Thursday, September 5, 2013

To moms of children with stepmoms

The emotions are running high -- buzzing. Sometimes that works in my favor for writing. Today, I am not so sure. But, this message is critical. I just left the house of the mother of my stepchild. She was beyond rude and out of control. She made me feel stupid and small in front of her child. Apparently, she was upset because I picked up her daughter for soccer (as she directed), but then I stayed for practice. When she found out her daughter didn't need her cell phone in case she (mom) was late because I would be there with her daughter,  she became hysterical. That led to a completely nonsensical tongue-lashing that I received from her in front of her daughter. I am embarrassed, but I am more sad for my stepdaughter -- and sad for her mother.

If you are a mother of a child with a stepmother, and that stepmother sees your child as much as you do, please know that I have the utmost respect for the heartbreak that you have come to know. As a stepmother, I understand that I will never understand the carried-for-9-months, out-of-the-womb bonding that you know. And, I can't imagine how it feels to not have that bonded child with me 100% of the time. I only know the pain because I see it in my husband on "transition day". But, because I am called on to pinch-hit. Because I have a responsibility to care for another's child 50% of the time with her father. Because I made a commitment to be part of a family with my stepdaughter. Because I genuinely love to be in her life and watch her play, I leave you these thoughts.

Moms, your sons and daughters love you unconditionally. Their love for you is because of the bond you share. They will never love another mom-like figure more than they love you. There may be plenty of mom-like figures in their lives -- grandmas, aunts, teachers, friends.... Just because that mom-like figure might be your former husband's wife does not change how your children see you. Your role in their lives is never threatened. Even if another woman tries to forcibly step in and usurp your authority. It just won't work. Their love for you is that strong. You will ALWAYS be "Mom".

Failing to understand this results in misdirected anger and frustration -- and the only ones who really get hurt are the ones you love so much -- your children. So snap out of it! Most often the real source of that threatened feeling is your inability to love yourself. Moms of kids with stepmoms, please understand this clearly -- God Loves You!! He wants you in a relationship with Him so that He can fill you with all the love and grace and wisdom you need for all the stuff that life brings on. He is the only one who can heal the pain, and be the emotional Source that you need every day.  If you want a phenomenal relationship with your children, understand God's incredible love for you and trust that your children love you unconditionally.


Jeni said...

You are a really, really good stepmom. Your stepdaughter knows it, and she loves you for that and so much more--and that, in the end, is what matters most when it comes to being a stepmom. But I am also amazed about your truly generous attitude toward her mother. Usually, when both parents are truly happy on their own, emotional outbursts such as this go away. I pray that she finds happiness in her own life soon.

Cheri Novak said...

Thanks, Jeni! I am lucky to have some awesome stepmoms for friends!