One of the many roles I fill is the one of being a Mother. It is one of my most rewarding, and also one of the most exasperating roles that any individual can ever have. I am not only a mother, I am also a stepmom and sometimes being a stepmom is even harder than being a mom.
The amount of work and love that a stepmom is exactly the same as a mother, but society does not see it that way and your role is not as clearly defined as if you were the birth mom. The most confusing thing of being a stepmom is that the rules are not always the same. I am in the unique situation that I am a mom and a stepmom and I also send my kids my kids to go and visit their biological dad where there is another mom looking after them.
This gives me a unique perspective. I know what it is like to be a mother, to be an other mother and I know how difficult it is to let your kids go where someone else has to take over your role.
Here is the letter that I send to my kids ‘Other Mom’ and the one that I wish I would someday receive.
Dear Other Mother
I am calling you ‘the Other Mother’ as The Grimm brothers and Disney has ruined the word stepmom for all of us.
Do you know where the word ‘step’ comes from? I’ve always imagined it comes from stepping into someone else’s shoes. In the case of a mom someone else’s too tight, too high and sometimes really ugly shoes, but before this conversation start being about shoes instead of being about YOU, let me try again.
You and I know that the chance that we will ever be friends is a really slim one. Maybe we will never even get to the point where we have coffee and discuss the children (I hope not) but you never know. This is a letter to say thank you.
Thank you for looking after my children and making them your own. Thank you for every bum and nose you wiped. Thank you for every bedtime story and every song you sing. Thank you for juggling schedules and picking up kids and being the calm voice of reason when the relationships between the exes are getting out of hand. Thank you for understanding that the kids and their needs come first.
Thank you for every concert you had to suffer through and that you were there to help with the costumes and the make-up. Thank you for the discipline and every ‘Why’ question that you answer. I know it is sometimes difficult to explain that discipline in different houses is not the same, but thank you for trying anyway. Thank you for every meal you cooked and every complaint that you had to listen too, every time a little voice said, ‘my mom does it this way.’ Thank you for buying snacks that the kids love and birthday cakes.
Thank you for getting up at night and chasing the bad dreams away. Thank you for trying. Thank you for never giving up. Thank you for being the extra mom and not trying to replace me, even though sometimes I’m sure you wish you could. Thank you for the heartless, unappreciated, thankless job that you do by parenting children that are not from your body. Thank you for treating them as kids from your heart.
Every time I hear the kids say something nice about you I don’t wish that you were not part of their lives. I am thankful that you are. Thank you for being the OTHER MOTHER. Even though I may never acknowledge it I appreciate the role that you play in my son and daughters lives. Thank you for loving them anyway and treating them like your own. Thank you for making their second house not just a house but also a home.
From one ‘Other’ Mother to Another.
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