Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Post About Being a Step Mom

Like I've said many times before, being a step mom is tough.  Not because you have to deal with someone else's children all the time, but because they are someone else's children.
I have 3 step kids that I love with all my heart. I have a very deep connection with each them, they trust me completely and even call me, "mamma". But I am not their biological mother, so I have no actual rights to them. None.
In fact, the children can even be court ordered to stop calling me "mamma" if their biological mother chooses to do so. And she is.
In a family where I am so outnumbered by children whom are not "mine", where do I fit in? 
I often feel like I don't. The kids love, listen and respect me, but the underlying feeling of I'm the poser in the room can be too much to cope with at times. I know this is a feeling created internally by me, but it is a feeling none the less, that lingers and stings. It is a feeling that can be so destructive. painful and exhausting that my breath is taken away.
So yeah, being a step mom is tough.
And I don't know if it will ever get easier.

29 comments:

  1. Their mom is in court wasting the court's time because she doesn't want them calling you mamma? She can't tell them this on their own so she doesn't look like the bad guy? She has the nerve. This is ridiculous... I can't even fathom her mentality because she should be so freakin' lucky that you do love the girls. I'm not sure if you know but my husband and I get along really well with my ex and his wife. The court system has never been involved in custody or support and we like it that way. I am sending you HUGE amounts of hugs. It does get better.

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  2. Julie, I couldn't imagine the pain you are feeling and I so wish you didn't have to. I really look up to you as a mom. I always look forward to your posts and seeing how you seem to take motherhood with ease. This is an opinion completely created via fb, but you seem to love even dirty faces, find happiness even when there is less, and to state the obvious you are just so cool! I hope everything works out with you and your little girls. Biological or not: you are their Mamma.

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    1. The funny thing is that she had already tried to get the girls to stop calling me mom-ish titles. And, you know what? They still do.
      I guess the kids will be in contempt of court!
      Rebels.

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  3. I'm a step mom to one, a girl. Its been 5 years now and things have gotten better. But it was hell. Being a step mom is much much much more difficult than being a mom to your biological children. I got through the tough yrs by connecting with other step moms. Its difficult but it'll get better. You have fabulous little girls that will grow up to adore you and will remember when they use to call you mamma.

    Mines used to call me mom, i told her she didn't have to but she did. When her mother found out, forget it. Now her mother is a stepmom and has her stepchildren call her mom. Can you believe it. My stepdaughter resents her for that. She's now 11.

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  4. I had the same thing Julie. The girls were told "you can call her whatever you want (and I'm sure there were suggestions made!) but not Mom". So, they call me Jennifer. That's okay. It's the life you build with them that they will remember. They will grow to see your stability, your patience and most importantly your relationship with their father. They will see how to react and how to love. Maybe you can come up with a cool new name together.

    Their birth mother sucks for putting them in this position. I know nothing of her but these details are way too familiar. Be yourself, whom I have heard to be really awesome, and they will be the better for having you, no matter what they call you ;) . Pick a really cool name like "Lovey" just to piss the mother off ;)

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    1. Jenny, your suggestion made me laugh. I really needed that today. Thank you for everything!
      I know you are such a great StepMom, because I hear all about you from the mouths of your babes.
      kisses.

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  5. My step-son was reprimanded in front of me for calling me Mom. He was just saying bye & she lost her mind & later sent my husband texts demanding that we correct him. He is three. I have been in his life since he was one. I don't think it's okay to punish or make a child feel guilty for loving another parental figure.

    I grew up with step-father & always had feelings of guilt for loving him. I don't ever want that for my son.

    I don't understand the jealousy these women have. If they were secure in their relationship with their child, they wouldn't care what name their child wants to call you. That's my two cents on it. My ex is dating someone new. If my son ends up calling her Mom, oh well. I know my relationship with him is close & that's just part of life when you are divorced/separated form your kids' father/mother. Other parental figures will be in their life whether you like it or not. So, deal with it as best as you can & move on for the child's sake.

    The only people she is harming in this is her daughters. Not you. She is doing it to spite YOU, not for the health of her kids. If she cared that deeply, she would let them love & be loved.

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  6. I am ragepunching the computer right now. I love you.

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    1. I'm going to do a lot of planking.

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  7. I forgot to add that we were told to remove any photos of my step-son from my social media & to never talk about him on my blog.

    I still post his photo to my provate accounts, but on my blog, I have to blur out his face. Again, who is that hurting more? Me or him by excluding him from family photos & stories?

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    1. That's so crazy! I never knew, Holly! I would probably have a little fun with it. Like, give him animated faces or maybe use the black line over his eyes, just to be a dick.
      But that totally stings. Gah, women are the worst!

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  8. I hope someday my kids will find women they love enough to call mom (friends' moms, mothers-in-law). She's making it hard for her kids to be mothered by anyone but her. How sad.

    xoxo

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  9. As a child of a blended family, I can tell you it WILL get easier. In their hearts, these girls recognize and accept you as their mamma. Try not to focus on the legalities and formalities. Keep your head up, you're a great mother to your girls!

