My journey as a not-really mom began almost three years ago when my husband and I got married. However, I met my not-really son when he was just two and half years old. My husband and I dated for five months before I met his son because we wanted to make sure that our relationship was serious and lasting. His little boy stole my heart from the beginning and I love him like he is my own child.
My not-really son has a wonderful mom and step-dad and two beautiful sisters in the town that he lives. Grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles that adore him. Both there and here. He is blessed with lots of family and even more love.
He is with us every other weekend, rotating holidays and four weeks out of the summer. It seems like it is a fair amount of time, but in reality it is not nearly enough. Not for hearts that long to be with him all the time.
We are a blended family. Picture throwing everyone in a blender and turning it on high. That is what a blended family feels like. We are mixed together. Thrown in situations together. And sometimes the mixture is lumpy. Sometimes the blender doesn't mix us all up in a smooth concotion. Sometimes the top of the blender flys off and it gets messy. Such is the nature of a blended family.
I do not have many friends that share in my experience, so there are not many people to share my feelings with that can really understand. I mean, REALLY understand. And until you are a not-really mom, it is impossible to fully understand the ins and outs involved in the blended family.
Being a not-really mom is hard. Really hard. On many different levels. But I would not trade it for the world. Because I have a not-really son who is wonderful. He is intelligent, athletic, talented, respectful, well-mannered, loving, caring. He has a heart of gold.
It is a difficult line to walk, especially when you are a real mom. You do your best to not treat the children differently. But there is a different set of rules that apply to each child.
As a not-really mom, I do not have the ability to make decisions about his schooling, his interests, his hobbies, or his discipline. My husband does a phenomenal job of including me in the decision making process, but ultimately, the decision lies with him and my not-really son's mom. For the most part, the two of them work really well together to make decisions in the best interests of their son.
But anytime you have two separate households with vested interest in a child, conflicts will arise. Emotions will be stirred. Words will be exchanged. Feelings will get hurt.
These situations do not negate the fact that the child is loved and nutured and cared for in both homes.
But through lots of prayer, we have learned to forgive ourselves for our mistakes and to forgive others for hurting us.
It has only been recently that I have discovered my role as a not-really mom. My role is to be another positive female role model in my not-really son's life. A Christian woman who will point him to Jesus. My responsibility to him is the same as my responsibility to my daughter. To raise them according to Proverbs 22:6. To train them up in the ways of the Lord.
I take my responsibility seriously. Not because he doesn't have other Christian women in his life. But because I have been honored with the responsibility and I will held accountable for it one day by my Father.
I have been blessed with two amazing children. A not-really son and daugther. I am a not-really mama to one and mama to the other. But my job is the same for both. And I will do it to the best of my ability; seeking direction, guidance and wisdom from the Lord.
"Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts.
Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children.
Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street;
talk about them from the time you get up in the morning
to when you fall into bed at night.
Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder;
inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates."
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (MSG)