Being a stepmom is hard. No ands, ifs, or buts about it. What’s even harder is being a stepmom before having children of your own.
Ekk! I hated typing that last sentence. Especially the end: before having children of your own.
I’ve had an amazing bond with my bonus kids since the beginning. When my husband and I first got together the kids were 7, 6, 4, and 2. I was head over heels in love with them from the beginning. I wanted to be the perfect stepmom and do everything I could for them. I quickly got into the mindset that I was a mother now even though I hadn’t given birth to any of my children.
When something would happen my husband wasn’t the only one hurting….I was too. When things were hectic and my husband was fighting/arguing with his ex wives I felt his pain and frustration. I was feeling all of the same emotions as a parent in this situation. I WAS and still AM a parental figure in their lives. My emotions were constantly being thrown into overdrive. I had never felt something like this before. I had never felt the feeling of motherhood.
I had an immediate connection with the kids. I didn’t see them as stepchildren or bonus kids….they were my children. They called me mom and treated me like one. I was emotionally invested from the beginning. Not all stepmoms can say that.
The first time I witnessed the kids crying on a Sunday because they didn’t want to leave their Daddy I was devastated. My heart was ripped right out of my chest. My husband had become numb to the feeling at this point (but trust me he still hurts every single time) and I was experiencing it for the first time. It was overwhelming and still to this day it never gets easier. Each time my heart aches for my husband.
Every Sunday when the kids go home it feels like they are being ripped away from us. I know it’s a little bit dramatic sounding but it’s the only way I know how to explain the feeling. You stand there helplessly while they are crying and there’s nothing you can do. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
I LOVE my four bonus kids. I treat them the same way I do/will my biological daughter. When we are out strangers can’t tell that I am not their mother. They just see a family and assume I am their birth mother. That makes me happy. Why? Because people can tell I love my kids and don’t see me treating them any different than a mother treats her children.
Having experienced being a stepmom before I gave birth to my daughter, I now hug her a little tighter on Sundays. In a sense, as crazy as it sounds, being a stepmom before mom has made me love and appreciate my daughter even more.Why’s that, you ask? Prior to the baby, I was able to see what it was like to feel like a mother and have to let the kids “go” on Sunday’s. I don’t have to do that with Reylin. She is staying with me. She doesn’t have to be picked up on Fridays and leave on Sundays. She is with me all of the time (besides when I’m at work) and I know she isn’t going anywhere.
She don’t have allegiance to another woman. I am her only mom. She is not “taken” from me for two weeks at a time. She doesn’t call someone else mom or have another home. My home is her only home.
I honestly can’t be the only one to feel this way.
I don’t have to worry about stepping on someone else’s toes. I don’t have to check to see if we have her a certain weekend. I am able to be her mother the way I want. Being a stepmom before mom has shown me what it is like to love someone more than yourself and have little authority or power when it comes to their lives. Now while they are at our house my husband treats me just like I am their mother. He doesn’t treat me like their stepmom and the kids don’t treat me like that either. For those few short days I am their mother figure. It is nice but short lived.
Finally, being a stepmom before mom has taught me that I should never for a second take the fact that I am my daughter’s birth mother for granted. It has taught me that I should always cherish every little milestone in her life because we miss out on a lot of things with the older kids. We have to just wait until our weekend and let them tell us all about it.
In a perfect world we would be able to see the kids as much as their mothers do. But with work constraints and the fact that we don’t live in the same town, that is not feasible.
For two years my stepchildren were my ONLY children. They got ALL of my attention and love. When they left no other child was going to get that amount of love from me. Now that Reylin is here I now have step and biological children. I worry about the older kids. I never want them to think for a second because Reylin is always with me and their Daddy that we love her more. Most stepmoms wouldn’t care if the kids thought that or not. “I gave birth to this child. This child is my blood.”
Well when I married my husband I took his children as my children. Plain and simple. So being a stepmom before mom has made me more aware of the older kids feelings and I want to make sure that they get the same love from me as before. I don’t want them for a second to think that I have chosen their sister over them because she is my biological daughter. When you love your stepchildren as much I do mine, you almost feel guilty for having your biological child all the time. That in itself is a whole other topic. I plan to write a post about that in the near future.
My list for things that I have learned, things I now do, worry about, feel and fear as a result of being a stepmom before a mom could go on and on. It is a never ending cycle of emotions and reality checks.
None of this gets easier. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news if you think it does. It becomes more tolerable, but not easier. Everyone’s situation is different. Some are a walk in the park compared to ours while others are 10x worse than ours ever thought about being. Just take it day by day. See what works best for your family. If you are introducing a new baby into the family, make sure you are letting your stepkids know you still love them as much as before. Try to put your guilt aside and continue to make precious memories.
Are you a stepmom who has experienced these same feelings? Have you experienced something similar? I’d like to hear from you. If you don’t feel comfortable commenting below feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to connect with fellow stepmoms and help you in any way I can.