Mother’s Day Guest Post

 

My name is Jessica Valentino and I am a 28 year old wife, step mama, daughter, sister and friend. I am the other mom (step mama) to two of Stephanie’s kids, James (8) and Jordan (7). My husband Matt and I co-parent with Stephanie and her husband Paul. We have been doing this for about six years now, back when the munchkins were just 18 months and two. There has been highs and lows with everything else in between, it has been quite the roller coaster ride.

If you would of told me six years ago I would be guest blogging on my husband’s ex wife’s blog ON Mother’s Day — I most likely would of laughed in your face. But here I am, collaborating on Stephanie’s blog about how we got to where we are.

Flat out, we started out by doing this for the kids. They were all that mattered. That is actually a really awesome thing to be able to say. Through the turmoil, hurt and pain, we were all still there making it work because we loved James (Little Man) and Jordan (Little Miss). Their well being has always been top priority for all of us and that is a key start to successful co-parenting.

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When I started blogging I had no idea that Stephanie was a blogger as well, let alone on the same site. I found out about two months ago when I actually clicked on her picture and it was enlarged. There right before my eyes was a picture of my husband’s ex wife. Holy shit, things just got real. I went back on my page and looked at the times she has posted on my blog and nominated me for awards. She was being so kind, real, honest, and I really liked this side of her. I felt like this was a side of Stephanie I will never get to see in real life because of our past. Part of me didn’t want her to find out about my blog for the sole purpose  I enjoyed hearing her say nice  things to me without knowing it was me. Knowing that the comments she was making were honest and real thoughts and weren’t tainted because of who I was to her. When I read her post she wrote about realizing it was me, I felt relieved. I felt like I was holding a secret from her and it wasn’t fair, but in my eyes I was respecting her healing process. This was HER journey and I was on MY journey, little did I know that our paths would cross. But they have, and it has been an amazing journey together so far.

We have had a lot of highs in our relationship as bio mom and step mom, wife and ex wife. Obviously, the huge one is overcoming what seems like the biggest hurdle thus far. Talking about how we have made each other feel, how we feel about each other now and working through specific issues that have bothered us. Being able to talk to each other about the kids when they are “going through a stage” has been life saving at times. We have always reassured each other we are doing the best we can do for them and we aren’t crazy/failing parents. Stephanie has also always recognized me on Mother’s Day when she didn’t have to. She has never made me feel left out when in all honesty she has every right to. One of my favorite highs are Noah, and let me tell you why.

Noah is Stephanie and Paul’s son. I remember when she found out she was pregnant. She had sent me a text that she said was suppose to go to her mother, that said something along the lines of, “Dr. said everything is good and baby looks great.” I was hurt by that. I cried a lot that day because I was jealous. I was jealous she was pregnant and I wasn’t. I felt she was rubbing it in my face. I’ve never admitted to anyone I was jealous of her before, but I was. Then Noah arrived. That kid cracks me up. He will sometimes come to drop off on Sundays, and when he does those some of my favorite drop offs. He usually always wants to stay and hang out. We are actually watching James, Jordan and Noah while Stephanie and Paul go on vacation in June. How many stepmoms do you know will watch their husband’s ex wife’s son while she and her husband go on vacation for five days?  Not a lot, because so far everyone has told me I’m crazy. But I don’t think I am. Noah is apart of this family. Steph has said it before and she’s right, Noah is the glue for the family. He is what ties their blended family all together and he is the one that makes us all laugh and smile in ours. Seeing how the kids were with Noah gave me faith that when Matt and I have a baby one day, they will be just as amazing with him or her.

We’ve also had our share of lows. I’ve been called a lot of names, and unfortunately I remember every mean name she has called me. I’ve moved on from that years ago, but it’s something I’m working on trying to forget. There have been times we have argued and fought about petty things that could of been resolved if we just communicated better. We have had to work really hard to get to where we are. What I began to notice was the fights were occurring because someone always felt “not in the loop” or lack of communication. Literally, 98% of  the arguments were due to communication error. That was something I have been working my butt off to fix the past few years, because to me, that is an easy fix, right?

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Our relationship has been about compromising, give and take. Stephanie is a planner and control freak (her words, not mine! LOL). Those are awesome traits to have, but it’s just not my awesome traits. Which is totally fine, but out of respect to her and her sanity, I will plan as far in advance as she needs too. Was that easy at first? Um, no. It was hard because I don’t plan my life that way, but it’s not the end of the world to do it. If it helps her with the kids, I don’t see why not. I felt if it makes life easier for her, maybe she will see that I’m trying and when my awesome traits shine she will accept them for what they are.

It’s all of the little things we have done over the years to get us to where we are. The last hurdle was the game changer though. Reading her blog opened my eyes to the raw and real Stephanie. I understood now what I didn’t understand six years ago. There was too much pain and hurt back then to see the real Stephanie and the real Jess, but here we are now. Standing united as mother’s, showing our kids that we love them and we are all in this together. Happy Mother’s Day, Stephanie. Thank you for bringing these two amazing children into OUR world.

Published by Making Time For Me

Wife, Mother, Step Mom, Control Freak. 7 years into my second marriage and dedicated to making my home a chemical free safe haven <3

10 thoughts on “Mother’s Day Guest Post

  1. This is so inspiring! I know I’ve said it before but this is a book waiting to be written 😉 Great post ladies. So happy for you guys and your family. All families have their issues whether blended or not and the way you two have come full circle is beautiful. May the healing and repairing continue. Happy Mother’s Day to both of you!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I wish that I could have had a better relationship with my daughter’s step mom when she was young. We united briefly when she divorced my ex husband, but nothing like what you ladies are doing. Kudos to both of you for putting the kids first and realizing that you are all a family. Happy Mother’s Day to both of you!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I just read Stephanie’s story before it. It’s a nice collaboration. Not for the blog only, but for the family also. Yes, your children are so much lucky to have the Moms like you both. And beyond the mother, I respect your tolerance and acceptance towards the life as the women. It’s a great and inspiring story for all women. Wishing you both a happy motherhood.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow. This has taken my breath away …. you two are really beyond inspiring. All the children whose lives you touch (particularly those you co-parent, of course) are fortunate to have such extraordinary and honest women in their lives x

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is a great story. I love hearing stories about parents that give co-parenting a good name! My ex-husband and I have a great relationship. We have one daughter together. This last Saturday, he finally remarried and I love his new wife! She is super sweet! My daughter is 15 and we split up when she was 3. When she was 5, I met my now husband. I think that all of us have co-parented very well and I owe a lot of that to how patient and forgiving my ex-husband has been through all of this. He has always been flexible with scheduling and working with things we need for our daughter. My husband has also been very flexible and forgiving in dealing with our daughter and all of her needs. I can’t imagine life without either of them!

    Liked by 1 person

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