“I’ll Never Be A Step-Mom!”

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Hello! My name is Rosa and welcome to my first blog as part of the ModernMom family.

In April of this year I married the love my life, Matt, and in that instant became not only a wife, but the stepmother to a wonderful three-year-old boy I’ll call “D.” Through this blog, I’ll share the challenges that I’ve encountered in becoming a stepmom, how I’ve learned to deal with those obstacles, and the joys that make it all worthwhile.

I never dreamed about being a stepmother. I always thought that I would be my husbands first and only wife, and our children would be ones I gave birth to. In fact, when my sister started dating a man that had three children from his previous marriage, I was not entirely supportive, because I thought it was unfair for her to take on a role that would never get the respect it deserved, and because I thought that the path she had chosen would be a difficult one.

My perspective changed when I met Matt. When we first started dating, nearly three years ago, he was going through a divorce and I knew he had a young son.  After just a few days of being together, I knew this was going to be a long-term relationship and that I had better get used to the idea of being a stepmother, which was a really intimidating thought.

I didn’t have any experience interacting with young children, so I didn’t know how I should behave with D when the time came to meet him. While I’d like to think I have a natural nurturing instinct, it had never been tested on kids.

Growing up, there are so many stories about bad stepmothers (Cinderella, for instance) that as a kid who hadn’t ever been exposed to one, begins to think of them as monsters who destroy homes and families.  Now there was the possiblity that I could become one of “those” people?

Add this apprehension to the fact that I was extremely self-conscious being the first woman Matt had dated after his divorce, I was an emotional mess those first few months. My previous relationship had left my self-esteem in tatters, so the thought of meeting Matt’s family and friends gave me a lot anxiety. They were all close with his first wife, so I would just imagine how they must compare me to her. Was I smart enough, funny enough, loving enough, fun enough, pretty enough?

I felt like I was living in someone else’s shadow at the time, but now realize that the shadow was of my own making. To say that period of time was a roller-coaster of emotions was an understatement. I was falling in love but the circumstances tested my patience and tolerance. It felt uncomfortable to be dating someone who wasn’t technically single even though I knew in my heart we would be together.

D didn’t come into my life at the same time that Matt did, by design. Understandably, Matt didn’t want to introduce his son to just anyone. He wanted to make sure that the person that D met was someone he would be with long-term because he didn’t want to put his son through a revolving door of girlfriends that he would become attached to, only to have them leave. I respected this and we waited until the time felt right. That time came three months after we started dating, on the day before my 31st birthday.

Next week I’ll tell you about D and I’s first tentative steps in our new relationship. (Clue: He wasn’t sure too sure about me at first!)

See you then.

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