From Step Mom to Mom

Posted by Peggy Nolan

~ by Patsy Layman

A young 28 with a can do anything attitude
That was me when I acquired my brood.

My three and his four, a blended family of nine
seven children, 12,11,9,7,4,2 and 10 months
…we’ll be just fine.

Quiet tranquility was my life before
At five AM on the first day
…quiet was no more.

Three small boys running and playing with toys
Sleepy sisters yelling “Mom what’s with all of the noise?”

Now the baby’s awake in the room next door
but Dad’s still asleep,
…did I hear a snore?

Fixing breakfast,refereeing new siblings, get four off to school
Door closes, big sigh, only three home now, it’s cool.

A few months in the city and we have decided to move
Seven children need room in the country to groove.

We waved goodbye to our furniture and car in the moving van
Loaded our children and cat on the 747 according to plan.

California to New Hampshire and a house built in 1776
Thirty acres to play in and lots of projects to fix.

Time goes by and we want to make mine and yours, ours
The attorney prepares adoption papers for the judge with that power.

From StepMom to Mom in just one day
Never thought of myself as a Step Mom anyway.

Today with three Great Grandchildren and 14 Grandchildren
…plus my lucky seven
I think this is what I call Heaven!

The Blended Bells (1972)

In New Hampshire (1974)

About Patsy

Patsy Layman is my mom – I was one of the four she acquired when she was 28 years old. My mom started out as my stepmom but became my mom. She’s seen me through thick and thin, she’s experienced my joys and my sorrows, and she was the best battle buddy a breast cancer fighter could ask for. My mom spent her 60th birthday inside the waiting room of Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston, MA when I had my mastectomy. Mom flew across the country the day before, spent the night with me in a hotel near the hospital. She was there every step of the way…and to see her with my girls and my dad when I woke up…

Two years later, mom trekked across the country again…but this time under much better circumstances…in May of 2006, she arrived to witness her oldest grand daughter (my daughter Jessica) graduate from college and to re-meet Richard – the only boyfriend I had in high school that she liked…six months later, she flew the redeye from Seattle to watch as Richard and I said “I do.”

Since becoming a stepmom myself, my mom has been a HUGE source of strength and support. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked up the phone when Junior’s pulled some nutty stunt “MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! What do I do?”

When it comes to being a stepmom, my mom is my inspiration!

–Peggy Nolan, August 17, 2009

Until the Light Returns

In the dark of winter there is time for contemplation

where do the birds go in snow, how do they get to seed?

When snow softens trees and landscape, in the peace of winter,

is there hope for a frozen heart?

Seeds lay frozen months on end and if they are not eaten to power flight

seeds are born again in Spring.

Do as you must these frozen days, but carry your flashlight.

While you nurture old feelings, take a moment to

consider mine.

Empathy shines from the heavens turning some of the black and white a lovely gray.

Sherry Steed Williams

Orginally written December 25, 2008. Submitted to on May 8, 2009.

Blended Family Poem

This one’s yours and that one’s mine

If we marry, we’ll have ourselves a time

Keeping up with natural relationships for sure

because love is love, it must stay healthy and pure.

So let’s work together to blend a family from the start

Taking care to nurture everyone’s heart

It isn’t easy and there will be obstacles no doubt

Emotions will run from sadness to happiness, from cheer to pout.

Learning to listen to one another’s feelings is key

Giving everyone consideration;not just what’s best for me

Help us each day to remember the commitment we make

To strengthen our relationships so the cords don’t break.

Submitted by Lorraine W.

Miracle in Time

I see her sleeping and sometimes wonderthrough the rain and all that thundershe is a miracle in timeThis miracle in time, I seehas made my heart feel so freeI do not feel worthyA smile, a kiss, sometimes a hugshe runs to me with lots of lovethis little angel sleepingSincerely,Sandy K.Written 4-15-2000 & 4-12-2001More reader comments.

Guest articles Conflict Resolution and Managing Family StressBlended Family Weddings– By Dick IveyMore information about Shirley Cress Dudley and the Blended and Step Family Resource CenterRob Britt, discussing the early days as a blended family.

Here’s a video from blended mom, Debbie Barth, talking about her experience as a stepmom.