My Failure as a Step-Mother

March 4, 2017

The only thing my husband asked me to do was to love her. I did not know how difficult it would be to find a way to express unconditional love to a child that hated me before she ever met me. At this point in time I have failed that mission. My husband wanted me to teach her lessons that he wasn’t able to and that her mother found ‘inappropriate’. I could go on and on about how others helped me fail at being a step-mother capable of expressing unconditional love, but that would be…..lame…..and ‘inappropriate’ or as my step-daughter and I would say, ‘apricot’. We, my step-daughter, husband and I became so tired of hearing how inappropriate things were at our house that we just could not stand the sound of the word anymore. So we came up with an alternative….’apricot’.
I guess with all the variables to factor into a blended family ours began with an unmarried couple who had one child together who has two half siblings that she absolutely adores. The relationship did not work for reasons not my business. Plus, a divorced couple together for 14 years, married for 8 – two children – daughters, aged 3 & 18 months at the time of the divorce. Father introduced his 2nd wife while the children were still young, remarried a woman with no children. That leaves me; divorced, single mom in recovery from a myriad of ails, often used against me on any given day in a variety of ways by the above mentioned people. This is all behind me now.
I met and married my 2nd husband after a year of living together and did no research on how to go about combining all the bits and pieces of our family under one roof. We both thought, three girls…how much fun, how difficult could it possibly be. Well, combine the way things are at the other parents’ house, the way things were before we met and the fantasy of how things should be and you get one big mother f*cking mess. There is no other way to say it.
Now in my situation, all the adults temporarily lived back with their parents for a while, so add that variable which could help and/or hinder depending on the day. In our house we talk. We talk a lot. We talk about everything from feelings and emotions to sex and drugs. Yes, I discuss sex and drugs with my children. Openly, honestly and to the point of un-comfortability. And you want to know why? Because I would rather my children feel uncomfortable in the comfort of their own home, with their mother, gaining knowledge of their own bodies and sexuality rather than in a classroom, in the closet at a party (do kids still do that?) or worse, stark naked in the bedroom of their boyfriend’s house. I have to keep it real, people.
I stop explaining when the kids tell me they’re done. Now that they are older, time and time again they do tell me that they learned about this and that in school and when I ask if they are glad I told them ahead of time they answer me, ‘Yes’. Knowledge is power. Power is important when it comes to a girl deciding what she will and will not allow happen to her body. Being the slightest bit informed as to why their body feels the way it does could prepare or prevent them from going too far before they are ready. I do not condone anything. I am simply providing accurate information as opposed to the false, misleading, inaccurate information easily accessible online!
Now, enter in husband #2 and his only child and daddy’s little girl, my step-daughter. Innocent and pure, naïve and helpless. At 10 years old, this child knew nothing of her own body. Certain words were not to be mentioned. Now I say, words, not the actual meaning or content of the word. I mean the actual letters put together to sound out a word…sex. She did not know what sex meant in any semantic. Her father wanted so much to inform her of everything, everything any 10 year old child should know. Obviously, some topics were outside the scope of his experience so for those topics he initiated the conversation and asked me to fill in the details. This information was reported back to her mother. With that a lawsuit ensued and ultimately, we lost….

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