.

Misty said...

I needed to read this today. Thanks, Jenna!

Stop and smell the Daisies said...

Affirmations are great...I use them beause I figure if I tell myself something often enough, it will eventually come true! Thanks!