You’re a Stepmom, not a Real Mom.
You can’t possibly understand because you don’t actually have your own children.
Mother’s Day isn’t for you.
I am a stepmom and I’ve heard it all. I’ve believed it all. And there are times when I’ve felt it all.
Being a stepmom is so hard. There are days when I actually hate it. I don’t hate the child, I hate the complications of life that have transpired.
First, there is the stigma of being a stepmom. I can see it on people’s faces when I tell them I have three children. I can see the wheels turning as I give the ages of my three. There’s an 11 year age gap and that makes me a teen mom for the first one. Except I wasn’t a teen mom.
I married a man who was divorced with a child. It isn’t a pretty sentence. It isn’t a pretty picture. It’s very common. But still isn’t pretty.
And then there are the questions about “how is that?” Of which that is referring to my stepchild who lives with us full time. Which makes me incredibly self-conscious that I am in fact a stepmom and not the real mom.
Sometimes I don’t know what a real mom is. I take care of everything for my stepchild, I didn’t give birth, but I do everything else. So then, what am I? Where do I belong?
Finding my place.
It’s hard to find my place as a stepmom. I constantly am aware of the fact that I did not bring forth this life out of my own body, but I am still in charge of this life. But I also don’t want to make my stepchild feel like I am taking over the role of mother when there already was a mother.
I try to find a balance, but I often find that I’m coming up short in every way. There are no victories that also don’t feel like failures to some degree.
I’m not perfect. I’m not a perfect mother and I’m not a perfect stepmom. It’s just the truth. I try, I really try.
It’s hard to love someone who doesn’t show any love back. Who can’t show love back out of fear of betraying the birth mother? It’s hard to give and give and give only to feel completely out of the picture when it comes to major decisions because at the end of the day you are just a stepmom.
I’m trying to be at peace with things I can’t control. I’ve found other stepmoms who can relate so I know I’m not crazy. It’s a road that few can understand unless they’ve walked it themselves.
I’m learning that sometimes just making space is enough. That while reciprocations of love aren’t shown, the space for love will be remembered. That sometimes it isn’t even me, it’s the whole situation and a stepchild just needs time.
Oh time, it can move ever so slowly. Especially when navigating a sensitive relationship as a stepmom. I pray there is a day when I don’t feel the sting. When being a stepmom doesn’t feel like an indiscretion. I hope I’ve done everything I can. That when my stepchild looks back on my parenting it will be a reflection of love and understanding instead of bitterness.
I’m doing the best I can. My imperfect self is taking a messy situation and trying to make it whole.