Dedicated to the Mother of Another Woman's Child
There is a certain monumental act which goes unnoticed, though it deserves the world’s applause. It is the choice to become a mother to another woman's child.
"Thank you, Mom."
The poem below was inspired by a step-mother, an exceptionally kind woman who married her soul mate, fully aware that he came with little bundles obtained in a previous relationship. Other women—sisters, aunts, best friends and neighbors have also parented children who were not biologically theirs, and deserve much gratitude. For example:
- aunts who adopt their nieces and nephews when tragedy leaves the children without parents;
- career women who marry too late to have kids of their own but select the ones they want;
- women who adopt just because their compassionate, generous hearts reach out to children who deserves live better than their present.
Motherhood has its challenges, and these mothers often have a double share. Their children experience multiple layers of emotions which are overwhelming. It is not unusual for one of them, in an attempt to throw a jab at the confusion, throw it at the mother instead. Most times, the child shows immediate regret, and a mother’s heart understands.
Poem: Heart of A Mother
“You’re not my mother,” she screamed at me;
I heard the anger in her voice.
She could no longer ignore me;
‘Twas time for her to make a choice
Between accepting my wise counsel
And denying that I was around;
Ever since her father had married me
She thought my advice was unsound.
“You’re not my mother,” the younger joined in;
The echo did not surprise me.
The girls teamed up to create a hell
Whenever we did not agree.
Ready to date at age fifteen
And thirteen—too young by my book;
Their father requested my input
So there I stood with a caring look.
“I’m not your mother,” I gently said,
“But how I wish I could have been;
You’re two very special young women
Based on potential that I’ve seen.
I’m not surprised that those two young men
Are anxious to be your first dates;
Good women are hard to come by,
Whether as girlfriends or as mates.
Stepmom: "I'd like the chance to guide you."
“I’m not your mother,” I rubbed it in.
“But you need a mother’s insight
To help interpret the ways of men
When wrong seems so much like the right.
It’s not that you’re foolish or wayward;
Not that I wish to see you frown
But I’d like the chance to guide you,
To love you like my very own.
“True, my womb never could produce you
But my heart doesn’t seem to know;
My bosom desires to hold you
To nurture and shield as you grow.
I’m looking ahead to the future
When a man noble like your dad
Come seeking a shrewd, worthy woman
Who showed tact when pursued by a lad."
The older one hung her head a bit
And wiped a teardrop from her face.
The younger one took that as her cue
And shuffled to my embrace.
“I’m not your mother,” I started to say,
“Forgive me,” sobbed one, then the other.
My heart forgave them before they asked,
For mine’s the heart of a mother.
A Quick Heads Up
"You're not my mother," is a statement a stepmother can expect to hear. If you do not hear it, thank God that your relationship with your step-child is better than average.
James Lehman, MSW counsels that when a child says those words, it is an attempt to:
- take away your power;
- invite you to a fight.
Do not take it personally; the child would have said it to any other woman. It is probably not even about you, but just the child's way to create a situation in which he or she can release anger, frustration, confusion or any other negative emotion.
Stick to your post as mother. Be firm but remain approachable. Say nothing judgmental about the biological parents and grasp every opportunity to be loving.
Encouragement Quotes for Stepmothers
- Who needs a fairy godmother when there are stepmoms? ― PracticingNormal
- Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother. ― Oprah Winfrey
- What if Cinderella's just a good actress who has everyone fooled, when really, she sucks? ― Angela Parkhurst
- Stepparents are not around to replace a biological parent, rather to augment a child's life experience. — Azriel Johnson
- I want to say this to every stepmother: take it a little easier, try not to be so insistent, try not to have your desires dominate. . . The moment you step back from whatever it is that exasperates you, you get an unrestricted view of the situation—and you can take a breath before you move forward. ― Margit Eva Bernard
- Who cares if another woman or man loves your child, plays with your child, or builds a healthy relationship with your child — either way your child is benefiting. — Jessica James
- Loving your own kids is easy. Loving another woman's child as your own is what makes stepmoms really special. — WishesMessages
© 2011 Dora Weithers