Dear Mine

You are so sweet and wonderful. We’ve got a great marriage and I always tell people you’re a great husband to a stepmom. I love you. I’m writing this not just to you, but for dads everywhere who are lucky enough to have another woman marry them and raise another woman’s child(ren).

This isn’t meant to be nagging or to say I’m dissatisfied with how things are. More often than not, I feel very appreciated and loved by you. Thank you. But I write this to tell you some things you could never know, because you aren’t, and never can be, a stepmom.

It may seem high maintenance, but I need you tell me thank you. Often and for just about everything, for awhile anyway. Thank me for getting your daughter new school clothes, for making sure she has a snack for school, for cooking dinners so we can eat together, for signing her up for soccer, for being sweet to her, for buying her new toothpaste, for playing games with her, for reading her a book, for praying with her and for her, for involving her in things, for being goofy with her, for teaching her to cook, for having boundaries and structure in our home,  for being interested in her school, for encouraging her to have friends over, for washing her clothes, for remembering spirit week at school, for remembering it’s picture day, that she needs field trip $, for making traditions that she has after only 2 years, she already has grown to rely and count on and for making our house her  home. The list goes on. I realize, it does sound very high maintenance and some people would think “sheesh, glad I’m not married to HER!!!!”  Valid. That’s why I don’t feel dissatisfied in our marriage. I know it’s a bit much, (or a lot much), but the reason I say it is b/c you have no concept of how much effort it takes to do any or all of the things I mentioned above. I love you. I loved you from the day I met you. I didn’t love her. I didn’t like her. I tolerated her. I breathed in and breathed out and tried not to be a wicked witch. You don’t know the effort, b/c on most days I just do what anyone would do and act civil to another person. I do the best I can and I think you believe I do a great a job, but you don’t really appreciate it, not because you’re a jerk or anything like that, but because you have no idea the amount of effort it takes to incorporate, to accept a stepchild into your life. It is hard, it feels like punishment, it feels awkward, stupid, annoying, like a death sentence of sorts…death to “normal newlywed life”,  it feels contrived, fake, unpredictable and downright scary sometimes. For the longest time when you’d leave just to go run an errand and leave me with her I’d count the minutes till you came back. not b/c she’s bad or scary but I didn’t like her. I didn’t want her in our house, let alone left with me! you never will know that feeling. To feel dread going into your house, or to feel like you’re unwelcome in the house you bought and paid for.

It’s fine, it’s life, I’m better at seeing God’s blessings in the big and small and it’s good. but never hesitate to say thank you. Just b/c it may seem easy, doesn’t mean it is easy. Tell me thank you for the big and small. It makes me want to do better and more and it lets me know you notice. You notice that I am a certain way, when I could choose to be ugly, distant, uncaring or indifferent. Please recognize, I have that choice.  Many parents and stepparents make a choice to alienate their kids/skids, to bring drama into the home instead of peace. And then there are the rest of us, who purpose to have a home of peace and love no matter what we feel like.  Please recognize the effort, as best you can.  When you say thank you it makes me feel like I can do anything, and that I’d do it all over again.

You’re the best, truly. I’m yours forever, and THANK YOU for loving me and for  always being on my side.

Love, Yours

~ by Stepfamily Letter Project on October 30, 2011.

4 Responses to “Dear Mine”

  1. A nice letter, it is not difficult to like the stepdaughters after we get to know them. At first it can be akward but they are just the sweetest thing. Anytyme I read something here it seems to be as if everything is in a negative context, this letter is refreshing and I’m glad that u do all those nice things for your stepdaughter. I’m sure in the long run your husband and herself will thank u forever 🙂

  2. Nice letter- I think all of us mom’s – biological/step/adopted/bonus/even grandma’s would appreciate a thank you for all of the little things that WE would never forget but maybe dad never even realized we do. My husband wouldn’t know if it were picture day or astronaut day, not because he isn’t a great father or a great husband but because I (mom) handle those things.
    I don’t really understand why though women don’t like a man’s child right off the bat. Awkward, sure I can understand that. But I don’t understand why one could not like a child. Can someone just explain it?

    I hope your feelings have changed. It seems like they have any way … I hope your husband and your stepdaughter will remember to say thank you when you just do what we mom’s do. I’m trying to teach both of my children this little act of kindness and respect so that one day it’s not her or his wife writing this letter… Because although I’m only a mom and maybe I’m just ‘expected’ to do all of these things, a thank you just cause sure would be nice.

    I also do not think you sound high maintenance at all! We all want to feel that what we do is appreciated daily.

    • My feelings have changed…about feeling awkward, and like it’s a death sentence. its a unique purpose God has put in my life and I’m not going to squander it. Thanks for everyone’s encouragement.

  3. This is so eloquent. I feel like you wrote from my heart. Thank you.

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