Girl, Bye!! Mindset Makeover Journal – Week 20 #BFHOE #VIPStepmom #GirlBye #NajaHall

Are you still working through the makeover journal (available HERE)? What sections did you cover this week? What stood out the most for you?

Personally, I covered pages 208-219. And once again, there were many pages for private journaling that I will NOT be sharing here because I’ve learned to be VERY CAREFUL about what I write publicly that could come back to bite me. I’ll save those nuggets for the closed, small groups (at least until all the kids are legal adults).

Some things that I really needed to be reminded about were that it’s a delicate balance, sad and unnatural to have to detach from your spouse’s kids between visits, but that is often how it works. Recoupling and remarriage often forces a bond between us and children we didn’t bear and as mothers & nurturers it can feel uncomfortable to have that cut off after weeks or months of making memories and investing time with them. Naja says that despite that, if we are blessed a genuine love bond will develop between us and our stepkids and until then, fill their minds with beautiful experiences and memories and overwhelm them with love and positive vibes (as a teen mom I will say this was MUCH easier to do when they were little and cute with ice cream on their noses. The teen years are still memorable but it’s not nearly as cute and sweet). She also reminds us that if the children grow up to be good people, they will be free and open to loving us back. That part reminds me of my sweetest grown son who is so kind, helpful and thoughtful and treats my husband so well, too (NOW. They used to clash, clash, clash). We’ve seen this first hand and know it can happen so let us be HOPE to you as well.

Page 210 lists some Stepmom affirmations that are GREAT to look over. I love the reminder that “I will give love away every chance I get” yet “I will set firm boundaries when I am disrespected”. I wasted so many years being a doormat because I considered it being the bigger person and loving freely without conditions. Boy, was I wrong!! Boundaries are an amazing thing. Keep those reminders coming.

She also reminds us that “in general, kids are assholes”… Bahahaha. Yes, girl!! Yes. We know this. We’ve seen this. Yet I still find myself a little twisted when they’re an asshole to ME (and so does Hubs… he doesn’t take it well at ALL haha). Parenting is tough when we aren’t certain of the kids’ motives. But, kids (especially teens) often have very self-centered motives. Regardless, she encourages us to give the kids the benefit of the doubt and don’t take it too personally because … you guessed it! Kids can be jerks.

This section is wrapped up with some reminders, challenges, food for thought and questions to give you some time to think through things and journal. For example, I love page 217 where she says that there will be moments when your stepkids will show you love and it’s okay to allow yourself to have HOPE about your relationship with them. Then she challenges you to journal “I feel most hopeful when…”. In our situation, 4 of our 6 kids are grown and Hubs is custodial of the 2 high schoolers. For many, that is not the case and I know many of you have much more limited time in which to build relationship and make memories and that can make you lose hope. But DON’T lose hope. Hang onto that!! It’s ok. Yes, it’s possible that it could end in disappointment. But it’s also possible that it can turn out great. As for me, I am going to try to hang onto hope with these youngest two.

Coffee cheers your way and I’ll see you next week.

~Jennifer with BFHOE

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Girl, Bye!! Mindset Makeover Journal Week 19 #BFHOE #VIPStepmom #GirlBye #NajaHall

This week I worked through Pages 198-207 of the Girl, Bye Journal (link HERE).

In typical Naja fashion, she covers how to show compassion through understanding toxic individuals, addresses mental and personal disorders, and reminds us that we should “remove ourselves from this individual’s grasp” and “guard your peace of mind”. When we allow people to stir up emotional reactions in us, we are giving them our power. “True power is sitting back and observing things with logic.” Y’all, I know this is HARD TO DO because these are our men, marriages, homes, families but YES Girl, Yes! This has been my ultimate goal for the past few years and I always need this reminder.

