I still don’t know my role. Some days I’m a mother, some days I’m an aunt, a sister, a friend a teacher or an enemy. There is no defined role set for me and there are no boundaries either. I should be what I want to be in her life, but this is difficult at times. I hardly know when to intervene or when I’m overstepping.
It’s really difficult to be a step parent. It is definitely more difficult than being a parent from my experience. There are many emotions and conflicts to balance. Juggling between a step child and bio child can also be difficult at times. I often feel like I neglect my son in favour for my daughter.
The first cut is the deepest. I remember exactly when she said her first derogatory words to me. She called me an evil step mom after I asked her to tidy her room on a Monday. (I clean it every Sunday). These words cut through me and I had to take a moment to cool off. I didn’t shout or react, but I told her that her words hurt me.
Step parenting can be fun. It is a wonderful experience. We have done many family outings and ‘dates’ that have strengthened our bond. I love getting involved in her life and learning more about her every day. I try to be less serious and engage her in a balanced way. I leave the discipline to her dad. I have found things we like to do together like baking and reading, which makes our days together even more fun.
I’m not her mother. She has a mother and I have no aspiration to be that in her life. I have been given the opportunity to be more than a mother. I can be anyone I want to be to her. I can give her advice and inspire her. I can help raise her to be the most amazing version of herself she can be. She and I can have a special relationship that is not confined to the label mother.
I love like I’ve never loved before. I had no idea that I was capable of loving another human the way I love her. She is so vibrant and intelligent. She makes my heart sing. I love everything about her, the good and the bad. I’ve learnt most of all that you don’t need to birth a child to love them.