In Response 1

The following is a comment a reader wrote in response to the This Broad Here post:

Through your post, I can feel your frustration with the whole situation. One thing I have to comment on is it is really not right to exclude the mom from your house. Yes, I don’t understand the situation fully since I am not l,iving it, BUT, you both share something in common, a child with your husband. Before you got married, you knew full well there was some “baggage” involved. What are you teaching your child when you exclude the mother of her sister from even entering your house? What are you teaching your child when there is straight up animosity and immaturity going on? No, you might never, ever, be one big happy family, but you are family and will forever be connected due to children. To foster a healthier environment that your child’s relationship with her sibling can flourish and stop all the unnecessary drama, you might want to rethink stooping down to the mother’s level. Being a Christian is not something we take off when it’s inconvenient for us. You show the love of Christ to even the unlovable. You know I have love for you, but you are wrong on this one because you are not modeling the right behavior for the children. If Bella is being disrespectful, she’s wrong regardless. At the same time, try being in her shoes and seeing that their is such hostility between her mom, dad, and step mom. She lives with her mom and of course will start taking her side and acting up. You need to be the bigger person, regardless if you feel slighted. Yes, you are the wife, but yes, you also married into this and somebody should be the adult.

I appreciate the comment and the insight/advice it contains. As you read this blog, please respond if you have a question or want to offer another point of view as it may help me or another reader.  I hope not to make it a practice to respond to a comment with a post but in this case, I thought it best to do so in case other readers share the same feelings as this reader.  It may also help other bonus moms verbalize a response to the same thought.
What I appreciate most about this comment is that it forced me to revisit my motives. Not allowing Tanya into my home is not a decision that was made hastily nor is it a decision that only applies to her. No one who disrupts the peace on my household is welcome into my home.  NO ONE. This is not exclusive to Tanya.  She simply falls under the guidelines I have for those who do not receive invitations into the Lee compound.  Women who try to get too friendly with my husband, men who make me uncomfortable, anyone speaks poorly of me or my husband, and people who try to parent our child are not welcome in our home. PERIOD.
It only takes meeting one guideline to be unwelcome in our household and, in this regard, Tanya is an overacheiver. But, like I said before, these guidelines are and would be the same even it Tanya did not exist! It is my role as wife and mother to make our home a safe environment for all its occupants with my husband at the top of that list. Anyone who does anything and continues to do anything in the guidelines I wrote above is not welcome in our household.
Tanya is not the only person unwelcome.  There are some others on that list. Some have recently been granted an olive branch to come back to our home. But believe you me, at the first sign of them returning to their former ways which put them on the list in the first place, they need not darken my doorway again.
(PS. the bolds are not yelling in response to the reader.  They are to express to all how serious I am about protecting our family, home, and marriage from anything that threatens it)

Maternal Ambivalence….A Baby Story

A reader sent this link to me and was curious to know my thoughts on the subject.  Please take a moment to read the article before reading my thoughts.

Growing up, I knew I wanted to be a Mommy.  There was no greater thing to be than to be a Mommy.  I looked forward to getting married and having children (in that order) but I was more excited about having children.  I remember riding in the car with my mom and my siblings, telling her about how many children I wanted to have.  I said I wanted to have twins, triplets, quadruplets, and quintuplets and then I was going to adopt some too!

But that changed.  It changed when my friend (who later became my husband) told me he was going to be a father again.  When we married, I was completely against having a baby.  I remember telling our pastor during pre-marital counseling that I was not having any babies.  He already had a boy and a girl.  I couldn’t improve upon that.  I didn’t think there was anything left for me to do.

Some family members would ask if we were going to have a child.  I would quickly answer no.  I had no desire WHATSOEVER to have a baby.  How did that happen?  I had fears.  I was afraid that our child wouldn’t be as special to him or to his family.  I was afraid that our child would be mistreated because s/he was mine.  I was afraid that I would be treated as the “third in line to have Brian’s baby”; that my child’s birth would be like watching a movie on repeat instead of a special event.

Those were my main fears due to my position as an bonus mom.  I also had other Mommyhood fears.

I was afraid of losing sleep.  (I love a good nap at a moments notice).  I was afraid of having to raise a child past infancy.  I wanted to be “ready” to have a child.  I wanted to get the that place where wanting a child was more important to me than being able to get up and go see a movie whenever I wanted to.  My husband and I have rather strong opinions about parenting.  I was afraid that, if I became a parent, I wouldn’t be able to walk the talk.  I was afraid of making our child an idol; placing more importance on the child than God.

Then, something happened.  I don’t remember what it was but I began to desire a child.  Looking back on it now, I think I still deeply wanted a child even when I was in my I-don’t-want-a-baby-ever-in-life mode.  I was just too afraid to admit it.  The desire was so deep.  I think I was more afraid of having such a strong desire and never being able to have a child either because of physical difficulty or financial ability.

That’s my story. I often wonder what other women’s stories are.  What happened?  There is always a story.  There is always a reason even if we haven’t dug deep enough to figure it out.  I knew a few women never thought they would have a child so as a way of protecting their feelings, they decided to adopt a feeling of ambivalence.  I know other women who, because they had no experience with babies, didn’t desire to have a child because they would be novices at it when they currently were professionals in their careers.

There are a myriad of reasons for maternal ambivalence.  I think the bottom line is, do you trust God enough?  Do you trust him with your vulnerabilities, known weaknesses, and fears?  Do you trust him enough to know that He knows your strengths?  Do you trust Him enough to know that He never makes mistakes (although at times, to our human eye, it seems like He does make mistakes)?  Those questions take a lifetime to answer.  Each situation and circumstance, comes with an opportunity to bring you into a deeper level of trust in Him.