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I have a very unique situation with our blended family. We actually have 3 “others” (I hate using the term ex). My husband has 2 and I have 1. I’ll break it down for you: Wife #1 we have 3 girls with, Wife #2 we have 1 son with and Husband #1 we have 1 son and 1 daughter with.
All three of these relationships have had their ups and downs. Our motto is: “never have more that two conflicts at once”. Yes, that sounds crazy, even to me, as I type it! In fact, as of this moment, we only have 1 conflict right now, but girl it’s a doozy.
Things are bad…really bad with the girl’s mother. I honestly wake up every day and think, ok today is a new day and things are going to get better starting right now. Most days, by the end of the day I think, “wow, didn’t see that coming.” Even still, I wake up every day with renewed hope in my heart. I don’t know how to fix it, I don’t even know where to start. I pray and I write and I pray more. In that writing I have found myself writing letters to her over and over again. I never plan on sending them; writing feels so therapeutic to me…I guess that’s why I’m a blogger!
It dawned on me to create a post with my letter to my stepdaugher’s mom. I know so many people whose relationships with their “others” is worse than ours. If my pain and struggle can help someone else then it is worth putting my heart out there.
Here it is…
What I would say in my letter to my stepdaughter’s mom
1. I am not a threat; I am not trying to replace you.
I know you are their mother. You carried them for 9 months, nurtured them, kissed their boo-boos, you loved them first. I have my own bio children; I can relate 100% to what you are feeling. I know that if it were not for you (and your marriage to my husband) I wouldn’t have these beautiful girls in my life. However, I believe that children can never have to many people who love them. And the same way parents can love multiple kids, kids can love multiple parents.
I entered their life late in the game; they are teenagers already. They are already amazing, strong, smart, independent girls and I know without a shadow of a doubt, that is due to you their Mom.
In addition to all the things that make blended families challenging, I realize I entered their life after a second failed marriage and please know that I feel the weight of that pain they experienced at the hands of a Step-mom. I promise that I will protect their hearts for the rest of my life.
I also want you to know that when they are with us, I will love them with my whole heart, nurture them as a mother, and give them what the need and most importantly what they deserve.
2. I’m sorry for what went wrong with your marriage to my husband but it is not my fault.
I know you didn’t plan this. You didn’t see me as ever being a part of your daughter’s lives. When you got married, divorce was never in your mind. You never thought that you would be forced to deal with another woman being part of raising your daughters. You never imagined your daughters loving me unconditionally as a mother or that I would love them unconditionally as my own daughters.
I know this because I feel the same way about my own experience. It doesn’t matter how many years pass, we will still feel the pain of that loss. The pain we feel for our children because they are now living in two homes at no fault of their own, they didn’t ask for this life. But it is the life they have. We can let our minds dwell in that or we can take it as it is and learn from it and become stronger mothers who raise stronger daughters.
Please stop hating me for loving your daughters.
3. I want to be on the same team – not opposing teams
In the eyes of the girls we are both moms. They love both of us and benefit from us being on the same team, not in competition with each other. I read this somewhere (I’m sure on Pinterest)
“Biomoms and stepmoms need not compete. When was the last time you saw someone try to beat a team member in a relay race?”
This is so true. We have the same end goal: to raise happy, strong, independent, talented, amazing young women. You gave the world the gift of these girls. I don’t want to compete with you I want to run the race being on your team.
I also want to say that at some point in time (if I haven’t already) I will step on your toes. I want you to know that I am just a mom with motherly instincts. I am sure that I will make a parenting decision that you do not agree with; I promise you it will be from the best place in my heart and not ever something that would be intentionally to hurt you. I will always act in what is best for the girls, that is a promise I can make with my whole heart.
4. I am sorry that we started this whole process wrong.
I think we can both agree on that statement. In the beginning we met for lunch and I think we both walked away from that with the best intentions. There was even a period of time we communicated with each other directly. I am not sure what happened to cause our relationship to take a turn for the worse and if I did something to cause that I assure you it was not intentional. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for my part in hurting this relationship. I would like to take this opportunity to start this relationship over. I would like to know what it was in your mind that caused that turn so that I can make every effort not to repeat that behavior.
I could go on for days. Ultimately in this letter to my stepdaughter’s mom, what I would love to accomplish may be different than what you as a mom (step or bio) would want to accomplish. Every situation is unique and everyone’s perspective is different. It is with my whole heart that I share this letter with the world. I know everyone’s relationships are different and there may be moms out there reading this and hating me. That is ok.
Just My Opinion:
The above statements are just my opinion based off my personal experience. I am not trained as a counselor or advisor in any way.