A Tribute on Mother’s Day

8 05 2011

Ladies: I got this letter a few days ago from a man with four children and I wanted to share it with you. The Mother’s Day tribute from this man to his wife is gorgeous. May we all have spouses that appreciate what we do the way this man does! Happy Mother’s Day! 

Jacque,

I just read your book over the course of a two-day reading marathon. I couldn’t put it down. I loved it, and I’m not even your target audience. I’m the “biological father” of four kids whose ages range from eight to four. I downloaded your book for my Kindle, and after reading several chapters, I quite promptly ordered a print copy to give to my wife for Mother’s Day this year. I think she’s really going to benefit a lot just from the sheer validation that your book brings by acknowledging everything a stepmom goes through. I benefited from it immensely, because it gave me a much clearer insight into her world, what she’s probably feeling, what she’s probably thinking, and all the rest. I feel a lot more empathy for her, as well as a great deal more gratitude and appreciation for who she is and what she does.

I’m including below a short tribute that I wrote for my wife, who (no offense) is the best stepmom in the entire world. But really, it’s a tribute to all stepmoms, and I hope they all get a chance to hear something like this from their husbands. After all, they deserve it.

Thanks so much for your contribution.

————————-

Thank you, first of all, for embracing my children as your own (if not always internally, then at least outwardly, in all that you do for them). This is one of the biggest reasons why I married you in the first place, and it remains one of the biggest reasons why I would marry you all over again any day of the week.

I know you have mixed feelings about your success as a stepmom; sometimes you’re able to congratulate yourself and see how much you’ve accomplished, and sometimes you beat yourself up for being impatient or irritable. That makes you normal. I’m their father, and I still waffle between thinking I’m the Best Dad on Earth and thinking I should just surrender all of my parental visitation rights and move to Siberia. If I feel that kind of emotional conflict, you’re bound to feel it even more intensely, and I want you to know that I get that. I still think you’re an awesome stepmom; the best in the world, actually.

I want you to know that I acknowledge your right to get frustrated, have the occasional melt-down, and expect me to go the extra mile in helping you make this transition. It’s going to be an ongoing process, it will probably take years, and I don’t expect you to do it alone. I might get impatient with you sometimes because I see you struggling to act in ways that have become second-nature for me, but that’s just because I’ve forgotten (for the moment) how to empathize and see the world through your eyes. When I make myself see things from your vantage point, I get overwhelmed with the magnitude of the challenge you’ve taken on, and then I’m amazed that you’re even still in this marriage, let alone thriving and continuing to be the most incredible wife in the world.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you’re not a real mother. You may not have done the hard work of carrying these children in your body for nine months, going through labor, doing the late-night feedings and diaper changes, etc., but you’ve certainly done something equally difficult: you’ve accepted all the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities of motherhood – the extra laundry, the added chaos, mediating sibling rivalries, the scheduling nightmares, the truncated social calendar, the extra expenses, the bedtime rituals, the invasion of privacy and personal space – and you’ve done it all without the ace-in-the-hole of being able to say, “Because I’m your mother, that’s why.”

You’re not a biological mother. But you sure-as-hell have a right to call yourself a real mother.

I’m proud of you. This family of ours loves you, and that’s an accomplishment worth celebrating.

Oh yeah, and I love you too.🙂

Happy Mother’s Day.


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15 responses

9 05 2011
Sierra

That is so beautiful! And so nice for her to felt “heard” and appreciated. Thanks for sharing, I am going to share that with my hubby.

9 05 2011
emily

This is so touching in so many ways from a man that appreciates everything this woman goes thru to love him and his children on a day to day struggle. I had my boyfriend’s mother tell me” you know you’ll never be their mother”. I think as a stepmom or soon to be stepmom, NO One knows better that I am not the biological mom. No one feels it more and I don’t want anyone to think I want to take that position away from anyone. It’s a tough position must days but I know I’ll have done it all because of love. I am thankful that this gentleman was able to say it to his wife and hope that someday. The kids, my boyfriend’s family and everyone else can see it from me too.

17 06 2011
Maggie

Wow. Amazing. Nice that this man really gets what it’s like and can appreciate his wife in such a way that really honors the experience of stepmotherhood.

21 06 2011
momto3ofherown

Simply BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think this is the most heartfelt thing I have ever read….❤

7 10 2011
Jessica Orick

Beautiful! Way to make a girl cry! I can only hope my soon to be husband gets what I go through and I pray my soon to be step children can all appreciate some day. Thank you, as always, for sharing!❤

30 10 2011
Ann

What a wonderful, wonderful note! It really brought tears to my eyes. It’s sooo comforting to know that there are guys out there who truly appreciate what stepmoms and girlfriends of guys with kids go through. Bless his heart.

