From Mom to Step-mom:
I wanted to share with the world how much you are appreciated. While your husband works many hours a day, and you are caring for two babies, you also do so much for my daughters.
It is not easy to drop your children off every few days, while trusting that they will be safe, especially in the beginning. I know it must be difficult to go from having no children, to having four children in a very short time. I can not begin to know how difficult it can be to step in and parent another woman’s daughters, especially when one is a teenager. I know that you have to constantly think of how to parent them without stepping on my toes, without coming across as the bad guy, and all while trying to treat them the same as your own children. I just want to say how much I appreciate you.
From Step-mom to Mom:
It is without words the best feeling in the world to feel appreciated by someone. Even more so when in under normal circumstances you would not expect a letter like this coming from a person in your position. As the stepmother to your children it means more then you will every know. I never knew how hard it was going to be to be a mother, let alone a stepmother. [Note to readers: Molly had not given birth to her two daughters when she first got involved with Trish’s daughters.]
Walking into the relationship, I did not knowing what I was about to face and who I was about to face–I am truly lucky that it was you. I have learned so much about being a mom from trying so hard to be a parental figure to these girls. I truly feel that my success as a stepmother has a lot to do with you.
I was not there in the beginning during those late night feedings or upset stomachs. [Note to readers: Molly was just giving birth to her own child at this time.] I didn’t read them stories at bed time or wipe their tears when they were sad. When you are not present for the beginning of a child’s life, there is a lot you don’t know about them. If it wasn’t for you I would not be able to be the stepmother or mother that I am. You have taught me what each of these girls’ needs and wants are. You have shown me how to be that second mom to them when they are with their dad. They know that I never want to take your place when they are with us, but they allow me to step in as their second choice when they can’t have you–and its all because of you.
Because you have always spoken kind words in my direction even before truly knowing me. And you have taught me all the little things that make them who they are. You have taught me what each girl needs individually, what they need to hear when they are sad. How one wants you to lay with her when she is sick until she falls asleep. How the other just needs that positive advice that it will get better and everything will be okay. These are all things I wouldn’t be able to do if you weren’t here telling me.
No one knows a child like their mother does. Because of you I have been able to learn so much about these girls. I would be lost without that knowledge. You made a decision long before you really knew me to always put your children above your own needs and feelings. I truly believe that is the definition of what a great mom is. So thank you, thank you for being that mom that so many other children from divorced families need. That unselfish, brave, courageous, and honest mother. I can’t thank you enough for being there to teach me what I needed to know about these girls. Because without that I would have been lost. You are truly a remarkable women.
Thank you for being a friend.
For more on what co-parenting means to Molly and I, on Her View From Home.
Photograph of Molly and Ayden by Photography by Bethany.
Trish Eklund is taking a nontraditional approach to parenting children after divorce and remarriage. Raising her two daughters of ten and fourteen with her husband, ex-husband, and his wife, they consult one another on all parenting decisions. Trish has been featured on www.playground-magazine.com, and www.bigblendedfamily.com. She is a regular writer on www.herviewfromhome.com, writer and co-editor for Her View From Omaha. Follow her on Twitter: @trishiewriter, Google +, and Pinterest.