Thursday, July 2, 2009

Gold-Diggers and Cradle-Robbers

In my most recent post I received an anonymous comment regarding my relationship with my husband and I want to address it. Here is the comment, for those who did not see it:

Anonymous said...
what does a 25 yr old single woman and a 42 yr old man have in common??????? It sounds to me and looks like to me that it was all about money! In a yrs time you went from living with your brother and "just making it" to being a "stepmom"! How does that work? Sounds kinda fishy to me.

July 1, 2009 8:49 PM

One thing that I have to say, first and foremost, is that I am not at all offended by this comment (though my step-daughter, Claire, who is sitting next to me says "I am!"). I understand that, if you don't know me and you don't know my husband, if you don't know us together, it certainly can look like something really crazy. The thing is, it IS crazy, but a really good kind of crazy! What 25-year-old do you know who would give up a good job that she loves, very minimal debt, plenty of free time and lots of friends so that she can be married to a 42-year-old, acquire LOTS of debt, leave the job that she loves to stay at home with her FOUR step-children and lose most of her friendships because her time is consumed with her family? Yes, I no longer live with my brother and his family, I now have a house I can call my own. Guess what? I now have a house payment that I can call my own as well, which is larger than any amount of money I have EVER personally borrowed. I now have free-time instead of having a job, I stay home with my step-children. Guess what? That free time is consumed with laundry (remember, there are six people in this house with clothing that needs to be washed), cleaning the house (remember, the one with the massive payment?), mowing the lawn, weeding the flower gardens, sweeping the driveway, picking apples and raspberries, cleaning the house .. oh, and did I mention cleaning the house?!

Yes, I can certainly see how that seems like a trade off that anybody would give their left foot to make. Wait ..... no, no it doesn't!

I will be the first person to say that the timing of when Monte and I fell in love was not at all ideal. I will also tell you that it was not at all in our control. We went for dinner one evening because he was grieving the loss of his beautiful wife, Kelley, and needed someone to talk to. At the time of Kelley's accident I was managing the physical therapy clinic that Monte went to (as he was rehabing his shoulder after having surgery), so we had already been acquaintances for awhile. Monte had known that I was a joyful person, he knew that I had something more (in my relationship with God) that made me have a genuine happiness that didn't go away. Guess what? When you lose a spouse, you want to be around ANYBODY that can make you smile, if even for a moment. So Monte and I went to dinner one evening. I can now say it, though I would have never admitted it at that time, but we fell in love at that one dinner. It scared us both to the extreme and we ran from each other for awhile, but eventually we realized that we were part of God's plan for each other.

Nobody was okay with it. Not my family, not his family, nobody. Eventually, though, they met him/his family met me. They saw us together. They saw me with his kids. They saw the love that was already forming, the love that had already started to bring us together as a family. When you see us together, there's no chance that you can deny that we are truly in love, that I truly love his children, that we were meant to be a family. It's not easy to be a step-mother to four children who are grieving the loss of their mother, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I love these kids as if they were my own, as if I had carried them and I gave birth to them. They are so completely amazing and, while being a step-mother is not always the easiest thing in the world, these kids make life completely amazing. I love them all so very much. I love my husband more than I have ever loved anybody ... and that's what our relationship is about. Our relationship is about love, about our family, and about centering it all on a relationship with God. I could care less about money. To tell you the truth, I miss my job - I wish I were still working at the physical therapy clinic! That being said, I also know that I want nobody else here to raise my children but me. It was a choice I had to make. A choice that I do not regret. But I won't deny the fact that I miss my job.

I don't take offense to your comment entirely because you do not know me. You assume that you know enough about me to think I'm gold digging, that my husband is cradle robbing. It's just that - an assumption. By all means, if you would like to get to know us, be brave and contact us. Monte (my husband) read your comment and immediately wanted to get to know you, wanted you to have a chance to know who we are and to know that your assumption is the farthest thing from the truth!

To end, I leave you with a quote from my 11-year-old step-daughter, Claire, who has been sitting beside me as I write this entire post:

"If you were the kind of person who would marry dad for his money, I think you'd divorce him in a hurry. You know, he has four kids and ... you know ... we're not the kind of people who would accept someone who was ....... a money freak."


  1. I say good for you, good for your husband, and good for your children. As long as you felt God's leading, and continue to live in His will ... more power to ya'.


