A mom’s honest post about the “other” woman in her daughter’s life is resonating with thousands online.
In a post shared by the Love What Matters Facebook page, mom Audrey Nicole shares a picture of the two and writes: “This is my daughter’s father’s girlfriend. The sweetest thing ever! I’m super thankful for her because when she visits her dad she feeds her, takes care of her, buys her gifts, and basically takes care of her like her own.”
In the post Audrey questions why some women act “so spiteful and jealous” in a divorce situation when another woman enters the picture. And while divorce and co-parenting is a complex and difficult situation with many facets to consider, Audrey cuts to the heart of the matter for a lot of stepparents when she says, “NO ONE said it was easy trying to be a mother to a kid you didn’t have.”
It’s hard getting involved with someone who has a child. Not only are you dating the person, but you are trying to find your place in that child’s life, as well as in the lives of their extended family, their ex, and a whole mess of friends and well meaning (and not so well meaning) people along the way. Being a stepparent can be a thankless job. But stepparents still show up every day to make breakfast, attend mind-numbing school choir concerts, play catch, and read bedtime stories. They are often the ones who get very little credit, taking a backseat when the “real” parents are acknowledged.
RELATED POST: What It REALLY Feels Like to Be Divorced with Kids
Audrey adds: “A kid can have two moms because in my eyes the more people that love her I’m happy! I would never make her feel like an outsider; I’m extremely thankful for this girl.”
I, for one, adore my kids’ stepmom. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t used to worry whether she would love them enough. Would she pay attention to them? Challenge them? Or worse. Would they love her more than they love me? These are very typical, normal responses as family dynamics change. As soon as I began to see the benefits of having another loving parent in their lives, the fear vanished. You know the saying it takes a village? Some villages may have more members than originally imagined, but it doesn’t make us any less of a family.
Audrey advises other mothers to “love more, hate less” and to focus their energy on being good mothers themselves.
I would agree this is sound advice. I would note this is easier to do when you have the right people in your child’s life, ones who are positive influences and only want the best for your children. It sounds like Audrey does. And I count myself enormously lucky that I do as well. I can imagine when you are not as fortunate, this may be tougher advice to follow.
The post has already garnered over 5.6K likes and 1.6K comments with positive notes pouring in from families in similar situations. It’s encouraging to see so many families out there figuring out a way to make it work.
RELATED POST: The Unexpected Upside of Being a Child of Divorce