29 11 2011
andrea

Wow thats really amazing. I only wish i had that kind of support from my husband who’s son lives with us full time. As of recently the dead beat mom wants to assume her role of being mom after letting everyone else do it for the past 7 years ( I have been doing it the last 3.5). Now I am being told by both my husband and bm to Act like a stepmom. What does that look like? I dont know since I have been the only stable parent in his life since I came into it. I am the sole financial provider for my whole family which includes my own daughter with my husband. I provide everything for my step son and yet i am told not to act like his mom to just be step mom. Its ok for my bank account to act like mom but not me. The plans i make for my family as whole get pushed aside if bm wants the same thing. I even tried to be best friends with the bm and that worked until her insecurites as a bad mom got the best of her and she went off on me. For doing what I have always done…take care of her son. every day feels like a losing battle that I will never win. I feel so alone and my husband doesnt understand why i care so much because hes not my son and it shouldnt bother me. Im looking for answers, advice, support as I have none. My marriage is suffering horrbile and it all comes back to baby mama drama. Someone please help me

2 12 2011
Barb

What an amazing letter! She is a very lucky woman too – for you understanding & empathizing that it’s not easy being a step-mom & for validating what she really is. She may not be their biological mom but you’re right – she is a “mom”. Thanks for sharing!

12 12 2011
Confused

I’m currently dating a guy who has a child and I was looking on this website for advice. After reading the letter above, I’m not sure whether I should feel positive about moving forward with my relationship or if I should scream and run away.

The thought that when a biological father tries to empathize and he instantly feels “overwhelmed with the magnitude of the challenge” of a stepmother – well if HE could feel that way just by empathizing, imagine how SHE feels! Yikes! Then there’s the fact that the first sentence in the letter is “Thank you for embracing my children as your own.” I don’t think there’s anything wrong with embracing someone else’s children as your own. But I really do not want to do that. The reason why is that I do not see his child as my own.

While I may admire his child and wish for the best for his child, the fact remains that his child is not my child. Everyone has an opinion, but my personal opinion is: If it is not my child, why would I embrace the child as my own? Why would I do all of these things for children which aren’t mine? It feels like being taken advantage of. It feels like someone is saying to me “Here, the mother and I cannot handle taking care of our child, so we are going to place all the extra responsibility on you.” What could be so worthwhile to be burdened by all the extra responsibility of a child that is not yours? To watch them grow up, cook, clean, drive, pay and not even have the satisfaction that it is a part of you which is being carried on? I don’t understand why a woman would subject herself to that. Am I thinking too critically or negatively? Or am I just trying to protect myself. I think time will tell.

6 01 2012
smom

Confused – It is a really dificult thing to do and I believe it takes a very particular type of person to be able to be with someone that has a child with someone else. I only wish I knew then what I know now and I most likely would have made a different choice. While I love my husband and our daughter that we have together the stress, drama and all the negativity that I get for being a good stepmom is beyond overwhelming. It causes a multiple of problems in my marriage and in my life in general. When ever I have a friend that starts to date someone with a child I tell them not to. My experience has been so traumatizing that I wouldnt wish it on anyone. While every situation is different and some parents have worked out co parenting so well that it works for everyone, but i thinks that’s the exception. As someone that has taken on all of the responsibility because the biological mother cannot (but she still wants to have the power of being mom) I have had all those same feelings and it is very dificult to deal with. Think very long and hard about what you want your life to look like and if you are the type of person that can handle a mixed family. Good luck!

4 03 2012
Jan

Beautiful letter, congratulations. I couldn’t have write it better. I wish one day I can get something similar from my husband but more important I wish one day he could understand me more and better sometimes. Your wife is very lucky to have you by her side in this difficult journey that goes parallel to marriage. My husband is wonderful and we have an amazing marriage, however we are still learning a lot of how to work better as a team when it comes to his teenager ( 13) daughter specially. I am sure I will probably need to approach sites like this more often, read more books and meet more step-moms like me to learn and get some strength when I feel running away or scared if I don’t feel his support or frustrated when he is not understanding me. I would like him to read that book as well. I am sure it would help us to keep our marriage strong. I am so glad I came across to this site, adding it to my favorites. Thank you for sharing. – P.S. What is the title of the book?

22 03 2012
Crystal

Very beautiful…

16 04 2012
Sue So

Well that just brought me to tears. Perfect.

30 04 2012
Elizabeth Grant

This letter was so touching because it validated all the quiet sacrifices we make sometimes without even realizing it. If we only measure our relationships with our step-kids as an indicator of our worth, we will have MANY days were we will come up short.

29 01 2013
Mary

This almost brought tears to my eyes. I am in a serious committed relationship with a man go has two children from his previous relationship, and he is just as amazing as the man from this post. He truly respects and loves me, and readily includes me in his children’s life as “momma Mary.” True, his ex is the devil, but it is all so much more bearable with an amazing partner by your side.

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