Thank You: From a Divorced Dad to His Wife

ID-100106167This is a comment a divorced dad left on my blog post “Stepmoms, you knew what you were getting into.” He sees his wife’s contributions and sacrifices with absolute clarity and appreciation, and I wanted all stepmoms to benefit from his sentiment. Thanks, David!

Hello Stepmoms,

First off I would like to thank Jenna for taking the time to share something that should be required reading for anyone involved with a stepfamily. Every member of a stepfamily has their own struggles to deal with, but what so often gets overlooked are the efforts of the stepmom. She has adopted a family that wasn’t her own, but so often has to pickup the shattered pieces of a divorce, wounded kids and distressed husbands, and then carry these broken hearts as if they were her own.

Never knowing what to expect, she ventures into each day frazzled from the day before. Disrespected by kids, exhausted by court battles, clinging to her own sanity and always asking the question, “how did I get to this place in my life, when all I wanted was the love of the man I married.” There was no way you could have known the trials associated with that love, or the depths of strength you would have to tap into just to make it through another day. You are the unsung heros of your family.

I never realized even a fraction of what I was going to put my wife through, even before we got married. At 44 she had never had kids of her own. I had three kids from a previous marriage, all of which had been emotionally abused by their bio-mom. Like the story goes, before we were married, my two younger daughters took to my wife, the younger one even calling her mom a couple of times. But then entered my 22 year old son with a chip on his shoulder, and single handedly turned them against both of us and then blasted my wife for no reason other than to try to rob me of my happiness because he was mad at me for seeing someone new.

Not knowing what to expect, having never had kids, my wife had only shown love to all of them and this was a stab in the heart. Since then we have battled to put things back together again and have had several struggles with my girls, guardian ad litems, custody battles, counselors and senseless court hearings.

Often her sanity has hung from a thread, and not even our wedding day was completely happy because of my sulking daughter. My wife has been through hell and back and still she struggles to do all that she can to understand how to be a better stepmom. I love her more each day for the love and endurance that she gives to each of us, especially since so little is returned back to her. This is a very weak tribute to her devotion and not enough words can be said to honor her efforts. But if nothing else I hope she knows that she is loved.

Stepmoms are very special women that deserve far more than they get, and I am thankful for all of the sacrifices and devotion you make to better the lives that you touch, and the love that you give. God bless all of you!

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Stepmother’s Day Is On Its way!

 

Did you know that Stepmother’s Day is on the Sunday following Mother’s Day? If not, you’re not alone.

It’s not an official holiday. You might find one or two Stepmother’s Day cards at a random Hallmark store. And I heard that Walmart sells a “#1 stepmom shirt.” But other than that, it’s a day that will likely come and go without notice by most of society.

Some stepmoms couldn’t care less about Mother’s Day. They don’t feel like “mom” and have no desire to be celebrated as such.

But others dread the day. Will they be acknowledged for “mothering” their stepchildren? Will their husbands even think to celebrate them? And if not, what does that mean about their value as a stepmom?

About the kids…

Depending on your situation, the kids might not feel right celebrating you on Mother’s day. Even if they hold you in the highest regard, they may feel like they’re betraying mom if they celebrate you on her day.

I would tell you not to take it personally, but you probably will anyways. So let your family know about Stepmother’s Day, it’s a great way for the kids to be able to celebrate you without the guilt.

About the Men…

If you’re looking for acknowledgment, whether it be on Mother’s Day or Stepmother’s Day, you’re probably going to have to ask for it.

If you find yourself thinking “he should know…” then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and setting him up for failure.

Men are not mind readers and they don’t take hints. Which means your fantasy of a surprise celebration in your honor most likely won’t happen unless you’ve told him you’d like a surprise celebration on this day and at this time.

I know that doesn’t sound romantic, but if you look at it like he really does want to make you happy, he just needs to know how – well that’s pretty darn romantic. So do everyone a favor and set your husband up for success.

All he really wants is to make you happy, so help him accomplish that and the whole family wins. 

About you…

What does this day mean to you? Are you letting your worth as a woman and a stepmom be determined by the level of acknowledgment from your family? If so, I urge you to think twice. Find your value in yourself, in who you are as a person.

There are a million reasons that your family might not think to celebrate you (that’s why I suggest you remind them), but it has nothing to do with you. You’re a valuable member of your family and you’re loved.

Your footprint is evident in the new man your husband has become since meeting you and the positive light you’ve added to your stepchild’s life.

Whether you receive a card or not, those facts remain the same. As does the love your family has for you.

Happy Step/Mother’s Day, stepmoms!

© 2012 Jenna Korf    All Rights Reserved

Do you feel unsure about your role as a stepmom? The Role-Clarity intensive starts Wednesday, May 10th. Join us for this 2-week, online and interactive workshop!

(photo credit:savit keawtavee) 
 

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