Have you ever entered into a new position only to find yourself unsure of what your role is, uncertain as to whether you should take initiative or wait for some instruction? You know that feeling when you want to do the best job possible, you just don’t know what that really means so you find yourself throwing out effort here and there and seeing what sticks? Yeah, that’s exactly what being a stepmom feels like.
When I fell in love with Oby I knew that he had a son. I knew that Ford and I got along well and that our relationship would eventually develop and grow. I knew that people think of step mothers as evil and I was well prepped for the fact that it’s a thankless job.
I chose love anyway.
I chose to move in with the love of my life and through that I gained another love. Ford and I developed our relationship to be more than buds and I moved into a parental role in his life. We were thoughtful and intentional about the transition although at times it felt like I was pushing fast forward while Oby pushed pause and other times it felt like he was ready for me to take on responsibility that I wasn’t quite ready for. As time has gone on we’ve moved into being partners in the process.
In the beginning I would often describe it as knocking on the door of a party that no one invited me to. Like, this was never the plan. I was never the plan. It created feelings of uncertainty and doubt. I was constantly ‘aware’ that I was the back up plan. Now that we are more solidified and sure, I recognize that this was the plan along. That we were all meant to contribute to the life of this incredible boy and it may not be what we all saw coming, it is most certainly my home.
If I’m honest, transitioning into feeling more solid as a family unit has made my role in some ways more difficult. I am to remain objective, open, kind, and distanced from the larger decisions. Decisions can be made that affect my life that I have no say in. I am to allow space for questioning of my motivations and commitment while staying fully committed, fully loving, fully unifying and fully available both in my finances and schedule.
Essentially, I have to swallow my discomfort and be everything that everyone else needs.
Something that I’ve spent my entire life unlearning.
A behavior that has served me so poorly in the past is now the way that I can show up as the best case scenario in the role that I’ve taken.
It’s easy to feel unappreciated here. Easy to feel misunderstood.
And it’s fair because if you google anything related to a stepmom, well, we’re the bad guys in all the stories.
I usually like to end these things with the positive twist, the realization I’ve had about how to positively move forward. Today, I guess it’s less of that and more of an acknowledging that things are hard sometimes and that sometimes they’re still worth it.