Being a step parent is hard. If you have step-children you understand the gravity of that statement. My step-daughter is 5. I came into her life at the age of 2. She was a spunky little ball of fire then and continues to amaze me with her wit and intelligence. She’s an awesome kid and I love her dearly! But, being her step-mom is hard. When her dad and I got married, I told her that I thought it would be a good idea for her to start calling me her “evil stepmother”. After all, every mention of stepmothers in Disney movies are all negative. So, I thought I would just head that off with a bit of a joke and diffuse any kind of bad feeling that would come with this change. She would laugh at me and refuse! I told her it was a joke and it was ok. She looked me dead in the eye and said, “But Bre, you’re not evil. You’re the best stepmom ever!” HA! What a sweet girl! Now I realize she has little frame of reference, but I’ll take it. I’ll take it because those kind of sentiments are few and far between when you’re a stepparent.
I’ve heard often that parenting is a thankless job. I have a son of my own and I agree with that statement, but being a stepparent is even more of a thankless job. When she is with us, I am her mother. I do all the things a mother must/gets to do. Yes, it’s on a part-time basis, but that doesn’t make it any less important. I don’t believe that you can be a “part time” parent. We may only see her part of each month but she is in our hearts, thoughts, and plans everyday! I love being her stepmother, but sometimes it’s very difficult.
I will never be her mother, and I have never tried to assume that role, but my heart is hers! When I hear her telling a story and the words “my real mommy” come out of her mouth, it makes me twinge a little. She is my kid in so many ways. I just don’t get the Mom perks. That’s ok. I’m not looking for that. She starts Kindergarten this year. Her parents get to take her to registration and ride the bus with her on the first day. I miss out on those things because I’m not her “real” mother. It hurts my heart to know that I only get to participate in some of the events in her life in the “mother” capacity. I invest so much of myself into her and it is hard to have to step back and just watch her experience those types of milestones.
She has been such a huge part of my life for so long that I owe a great deal to her for teaching me about life and love and parenting. Before we had our son, she was the be-all end-all to my life as a parent. Now she shares that with her little brother, but is still my “first” kid love. I may not get to ride the bus with her and I may have to stand back and watch her parents participate in her events, but that can be ok. I get to love this kid like she is my own child. I get to be in her life. I get to watch her mature and blossom into a beautiful young woman. I get to impart some of my knowledge and *cough* “wisdom” that will hopefully stick with her and help her along the way. So, it’s ok that I’m “just her step-mom”. It’s hard and stressful and trying…but so worth it!