  2. haha oh Claire, what a great comment at the end! :)

  3. I'm very proud of you for your stand! God alone knows His plans for His children; who are we to question His actions? Much less criticize someone else. I have two suggestions for you, and one is about the house cleaning (I've got 4 kids & I hear you on the never-ending cleaning): there is a website (free) which encourages people & gives them tips on how & when to clean their homes. It sends out periodic emails, reminding you to do this thing or that thing, so you're doing little bits all day, rather than a marathon for 3-4 hours. It's, and is very helpful. Also, I believe that your older kids are old enough to begin learning to do their own laundry. With 4 kids, I started when mine were 9 or 10 yrs. old. They each had their own hamper, & became responsible (after I taught them how) for doing their own clothes. It'll take some time, but it helps a LOT!

    The 2nd suggestion is coming from me as a School Psychologist, and my disclaimer is that I don't really know how your family dynamics are - they may be fabulous all the time. But, I was struck by how frequently you referred to the kids as your "step-children," rather than your "kids." Yes, I KNOW that they have another mom in Heaven, but a fused family identity is essential for your family's success. What I mean is, when you stop thinking of the kids as your step-kids (and you may already, and I aplogize if you are), and think of them as your kids, the blendedness of the family becomes much tighter. And then when you birth more children, they become more kids/siblings, rather than your biological children, half-siblings, etc.

    Does that make sense? By looking at your current four as all-yours now, the family will bond and become one unit. And in no way will it negate Kelley's role in all this - she's the birth mother, who had to go to Heaven earlier than anyone wanted.

    Feel free to contact me & tell me if I'm off base or not - I am NOT anonymous & I'm a real Christian.

    You're doing a great job with your family!

  4. very well written friend! Non-defensive, but standing up for yourself all at the same time...hard to do!

  5. I LOVE the comment that Claire made at the end. What a great little girl!!

  6. This is a great love story. Being a step mom is not easy and I can see that his kids love you too and if you married him for his money, then the kids would be able to tell. My dad and my step mom are 13 years apart. My husband and I are 9 years apart. :)

  7. I had to shake my head... Never, not once, have I ever considered anything but how courageous and love-filled your relationship with Monte and the kids is.

    I think that your relationship and love for Monte and the kids fell into place in a way only God could have orchestrated... It doesn't take much at all to realize the delicate and difficult situation that you would have stepped into... it's so clear to me that it's the love you ALL have for each other that has brought you to where you are right now... the love you have for God, the love He has for all of you, and the love you have for each other.

    If anything, your story inspires me, and I am cheering you on, praying you through, and I'm standing by you every step of the way.

    Oh, and this message is for Claire.... "AMEN, you're a wise young lady!"

    P.S. How are you feeling?

  8. Hey Sister,
    I'm COMPLETELY with JD, and I think that Scuba Girl has some thoughtful insight, too. I know that you do call them both your kids and your step-kids, and that you feel you are walking a fine line, especially around Kelley's side of the family. But what Scuba Girl said about that is true, and you are their mom now...not replacing Kelley or disrespecting her memory in any way, but honoring her by loving her children and being their mom on this earth since she has left it earlier than anyone expected. And maybe it's something you should talk to the kids about and discuss as a family. Great post. It makes me wonder if it isn't someone that we know that is jealous and just wants to get under your skin...but it doesn't really matter one way or another. This is YOUR life and it's not about them anyway!

    I love you guys! And dear Miss Claire!...Wow Girl!~ Well spoken! Your maturity never ceases to amaze me. God has GREAT things in store for your life, I just know it!! :)

    Big Hugs to all! And have a blessed 4th...we'll be thinking of ya!!

    Love you!

  9. I have to say your message made me get a little teary eyed. I love your story and am happy to know it. I wish I had as much maturity as you do at 25! I think you must be wise beyond your years.

    Your family is blessed to have you and the things you do for them! As I am sure you fell blessed to have them!

    Sorry somebody would post something so mean spirited.

    God Bless,


  10. who cares who people think?
    you know your own heart and so does your husband and so does God.

    I wish you a wonderful life together

    R. from way across the pond

  11. Well.... I guess it all goes back to Judging. We can judge actions, we CANNOT judge WHY people do what they do.

    I am guessing that if you love the Lord and have a relationship with Him that you did not enter into this union lightly...and I am guessing that the Lord placed you there maybe not only for you, but for those kids. (who may not know the Lord???)

    And I am guessing that the enemy took such delight in that comment.

    I imagine the LORD is taking much delight in you following His will in all things.

    God trumps satan EVERYTIME.


