The Incidental #Scimom

Jeff and Kiyomi Deards Relaxing With Family
Jeff and Kiyomi Deards Relaxing With Family

As far back as I can remember I’ve always managed to take alternate routes in life.? From friendships and education, to career path, I’ve always marched to my own invisible (and possibly neurotic) drummer.? My path to being a #Scimom is typical of my life, but different from most.

Whatever the reason I’ve never felt the urge to procreate. My oldest friend reminded me recently of a conversation we had about 20 years ago when we were about 12 where I expressed my disinterest in being a birth parent but was willing to adopt if needed to ensure my friends and relatives children always had a home.? I have always been passionate about education and mentoring, and had a reputation for “being good with kids”.

In spite of this lifelong lack of desire to procreate I have found myself in the position of being a #Scimom through marriage.? Fortunately, I enjoy a very positive relationship with my step-children.? Perhaps it is because we’re closer in age than is usual, I’m more like the young hip aunt than a step-mom.? Basically I skipped to the fun part, no diapers, no teen age rebellion, I came on the scene just in time for my step-kids to be in or starting college.? Both of them have successfully graduated from college and been on their own for several years.? The biggest challenge for me is to maintain my slightly older and wiser rep with the kids, and not foist my views of what they should do on them.? I think it’s a little easier for me than for their parents, because while I love them dearly I did not spend years protecting them from life, dreaming about what they might do.? What I see is their potential, all the different and varied careers that I imagine them succeeding in using the skills they are passionate about, and I know that even though I can think of several careers that I think both of them could be successful in there are probably a dozen more that I haven’t thought of that they’d probably love even more.

The major family issue we deal with is that I am the faculty member who drags their “trailing spouse” around with them.? The whole family has been very supportive about my career, but I know it’s hard on everyone that we moved from California to Nebraska.? Thankfully the kids have been really supportive of my career change; being a science librarian is very different from being the quality control manager at an environmental testing laboratory!? And even though they’re starting to spread out geographically themselves, I know they miss having us in the same general location as their mom and step-father.? So how do we (my husband and I) try and mitigate our absence?? It’s less than one year since our move and my husband has gone back to visit family twice.? We have also made a deliberate effort to be extra early with birthday and Christmas cheer so that even though we’re only able to call on the phone instead of meeting up for dinner, at least the presents are there early/on time.? Thanks to the internet and smartphones we are able to keep in touch through Facebook, text messages, and the odd phone call, but it’s really not the same as visiting in person.? Hopefully once things settle down we’ll be able to bring them out to see us periodically or set up a more regular visitation schedule.

Am I good #Scimom?? I don’t know. But location aside, I put my family first because they really are the most important thing.

P.S.? I list our names as Jeff and Kiyomi in that order because that way our names are in alphabetical order, can we say compulsive? There’s a reason I was drawn to physical chemistry and cataloging 😉