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.

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

  1. paperjockey

    I am not a parent or a step parent but I am a step child and let me tell you I have wounds so deep inflicted by step mother that they will never ever heal. My step mother hated me and she hated my mother because she wanted my dad’s attention all to herself. She was doing battle with the memories of a dead woman and a little girl but if she had been able to look past her own needs for even a moment she would have seen I was just a scared little kid looking for a tether. I am so glad there ARE step mom’s like you out there and not just the Disney style ones. You give me hope.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is so sad….my mother-in-law had the same experience. I can’t imagine. I can’t imagine blaming a child for anything so crass as needing attention and love from their one living parent. I want to be angry at those people that are so selfish, but again, it just makes me sad for them too. What happened to them to make them this way? How in the world can someone cast their insecurities on a helpless child? I am so sorry for what you went through. I hope you found a way to forgive her and I hope she knows what she missed out on. I could not have any more children after my daughter. I lost several pregnancies. Meeting my step girls and knowing those missing children I lost were filled again by their presence, it was pure joy. Thank-you for your comment and your kind words about me. Do keep hope close, it is worth it. Today, I am praying for those that hurt others because they are hurt themselves.

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  2. I am so glad these two girls have a step-mommy who tries her best, even when things don’t work out as planned. It’s touching! Growing up, I got to see my dad once a year. At a family function around this time, my stepmom accused me of trying to steal all his attention. I was not even a teen yet and her attitude cut me deep. I never gave up and she’s since softened in her old age. Now that I’m in my late twenties, she finds it easier to relate. We even went to watch a ballet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Better late than never. I am glad the relationship evolved. I hope it continues to do so. For some people, it really is hard to share someone they love. Kudos for you in not giving up. 🙂 Thanks for coming by!

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  3. In This Is Beauty

    This is beautiful and so touching. What a wonderful blessing that you have to be able to see your step children’s mother in such a light. You are an inspiration to many.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. whenlifeisgood

    Your love and respect for other human beings is evident in this post. What a wonderful letter. The girls, their biological mom and dad will appreciate this always. I am moved.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. whenlifeisgood

        Angela, Thank YOU for taking time from your life to write back to me, a stranger. You are an inspiration for all of us. Your eldest daughter must be very proud of you, as is your husband, no doubt. Enjoy your life.

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    1. Enjoy every moment you can! I felt the same way at first and it didn’t feel like we saw them enough, but I learned to enjoy what time we had and make the most of it. Six years later, I realize we have a pretty good chunk of time – more so than I thought. I hope you get this resolved. They need you and your husband just as much as you need them.

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  5. Duuuuuuuude. This was amazing. This is such a tough position that many women find themselves in and I couldn’t help but think of the Julia Roberts Susan Sarandon movie when I read it. I had no idea you were a “step-mom” because it just seems that you are an amazing mom and great person. This is an awesome letter! Awesome! And I know anyone would have loved to get a letter like this. You are an amazing woman with a great heart. Nicely done my friend. Nicely done. Happy Mother’s Day to you and congrats on being Freshly Pressed! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dude!! Thank-you!! So glad you came by and I really appreciate your words. I don’t know that I will ever have the Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts “Step-Mom” movie relationship, but I do know that she deserves respect. She is a great mom! Again, thanks so much!

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  6. Dear Step-Mom,
    Gee, I did not see that coming. I was reading along and along, kind of apprehensive, waiting for both shoes to drop. Surprise! What a lovely lovely letter. I’ve never heard of a step-mom being so respectful and nice.
    I hope she appreciates this. Because things with you could have turned out sooo different. She knows that, right? I hope she knows that.
    By the way, don’t birth moms try and fail and try too?
    It’s wonderful that the girls get not only a birth mom but another added mom who chose to come in to their lives, and who cares about and appreciates them so much.
    YOU deserve a GREAT Mother’s Day!
    Blessings,
    Mary

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank-you, Mary! I did have a GREAT Mother’s Day. I spent the day with my daughter (and my granddaughter) and my mom-in-law. I do know birth Mom’s fail too. I fail at a lot of stuff, but at least I try. Plus, I think it helps to own up to those mistakes. There is something freeing about saying…HEY! I’m not perfect. Look at me! I am NOT perfect and that is O.K. I know she appreciates our relationship and she is super wonderful to my daughter. An ex-wife that accepts a new wife’s daughter? That is pretty sweet! Thanks for coming by. Blessings to you, my dear!

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  7. Oh!! This is so beautiful! I can’t imagine the undertaking of becoming a step mom Or having to put my trust in another woman to be a mother figure to my daughter – this sums it up perfectly! Keep doing what you’re doing – none of us are perfect, do the best you. you sound like a wonderful step mother!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Angelia, you demonstrate what true love really is all about…that is, loving the whole in a relationship. beautifully penned letter and have yourself a blessed Mother’s Day celebration.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is beautiful. As a mother, I often worry about what will happen if my husband and I divorce. Will the other woman in his life treat my children with love and respect? Will she hate them just because he loves them–not more but differently? Reading this on Mother’s Day has made me hopeful. If our story doesn’t go as planned, maybe someone like you will come into our lives. Happy Mother’s Day to you.

    Liked by 1 person

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