Hello Tampa Bay Ladies!! I’m so excited to join this amazing group of women! I’m Elizabeth, a brand new mother of 2 amazing girls, ages 11 and 17….allow me to explain. Last summer I was single. No, not a single mother, just single, and praying every day for the husband and possible children I had not yet met. Fast forward a year and I am engaged to be married in the Fall to an incredible man, and a full-time bonus mom to my two amazing bonus daughters. Oh yeah, let’s skip the younger years and coloring, and dive straight into the pre-teen/teen phase–why not?! My degree is in elementary education, so they just bypassed my area of expertise. Woohoo!
I recently moved from Jacksonville, FL to Plant City where we just bought a 5 acre property for our self-sustaining farm. I have spent the last 8+ years living alone in suburbia with Publix and Starbucks across the street and my office in a gated community and the 4,000 acre horse farm a half mile from my house. Yes, my daily commute was 0.5 miles. I am used to getting my hands dirty at the barn and growing my own vegetables, but IN THE CITY. Now, I look out my kitchen window to see my girls fishing in our pond, turn around and see our chickens in the pasture out front, can’t see the neighbors, and plan my errands so I don’t have to make multiple trips “in to town.”
MomE is what my youngest started calling me early on and I love it! I don’t like the terms “step-mom” and “step-daughters” because they just sound so harsh and disconnected. I feel like, “This is my step-daughter” translates to “This is my significant other’s daughter with another woman, that I didn’t raise, and she’s staying with us right now.” I can’t even bring myself to use the word because they’re mine now. When I entered into a relationship with their dad, who was Mr. Mom for years, I took them, too. I either call them mine, or my bonus daughters, and they tell their teachers and friends that I’m their bonus mom. I am full-time mom to Jenn and Natalie, my own boss as an executive consultant for Rodan + Fields, still toying with the idea of going back to teaching next year, and I’m now a Blogger!! Who would have guessed?! My good friend started Jacksonville Moms Blog, and is the one that encouraged me to look into contributing to the Tampa Bay Moms Blog. She pointed out that I have a unique mom perspective and that City Moms Blogs are not just for moms of little kids.
I am CONSTANTLY learning not only in my role as a bonus mom, but also as the mom of a pre-teen starting middle school, and a teenager getting her driver’s license next week and starting her senior year! Eek!! I am also learning to be a 4-H, FFA, and gymnastics mom all while keeping my identity and/or sanity, haha. I’m looking forward to making new friends, learning the area, and connecting with other women that might be bonus moms or have pre-teens or teenagers. On the morning of our official first date, my now fiancé texted me to say, “Good morning, beautiful. Today is the beginning of something wonderful.” I couldn’t have said it better myself!