Tuesday, September 22, 2009

From StepMom to Mom

It's an interesting job, that of a step mom. You don't own the rights to the child through a birth canal and you often enter their lives in later years. You long to become accepted, part of someone else's already established family unit. And when you're a young stepmom, like me, you wonder how you can provide the guidance and nurturing necessary when you're only beginning to experience adulthood yourself.

And how much "parenting" can you really do? Will they let you do? Do you have the right to do? You walk a fine line.

But if you're lucky, like me, you end up with a wonderful stepson, one who warmly welcomes you into his heart and into his family. One who respects you, loves you and accepts you. One who talks to you openly and confides in you without fear.

Though you may not have changed his diapers, sang him lullabies or pushed him on a swing, you've witnessed his voice "crack", experienced his first girlfriend, cried as he spoke eloquently at your wedding, saw him take his first drink (ok, maybe not that part), and watched him trip and fall. And sometimes you let him make stupid mistakes and fall on his face. Because you remember very clearly it was only a short time ago you made, and learned, from the same ones.

And it's because of the way your husband is with him, the unbreakable bond they have and the kind-hearted and talented soul he has grown to become, that you make the brave decision to have one of your own.

You then worry how your relationship will change once you officially cement the status of "mother". Will you love #1 less? Will you have room in your heart for two? And then a few hours after #2 arrives, your husband gives you a special gift. A handcrafted gold necklace in the shape of a heart. And inside that big heart are three little hearts, one for him, one for #1 and one for #2. So you see, you do have a place in your heart for all three of the men in your life.

Not only do you not become less of a "mother" to #1, but you become a better one. You suddenly have an instinct you never quite had before. The desire to nurture and protect and love becomes so much stronger. And saying goodbye and letting go becomes harder than it's ever been.


septembermom said...

This is a very touching post. Beautifully written. Thank you!

mike@ahamoment.com said...

My first thought is simply ... WOW. Really nice post. I agree w/ the above comment - "beautifully written".
Reading this made me think of Kathleen who sent us her story about becoming a stepmom. She talks about her initial uncertainty, and then with her husband’s help learning to follow her heart and now absolutely LOVING being a stepmom.
Below is a link to her video. I hope you like it as much as I do. Take care.

SwedishJenn said...

Thanks so much Mike! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Great video. Thanks so much for sharing. Look forward to seeing the winner of the Aha Moment competition.