I am a brilliant mom, even if a terrible stepmom
After so much sharing about what a horrible stepmom I am, I want to remind myself what a great mom I am. My psychiatrist said I would have been better off not having kids – in hindsight.
But my boys, tweenies, are my chance to love until my heart bursts. They are pieces of me, and yet I feel I am hosting them for a few moments until they walk away. Loving my boys means I get to love my vulnerable inside, and love without condition. So I am not quite sure Dr L is right.
I am a good mother. I have over-worried about colic, rashes and asthma. I have introduced my boys to hiking, squash and pottery. Also skiing in Lesotho. We drove over the border and managed as an unusual threesome with the other men-headed families at the resort. I have taken them for holidays to the sea, the bush and the mountains. I have scanned all their school reports and kept all their presents.
I have a routine with each of them in turn every night (four nights a week): 1.reading time 2.talking time 3.loving time. This can take me two hours if I am not careful. But after being at work all day, with everything else done (thank you God for the Helper in my life), this is my absolute pleasure.
And also not seven nights a week, thank goodness. Their dad treats them to movies, coke and late nights, I suspect, on the other three nights. I like the fact that the boys get different home experiences. They are far more mature for the experience, and understand that life’s complexity exists. Their dad dotes on them, so life is magnificent at both homes.
I organise just-right birthday parties – hosted elsewhere and catered, thanks to my brilliant organisational skills. I have put every support structure in place – lift clubs, remedial support, ADD support, tutoring, sports training, and healthy food planning. I have a fantastic Nanny/Housekeeper who I love, respect and treat like gold. She is my boy’s second mother and makes my life possible. All meals prepared, she cleans the house better than a hotel, and buys the boy’s clothes on sale. She makes sure they are fed every night, including the nights when their dad picks them up. I earn enough so I can pay her enough. And pay for everything else.
Earning less since March caused me huge anxiety, because much of the above costs money. Little support from Ex-Hubby. Second Hubby and I manage our finances separately – he has sole financial responsibility for his kids and ex-wife, and I am pretty much responsible for my kids, with some help on school fees. Both of us gave away a lot of money in our divorces, starting from scratch in our 40s. But since quitting corporate early this year, I have managed. I got involved in the family business and likely to take on some additional consulting work. I am clear that there are certain parts of a mom’s job spec where I don’t excel. And other people are superior, and need to be paid. Like tutoring.
I have realised my limitations and give 100% as mom on the stuff I am good at. I must thank my first marriage for forcing me to earn and carry the family, as it’s here I was bizarrely empowered. I was so resentful at the time, and the financial imbalance largely led to my first marriage’s end. And yet and yet…. here I am: a better mom.
So that’s why I think I am a brilliant mom. I take ownership as their mother, I show my boys I love them, I am organised, I know my strengths and weaknesses and I always make a plan. When my boys tell me I am the best mom in the world, I tell them I am the best mom in the world for them. I am quite sure our dynamic works, but not all dynamics, from what I have seen. Myself as stepmom, for example, does not work at all!
But here’s to me as a bio-mom. I rock.