Step-Parenting

Being a Childless Stepmom

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.

9 Comments

  • Virginia Jordan

    I felt as if you opened my heart and spoke out loud about how I been hurting. It made me feel so much better just knowing someone knows exactly how I feel. Thank you for creating this and sharing your story!

  • Carolyn

    I feel this to my soul. I have no kids of my own and 1 step daughter. I can’t have kids and it never bothered me until I became a stepmom, 3 years ago. Now when I’m called a mom I feel I have to explain how I’m not. I have a shirt that says dog mom. When my step daughter sees it she gets mad and ask why I don’t have one that says human mom. How do I explain to her that well I’m not a mom? It’s so difficult to share my feelings without sounding like I don’t love my step daughter. The fraud I feel when given Mother’s Day gifts or when I wear anything that says mom.
    Glad to know I’m not alone but sad that others have the same pain.

    • jessicanicole

      YES!! It is definitely a struggle. I think that as stepmoms, we are absolutely “moms”, but society has trained us to think that we’re not. I mean it doesn’t seem fair that our stepkids consider us “moms” but we don’t even want to consider ourselves deserving of that title. Sending good thoughts your way!! <3

    • Keely Guest

      I have been trying to find the words to describe my anguish for months now, trying to explain why I feel so angry and sad with this wonderful little life I have with his two babies. You’ve summed it up in a single post.

      Thank you, I was able to share this with him and some of my closest friends to hopefully give them some perspective on how I feel day in, day out.

      Constantly plagued with the phrase “they’re not yours, why are you so invested?” But they live here 4 days of their week, how could I not be?

      Thank you, sincerely. Xxxx

      • jessicanicole

        I am so glad that this post has helped you explain the way your feeling about your stepmom role to your loved ones! It is such a tricky role to navigate, and it brings up emotions we didn’t ever expect. Hang in there stepmama!! <33

    • Jordan

      This hit me on a whole other level. Thank you for sharing these feelings that most of us couldn’t get into words. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

  • Randi

    Oh so needed this. This hits home, although my husband has full time full custody of my sweet 2 stepkids. I still don’t feel I’m entitled to the “mom” role. Our situation is crazy, which for the most part a lot of people’s are. This helped me! A lot of days I feel like just a person taking up space even though I’m bathing, cooking, kissing boo-boos, wiping away tears and giving hugs to these precious 2 children I couldn’t see doing life without. It’s hard when you take care of these precious souls and when it comes down to it, it’s like your opinion and feelings don’t matter

    • jessicanicole

      I am so glad this post resonated with you. Being a stepmom can be so hard! We just have to remember that, especially when it doesn’t seem like it, our role in our family is so important! Hang in there stepmama, you got this! <33

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