I am a 29-year-old stay at home mom of three. Who would have thought? I certainly didn’t. I’ve always wanted children, I always daydreamed of having a family. When I met my now husband, five and a half years ago, I would never have imagined that we’d be married with a child now and that I’d be a full-time stepmom.
When I moved in with my husband, I had just come from working abroad on the cruise liners and travelling to all sorts of places. I moved in and became a “mom” straight away. And low and behold fell pregnant straight away too. All while trying to learn how to be a mother to a six and a seven-year-old and I had hormones all over the show with our bean growing.
All of this without any of my own family in the same town. My mom was a two-hour flight away in my hometown. I saw her 4 times during my pregnancy, and she visited for a week when I came home from the hospital. I also had only made one friend. All my lifelong friends were in my hometown too.
I struggled with breastfeeding and only made it to 8 weeks. Life was chaotic, the witching hour was awful, the no sleep thing was terrible and all in the middle of winter, also healing from an unplanned c-section (this I’ve realised was the best way for me because I really was petrified of the birth – I spent all 9 months fretting about it).
I cried a lot for the first month or so because I had this fear of something happening to this new baby that I was responsible for. At 8 weeks old I had the implant inserted in my arm. Worst decision I could have made, albeit I did not know this at the time.
Fast forward to when the new baby was 6 months, we moved house, moving far enough that our older two had to change schools. We moved knowing that emigrating was in the near future.
The first year of the baby’s life, my husband and his ex-wife had a lot of differences to sort through, involving lawyers, etc. This was not easy for me too.
Forward another 6 months, when baby was a year old, we then emigrated to Central America. That was hard. We have been here for 7 month’s now. We have just moved into our third house (we lived together with my husband’s sister from when we got here). We have also now changed the older two children’s school. This will be the third school in a year for them. So here we only have my husband’s family. My parents and sister in law and us 5. Since we moved here, when my parents in law came to visit, they stayed in the same house too. That’s three generations and a lot of dynamics in one house.
Let me share how this has all affected me. I grew up in a stable home, in the same house my whole life, one preschool, one primary school, one high school, one college and then off I went to travel the world. The past two and a half years have been far from what I am used to. But it’s what my husband is used to. He grew up moving around just as much. I don’t like feeling unsettled. I’ve felt unsettled since the first move when the baby was 6 months old. When we were in limbo waiting to emigrate, that was hard on me emotionally. Two days flight away from my mom, 7-hour time difference away.
This emotional rollercoaster started 9 months ago. My menstrual cycle went haywire, and I lost a lot of weight. I was over stressed. When we got the go-ahead for the emigration, we had to sell 95% of everything we had in our house. Most of which was my husband’s and his family’s things. But still, it was stressful getting everything done, especially since I hadn’t fully accepted the move and considering that we had only moved 5 months before.
Once we got to our new country, I started to read up on the effects of the implant. Well, I realised why my emotional state was so severe. The progestin hormone can cause depressed mood, lack of sex drive, and worsen any emotional feelings you may have. I wasn’t dealing with anything properly. I was always irritable, I was severely unhappy, I was severely lonely and just wanted to go back home.
I was continually feeling more miserable and uneasy about being a stepmom. Not because I don’t want to, they call me mommy, they always say they have two moms, I am the mom figure to them most of the time, doing the mom duties. It was about the constant emotional fight and rollercoaster every day about if I was doing the right thing. Do I say yes to PlayStation? Do I say no to chocolate? Do I give hidings or not? Everything was a question, and I had a lot of other family members parenting as well. I felt confused all the time.
Fast forward to now. We moved into our own house 8 days ago. We decided to have the implant removed 5 days ago. My husband’s ex-wife is here visiting the two kids for 6 weeks. They will be back home early March. Our 19-month-old is missing them so much and is terribly bored without them. We also have a new puppy. I am feeling a bit happier having our own house and privacy again. And I appreciate this time to reflect and renew myself free of hormones for a short bit and find the joy in my life again. My light went out for a while.
I can feel the spark coming back, and I’m excited to have my other two children come home to our new home. For a fresh start. Back to just us 5. We’ve all had a lot of changes in the last 2 and half years, mainly my two older children. I’m looking forward to a while of staying put and making new happier memories.
I’ve also realised not everything is as it seems. Facebook shows us only what people want us to see. Why would we show anything else? You never know if someone struggles or if they are really happy or if they are really okay. Society tells us not to talk about these things. Well, I don’t believe in that. I think that it’s more healthy to talk about our problems and get the support help we need.
*For personal reasons and full disclosure, the ‘author’ has decided to remain anonymous. Thank you for bravely sharing your story.
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