Being The Other Mother

As a stepmother myself  I have found over the years that stepmums can be given a bit of a hard time.  Everyone has their own opinion on how you should behave as a stepmum and what your responsibilities are and quite frankly half the time you can’t do right for doing wrong.  If you show an interest and make an effort with the child then you are trying to take their mother’s place.  If you don’t bother with the child then you are heartless and cruel.  If you turn up to school functions such as the nativity play then you are definitely overstepping the line.  If you don’t then you clearly don’t have time for the kid or give a monkeys about the things that are important to them.

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Let me tell you something.  I have been to my stepdaughter’s school plays and was the one in the front row recording it on the camcorder.  I have attended her parents evenings and discussed with her teacher our concerns over her struggles with her schoolwork.  I have been to her choir performances in the local church and stood with all the other parents applauding, my heart full of just as much pride as theirs.  I have been to her sports days cheering her on, sat beside her Mum.  In fact, her Mum did the mum’s race and I did the parent’s race.  And we laughed about it. Together.

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I have consoled her and cleaned her up at 3am when she is throwing up due to a horrible sickness bug.  I have sat and rocked her, stroking her hair in the middle of the night when she’s woken from a bad dream.  I have spent hours talking her through her homework and calming her down when she just can’t ‘get it’, until eventually it makes sense and a smile spreads across her face.  I have yelled at her and sent her to her room when she smeared s*** over the bathroom walls.  And then felt that horrible Mum guilt we all feel when we have to discipline our kids.

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I have been strapped to an ambulance stretcher with her on my chest because she didn’t want to leave my arms. I have rushed in to a hospital A&E with her in my arms, eyes rolled back,  thinking we were going to lose her.  I have felt that sickening, powerless feeling when you hand your baby over and have to trust the medics to help her, because you can’t.  And when her Mother arrived we hugged the biggest hug because we knew we both felt the same heartache and fear.

I have been there to see her first steps, first day at preschool, first tooth fall out, first holiday, first nativity and so on.

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People have said to me what a great Mum I am to my Stepdaughter and how admirable it is that I treat her exactly the same as my own 2 children, that if they hadn’t known they would have thought she was mine too.  Others have said I do to much.  That it’s not my place and I should just keep out of it.  I have been with her Dad since she was 10 months old, in fact I first met her and held her when she was only a week old.  She does not know any different to me being in her life.  And I have absolutely no intention of changing how I treat her.

To my stepdaughter’s Mum:  I will continue to be a Mum to ‘our’ girl when she is here in my house for as long as I live.  I will support you and back you up when you discipline her and show a united front as parents.  I will always respect your position as her Mum and will never try to take your place, but will be a Mum figure to her when you are not there.  I hope to remain friends with you and continue to have a good relationship with both you and your family for the sake of ‘our’ girl and everyone else involved, always.

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To my stepdaughter Lilian:  You made me a Mother, although I’m not your Mum. You were my first baby, although I didn’t give birth to you.  I will always love you just as much as your brother and sister and I will always be here for you no matter what.  I will teach you right from wrong and discipline you when I have to.  I will care for you and nurture you throughout your life.  I will be your biggest fan and greatest friend, but also at times your worst enemy. There will be times when you hate me, but please remember this –  I will always love you, to the moon and back again.

Katie xxx

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36 thoughts on “Being The Other Mother

  1. Mom Of Two Little Girls says:

    Beautiful! I’m always envious of women who were given the opportunity to embrace that relationship with their step-daughter. I was not permittedbit and so we don’t have it – it’s not through lack of want on my part.
    Enjoy and treasure all the moments! X

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  2. ABlondeAndABaby says:

    This really touched me. I have a step mother and she has never been any of the things you are to your step daughter, I wanted her to be, really badly. My own mum wasn’t always there for me growing up due to mental health issues so I had a gap that needed filling. Instead she made it clear she wanted my dad and not me, even as an adult I have tried to reconnect with her, to form some sort of friendship if nothing else and she won’t. Reading this made tears appear that and I didn’t know I cared that much about my lack of a relationship with my step mum but I do. I feel rejected by her and like an unwanted add on to her relationship with my dad. You are being a fantastic step mother and I wish my step mum could be even half of that to me xx

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    • mumof2point5 says:

      Reading your comment brought tears to my eyes. I’m so sorry that your stepmother wasn’t the person you wanted her to be. Sadly its stepmothers like that who give the rest of us a bad name. We’re not all like that I promise xx

      Like

  3. Laura Beresford says:

    So lovely. My older kids have no contact with their biological father and Chris is the only dad they’ve known. He treats them no differently to our son who came along this year and he is their dad as far as they and he is concerned.

