Saturday, 16 May 2009

Dear PJ's Parents,

Thank you so much for the dinner voucher you sent me for Stepmother's Day. I used it last night and shard a delicious meal with PJ. We felt so privileged to be eating so extravagantly and appreciated every mouthful.

As we were leaving the restaurant we chatted to a woman we know who works there. Knowing that I had a voucher she asked if it was my birthday. She looked stunned when I told her why I had received it and from whom.

She too is a stepmother, but unlike me, she was not recognised or acknowledged on Mother's Day. Not by her stepkids, because they don't want their mum to think they align themselves with her, not by her partner who takes for granted everything she does for his kids, and not by herself, because she didn't know she was entitled to.

Thank you for acknowledging my role. As the new partner, I have insecurities about Z's feelings towards me; that he, as well as everyone else will forever compare me to his birth mum, PJ's ex-wife, your ex-daughter-in-law.

All anyone wants is to be seen and accepted as themselves. The thoughtfulness of your gift made me realise that I am.

Much love to you both from me at the kitchen table,



Doctor Plog said...

I am sure that there are many, many step-parents in your waitress' situation. You would be a perfect advocate for them!

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's as simple as being 'compared' to his birth mother. What about the insecurities that you have towards him (Z?)? Why is it that you don't just leap out there and have your own offspring? Why is it that you seem to have motherly instincts but not a pursuit to have your own? Are you worried about the impact on your body or the selflessness that it takes to be a parent? I'm not attacking you, but would like to understand more the reason for the obsession with the 'step mother' compared to being the birth mother?

Meg said...

I'm not attacking you either, Lizzie Pogson. PJ has already invited you over. Why not come round for a cuppa and we can chat about this some more. xx

Anonymous said...

Oh Meg your post made me all teary eyed. We are lucky to have loving families because there are SO many who go unappreciated - like the waitress at your restaurant.

Hugs to you (belated) for stepmothers day!

P.S. And to the Anonymous commenter: Being a stepmom isn’t easy for anyone, if you have children or not. All I can say is that it is more often that the stepparent doesn’t care enough to put as much love and concern into parenting as Meg does. Be kind to us. Have you read fairy tales lately? :)

astrid said...

Hi Meg!

Mother's & Father's Days have always been important to me in terms of expressing my love and gratitude to my four parents. I have a mother and stepmother and a father and stepfather. I have a unique relationship with all of them and engage in different relationships with all of them as their child. As a young person I agonised about one feeling dislocated by the other or one feeling that my promiscuous gratitude was at the expense of the other. But now I feel really glad that I always made the effort because it is so important.

WriterBee said...

Astrid, that's a wonderful story. I can see how a child might feel that loving a stepparent might be interpreted as being disloyal to the parent, especially if there's bad blood between the separated parties.
Anonymous, as a mother I see the stepparent as the selfless one. To give all that love and attention to a child who is not yours biologically or legally is an incredible gift to the child, the parents and to society as a whole.
Sometimes when my own children, whom I adored, were naughty, or I was exhausted or busy, it was hard enough to mother THEM. I don't know if I could have done it for someone else's child. It's not easy to admit it, but I think I'm too selfish.
So you rock, Meg! Keep going and keep sharing the journey with us.

emily b-sides said...

I agree with Ana (entirely).

It takes a beautiful person like you LOM, to see the beauty in everything.
How lucky we are to have you express it so perfectly.

I love how much you care, and how conscious you are, about ALL your roles.

Anonymous said...

Anonymity is a choice that you allow contributors commenting on your blog. More than one person has commented anonymously.

More important than identity is discussing the relevant issues you raise in this public forum.

13mimosa said...

A lovely gesture from them, received so graciously from you. You're all lucky!

ms. delisha said...

I have been thinking about this post for a while. Because it is beautiful, and because of the comment that seems to miss the point.

As a fellow step on a mother journey, your insights and range of honest feelings feed my soul and help me to feel the natural right-ness of loving my stepsons with a deep, unshakable mother's love.

As a bio-mama, I see your journey and it gives me newfound love, compassion and respect for my daughter's stepmama. In fact, it gives me the courage to use that word. One that has been so laden with fear for me. Fear of being replaced, I suppose.

My partner and I didn't set out to be parents to one another's children. We planted love and found a family grew there. What a surprise! What a blessing! What an abundance of joy!

And what a blessing you are to your family, Meg.

So much love.