So a couple weeks back, someone said that I wasn’t a “real mom”. Now she didn’t say it to my face nor do I think she said it to intentionally hurt me. In her mind, she was just stating the fact, that I have never carried a child in my womb nor have I ever birthed a child through my vaginal canal. Too graphic? Don’t be weirded out, we all came out of a vaginal canal. Deal with it.
I am my husband’s second wife. People that I have met in certain circles, ehh hmm..“Christian” *cough* …have made hurtful comments or have given me those infamous “judgy” snide stares. Mostly because they assume one of three things:
1. I was the “harlot” that broke up his sweet little family. (NOT TRUE)
2. I have no business trying to be a “mom” to someone else’s kids. (IF NOT ME? THAN WHO?)
3. And lastly, a stepmom is not a “real mom”. (ALSO NOT TRUE)
Now, every blended family has their own little unique way of dealing with being a blended. With the amount of divorces today, most people have a blended family and it seems to be the norm. But for some reason, there are still people, mainly women in this world…who think the three things I mentioned above.
Some voice it, like the woman I mentioned at the beginning and some just give me those sneering looks that totally implies one, if not all the three points above.
I am writing this because the comment of me not being a “real mom” happened weeks ago and its been eating at my heart, mind and soul. So naturally, I need to blog about it.
Here is the thing about being a mom or mother. I personally grew up with a verbally/physically abusive, emotionally unavailable, selfish human being of a mother. Yes, I said it out loud on paper for all to read. And I am sure, I will get a text from one, if not all my sisters/brother to take that description down. But the reality of it is, that is who she was to me. Their description might be a little different as my mother has been known to treat us all different depending on her mood and depending on what she needs.
She isn’t so bad anymore because… I keep my distance from her soul crushing comments. Like when she told me I looked fat the day before my wedding at my rehearsal dinner. Yeah, that is the kind of woman that God chose to place in my life as my “mom”.
My point is, just because a woman carried a child in their womb and pushed it out of her vaginal canal, does not mean she is truly a mother.
I used to believe that every woman had that motherly instinct. And the story in my head, was that something was innately wrong with me and that was the reason why my mother didn’t exude that instinct upon me. In other words, I believed I was unloveable because of how my mom treated me. This belief and story that I placed in my heart, haunted me for years.
In my younger years, her lack of “mom” skills brought on so many emotions. By the time, I was in my twenties, I was an emotional wreck.
I literally couldn’t have healthy friendships/relationships because of this emotional turmoil and baggage. I would bring this amazing suit case of “bullshit” into every friendship/relationship. Leaving a trail of dead friendships, abusive relationships and mortal enemies.
The toxic friendships/relationships always lasted longer than they should have because it was all I knew. It was how I thought everyone acted.
It wasn’t until my twenties that I started to see other people’s relationships with their moms.
Calling their mom’s to tell them about their day.
Their mom calling them to see if they were safe in their dorm.
If they had a broken heart, they would call their mom and their mom would comfort them.
Their mom would send them care packages.
Mother’s Day was like an event: dinners, mani-pedi dates, spa packages, and lots of flowers.
You get the picture. I was left with a bitter feeling. My anger and hurt grew until my early 30’s. I had no real relationship with my mom. I did however had strong relationships with my sisters, who stepped up into the mother role and gave me that love and support. But my heart still yearned for love an acceptance from the woman who birthed me.
Then one day, It finally clicked. I needed major therapy, which is not something Mexican people do. As a matter of fact, in my family we have all experienced so much chaos and traumatic events, that I personally believe… we all need therapy. I might text from my siblings about this statement too.
Eventually, I did enough soul searching, therapy, books, prayer, shed many tears and wrote in ton’s of journals…that I finally forgave my mother.
I have love and respect for my mother. She herself is a strong woman. Even though, my mother unintentionally taught me this trait, I am proud to say that I am a strong survivor and independent hustler just like her.
But the biggest lesson she taught me was how not to be a mom. I never want to treat my step sons the way she treated me. I go out of my way for these boys: I make them their favorite food. I bake them cookies. I laugh with them. Watch movies with them (even the ones I don’t like). I make sure to tell them they are lucky to have their birth mom who loves and cherishes them. I play video games with them. I talk to them about school and offer to help with their homework. I help with the lighting for their movies. (it took a while to be able to get this elite position) I go to their hockey games. I go to their school plays….All the things, I wish my mother did for me. I never want to make them feel unlovable.
So I may not be a “real mom” per se…yeah I didn’t give vaginal birth to these boys or any of my nieces and nephews (who some can attest that I am the best Auntie ever) but I know one thing for damn sure…I am a Step Mom and I will always step up my “MOM” game for Kyle and Conor.