I have a son. I buy him clothes, I fix his meals, I teach him how to read and write and do math problems, I help him learn to ride a bike, I care for him when he is sick, he calls me “Mama”, I read him books, I tuck him into bed at night with his daddy (he prefers my cuddles to his dad’s). He is mine, by all intents and purposes, and I love him so very much. But I did not give birth to him. I am his stepmom.
The Stepmom Quandary
He does not remember a time when I was not in his life, but I am not his “real mom.” This one aspect of our relationship often makes me feel “less than” or not good enough as a mom. I can spiral into feelings of jealousy, constantly living in a comparison trap. This feeling can gnaw at me, making me question my role in his life.
But in my life, I also have a wonderful husband. He knows this is a sensitive topic. He gently and lovingly reassures me. I am needed here. I do have a purpose here. And I am enough.
For other mamas who may be in a similar place, this is for you.
Remember These Things:
- Your role in your child’s life is valuable. No matter the situation with their biological mom, you are in your child’s life. Your child needs your love, your attention, your care.
- You are not “less than” because you did not give birth to your child. You are just as important in your child’s life as his biological parents. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
- Yes, it is hard sometimes. Or a lot of times. Parenting in general is hard, and it can be especially hard as a stepparent. Hearing the “well, Mommy lets me do ____” or “we have ____ at Mommy’s house” can be really hard and get really old. Hang in there, mamas. You are doing great.
- You are enough. Make sure not only your head, but your heart knows this. This is a hard one to put into practice. You, exactly as you are, are enough for the little people that depend on you. They don’t need you to be anyone or anything else. Just love your babies, mamas. They need you, no matter how you came into their life.