Pages 204-205 are personal and I’d recommend everyone take the time to think and journal through that question. She asked “How has being a stepmom decreased or increased your quality of life?” I’m keeping my response personal and private within VIPStepmom only, but it definitely helped me to pen out my answers. I also listed out some hopes for my blended family over the next few years and dated the page so I can look back at it later down the road and see if my hopes worked out (I’ve often found that they do. It’s one of the reasons I love to keep a journal).

Finally, my favorite page EVER!! I am saving this photo right here to be a permanent NOTE TO SELF anytime I find myself naïve enough to keep working on relationships that are just plain ROTTEN. The other day in VIP Stepmom some of the women were talking about how they don’t even talk to half of the ladies that were in their bridal party (how marriage, re-marriage, child rearing, jealousy etc.) change the face of friendships. Yet, so often we continue being involved and it still doesn’t work. Step away, step away, step away. It’s ok to understand that some relationships are seasonal. Not everyone in Season One will be there in the Finale episode. Stop cooking with rotten eggs!!!

 

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Girl, Bye!! Mindset Makeover Journal Week #18 #BFHOE #VIPStepmom #GirlBye #NajaHall

Hiya Ladies! Are you still working through the Girl, Bye Mindset Makeover Journal? This week I worked through Pages 191-197 in my personal time and of course it was GREAT!!

There is a section for new “mom/stepmom” relationships which doesn’t apply to me but I know it applies to several of my friends. In fact, one of my besties was recently talking to me about how the new stepmom (she’s the bio mom) has come in fast and furious wanting to be besties. Guess how long that lasted? Bahahaha. There’s some good advice in that section including “be kind to her but keep a respectful distance in the beginning” and my favorite line “the key priority is to ensure that your actions represent compassion to the children and TONS OF GRACE FOR YOURSELF”!!! I don’t think I repeat that line enough.

Another section deals with mate selection which reminds me of a singles bible study book – Lady in Waiting – that I worked through before marrying Hubs. Naja says “the patriarchal nature of our society expects and requires women to sacrifice themselves for their men and their families. Ladies, pick partners that recognize the disparity and that will do everything in their power to uplift YOU”. Preach Naja. Preach. Unfortunately, in the blended family arena many women have already committed to partners that don’t understand that. Maybe that’s another reason 75-80% of blended family marriages don’t survive.

Finally, last but not least, I love this reminder. Hubs knew when he married me that I’m a dang good “run away bride” and keep an extra pair of running shoes by my nightstand for safe keeping. That’s wrong. I know. But that is me and I’m very honest about that. This little reminder right here is AWESOME and I’m saving it to my media files for those PMS, exhausted & ready to give up days. Are you seriously going to let them run you away?

Are you still working through the journal? What was your favorite part this week?

Until next time…. Hugs.

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Girl, Bye!! Mindset Makeover Journal Week #17 #BFHOE #VIPStepmom #NajaHall #GirlBye

Hey Girl Hey!! Are you reading the Mindset Makeover Journal with us? This week I covered Pages 182-190 and once again, I was challenged. Maybe too much LOL. My journal entries on Pages 186-190 are going to stay nice and private right here in my own book at home because they are very personal and possibly offensive to my family members. But, I’ll share this one for sure. Let’s talk about pages 184-185.

Naja said, “What goes around comes around. When you train a child to disrespect a loving parent or stepparent’s authority, you are simultaneously teaching them that showing you respect is optional as well. Mark my words, you’ll see.”

Girl…. did we! I’ve been watching and observing the unbelievable drama with HCBM and her 3 bio kids for over a decade now and I have seen that those above statements are 100% and are what the kids are doing this season right now.

