The “Other” Mom

I remember the first time my child wanted to do something nice for his step mom on Mother’s Day. I remember it like it was yesterday… because it literally was….. After having the Mother’s Day gifts all to myself for the last 9 years, I just found out that this year he asked to give her one too.
He doesn’t know that I know this yet. I heard it from the person who does the Mother’s Day gift making/shopping with him.
When I heard the news, it made me break into tears. It was an emotion I have never had to encounter before… sharing my child with another woman.
The thought of him thinking of anyone else as his mother… when I have been there taking care of his every need for the last ten years was a shocker and quite unexpected. Something I don’t think we can ever prepare for.
Raising him as a single parent has been the hardest thing I have ever done. I realized right away why it takes two people to create a child because it honestly takes two people (or more) to raise one. To the mothers (and sometimes fathers) who are oncall 24 hours a day raising their children, working a full time job, and trying to figure out who they are when they have a spare 30 seconds…. You all know that it’s a tough job.
It’s a job that when done right is the most rewarding. I have always found that taking the easy route is never nearly as rewarding as doing the right thing and facing all the struggles that come with it.
His father’s new wife has been a challenge for him to get used to. He isn’t always sure about her. He struggles sometimes but I know that it is important for him to keep trying to grow his relationship with his dad and his new step mom. So I continuously encourage it.
I know that it would be easier to use his fears to my advantage and I am in a position of power to sway him to think she is the devil. To be completely honest, there is a small part of me that thinks it might actually be fun to swash the relationship to hurt my ex. Afterall, I have never been acknowledged by him on Mother’s Day. A piece of revenge may tastes sweet for a few seconds.
But the last time I checked…. My child is not a game piece on some board game. And that thought of revenge may feel nice for a split second…. But that’s really NOT who I am. I do not feel peace, joy or love from getting revenge on anyone… even those I have loved that stopped loving me back.
So, this Mother’s Day I am able to celebrate two things!
Two AMAZING things!
1. The unconditional love of my child
2. Great parenting!
Because the truth is, I know that not having love from both parents is the worst thing that could ever happen to my child. So by setting my personal feelings and hurt aside, I am able to provide my child with a loving experience from both parties. And to encourage to have an open heart and how important it is to have gratitude and love in his life…. I just proved to myself that I am rocking the parenting gig!
My message for all of you today, is Happy Mother’s Day and no matter how hard it is (unless it is an extremely abusive situation, then seek help) please encourage a relationship with your child’s step parent always.
There is enough love for EVERYONE!
If you would like to talk more on this subject please feel free to reach out. Thank you!

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