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Step-parenting a tutorial
Step-moms, the other mom
Trying to fit in
Ever since I was a little girl and read Cinderella and Snow White, I always had the teaching that step-parents were mean, cruel and could never love you as a real parent does. My feelings were changed by the fact that my parents divorced and I was blessed to have three wonderful step-fathers. The first two were lost to cancer. The last one is alive and well, and I refer to him simply and lovingly as "Daddy Louie". My real father has not been in the picture for years.
When I married for the second time I had three children. My husband accepted them as his own and there was never a difference between the child produced from our marriage and my children from my previous marriage, it was always "our" children. They were raised in a loving family enviroment and always referred to my husband as "Daddy". They are all grown now, the youngest being 32, and all having graduated college and made their lives.
Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was separated from my husband of 26 years and began a relationship with a man who is a father to a son, now 8 years old. Now I became the step-mom. the son was 2 1/2 when we met and began a relationship, he is now 8. I am starting to believe in the fairy tales more and more each day. between the interference from his biological mother and the " only child babying" on his father's part I am always made out to be the bad one. The "Wicked Step-Mom".
Up until he finished first grade things went great other than the ocassional "my other mother said this or that". He called me mommy since the first day I met him and the relationship was good. Upon entering the second grade things began to change. The little boy I loved was becoming someone I didn't even like very much. he made new friends, the wrong kind, to my dismay. He became argumentative, hateful and spiteful. His favorite weapon of choice to destroy me " You're not my real mom, you're just a step-mom". The anger and hurt I experienced built with each episode.
I am not your real mom, I shot back sarcastically. But who buys your clothes, buys you toys, gives you an allowance, pays for the birthday parties you have each years, stays up with you when you are sick, goes to school when you are in trouble, takes you to the doctor and dentist? The other things I felt but kept to myself were more explicit... "Where the hell was she all these years?? .. She's seen you 4 times in 5 years... Not one birthday present or christmas present in all these years. " I choked back the words, knowing he was just a child still and I could not say what I was feeling, even though it was killing me inside. Then I remembered something my grandmother had said " having a baby, a mother does not make" even dogs have babies. this consoles me during those " your not my mom days".
I spend the next few hours fuming over his sarcastic remark. I am angry because I have given so freely of myself to this child in the past five years. Since when did I become the enemy? When did he change so much that I didn't notice? Why is it I always get the bad rap? I call his father to pick him up so I can calm down, as usual he sides with the child. His attitude only make s me more angry. the only thing I am guilty of is trying to make sure he does his work and gets an education so when we are not around he can stand on his own. I think to myself that maybe being a stepmom isn't so great.
Being the stepmom takes alot of guts, for one most of the time you have to put up with the ex. if they have children together...ouch..don't even think of saying anything about her, she's the mother of his children. If this is the case, maybe he should have stayed with the mother of his children, especially since they share the same ungrateful attitude. I guess the hardest part is that you become close to the child and do your best to give them stability, love and a home and then...WHAM out of the blue.."You're not my mom." it's like a knife to your heart. The worst thing is you can't respond back. After all they are only children.
I spend the rest of the afternoon contemplating whether this is something I want to continue doing. Maybe I would be better off just walking away. I write this hub and a few more while I ponder my thoughts. Yeah, maybe I should just find my own life....just walk away.
But then... a mother can't abandon her children... even if she is just a stepmom.