~Welcome to my personal story as a first time wife and stepmom. I use this space to share real life happenings in a blended family, funny stories, my personal frustrations, failures, and occasional victories as I journey through this life with two beautiful and challenging stepdaughters. Thanks for reading, and I hope you find something to help you have a better day!~

Friday, April 19, 2013

What is a stepmom?

I'm going to interject with some present day thoughts. I'll pick back up with the story line in the next post. I read on Facebook the other day a quote that said "Stepparents are wonderful people. They choose to love someone else's kids as their own." Now, while I know that all stepparents are NOT wonderful, there is a truth hidden in this statement. It is found in the word "choose." Being a good stepmom definitely begins with a choice. You must indeed choose to love someone else's children as your own. That one choice has multitudes of implications that become evident as you live this choice out.

Now I understand that there is a connection and feeling that only exists between a biological mother and child which cannot be duplicated. But that is a gift. A mother doesn't choose to have that connection. The kind of sacrificial love I am writing about today is acquired by choice. A stepmom chooses to do, do, do for her children, knowing she will never receive any praise or recognition on Mother's Day. In fact, her children won't even be with her, and will not think to give a card or notice her. That day is for their mother. A stepmom chooses to love her children not as her "husband's kids", but as her own, knowing that while they will love back, they will never love her back as their own mother. A stepmom feels hurt and pain with every failure or disappointment that comes to her children. She rejoices in their happiness and achievements. She is overjoyed and wants so bad to shower them with praise and love after a performance, but must hold back in the shadows, because that place is for their mother. She is content to be overlooked in the crowd at recitals or school plays, just happy to be there to witness these events. She knows this is just the beginning as it will be repeated at graduations, weddings, new births, and on and on throughout life. Their mother will always have the spotlight. Yet, stepmom continues to give and be all that she has to their well-being and happiness. She chooses to call them "my children" even if they never call her "my mom". She chooses to be there and make herself available in case they ever need her, knowing that nine times out of ten, they will run to their mother, yet she stays for that one time they actually do come to her for help. She chooses to spend hours teaching valuable life lessons, responsibility, maturity, and manners knowing she will never get the credit for how wonderfully they turn out. She will wipe tears, fix hair, go shopping, clean clothes, hold them in sadness, dance with them in happiness--all the while knowing that they will never fully appreciate the sacrifice. She will never wear the "mother of the bride" pin, or help pick out the dress, or get the "Best Mom" charm bracelet or birthstone rings.

Being a stepmom is a choice to never expect anything in return. It is a choice to be taken for granted. It is a choice to be overlooked. Yet it is a choice she makes anyway because she loves. She gives. She is selfless. She is stepmom.

I chose years ago not to have my own children because I was told that I was a "very selfish person". Knowing firsthand how devastating a selfish parent can be, I decided to never become a parent. Now, as fate would have it, I'm in a position that requires even MORE selflessness than a parent--a stepparent--and I pray every day that I can live up to this challenge and be okay with loving unselfishly from the shadows. Most days it seems like an indomitable mountain, but every once in a while, I'm given the grace to move that mountain stone by stone.

1 comment:

  1. I know this is an old post, but as a stepmom with a much more amiable bio-mom who we share custody with I have to say that I disagree 100% with your statement "She is overjoyed and wants so bad to shower them with praise and love after a performance, but must hold back in the shadows, because that place is for their mother." I can see in your situation why you might have felt that way at the time and if the situation with the BM is the same you might still feel the same. However, if the girls' BM at some point can put her pettiness and insecurities aside to CO-Parent, the dynamic becomes so different. My stepson's BM and I talk every day about what we can do for him. We coordinate sports events and school projects. We function as a Team. Team Little Man! He has 4 parents who love him and want what is best for him. I am sorry that you feel you need to be in the shadows. That tells me that the BM is putting the kids in a position to choose who they "like" better. In two secure adult relationships, none of the parents are competing because they know where they fit. I hope that you are able to step out of the shadows and enjoy the sunshine too. I hope you all get to celebrate with the girls together. I wish you all the best.