from a (step )mum
Sep 27, 2000
Four years ago I meet and fell in love with a wonderful man.After a failed marriage first time round,it was wonderful to find a man who was funny, deep ,good looking and honourable.He too shared similar experiences with his first marriage,we liked the same music,doing the same things and had just enough differences to give our relationship a spark(we have great discussions)
What I wasn't counting on was that all this...the man of my dreams came with a cost...three little children.My first husband was sterile, and while I wanted children, I was caught up in the "they have to be my own blood" idea.
Our courtship had to revolve around finding baby sitters, access,and putting the kids first...they had been through a lot.I was a real curiosity at first.Then the tanrums started ,the 10 year old girl threw tantrums in the street, ran away from home,the middle child never went to bed on time, the baby had colic and vomited all the time.
They didn't like my cooking, mum washed in different laundry powder, and did things differently.I made jokes when things got stressy,and they didn't know how to deal with that...their mum just yelled and ran away.
Finally, I freaked and told my love that I couldn't handle it...we shed tears at the side of the road .I felt a failure...mothering was a natural process,and I felt I was failing badly.
After some chat( I really love this guy) we tried a new strategy.I became the kids' friend, not a mum.We tried different things, and when I heard the words "mum doesn't do that" I told the kids that there were many ways of doing things...they realised that "there was more than one way to skin a cat "so to speak, and I learnt there is more than one way to be a parent.
The local kids mostly came from homes that were less than perfect and played with my eldest...their parents would be down at the pub drinking when they got home from school, and they got scared being alone.Soon I had about 10 kids a day coming to our house for sandwiches and snacks after school, and got someone to console them when they got frightened.My bread and sandwich filling bills were high, but the kids soon realised that I was there to protect them if things got hard,even if I was not a "real" mum in their eyes.
Their biological mum abducted them all and disappeared.Later we found they had been taken to another state ,and placed in foster care.
The family courts were our home away from home for many months.At night I would sit up typing briefs and and court papers.I was asked by the authorities how I felt about these kids, and realised I really loved them.
The courts realised this too, in time and the kids returned home...sadly they had changed.They had nightmares about being stolen,and what they had experienced with their real mum.I just listened,and cuddled them when they let me.
My eldest stepdaughter asked me one day "can I call you "mum"That was a turning point for all of us. Soon after , I fell pregnant and had a miscarriage. My daughter supported me ,and got help when the sad day of the death of my first "blood child" happened.
My step son doggedly refused to call me mum...but that was ok...until preschool rang one day saying he was scared and wanted his mother. When I got there to take him home I asked why he was missing his mum...he said "I pretend that you are my mummy..is that OK?" It was.
Now days I do all the usual mum things...washing , nag the kids to clean their rooms,watch them master the computor and playstation, read to them , teach them sewing and all the things I suppose mums are meant to do.I nurse them when they get sick, am happy when they do well at school.The funny thing is people often comment on how much the youngest resembles me.
We never did have a blood baby...but I am a full time stay at home mum.It is not always roses, but no parent child relationship ever is.
What makes it all worthwhile is when, as we watch TV in the evening after our buzy day, the kids all climb on top of me and say" I love you little mummy"
And we are trying as best we can to raise the kids to be kind, to love,and achieve their best.
It is hard slog...it has taken 4 years so far on this journey .But my husband always says "Try and learn one new thing every day" And I do,I have great teachers...my kids!
Well it was nice to chat but I must go..."Teddy the toilet lizard" is missing again, the eldest can't decide what to wear, and hubby can't find any work socks...
I am glad I hung in there...