Stepmoms are wonderful creatures. As well as stepfathers. Well, let’s be real. Step anything are amazing individuals. They come in and care for children who aren’t technically “theirs.” Stepmoms experience highs and lows. Haley’s daddy and I aren’t together. But, for the most part, we co-parent quite well together. We’ve been divorced almost 3 years now. In those 3 years, I’ve met 4 women who came into Haley’s life. So, needless to say, I’ve experienced all sides of stepmoms.
Divorce isn’t something anyone wishes for. When you marry someone, most of the time, it’s because you love them. But, it happens. It’s part of life. Divorce is just part of the reality of the world today. Regardless of the reason, divorce can be difficult when kids are involved. Where will the kids live? Where will they go to school? There are so many questions that cloud a divorced parents mind.
Quite often on social media you see stepmoms, stepdads, and parents alike bash each other. Now, I don’t know about you, but I like peace. As a divorced parents, I did my research after our divorce. I knew there would be trials and tribulations. As much mental preparation as possible was what I was aiming for. But, not every situation is the same. One parent may disappear. One parent may have been abusive. You never know the case. There are always two sides of every story.
My ex-husband and I have joint custody. But, I am the primary custodial parent. We only live 7 miles away from each other. That makes visiting easy. During the summer we even do it where he gets her a whole week then I get her a whole week. Often he will drive her to school if he is off. He works night shifts as a police officer. I get her half the day on holidays, they get her the other half. Believe me, I know not all relationships are that easy. Parenting isn’t easy in general.
But, this isn’t about me. This is a letter to stepmoms from, well, “the mom.” When I say you are appreciated. It’s not an understatement. You come in and you love children like they’re your own. Sometimes you have to come in and take a “mom” role on by yourself. But, you do it. You put someone else above your own needs.
My exhusband has introduced Haley to a few ladies. Some who really tried. A couple that just did not like me. But, that didn’t make me respect them any less. His current girlfriend is young, pretty, and full of energy. But, she doesn’t like me. I don’t think I’ve ever gave her a real reason not to like me. I’ve attempted to be cordial with her. But, she turns her back when I talk. She gets angry when Jamie and I co-parent. But, I’m hoping and praying over time that she will adjust. That she will realize I’m not here to interfere.
Stepmoms are true gifts from God. They step up. Stepmoms take on a major role in children’s lives.
I want the women in my ex-husbands life to respect him. My biggest wish is that they care for him and my daughter. Because, with respect towards my ex, hopefully they’ll have the same respect with Haley. My wish is that Haley runs and hugs her stepmom. That her stepmom and I can have conversations. We don’t have to be best friends. But, I don’t see an issue with that. I’ll never turn down coffee and adult conversation.
My life has moved on. My ex-husbands life has moved on. He’s with you and I’m with someone else. My ex and I have a beautiful daughter. But, I also have a beautiful son as well. Nobody wishes for divorce. But, it happens. It’s hard. For a while the feelings are wonky. But, it passes. All we want now is for someone to love our children as much as we do.
We don’t co-parent to show you how “good” we are together. We co-parent to make sure Haley knows that we are both behind her. It isn’t our goal to go to parent-teacher conferences looking like one big happy family. More than likely, the teachers know we’re not together. They are supportive of the co-parenting we do. It isn’t for show. Co-parenting is for Haley’s happiness, safety, and health.
There may come a day when being in the “stepmoms club” is behind you. You may add to the family by giving Haley a little sister or brother. When that day comes, I hope you love them equally. I pray that Haley knows she has a family with you. That she knows she has a family with me. That we’re all in this together.
Stepmoms, as a mom, I want to tell you that I care about you. That I am so appreciative that you step in and give our children that “mother figure” when they are with our ex’s. We aren’t here to interfere with your new life. I wish ya’ll nothing but the best.
But, once again….
Thank you, Stepmoms!