From single to stepmom in seven months

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My name is Alexandra Mortensen. I’m a Coeur d’Alene native and can even say that I was born in the “big blue hospital.” A while after college I moved away to Phoenix and then Seattle, but those beautiful lakes and the special charm of this city brought me home. I’m a wife, daughter, friend, fitness fanatic, animal lover, writer, and stepmom. The tale of how I became a stepmom to two teenage boys who are only 14 and 15 years younger than me is a bit unusual.

I met my husband when I was 28 and he was 34 through a mutual friend. He seemed kind, intelligent, hardworking, and an all-around wonderful person. Perfect, right? Well, there was a little catch—he had two kids.

Full-time.

The boys’ mom has always been very minimally involved in their lives—both emotionally and financially—so my husband stepped up and was all but entirely on his own with his sons for over a decade before meeting me. He had them very young, hence the modest age gap between us, but fairly odd age gap between myself and my stepsons.

To be completely honest, I wanted to run and I sort of tried to. Someone who already had children had always been a deal breaker for me and I just didn’t know if I could do it. However, I couldn’t deny the connection we had, and before I knew it, I was going on Costco runs for my “family of four,” picking kids up from wrestling practice, and trying to get teenagers to eat vegetables.

Just over five months after we met Josh proposed under the tree outside The Coeur d’Alene Resort that has the lights that looks like it’s raining sparkles. A month-and-a-half later we got married in a “fancy elopement” on the boardwalk downtown.

Being a full-time stepmom and a childless stepmom to two teenagers is a wild, emotional and rewarding ride. But, it’s not always easy. I’m learning how to embrace being a parent while “not really” being a parent in the eyes of the outside world, co-parenting while respecting appropriate boundaries, redefining my life now that children of my own are no longer in my future, and so much more.

I’ll be writing here again, and I’m looking forward to discussing stepparenting issues, sharing my experiences, and connecting with the many fabulous North Idaho bonus parents.

You can learn more about my life as a stepmom at my website www.theonlystepmom.com.

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