Blended families are quite common. When I met Roger he already had Emmah from his previous marriage. I fell in love with her before I did him, but being a step mom can be terrifying. There is a stigma attached to “Step-Motherhood” and I’ve always been scared I might act like the “evil step-mom” even if I’m acting from a place of love and concern. Thank you Disney for shining the spotlight of villainy on us for the last half century…though to be honest I guess I should also share the blame with Grimm. Love those guys, love their stories, but they’re not doing me any favors when it comes to being a step-mom.
I love my daughter dearly. I never introduce her as my step-daughter because she’s been mine since the day we met. It wasn’t hard falling into the mommy role, but many people had hesitations (understandably) and some opposition. It was the usual “what if it doesn’t work out…” etc. I’m not saying they were unfounded, but some people voiced their concerns louder than others.
While it was easy falling into the mommy role, it wasn’t always easy being mommy, especially when her biological mother (J) was none to thrilled about my part in her daughter’s life. To be fair neither of us fostered goodwill toward each other, but I never denied her the right to be Emmah’s mother, I just doubted her skills to be a good mom. Roger has full custody of Emmah. Out of respect for J and our daughter I won’t share why.
When Roger and I split and nearly divorced I didn’t get to see Emmah. It was complicated and heartbreaking, and you can read my post Dear Daughter to get a look into how I felt. Now we are back in the same house again and we are reblending into a family once more. I still struggle with the evil step-mom image, and I’m worried about the teenage years filled with angst and hormones.
In the three years plus as Emmah’s mom she’s never said “I hate you” or “You’re not my mommy” (thank God!). Sometimes we get mad at each other and lose our patience, but we always love each other. I hug and kiss her goodnight, help her with her homework, get her dress, fix her hair, and take her to school. Even though sometimes I get jealous when she talks about her other mommy, I know she loves me just as much as J.
We’ll just have to keep blending until we get it right.