A Letter to the Mother of my Step Children

I know I am not the perfect step-in parent for your children. I make mistakes. I misjudge. I get frustrated, confused, and conflicted. It’s a tight wire balance of being too close and being too far.

I don’t want to overstep my boundaries. And yet, I sometimes lose track of the rule book. I don’t always know what to expect. And even when I think I do, I realize how far-off the beaten path I really am. I manage the best I can for them. Not necessarily as another parent, but someone who loves being in their life. Someone who cares for them, because I care for their Dad. But, I fail. I try. I fail. Then I brush myself off and hope you can forgive me.

From the first moment I met them, I wanted them to know I could never replace you, nor would I want to, or seek to. I have always felt that way.

I remember seeing a plump two-year old baby about six years ago. I wanted to scoop her into my arms and gobble up those chub chub cheeks of hers. Instead, I waited and watched, until she felt comfortable with me. It took more than a year.

At the same time, I met a precocious, wiser-than-her-years four-year-old, spitting spunk and sass. I wanted to take her hand and run off into the land of make-believe. Instead, I told her how mommy is magical and I would never have that magic, because her mommy is very special like that.

I want to guide them as much as I can without making waves or being a disciplinary figure. On the same note, I want to keep them safe. I want to protect them from the big scary world. I have the heart of a mother, but the mind of step mom. I want their dreams to come true. I want their success and happiness to follow them wherever they go.

And yet…

I am only a small part of their world. You are their caretaker, guide, and example. You are their lifeline, their planner, and the one who tucks them in. Your soul is part of those two little bodies. Even when it is not your weekend, you are very much part of their every second with us.

And because you are so much part of them? Two little people I adore… I adore you just as much. I appreciate you more than you know. I can’t imagine life without you, your ex, and those precious little people I get to hug and worry over.

So please know, although I mess up and forget to remind my husband of holidays, birthdays, and presents. Although, I don’t always reach out, in an effort to keep in, just know I hold your family dear to my heart. I am always here. Trying my best and admiring the hell out of you.

Thank-you for our two little stars who I get to watch grow into lovely young ladies. Thank-you for sacrificing so many things to give these kids a life with both parents taking part. And thank-you for your kindness in letting me be a small piece of their great big world.

This year I did not let Mother’s Day slip by unattended. I planned and I hope you love it as much as I love your two children. This is for you. I thought a vintage pearl might last longer than flowers or chocolate.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Drawing for Dad by the youngest daughter. I love how she didn't quite get us holding hands. So, she made a ring that connects us.
Drawing for Dad by the youngest daughter. I love how she didn’t quite get us holding hands. To make up for that she puts a circle between our hands to connect us, too. From the mind of a beautiful seven-year-old who wants her family holding hands. So sweet.

354 thoughts on “A Letter to the Mother of my Step Children

  1. Great post! I am a mother of 1 (age 7) and a step mother to 2 (ages 6 & 11). I’ve been at this for 5 years, and it sure is a rough, yet beautiful road. Allowing someone else to mother your child is tough. Navigating the boundaries as a step parent is even tougher.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on The CR Coach Chalk Talk Blog and commented:
    This was so touching and as a “step-mom” I understand and it is wonderful when you have a great relationship with your child’s maternal mother and you are able to be one big happy family. I have been blessed with a great relationship with my son’s mom and I am glad that I am not the only one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I WISH I feel this way about my two step daugher’s mom. I try an I never speak ill about her in fact I hold her up and talk encouraging about her with the girls. It’s hard though you see because I raise the girls full time. Where yes she is their biological mother she ran away abandoning them not once,not twice,but three times…..and then yet a fourth this summer when she ran away to California out of state again. I am the one left here constantly to wipe the tears. This Mother’s Day I made sure they called their mom….she didn’t answer. They kept tryign and left her a voicemail. She texted my husband at 4 in the afternoon complaining she had not spoke to the kids yet…..
    So to you….It sounds like you’re doing a very good job balancing it all! It is such a difficult position to be in but like you said so rewarding as well.


  4. This is so beautiful. It make me tear up just a wee bit. It reminds me of a film called ‘Stepmom’ with Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon. If you’re not familiar with it, I’d recommend watching it sometime. :)


    1. Feel free to share with any of your clients. I am a child of divorce, a divorced mother, and now a stepmom as well. All of us get along. Most even intermingle at family events of the extended ex-family. It is quite the dynamic, but wonderful for everyone involved :-)


  5. Beautifully written. The mother should feel just as lucky to have you as the the “step-in” parent (loved that). I have two stepsons 16 and 14 with a long history of disappointment. Sometimes I have to remind myself that.

    Liked by 1 person

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