Confessions of a Not-So-Wicked Stepmother

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Why do they call it a “step”-parent? Hold on. Going to Google.

“The term stepfamily is preferred because the derivation of the prefix “step-” originates from the Old English word “steop-” which means “bereave.” The term stepchild used to refer to orphans who lost their parents, and stepfather/stepmother used to refer to individuals who became parents to an orphan.”

Okay then. Interesting.

I love being a stepmom. I wish we weren’t construed as evil hunchbacks. Thanks, Disney.

I think God brought our little blended family together at just the right time. Three and a half is a great age: old enough to understand (at least in part) my relationship with her dad and young enough she didn’t do the whole “You’re not my mom!!!” thing. And I gave her space. I didn’t try to force affection or closeness. I left room for that to develop naturally, at her pace.

Fast forward two years and some change.

We have a sweet relationship. She keeps us laughing and we have a “your mom” joke banter which, she pointed out a couple weeks ago, could refer to me. Dang it. We read books and take walks and ride bikes. She is really good at games and beats us half the time. She eats most anything (except Creamy Pumpkin Penne. Don’t ask).She is sassy and opinionated and smart. She is rarely defiant ( I know. I will eat those words someday). She has learned to adapt to two households almost seamlessly, although I know that’s hard.

I love Audrey. I thank God I get to do “mom” things. There is such blessing in experiencing life with a child. I love hearing what she is learning in school, and listening to her sweet, earnest prayers at bedtime. I love her head tucked into my neck as we read a story.

Honesty time. There is also a fair amount of hard involved in being a step-parent.

Raising a kid with four parents and four opinions on what’s best for her can be challenging. And my opinion doesn’t really count. Ben and I are on the same page most of the time, but I have to defer to what he and A’s mom decide. I understand those are her parents, but sometimes it’s hard to take a backseat in your own life. For instance, I think it would be awesome to homeschool with a co-op, but that’s not on the table. I would love to live somewhere more rural, but it’s not an option as we need to stay close to her other family. Any parent knows there is much sacrifice involved, but there’s a different twist when you don’t get to make decisions on your own. I know it must also be hard for her mom and step-dad. This thing involves lots of compromise from both sides.

The blessings outweigh the annoyances. The most important thing is for Audrey to feel loved and support from all sides. As someone who comes from a broken home/blended family myself, I want to make sure she feels a sense of belonging and security with us at all times.

I am grateful God has allowed me to love and be a bonus mama to this little girl. Although, if she’s anything like me as a teen I’m moving to Mexico.

Angela

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