I have lived in the Birmingham area all my life. The farthest I have ever gone was when I went to the University of Montevallo. Birmingham is such a great place to live because you can experience city life with a small town feel. I’m always finding new places to go and things to do. Even though I have lived here all my life, I still don’t consider myself 100% Southern. Both of my parents are originally from central Illinois and moved here right before I was born, so I was raised in the South by two Midwesterners. I feel like I have experienced the best of both worlds. I am fascinated by what I am continuing to learn about Southern culture–like peanuts in Coke, for example. I never knew that was a thing until recently.
I am a stepmom, and sometimes that feels like a bad word. Stepmoms can get a bad rap: we’re not “real” moms, we’re trying too hard (or not hard enough), or we want to take Mom’s place. I don’t know of anyone who grows up dreaming about being a stepmom. It can be a tough gig. I do know of lots of women who grow up dreaming about being a mom, but that doesn’t always go as planned. Even though this isn’t the mom experience I pictured, I am so thankful to have my stepdaughters in my life. And I would never want to take anything away from them or their relationships with their mom. Regardless of whether you’re a “real” mom, stepmom, or adoptive mom, the end goal is always the same. You have been given a child to care for and love. As long as your kids are happy and healthy, it doesn’t matter what your family tree looks like.
I am so excited that Birmingham Moms Blog is going to exist. I’m even more excited that I get to write for it. When I first became a stepmom, I searched the internet for everything from words of encouragement to ideas to entertain my girls. (At that point, I didn’t have much experience with throwing karate birthday parties.) I would have loved to find a collection of ideas and words of inspiration from local moms. I also hoped to find women with stories similar to mine. Now I search for women also struggling with infertility. This is such a difficult topic to discuss, and I understand why women are reluctant to share. I have found a few women willing to make their journey public, and a couple are right here in Birmingham. There’s just something about finding someone going through what you’re going through, and then finding out they live where you do. It gives me a sense of comfort, like being home. You know they just get it. I am hoping that by being a part of Birmingham Moms Blog, I can bring that same type of comfort to other stepmoms and moms-to-be. I’ve been there, and I get it.