Monday, May 9, 2011

The Year We All Stopped Pretending

Neither of my stepdaughters acknowledged me this Mothers Day. Nor did I acknowledge my own stepmother.

It's alright. They have a mother. I am not their mother, nor have I ever ever fallen into such a role. I am a friend and their father's new wife. Nothing more.

I spent a good many years feeling guilty about that, and perhaps shameful over the reality of divorce for the kids. I thought that in the end it was all going to be okay because the kids would go from having one family to having two families. But that's not the case. They lost a family, but still have a mother and a father. Perhaps that is the bittersweet result of a divorce where both parents still stay involved with the kids.

I want to tell myself that I did the best I could under the circumstances, but I should have done better. So its alright but it's not. It's alright in that I don't fault them for not calling, or texting, or emailing. It's not alright to the extent I am responsible for that.

Divorce was absolutely the right thing for both me and my ex and my husband and his ex and all the kids involved. I maintain that we would have done greater harm to the kids had we pretended, or not pretended, through hurtful relationships that set terrible examples and sucked the life out of the house. Yet I do realize the trade off that we made on their behalf.


  1. Sigh. I can't even imagine. I have a stepmother, but she was pretty horrible, and my father and I are now estranged.

    They'll come around. Maybe they won't send you cards on Mother's Day, but they'll probably want to borrow your clothes, which is a much higher compliment.

  2. I had a wonderful stepmother that I miss terribly (she passed way many years ago). My mother hated the woman but my stepmother had nothing to do with my parents breakup. Heck, I got along better with my stepmom than my Dad! My husband also has a wonderful relationship with his stepmom. I think stepparents get a bad rap. Hugs to you.