Friday, May 08, 2015
Mother's Day as a Step-Mom
For the first two years of my marriage, I dreaded Mother's Day. It was a reminder that whatever I was providing meant nothing when it came to where my children spent the day set aside for celebrating their moms. I was set aside and the pain was incredibly intense as I spent the day without any of my children with me.
While pregnant, I celebrated a mother's day and could not help but think, "Next year will be different. I WILL have someone with me to celebrate this day."
And I did and it was.
For those of you who have walked this journey of step-parenting, you already know that the pain in my heart did not cease to exist because I gave birth and had a child with me on mother's day. I was still missing three of my children, whom I loved so much. I learned that lesson myself, some lessons are learned best that way, aren't they?
So goes every mother's day for 12 years. Half of my children are apart from me on the day I so want their love and recognition for who I am in their lives.
I can now see how selfish this line of thinking is. My children love me. I know this now. Perhaps having half of them grown and out on their own has helped me see that love is not reserved for a specific day. It just is.
This year, 13 years later, I will celebrate mother's day knowing all six of my children love me. Wherever they are, some celebrating with their mothers or grandmothers, I know they love me. I do not need them in front of me to have assurance of our relationship anymore.
This year, I celebrate my four children whom I did not birth. They have stood by my side and watched me screw up horribly as a parent. If there is a check list for what NOT to do, they experienced me doing it and the pain my mistakes caused. While I have apologized face-to-face for my mistakes and yes, I would do things differently if I could, I can't and knowing that means moving on and being the kind of parent I want to be today.
I love my children. I love all six of my children. I have a different and unique relationship with each one. My interactions with them all vary to the person they are and our personal relationship. There are different bonds between us but they are bonds regardless of their variety.
I became a moma in 2002. I am blessed beyond all measure for the six children I have. They all call me different names (some not always nice, I know) but they are mine and I love them.
This mother's day, I celebrate ALL women who love and care for our youth. This journey is pain-filled and people are hurtful and cruel with their thoughtless words; I am so sorry. I, too, have been on the receiving end of them and it sucks. You are loved. You are important. You are valued. Never forget that.