To the mother of my boys

I have started this letter so many times and so many times I have hit the delete button – if only everything in life could be changed or altered by a ‘delete’ button. If it could what would you change?

Would you have tried harder to make your marriage work?  Would you have spent more time with the boys when they were younger? Would you have made more of an effort to act in a decent and honest way? Would you have still blamed me for everything that has gone wrong in your life?
 
You see, for the past 9 years I have been your ‘get out of jail card’ when things have gone wrong. I have either been blamed or have been left to pick up the pieces. When you wanted to make a go of your career, it was me that put mine on hold to be there for the boys. When you wanted to move your life on and meet new people, it was me who stayed in every weekend looking after the boys. When you went from bad relationship to bad relationship, it was me who stayed strong and consistent for the boys. When you racked up huge amounts of debt, it was me who worked my backside off to pay it.
 
On paper it looks very much like you have been the one to have the last laugh, you’ve had a rare old time whilst I’ve been steady old me. But let me tell you something that you might find shocking.

I want to thank you for messing up your marriage. I want to thank you for being career driven and working so many hours that the boys didn’t see you from one week to the next. I want to thank you for being so selfish and haphazard as you’ve reinforced how stable and giving I am. I want to thank you for being such a terrible mother, because you have given me the change to be a fantastic step mother.
 
Here’s the high note (all great songs have them) in doing everything that you have done, there is only one person who has missed out and that is you.

You will never get the chance to teach your boys to eat with a knife and fork – I did. You will never get the chance to potty train them – I did. You will never get the chance to teach them to write their name or tie their shoe laces – I did. You will never see the joy on their faces when they read their first word, sentence, paragraph and book – I did. You will never get the chance to take them to school on their first day – I did. You will never get the chance to cry at their first nativity play or shout so loud when they run their first sports day – I did.
 
So although you see yourself as the perfect – cool – Mum, and although the boys call you Mum and would rightly defend you to the hilt. I have had so much more and I’m proud to say that I am ‘only’ their step-mum because I know exactly what this means – and so do my boys.
 
One day you will realise what you have missed out on and I hope that you are able to live with the knowing that it was me who raised your children and it was me who has nurtured them into the balanced and beautiful boys that they are. I know you will never be thankful and you will probably never admit it, but unlike you I’m not in this for the gains, I chose to be here.

~ by Stepfamily Letter Project on January 28, 2009.

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