My biggest stepmom lesson came from a lunchbox brownie…

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I’m a wife, stepmom x3 and mom x 1 who when I couldn’t find the stepmom support I was looking for, decided to create it myself. I love mac + cheese, distressed denim, sauvignon blanc and all things Dateline. 

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Hi, I'm JAMIE

When I first became a stepmom, I loved making the kids lunches.  I found it fun. I put a lot of time, effort and care into what I packed, and was very passionate about giving the kids the nutrients they needed to thrive throughout the school day. 

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that the novelty wore off… and quick. 

Now I despise making my step-kid’s school lunches. In fact, now that the boys are old enough to pack their own lunch, I’ve passed on the torch. 

Why? Because no matter how hard I tried to pack both healthy and delicious food, time after time, the healthy choices came back untouched. 

One day, as I emptied the smashed  banana and gucked up grapes out of their lunch pails, I jokingly said…  

“Can you just throw out the food at school, and at least pretend that you ate the healthy parts of your lunch… this is gross!” 

Apparently the teachers don’t let them. 

Anyways, now it’s on them …. They are in charge of their lunches. Their healthy snacks are now sweetened apple sauce, processed cheese strings, canned fruit soaked in sugary syrup, and an apple that comes home more times than not. 

The lunches make me cringe, but at least they’re eating them… and the battle is over! 

Our daughter Reese just started JK, so now I’m making her lunches! Does she get the same luxury when it comes to her school lunches? No she doesn’t.

When I first wrote this post a few years ago I said that her lunches would look very different and they do!

Her eating habits are quite different from my stepchildren, and well, I’m her Mom … I’m the boss… and she isn’t going to be eating crap all day. 

Before you judge let me, and tell me that it should be all the same, let tell you a little story about how I got to this place… 

(It’s all about picking your battles)

Years ago, my My stepsons constantly asked for this processed, packaged COSMIC brownie in his lunch. Many don’t see this as a big deal, but like I said I can be pretty picky about the food that I give the kids, so it’s something I’ve always refused to buy.  

He always asked, I always said no. In my opinion, it does not look or feel like real food. Gross!

However one day, after a year and a half of talking about the stupid brownie,  I thought to myself…..  his mom gets him the brownie, his dad would probably get him the brownie, why do I give a shhhh about the brownie?!

Is it really worth the fight? Is it really worth looking like the bad guy?

No! It’s not. 

Anyways, I ended up giving in and buying the kid the brownie for his lunch. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, he was thrilled. 

Will I give Reese this brownie. Heck NO!  

So why would I do it for him, you ask? 

Well because if both of his parents don’t bat an eye at the brownie, then why am I wasting my time and energy? The kid is going to have that brownie either way.  It’s not worth the struggle! At the end of the day, it doesn’t REALLY matter! 

Sometimes, as stepmoms, we just have to accept that our stepchildren aren’t necessarily being raised the way we would raise them if they were our own. 

Does that mean that I think that their parents are making wrong decisions? No! Everyone does what works for them, and different parents prioritize different things.

What I may view as right, another parent may view as wrong. We’re all just doing the best we can. Everyone has their own way of doing things. 

As stepmoms, It’s inevitable that at some point in time our husband and his ex-wife are going to make decisions that we do not agree with. Even though our input is often sought out, at the end of the day they get to make the final call, as they should. 

I’ve learned (the hard way) that it’s not worth spending time and energy enforcing rules that only you care about…

In fact, it’s a sure way to look like an EVIL STEPMOM! 

Moral of the story…  Life is too short to be sweating the cosmic brownies! 

Whether it’s screen time, curfews, chores or household responsibilities… 

If neither parents care … it’s time to let it go! 


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Comments +

  1. brookemurphy1214@gmail.com says:

    As a stepmom I can totally relate to this lunchbox / healthy food battle! I try so hard to give my stepdaughter the healthiest choices, but her mom does not. Like you, I used to fight so hard with it, but I have learned to let it go for the most part. I still try to sneak in an apple or some carrots on occasion :-).

  2. lacey.facer@gmail.com says:

    I just found your blog this weekend and have been poring over all of your entries. I’m a first time wife, stepmother of two, no children of my own (other than my furry 4-legged one!). This has been my biggest struggle! There are so many things that the girls do that I say to myself, "If they were mine from the beginning, this would not be happening!" I know it’s something I need to get over and I need to stop battling, but it’s nice to hear someone else had the same struggle.

  3. mrsbrigittesmith@gmail.com says:

    This post sounded like you were describing my life, i have to ask though, how do you explain to your daughter that she cant have something that her siblings can have and how do you stop your husband from doing the same bad habits with your daughter as he does with your stepkids?? This is my current struggle and i dont know what to do.

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