  12. I can def. relate to where you are coming from! I am 24 with two gorgeous step-daughters and their father is in his late 30's. After awhile you just have to let all the comments and looks roll off your back or it will drive you nuts!!

  13. Hi Kami,

    I read your discussion post on MckMama's blogfrog, and I am so glad you are standing up to that anonymous commenter. People can be so rude and intentionally hurtful!! My partner is 17 years older than me (I'm 27 and he's 44), I love him and his daughter SO much, I cannot imagine my life without them. I've also taken on a lot of responsibilities in our relationship and wouldn't trade those for anything. My life is so fulfilling, and I rarely think of him as being so much older than me.

    Good job!!


  14. I saw your post on MckMama's blog frog and came over to comment. I don't understand people who think love has to be bound by rules of age, color, or race. Some people are just ignorant I guess! God bless you and your sweet husband and children. You are an amazing woman to take on the responsibilities you have and I know God will bless you because of it!

  15. It's me again - you're going to do great! Enjoy your kids & husband, eat right, take your folic acid, exercise (yuk), and keep God first in everything. And remember Isaiah 40:31 - "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."

    I've had a miscarriage; it does get better with time. After a while, you don't think of it any more - really. It just becomes a part of your history, rather than an issue.

    And celebrate life! Love you,


  16. I get those "anonymous' comments all the time. I delete them and go on with life. People who judge you aren't worth your time. I never address those comments because you're giving them a whole post explaining yourself to them, when all they are doing is judging you. They don't even KNOW you. You shouldn't have to explain yourself. Love has no age restrictions. Your family is adorable!

  17. Maybe the anon. poster was jealous. Sounds like you have a good thing. Love comes when you least expect it sometimes. By all means if it came grasp it, enjoy it! The heck with the anon. poster!

  18. For three years, I dated a man who was 31 years my senior. It was a wonderful time, and I know that it shaped the rest of my life - and he and I are still best friends! Good for you for making the choice that you did, knowing what was right for you and him and the children.

  19. I just found your blog and wanted to let you know that you are not the only mid 20 something woman with four children. I am here with you! Sometimes I feel like I am the only one, so it is nice to know I am not! I have two biological children and two added bonuses from my husband. And another one on the way through adoption. We are one mixed family but love it and wouldn't change it! You sound like your doing a great job!

  20. A 20 something woman does not marry a single dad with 4 children for money....get a life! Sure you quit 1 job for many others.... house cleaner, taxi driver, homework helper, scheduling service provider, cook, problem solver, nurse, not to mention loving wife....need I go on. You hang in there, it seems to me you are getting a large salary with benefits as it is...the love of 4 kids and the benefit may not been seen for many years..when they are healthy, happy, productive adults that walk with God.

  21. I hear your story and my heart leaps...leaps for you, for the children and for Monte.

    My wife died of leukemia 8-mos ago and I am now the single father of 4-boys: 7,9,14, & 17.

    I salute your Faith and cheer at your courage to forsake the "naysayers"! You can see my family pics on face book, just search mark manis.

    I pray His blessing on you and your unfolding story.


  22. Well written! I've already ready through most of your blog. It's an amazing story! Claire is a smart girl!

    I had friends who married and they were 18 years apart. She died this year at 70 and he is turning 89 and very healthy. They always thought it would be the other way around. They had a beautiful relationship and I took my kids back to Germany to see "Omi" before she died. I've known plenty of people who've been 13 years a part. I just set up a friend of mine with someone who is 12 yrs older.
    You have a beautiful family - what a blessing.

  23. Kami I love you & you are one of the most amazing people I know!
    Be brave and stay strong!
    -the person downstairs

  24. AS I read this post, I laughed. Not at you or your situation but at the few similarities between your story and mine. My husband's first wife, however did not pass away; she is alive and well. There is not as big an age difference between my husband and I as with yours; we have 8 years between us (which makes me only 11 years older than his oldest child).

    We had all sorts of comments - mainly directed at me, including comments from my sister who told people I was only marrying him for his money. ( I wish someone would tell me where it was so I could pay someo four bills. {grin})

    Yes, I chose to give up a life of caring for one daughter to suddenly having 5 children (two of whom I was only really old enough to be a babysitter to)

    So, I laugh. Be strong through criticism as I see you are. You and your husband know your heart; the children know your heart and God knows your heart. Ntohing else matters.

  25. You are an amazing Woman of God and I've enjoyed getting to know you by reading your blog! Glad we both follow MckMama!


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