HCBM spent years working to alienate her daughter from my husband and our family. But what has happened is her daughter has lied to her, disrespected her and has already dropped out of college and moved out of her home with her. Meanwhile, the male teens that live with Hubs – often in defense and protectiveness of dad because they know “Mom hates you” – have pushed her as far out of their lives as they are legally allowed to and neither of them do one single thing for her unless they are “forced” to. The oldest male has already said numerous times that as soon as he’s 18 (which is only in a few months) that he is not going to have anything to do with his bio mom at all. Why? This right here. The monster (the situations) she created has fully backfired on her and now the monster SHE CREATED is eating her. (And no, I do not feel like we have won and I am not happy about it. If anything I’m annoyed by it because I enjoy the time they visit her & when Hubs and I can take a quick staycation. I also enjoy having an open door policy and can’t stand the friction between homes. But anyway …)

These observations don’t really do much for me or my life personally but they do validate and confirm that Naja’s statement is REAL. If I could chime in some personal advice I would say …

If you’re recently divorced or are newly blended, be careful not to raise or train your child to undermine your co-parents authority. In fact, help honor their authority to the extent that you CAN (sometimes you can’t). Time and time again, if one of our kids complains about their other parents house we say “if that’s their rule in their home, so be it. Just like you have to follow school rules and a dress code at school and work rules at your place of employment or your coach’s rules on and off the field.” In fact, teaching kids to honor authority is one of the best life long lessons you can instill in children period. And you don’t have to personally respect an individual to be respectful to them and honor the position that they hold. Raise them and train them that it is right to “honor thy father AND mother”. Do you know how great life would be if HCBM’s would raise the kids to “honor both mother AND father”. Half of these blended family resources wouldn’t even be needed if HCBM’s would simply honor these kids’ fathers post divorce. [But, I also believe that there is an attack on our men & that many groups are trying to wipe out husbands and fathers in general as if they are not needed. The good ole’ theory that if you attack the head you win & if you can destroy a family, you win. But that’s a different blog for a different day on my faith forum.]

So, the bigger lesson here is to work to honor BOTH parents in BOTH homes to the extent that you CAN even when the other home is not doing that in return. Then you may not find yourself in this situation here where that monster eats you too (or you still might but at least you can rest assured that you were the bigger person).

AND DISCLAIMER: I am not saying don’t use wisdom or use boundaries or be a doormat. I am NOT talking about those parents who have been abusive to the children or the mothers that eat their young or the parents who have left for years without any visits or financial contributions (though in my personal situation I have went through that and still TRY to encourage relationship to the extent it can be healthy). I am referring to the common divorce where there are 2 birth parents involved & they both exercise visits and help support the kids, etc. I am talking about my husband’s divorce, Naja’s husband’s divorce and those types of situations.

Alrighty y’all, next week I’m going to target pages 191-195. Who is with me?

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Girl, Bye!! Mindset Makeover Week 16 #BFHOE #VIPStepmom #GirlBye #NajaHall

Hiya Stepmoms!! How are you holding up out there? Personally, I’m absolutely experiencing “quarantine fatigue” and am OVER IT. I need a patio happy hour on a gorgeous day with my cute puppy for real. In the meantime, lets journal.

This week in my personal time, I covered Pages 180-183 in the Girl, Bye Mindset Makeover Journal. That may not seem like much, but when I first skimmed the journal to outline my weekly goals, I knew this section was going to take me a minute to fully marinate, eat and digest. Also, there are some great reminders coming up on pages 184-187 that I want to journal separately. This week’s nugget for me was THIS!

Some people will never accept you because you are a living, breathing reminder of their own failures. Y’all….. I just cannot like, post, share or high five this page enough. Now, if you know me, you know that I really do not care if you like me or not or accept me or not. I assure you I won’t be losing sleep over it (my insomnia is hormone related so no one else gets to take the credit for it … bahahaha). Anyway, being accepted by anyone has never been at the top of my priority list. However, I feel like THIS RIGHT HERE is exactly why soooooo many forever wives & stepmoms get treated so poorly and end up anxious, stressed and exhausted. Similar to last weeks lesson, jealous people will UNLEASH WRATH on you, your spouse, home, kids and make basic life a living hell (hence the name sake of my blog). And I’ve told my Lil Sister-in-Law a dozen times “I don’t even think all this hatred towards me or my family is truly personal, I think she would have done this to anyone he married” because HOW DARE HE be restored and healed unless she is. He was supposed to be miserable and punished, not blessed meanwhile she was supposed to be living in a mansion with Mr. Southlake himself. It is NOT my fault their marriage ended in divorce so honestly I’d really like to be left alone LOL.

