There should be another word for “step-mother”. Step-mothers are usually portrayed as evil in fairy tales and movies and the word “mother” is too sacred on its own. When you throw the word “step” in front of it the whole meaning changes. Damn whoever wrote Cinderella!
I’m a step-mother to three adults, one of whom is only ten years my junior. So uttering the word “mother” as part of my title is not only uncomfortable but really just sounds wrong too. The oldest is married to a wonderful woman whom I’ve become very close to. It gets awkward when I try to introduce her to others though. “This is my step-daughter-in-law” is a mouthful. Sometimes I leave off the word step for fun but then I get those funny sideway glances of confusion. My step-daughter-in-law, by the way, is also a step-mother to one of my step-grandchildren. Confused? Welcome to the modern family.
I came on the scene after my husband;s children were all grown up and living away from home. They’d had a few years to get used to their parents divorce and had seen their dad “dating” before. I wasn’t a home wrecker and I’m grateful for the timing. It allowed my relationship with his children to start on solid ground. I remember being pleasantly surprised by the natural affection I had for his three kids right from the start. I realize it was mostly because they are all such kind and accepting people but a part of the reason came from being in love with their dad. They are, after all, a very big part of him.
Most important to me was that my own son would be accepted as part of the family. I didn’t need to worry. Over the years my husband’s kids have developed their own strong relationship with James and there is no doubt that we are all family now.
I feel so blessed to be a part of a large diverse family like ours and excited that it is growing 😉 as I write this. Yes, there is a new baby on the way!
It’s just the titles I struggle with. My step-grand kids call me “Bonnie” and I guess that’s ok, but I wish there was a more intimate title to describe what I am to them. I just don’t know about being called “Bonnie” to this new baby. “Grandma Bon?” But is it ok to change it up with one child when the others are used to another name? If you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them.
I guess the relationship we share matters more than what we call it. As the years go by I feel more and more “related” to these special people and I’m so grateful to have them all in my life.