To my kid’s new stepmom:
I am writing to you in all honesty and truth, so that we can move forward in the relationships we have with my children. I want you to know that I do not hate you, I do not dislike you and I am not jealous of you. Having been divorced a few years, there are no strings I am left standing here clinging to. When the choice was made for the marriage to end, that was it for me. I accepted it for what it was and emotionally moved on. I am not one to act out of stifled maturity, not wanting to meet you, hating you, refusing my children to be around you or pretending that you don’t exist. I have given my children permission from day one to build a relationship with you, even love you.
Really, it’s okay.
I know I’m their mom, and I know I’m a damn good one. You’ve probably guessed that by how easy they are to raise and how respectful they are of you and their father. And that’s exactly the way I want it. I do not feel as though you’ll “replace” me in their hearts or lives, because I’m a grown woman and able to behave as such. I am secure in my children’s love and devotion to me, so I will never engage in competition with you.
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I thank you. Thank you for your kindness to them. Thank you for accepting them into your heart and into your life and new home. If there’s one thing I can empathize with, it’s how difficult it would be to be a stepparent when a biological parent exists only to create discord. That would never be my desire for you or for my children.
I am happy that we have built a kind relationship on our shared values that has put the children first. I thank you for praying when my grandmother was dying. I thank you for easy text conversations devoid of weirdness. I’m grateful that the way we have treated each other could be an example for anyone who finds themselves in a family with stepchildren.
It is my opinion that it is up to the biological parent to be open, mature and emotionally adult enough to reach out in kindness to a potential or new stepparent. To give them a chance to grow a relationship with the children and allow children to see that, for their own benefit. As a result, my children speak freely of you in our home, free of condemnation.
We may never be considered “friends” because of the nature of our relationship. But we are comrades in the lives of these two wonderful little people that I willingly share with you. It is my goal to always keep communication as open and easy as it has been over the past couple of years, because it has been good for their developing hearts and souls. It’s not easy to be a stepparent, I know. I’ve been there. So it is my vow that I will never treat you the way that I have been treated in the past. What good does that do anyone, most especially children? You, as another parent in my children’s lives, deserve better than that, and so do they. I’m glad we did this right.
Onward in life,
This post was originally published on BlogHer.