I met my husband what seems like ages ago, way back in 2005. I was seventeen, fresh out of high school and working at his grandfather’s construction company. He, five years older, was also working for his grandfather, not so fresh out of high school, and had a few more life experiences than I. I was just seventeen with my whole life ahead of me and he…he was the boyfriend with a child from a previous relationship that was just going to hold me back. What started out as a friendship at work and grew to something much stronger. Naturally, our relationship was judged….looked down upon… taboo to most. We both had our fair share of unsolicited advice from others. We were both strong mentally and emotionally and knew that we would take each day as it came. We weren’t going to force a relationship between Blaison and me. We were going to let things happen the way they were meant to be and take life as it was handed to us. Enjoy ourselves and whatever was thrown our way.
Even at that young age, I trusted that I’d be given whatever was meant to be. I was the oldest of four, and I had always known I wanted to be a mom. I wasn’t the young girl who was dying to play house with this sweet little toddler and I definitely wasn’t the girl who wanted the next few years to herself doing as she pleased. I honestly just wanted what was planned for me. Brent and I eventually moved in together and started getting Blaison regularly on the weekends. What I didn’t expect was the bond that formed between us. It wasn’t the bond of a mother, nor was it the bond of a step mom…it was different. He was never pushed on me, but I had suddenly gotten so close to this little boy, and I didn’t want it to ever change. I wanted nothing but to give his tiny little soul all the love it deserved.
Blaison’s first couple of years on this earth were difficult, and those who cared most for him wanted nothing but the best. Letting someone in, allowing them to get close, and it all being taken away from him kept them guarded, and I understood that. I also knew that he had a mommy. A mommy who carried him in her tummy for a long nine months, pushed for hours in that delivery room just to see his sweet face. A mommy who truly loved him no matter the circumstances. She had her own way of handling the situation, and I had to respect what she as his mom was going through both emotionally and mentally.
Today, I’m sharing with you my story of being more than just a stepmom. I’m laying out every emotion under the sun that comes along with this privilege…..
Guilt. Fear. Selfishness. Reward. Sacrifice. Doubt. Truth.
So, where exactly do I start? I’ll start with fear. At the beginning of all this, slowly dipping my toes into the role of a stepmom there was quite a bit of fear. There was the fear of those awkward moments between his mom and me, and the fear of hurt feelings. Later, once all those premature fears subsided, I found myself fearing things far greater than an uncomfortable encounter . There was the fear that one day he’d lose his love for me. Fear that he’d want to go live with his mom and I wouldn’t matter any more. I’d grown to love this sweet little boy so much, and the fear of losing him was one of the greatest feelings I’d ever experience when it came to him. There was also a fear of failure. The thought of falling short of the mother everyone wanted me to be for him, making a mistake somewhere down the line was failure to me…and it scared me to death.
Years passed, and I eventually turned from the every other weekend mom to the legit, live with us full time-carpool-attending parent teacher conferences mom. This is where the sacrifice came in. There were PLENTY of nights in and some readjusting of friends. We molded our lives around Blaison, involved him in as much as we could. There were the times that we missed out on vacations with friends because they didn’t want the burden of a kid on their trip. There were times that I risked my relationships with those closest to us defending my little cub. I’ll add right here that THIS part has been worth it all. Any sacrifice I made for him, the loss of friends or sour relationships I created defending him…so worth it.
As Blaison grew older I found myself with guilt. There were the times that I watched Blaison playing all by himself, no brothers or sisters. Times that I wanted so badly to rush marriage and children so he’d have the childhood I had. I wanted for him days filled with bare feet and games of hide and seek into the night. But soon that guilt was just a memory, and our family grew. With my very first baby bump growing by the day, the doubt did as well. I doubted my ability to love Blaison the same as the little one growing in my tummy. I can remember asking myself if I’d made the right decision and how it would affect him. There were also the times of selfishness. Those few days following the birth of Kade or Kellan that I wondered to myself what it’d be like to for it to be just Brent and me. Or those few times when it seemed easier to just throw in the towel rather than fight for him.
The truth? Yes, it’s hard. Jesus is it hard. There are so many emotions, so many people, so many feelings. There are toes to be stepped on. There are plenty of times that you’ll want to be downright selfish and let your emotions get the best of you, say or do things you don’t mean. There’s the responsibility of taking on a child that isn’t yours and loving him as your own. But, there’s a bigger truth that lies beneath it all. There is so much more to being a step mom. If you can allow yourself to break past that “title” and open your heart to a child that you didn’t grow inside your tummy for nine months, accept him as your own and love him whole heartedly, there will be more reward than you can ever imagine. You’re given the opportunity to have this tiny little human be part of your life, help you grow, teach you how to love in a whole new way. You get THAT many more goodnight kisses and random “I love you”s….It truly fills a place in your heart no other experience can.