You’ll understand when you’re a mom.
This was said to me by a friend. She didn’t mean it in a mean way, and it wasn’t the first time I’d heard it, but it still stung. By all accounts I AM a mom. I just didn’t give birth to him.
Being 25 and a stepmom is definitely not a place I thought I’d find myself, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. For my entire life, I was unaware of this specific kind of mom. The one that not only gets overlooked and undervalued, but often turned into the Disney villains in other people’s stories.
Here’s the thing about being a stepmom, people will always try to define what you are. “You AREN’T his real mom, so why do you get a Mother’s Day card?” “You ARE his stepmom, so why aren’t you taking him to the doctor?” “You AREN’T his real mom, so why are you involved at his school?” “You ARE his stepmom, so why weren’t you at soccer practice? “
Here’s the truth you need to hear, stepmoms:
You ARE enough. Frankly, that’s all that matters.
Your role in that child’s life isn’t to give one hoot what anyone else thinks you should be doing. That child doesn’t care who does or doesn’t like you. They don’t care who talks behind your back or doesn’t invite you to birthday parties.
They care that you tuck them into bed every night, because their dad works late. They care that you make sure their homework is done and make them try new foods. They care that you hold them when they cry and take time to play with them.
Whether your co-parenting relationship is healthy or downright toxic, you are in control of your role. When his other parents call you a heathen, does it make you one? NO. You can’t help that his other mother may be threatened by your relationship and your role. It’s basic instinct on her part. But you can control your response. Instead of giving in to the volatile things said about you, choose to accept you’re not going to be everyone’s favorite flavor of mom and THAT’S JUST FINE!
That’s why in our house we don’t have step kids. I have a bonus son. I am a bonus mom. My role is not a step below anyone. It’s something entirely on its own, and it’s a beautiful thing that I am lucky to have in my life.
This beautiful little boy made me a bonus mom and I will spend the rest of my life giving him the bonus love he deserves.
About the Author:
Hi, I’m Chloe Joy Sexton. I am a Marketing Content Specialist for RedRover and former news producer here in Memphis, Tennessee. I am a home baker, writer, and, most importantly, a bonus mom to my beautiful son, Mason. I love learning from other moms and hearing their stories!