Friday, 14 November 2014

Maybe It's In The Cards...



The famous "holiday card of 2014"

As a photographer, holiday cards have been always something to look forward to. It's a very lucrative time, and seeing all different kids dressed in their best always makes me smile. But as a parent/stepmom, I HATE holiday card time. 

Don't get me wrong. I love all my kids to death. But usually getting them all together to look semi decent is a struggle and is deeply stressful. I mean, how good can a photographer be if she can't get her own children to cooperate for one picture? (This is what I think people say) Or when it comes to cards: thats the design she picked? I thought she had an eye for the artsy? (Another thing I think that people may say)

The major stress I have every year though is not something that would normally register in anyone's thoughts: should I be allowed to add Andrew (my stepson) into the holiday mix? Should I be allowed to put the picture on Facebook? 

Most know the back story: Danny and I have been together for almost 10 years, and married for 6. Andrew was 3 when I met him. Danny and his ex at that time had a civil relationship, but over the years it deteriorated rapidly. Long story short: after many court appearances, Andrew lives with his father most of the time, and his mother every other weekend. It varies slightly in the summer, but it has been like this for many years. As of now, Danny and his ex do not speak. 

This is where I wonder: where does the stepmother line begin, and end? It's a bit different in my situation, since I am there to fill in for his mother (NOT REPLACE) most of the time. It's not a job I enjoy lately, but when you've been there for that long and your stepson doesn't remember a time when  you weren't there, you kind of just roll with the teenage angst that comes along. My problem is is that I am always frightened to post pictures of my stepson, or to even call him part of my family, because I have gotten flack for it before. I keep a lot of them on my personal computer, or to myself, because I just don't want to hear it. You would think people would be happy that I care for and treat him the same as my biological children, but that is not the case. 

I don't know what the right answer is anymore. I have a picture I love of all 4 children, and I want to share it with the world. But I don't want to make stress and anger come my way. In the end, after much deliberation, I posted the picture on my Facebook fan page  and on my private page. It did cause anger, and I was surprised at which people were angry (some not so much). I have made the decision to make this picture my holiday card, because I love it so much, but am I ready for another round of stress? Even now, I am shaking, because once I post this entry, it will be on the internet for all to see. Will that put a bullseye on my back too? 

What would you do? 

Anxiously hitting the post button,

xoxo
Clarissa

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