The Beginning

I decided to start this blog while I was crying. Leaning over my countertop in my kitchen, tears dripping into my perfectly steeped mug of Harney & Son's cherry blossom green tea (with a touch of honey). It wasn't sweet or pretty. I was gross crying. Sobbing, mucusy sniffles, boogers all up in there. Crying because I was tired, exhausted, worn out. I'm sure everyone who counts themselves a mom has locked themselves in a bathroom for a good cry but I'm not sure if anyone short of a stepmom can't even make it down the hall. It. Is. All. So. Much.

Really good Stepmoms are simultaneously seen as less than and doing more than. How can I reconcile that?

And on this particular day, I realized something important. I'm not ever going to be okay with my stepkids love for me being conditional. But it is. They love me on the condition of my relationship with their Daddy. We split up, I never see them again. And I guess when you really break it apart, that's okay in the grand scheme of things. I'm just never going to be okay with it. They are my babies but they also aren't mine at all.

My fiancé and I can't create a world in which they need me. They need their mom. They are just lucky to have me. But we can't create a world in which they feel lucky to have me either. I am everything their birth mother is not, everywhere she falls short or selfish I exceed expectations and am selfless. I'm not inflating either, I'm just honest and self aware (more on that in the future). It's not fair that no matter what I do the fact remains that deep down, at least my oldest stepdaughter but likely all my stepkids, will always wish she was more like me and never accept me for who I truly am in their lives. It's not fair but that's life.

I can speak rationally about all this right now. But at that moment, my heart was broken and my eyes were on fire and the tears just rolled down my cheeks and into that mug of tea like an avalanche of rocks falling into an open sea. They are my family.

No matter what I do, I am never enough. I can't love them so much it fixes what is broken and I can't go on giving away all my love without getting back.
But they are my family.

Step-parenting is so lonely. Am I really alone?