They say that being a mom is hard but rewarding “job”. Well I would have to say that being a stepmother is even harder and in my case not very rewarding. I met my stepsons when they were 8 and 10…now they are 14 and 16 (about to be 15 and 17)…but not much has changed during this time except that I have given birth to 3 children of my own and truly know the meaning of unconditional love.
My stepsons didn’t have the easiest start in life. I only know bits and pieces of what happened in their lives back then but somehow even though I have tried to give them stability and love over the past six and a half years, the emotional scars that they endured still linger. Therefore leaving me with an unattainable “motherhood”. Which in turn leaves me extremely frustrated. When they were younger I understood that they were just young boys and that I was going to have to work at gaining their trust and love but I am no further in grasping that obstacle then I was when I started. So why not just give up?
My husband had a step child for about 5 minutes in his previous relationship so of course that makes him an expert now on the subject. Therefore trying to talk to him about it is pretty much pointless. He just gets aggravated and thinks that I should just try harder. But now that they are approaching young adulthood how much effort am I supposed to make when I feel no return? Just like any other relationship at some point when love isn’t reciprocated one just stops trying. It’s hard to think or feel that way but at the same time I didn’t give birth to them therefore the unconditional love that I feel for my own children does not come naturally with my step children. And the feeling of wanting to nurture them has been shaded by the constant feeling of being the “step monster” even though I have been with them longer then their real mother ever was.
I accepted a long time ago that they had a mother and that even though she has been in and out of their lives that she was and still is their mother. I have never asked them to call me mom nor have I ever expected it from them. I had a stepfather growing up and I had no desire to call him dad because I already had a dad that was actively involved in my life. It’s truly the lack of love and respect for me as the person who has been the feeling of stability for them for over the past 6 years that leaves me with this feeling of failure as a step parent.
They aren’t bad kids by any means. They are your typical teenage boys with a few broken pieces that haven’t quite been mended. My husband did a good job of teaching them about life long before I came along. Even at 8 and 10 they knew how to “survive” more then most adults I knew. I guess somehow by me stepping in and trying to fill a void of female nurturing I thought that in time they would learn to at least say “I love you” without a disgruntled expression or mumbling it beneath their breath. But nothing about that has changed. And quite honestly the older they get, the harder it becomes for me to say knowing that is the type of response I will get.