My three children are the best things in my life. They are the best things to ever happen to me and they bring me so much joy you wouldn’t believe. Even while some days might be harder than others, I wouldn’t trade a single one of them. Sometimes, though, it’s a real tough thing being a step-mom and a mother to an angel but not a mom to any living children. It’s hard for so many reasons. Because of that, sometimes I find myself wanting to rip my hair out, scream my head off, and hug them so tight all in a minute’s time.
I love my kiddos all the same amount, but that love is felt a little differently at times. Sometimes I feel like I need to prove myself in showing my love to my kids, sometimes I feel like I want to recoil and not show them my outward love because they have said something intentionally hurtful. Then sometimes I want to engulf them in my love and stare at their little faces forever. The last one is where I find myself most often but when the other feelings strike it can be a real tough thing to fight and level them out.
Not unlike any other typical 3 and 6 year old, my kids can say/do some of the most hurtful things. Lately, the most hurtful thing I experience (often) from my 3 year old is the fact that I don’t fill his “Mommy shaped spot” in his heart. It has always been a bummer to me, because I love him like he is my own, but after the loss of Adam the fact that I can’t be his “go to” and his “one stop shop” for that spot hurts so badly. I understand it, don’t get me wrong, no one trumps “Mommy” and no one ever should, but when you are dealing with loving someone so much you would literally do anything for them, the fact that you aren’t everything to them sometimes gets to ya’. In these times I have to catch myself. I have to refrain from curling inside myself and shutting myself off so that I can’t be hurt. The most true thing that I know is that the more you love the more you can be hurt. And These kiddos can pull ALL of the heartstrings right out of me!
I also try to remind myself of all of the ways they interpret my actions when I want to scream my head off or recoil my heart. I remember being a 6 year old girl, but I don’t remember the emotions…..and boy are there emotions!!! So I find myself having to back peddle sometimes and put myself into Doodle’s shoes. To be honest, this changes my actions the most! I never want her to think she isn’t good enough or that she isn’t loved and cared for. (Same goes for her brother.) Sometimes, she needs the strictness because she is 6 and 6 year olds aren’t always the best listeners. But I never want her to think of me and think of negativity. All in all, I want her to talk to me about what is going on in her life and express her doubts, fears, sadness, frustrations, and joys with me. I want her to know that I am a safe place for her to land.
Days like today, when I feel like I showed too much frustration while getting the kids ready in the morning and had some complete #momfails, I feel like I’ve struck out. I feel defeated and like I have failed in showing them just how much I love them. But then I remind myself of things like last night. Last night Doodle asked me to climb in her bunk bed with her and watch, “some movies.” So we climbed up there, she turned a movie on and turned her back to the screen. She scooted her head up onto my chest and curled her body into mine and started talking. She asked questions, shared her day with me, and talked about whatever came to her mind. Eventually she said she couldn’t fall asleep so I told her to turn around and watch some TV. (She usually falls asleep with the TV on.) She rolled over, scooted back into me and let me be her “big spoon”. She left the TV off and fell asleep snuggled up to me. I remind myself of moments like that; where my heart is so full and happy, because it reminds me that we have come a long way. It also reminds me that just like their mom, I am irreplaceable in their eyes. And even while I don’t fit the Mommy spot in their hearts, I do belong in a spot in there somewhere; a shape all my own.