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  10. I'm a step mom to two girls and a boy. While they don't call me mamma (they're too old, it would be weird for me, etc.) all I can gather is its the insecurities of their bio mom that's causing this. That's sad. I feel sorry for her that she is so unsure of HER place that she can't handle them calling you 'mamma'.

    I don't have any words of advice other than never say a harsh word against her, no matter how she badmouths you. In the long run, you'll be the bigger person for it, and the children will know it (been through that messiness). Sounds like you are doing a wonderful job :)

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    1. Thank you. Any tips on learning to keep it all together and not badmouth? I agree with you, and I really do watch it.. But sometimes I just have to walk away at risk of losing composure in front of the kids.

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  11. I am always struck by the way your love for those little ladies comes through your photos and posts. Even though I don't know you personally, I know it's true. Keep loving, you do it well.

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  12. I am not a step parent, but my best friend's ex is married for the third time. Now I'm sure their situation is far different, since her ex sees their daughter maybe once each year, and she had no idea he was getting remarried until he showed up in town with his fiance and asked if his daughter could be in the wedding...which was two days later.

    Her daughter immediately returned, calling the new wife Mom, and although my BFF did not freak out, she told her daughter that it was inappropriate to call the new wife Mom. She did, however, tell her daughter that she could call the new wife any special name that she wanted.

    My BFF is getting remarried to a man with kids as well, and will not allow them to call her Mom. She just feels that it's a respect thing. His kids are still someone else's, and that person is Mom.

    So yeah, I think a lot of people just have insecurities about their position, but not everyone. My BFF thinks (because I asked her if I could mention her before I wrote this) that the mom taking you guys to court over being called mom is just crazy, because even if her daughter continued to call the new wife Mom behind her back, it would just be too hurtful to her daughter to put her through something as petty as going to court.

    We both wish you the best of luck and hope that eventually things smooth out for you all!

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    1. I understand her. In the beginning I had a special name, but as time went by, Vinnie started slipping the mommy thing in. First introducing me to her friends as "my mom" and then at home testing it out to see if I would answer or not. After about a month, she just came out and asked if it was alright. The other two kind of just followed suit. I think part of it is her wanting motherly love on a different level, and I think it is also wanting to fit in and find her place in the family.
      Now, my daughter calls my husband papi and Dada and Dad sometimes, too. But occasionally, she calls him jeffrey. We've never corrected the kids because we've just felt like they should express themselves freely with us.
      Thanks for sharing! Love to you and your friend!

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  13. I disagree with "you have no actual rights to them". You pay for them, teach them, love them as your own, show them right from wrong, mother them when they are in YOUR HOME. You have rights. She may not like that you have rights. But you do.

    ox

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    1. I agree with NEVER bad mouth her. They will see by all actions and make their own choices. Kids are not dumb. You don't have to spell it out to them......they have ears and eyes. You are doing fine. You will continue to do fine.

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  14. Julie, its hard for you because you care so much. you love them so much and do an amazing job raising them. i only hope that their mom gets her shit together and grows the fuck up. in a world where you have to be so careful with who is around your children she is lucky that its you and you love "her" kids so much. she should be grateful. but she's taking out her insecurities out on you and even the girls.
    big hugs to you and the girls!!!

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    1. Liz, I love you. I need you here to be all catty and latina for me all the time.
      Beach day soon.

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  15. Wow, I can't even imagine...! You are very tough! You seem like a really awesome mama & step mama! :)

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  16. My mom and stepdad have been together for like 11-12 years now and I call him by his first name. When my husband and I got married, my husband started calling my stepdad "Dad" (which is also what he calls my biological dad). I think it's funny cause I don't even call him Dad, but to each his own. My mom never told me and my sisters to call him anything in particular, and my stepbrothers call my mom by her first name. Hell, sometimes I do too if she's not paying attention to me! It was tough combining families at first but things got easier as we all got older (I'm the oldest at 27 and the youngest is 19). My dad had plenty of issues with my stepdad but the name we called him wasn't one of them! One thing I have always appreciated about my stepdad is his maturity level aka not getting involved in whatever drama is going on between my mom and dad. Actually, recently my dad was in the hospital for a bit, and my stepdad asked me how he was doing and hoped he'd get better soon. Would he have said that like 10 years ago? Probably not, so that's significant in my book. Those girls are lucky to have you and hopefully one day their other mama will be thankful for that, too. We've all gotta grow up eventually! Ain't nobody got time for drama.

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  17. Thank you so much for writting this post. Sometimes I feel so alone with my journey as a stepparent, and it's encouraging to read other stepmamas' stories. ♥

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  18. It's the messing with your kids part that cuts deep. They're yours. Born in your heart, and all that jazz. I'm available for all forms of food therapy you may need. I'll make you marshmallows! I love your family dynamic, you've created a home so full of love for all of your girls, and I know they feel it.

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