The heartache is real.
The tears are hot.
The frustration is immeasurable.
As I sit down and think of how much I miss Noah & Farrah.
I think of how much I miss the sound of their little feet running down the hallway.
I think of how much I miss their little hands holding mine.
I think of how much I miss the songs they would sing or the games they would play.
I think of how much I miss just having little ones in the house.
Amongst my sadness I can’t help but feel a little angry.
Angry that this is my reality.
That my two children aren’t really mine.
I don’t actually have any children of my own.
Angry that when I think of myself as a mom it feels wrong.
The title “mom” makes me feel like a fraud.
Like I’m trying to fit into someone else’s shoes.
So I’m forced into this awkward limbo between my heart telling me I am in this motherly role and my brain telling me that I have not given birth so I have no right to the title.
I may not be a “real” mom, but I have real love for my two kids.
They may not be mine by birth, but they are mine through family.
Through this blended family that we have created through love.
Making french toast on Saturday mornings may not make me a mom.
Potty training may not make me a mom.
Kissing boo-boos may not make me a mom.
Being on the carpool list at school may not make me a mom.
Wiping away tears, sharing hugs, making memories, and teaching life lessons may not make me a mom.
But it sure as hell qualifies me as more than a glorified babysitter.
As a stepmom, I’m not trying to take anyone’s place, I just want a little acknowledgment.
A little acknowledgment that I am in this motherly role in which I provide these children with love and teach them with my heart and soul.
A little appreciation instead of the negativity and criticism.
Being a childless stepmom can make you feel like a fraud, but being a long distance, childless stepmom is a whole other level.
You literally feel like a real mom for 4 months of the year, and the rest everyone forgets you even have (step)kids.
For 4 months you get the morning breath kisses, you get the drawings on the fridge, you get the cuddles on the couch, you get the midnight wake-ups, and everything else that comes with being a mom. But the rest of the year you are expected to just go back to normal. It is mentally and emotionally exhausting to go from full-blown mom mode to practically childless.
I’m here to tell you that I understand your sadness and your frustration. I know how it feels to go through these trials. I know how much your heart aches when you miss your stepkids. I know how hurt you are when you feel like a fraud in the motherhood department. I know that whether you’re childless due to circumstance, choice, or medical reasons that we are all feeling that hurt. We all just want to be taken seriously, and we want a little sympathy for our pain. I know that you sit and cry because you just want to be “mommy.” You just want to know what it’s like to have that kind of deep, unfathomable connection forged through blood. I know you want to know how the “it’s different when their your own kids” actually feels. You want to stop feeling like you’re stepping into someone else’s family and make your own.
I’m telling you, I’ve been there. Hell, I am there.
Every time I see a pregnancy announcement on Facebook, a friend with a tiny baby, an ad for baby clothes, or I walk into the kids empty room I am reminded that I’m not a “real mom.”
I don’t know if I would feel this way if I hadn’t been placed into my stepmom role. I don’t know if I would be pining for my own baby or embracing my childless-ness at this point. I don’t know how much being a sort of “partial mom” has made me yearn for the reality of being a full-blown mom. But I do know that I am not entirely ready yet. Although I sometimes feel an overwhelming desire to have my own child, I know that my life is not at a point where I am ready to introduce a baby into it. Sometimes I get so taken over by my emotions attached to motherhood that I forget to evaluate and see if these are genuine or brought about by my stepmom role. No one should feel forced into becoming a mother. Not even by their own emotions.
So my fellow childless stepmama, I want you to know that I see you. I see you trying your best. Day in and day out. Loving your family even when it hurts. I see your tears you shed for them and for yourself. It is okay to be sad, but remember that you do have an amazing family. (Even if they didn’t come from your womb.) You keep loving them, and you keep being the best stepmom you can. Because your family needs you. Just remember that you aren’t alone.
Love your family, love yourself, and live your happiest life.