I often write about being a stepmom from the point of view I have now. Right now, I have three step kids, ages 20, 20, and 24. Right now, I am the only mom in their life and we consider ourselves an integral and closely connected family. Right now, I don’t even think of them as step kids but as my own, children I love and cherish as much as the two I gave birth to. And truly, after almost 15 years together, we’ve made it through the rough stuff. I have legal guardianship of Kyle, who has Down syndrome, and I’m working to legally adopt Kira at her request. While Derek is on his own, in the military, and far away in Japan, he chooses to spend all of his leave time with us, wherever we happen to be. That’s right now. Sounds pretty idyllic, doesn’t it?

It was not always that way. We have had our share of frustrations and growing pains to get to this point. In fact, there were times when I honestly didn’t know if I’d be able to make the whole step mom thing work. It’s not easy, and it takes a huge commitment that will make you at times question your sanity.

This is an excerpt from Shadra’ s book, Stories From a StepMom, available on Amazon Kindle. Read more or request a review copy.