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A Letter to My Stepchildren's Mother

Photograph by Getty Images

To my stepchildren’s mama,

Thank you.

Thank you for tagging me in pictures of the kids on Facebook. Thank you for sending me texts about missing teeth, honors programs and trick-or-treat plans. And, goodness, thank you for texting me the important things and not David, because, God love him, the man can’t remember anything.

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Thank you for telling me you appreciate me. Thank you for the flowers you had the kids give me on Mother’s Day, for prompting them to tell me goodbye when I drop them off and they are so excited to see you. Thank you for telling me that while I’m not their mama, the kids love me like I am. You treat me as part of the family, and society tells you that you really don’t have to do it, but you do it anyway. Thank you.

Thank you for letting me love your children without abandon or hesitation. Thank you for never saying “that’s not your place” or telling me that I’ve crossed a line. Thank you for trusting me with your children; for letting me handle pick-ups and drop-offs, for letting me tag along to their open houses at school. Thank you for letting me be not just their stepmother, but a huge part of their lives.

When I became a stepmom, everybody warned me that it was going to be the hardest job I ever had. They told me that I would face insecurities, worries and fears. They told me that I might feel out of place and that I might not feel like part of the family.

Thank you for being such an incredible mama to your little ones.

But I can honestly say that I’ve never felt any of those things, and I am so grateful that is the case. I’ve always credited the kids with how easy it was for me to become a stepmom, how easy it was for me to slide in and be part of this family, but the reason the kids made it so easy is because you made it so easy.

You have put your children first from the very beginning and, if you’ve ever had an issue or problem with me, you’ve never let that stop you from giving your children the best possible outcome from the divorce: a happy family. Between all four of us parents, we’re able to give these kids an amazing life and childhood. I have no doubt that they’ll know how lucky they are when they become adults because they already know how good it is now. When they see all of us trick-or-treating together, when they see us texting each other about their days at school or meeting up for lunch before 1st grade field day, they notice. They know how special this all is, how unique our family is. And they know it’s all for them.

You’ve joked before that you’ll probably be the one holding my hand when I deliver a baby of my own, but I hope you know just how important I think you’ll be to any of my “biological” children. I want them to know that you’re part of their family, too. I want them to feel comfortable being at your house, to give you a hug when they see you at Trey’s T-ball game, to sit next to you during Chloe’s honors ceremony. I want them to know you as Chloe and Trey’s mama, and I want them to know that the reason I can love their big brother and big sister with all of my heart is because of you.

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Chloe asks if her future siblings will call you their “step-step mama.” I laughed and told her that was a good idea because you’ll always be a part of their life. She smiled. I think she liked that idea, too.

Thank you for being such an incredible mama to your little ones, and thank you for letting me be part of their lives without trepidation or fear. Thank you.

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