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  4. Jenny @ thebrickcastle says:

    It is a lovely post, and it’s really how it should always be. I have done all of the sports days, plays and parents evenings, tramped up to church on a December evening to watch someone sing many times. It isn’t a job I ever took lightly. My partner gets on incredibly well with my ex, and 12 years ago when we got together said “if anyone is going to have a hand raising my kids, I’m happy for it to be him”. It’s how it should be. Everyone only gains. You are lucky to all have that relationship, it’s awesome. That young lady is blessed 😀

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    • mumof2point5 says:

      It makes life so much easier when everyone just gets along doesnt it?! Life is too short to be wasted on bitterness and the children only gain from having lots of loving people in their lives x

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  5. muminahurry says:

    What a lovely post. My ex-husband’s partner (used to be our au-pair and the woman he left me for) is also fabulous with the kids although I am not sure I would be comfortable referring to her as their other mother, she certainly plays that role and I have no problem with that in fact I think I’m lucky that it is her they have to fulfill that role as opposed to someone else who might be much less loving and involved. Your post brought tears to my eyes and I’m inspired to write a post myself although I’m not sure if she would want me to as she’s a very private person.

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    • mumof2point5 says:

      That must have been very difficult to deal with and I think you are an incredibly strong person to be able to see her involvement with your children so positively after all the hurt that must have caused. Well done you for rising above it. Best wishes to you and your children xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. stepmum2017 says:

    I LOVE this post. It brought a tear to my eye. As I too am a Stepmum I can totally relate. It sounds like you’re very lucky to have a good relationship with her Mum. Not everyone gets that. Being a step parent can be so hard, sounds like your doing just fine. 🙂 I’ve recently started my own blog about being a stepmum http://www.stepmum.blog

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  7. Mummy Times Two says:

    As the mum of a daughter with a step mum, I hope so much that my daughter’s step mum feels the way you do about her. Ultimately children want to be loved, the more people there are to love them and care for them, the better their world is. I always tell my daughter that in our house we don’t have step-parents, we have parents, we don’t have half-siblings, we have siblings. We are a family. All of us. Thank you so much for writing such a wonderful post, that I know will give hope to many mums, however they came about that title, and for sharing it with us at #PostsFromTheHeart

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  8. Stephs Two Girls says:

    You are a brilliant mum and sounds like she is lucky to have you too. Lovely to see that you care so much – everyone should, though sadly as you’ve said some don’t. I agree though that it’s a tricky tightrope to walk, doing too much or not enough. Huge congrats to you xx #PostsFromTheHeart

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  9. Katrina says:

    This is so sweet. And I can totally relate. My “first” baby is my stepson. I first met him when he was only 2 months old, and I always tease by saying that I fell in love with him first, and his father next. When he was two years old, I married his father. Then his father and I had ten more babies together, over the years. My stepson always lived with us. I sometimes forget that I didn’t birth that kid myself, he’s so much a part of me. I never call him my stepson unless I’m explaining the situation, as I am now. But in real life, he’s just my son. #postsfromtheheart

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  10. Mrs Lighty says:

    I don’t have any experience of step families at all, but your beautiful post made me cry. What lovely words, you sound like a fabulous mum to all three of your children. Thanks so much for sharing this with #postsfromtheheart xxx

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  11. Ruth Drake says:

    Yes! I loved this post. I too am a Step-mother and have been for the last 16 years. I agree with every word and it is so refreshing to read a positive example of the Step-parent issue which is traditionally and largely mis-represented (thanks, Disney!)Thank you for writing this xxx #postsfromtheheart

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    • mumof2point5 says:

      I sometimes tease her and say I’m the wicked stepmother thanks to Disney!lol I know our situation is sadly quite rare which is a shame. Hopefully this post will make people think about how they act with their stepchildren or how parents behave towards the stepparents and the impact it can have on children x

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  12. ljdove23 says:

    I love this post so much. My son has a Step Mum and I’m sure that she feels this way about him too. I am always grateful that he has a Step Mum who loves and cares for him, that’s all that I could hope for. #postsfromtheheart

    Like

  13. garyporter84 says:

    Such a lovely post this. I grew up with step parents and even to this day it’s not been a great experience step mum wise sadly, though my step dad has been brilliant. Like you, he never treated me any differently and absolutely dotes on my children. He loves being a grandad. You’re right to ignore what people from the outside would view how you approach it. The main thing is you are there for her unconditionally and crucially the relationship between you and her birth mother is good. I think that is often the main factor in bad situations where step parents are concerned, speaking from experience anyway #postsfromtheheart

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  14. susieweaver says:

    This brought tears to my eyes – what a wonderful, loving, caring mother and stepmother you obviously are. They are all so lucky to have you. #postsfromtheheart

    Like

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