Y’all, we can’t fix or change a HCBM or the venom that comes from their camps, but I sure am thankful for our little community here where we can acknowledge our circumstances and gain support from one another while continuing to heal. I’m also super thankful for the resources that are available through VIPStepmom because I feel like I’ve grown leaps and bounds in these past 3-4 months especially where boundaries are concerned.

How about you? What was your favorite nugget from the journal this week in your own reading?

 

 

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Girl, Bye!! Mindset Makeover Week 15 #BFHOE #VIPStepmom #NajaHall #GirlBye

Hey there all you cool cats and kittens haha. Welcome to Week 15 of my personal journey through Miss Naja’s Girl, Bye journal which is available for purchase HERE!!! This week I tackled Pages 172-179 and let me tell you something, she took me to church!! Yes, a literal Bible Study.

“You will never do anything right in the eyes of a jealous person”. Pg 172. In my personal case, jealousy and envy have lead to greed, theft, lies including perjury, false accusations, attacks and what seems to be a next level hatred of me and any success that I may achieve (career, family, finances, etc.) But WHY? Why would someone else be so concerned with how I look and how I live my life to the point of an obsession? JEALOUSY!!! I think that’s why Envy is considered 1 of the 7 deadly sins. Unchecked, it can lead to a path of destruction. Thankfully, over the past decade we have been able to combat the majority of those issues through the implementation of BOUNDARIES as discussed in the journal and impeccable record keeping.

The remainder of this week’s reading section goes on to remind me that I’m still a bad @$$ (I’ve been loving that since Day 1) and she provides some tips and tricks for how to handle being an alienated stepparent. She also asks again whether or not you would maintain a relationship with your stepkids if you and their dad’s relationship dissolved. Of course, each persons response in this journal will be based on their own personal situation and journey and there are no “right or wrong” answers. To each their own.

Coffee cheers to you ladies.

PS: I do love this journal but another thing I really appreciate with VIPStepmom are the zoom chats and professional legal collaboratives. If you’ve never participated in one, do so or go back and watch them when you have time. It’s really great stuff y’all.

 

 

 

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Girl, Bye!! Mindset Makeover Week 14 #BFHOE #VIPStepmom #NajaHall #GirlBye

Hey Stepmoms!!! Are you reading the Girl, Bye Mindset Makeover Journal? This week I went through pages 160-171 and REALLY enjoyed some of the stories Miss Naja covered. For example…

Booty shorts bio mom. Oh. My. Gosh. I cannot even. That story was awesome. And the reminder to refresh your work benefits & insurance benefits. Y’all I have entire blog on the importance of getting a new Will made since our discussion with our lawyer about how our assets would be divided in the event of one of our deaths. I mean, it’s crazy scary what can happen to your marital home even here in Texas (based on the attorney consult).

Page 166 covers a laundry list of things to teach your children including the art of saying NO!!! It took me 35 years of living and a sermon about “creating margins in your day” to finally learn that it’s ok to say no and that you don’t have to keep taking on more than you can manage. Thank You for that reminder AGAIN.

And last but not least, my FAVORITE page, & reminder to BLOCK BLOCK BLOCK!!! Kind of like it took me too long to learn to say no, it took me way too long to BLOCK HCBM and her family. If I knew THEN what I know now, I would have blocked HCBM before I ever met her and would have never allowed myself to be available to act as her personal assistant and nanny in the first place. I love this reminder, “If there is a person in your life that can’t seem to maintain a relationship with you based on BOUNDARIES and RESPECT, they gotta go!!! Today, I want you to cut ties with things and people that cost you your peace!”

Amen Naja, Amen!

So, in classic BFHOE fashion, I challenge you as well to block the people who don’t respect you or your boundaries. Life is too short to live any other way.

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