There are always challenges becoming a stepmom, but I’ve found that my biggest ones have had nothing to do with feeling inadequate or dealing with custody issues. My biggest challenge as a stepmom? My pronoun usage.
I know. Bear with me, it’ll make sense in a moment.
From the beginning of my relationship with my stepchildren, I wanted them to know that they came first. I never wanted them to feel second to me, to my marriage or to any future children David and I might have. I wanted them to know that we were all a family. Like the classic Lucille Ball/Henry Fonda comedy, Yours, Mine & Ours, but you know… without the first two pronouns.
(Okay, so kind of nothing like that. I just wanted to throw in a Lucy reference.)
The point is, I was never “Daddy’s wife”. I have always been their stepmama. It’s never been “Daddy and Sammy’s house”. It’s their house, too. When I was planning the wedding, it was always “our wedding”, including the pint-sized, but most important, attendees.
I’ve always thought I’ve done a pretty good job of instilling this in the kids, especially when I see how well-adjusted they are in our home and that they know exactly how important they are. But, the ultimate trophy in Man, I Think I’ve Got This Stepmom Thing Down was awarded just a few weeks ago.
I wrote before that my stepchildren were super excited to learn we were having a baby. Even then, I made sure to announce it to them so they would feel important. Daddy and Sammy aren’t having a baby. They are getting a little brother or sister. And boy, has that taken off. The kids, Chloe especially, talk about the baby every time I see them. “I can’t wait for our baby to get here,” Chloe will tell me. And Trey will proudly say that “When my baby brother gets here, I’m going to teach it to throw a ball.”
But the ultimate crown is when they talk about the baby to other people. “Guess what,” Chloe will say. “We’re going to have a baby!”
Oh you guys. It sounds so simple, but what it does for my heart! I think every stepmom worries about the relationship with her stepchildren when a new baby is expected, even if it’s just a tiny, fleeting thought. So to hear Chloe and Trey announce to everyone that this is their baby? Oh it does me so much good. In fact, Chloe told us just before Christmas that all she wanted from Santa was for “my baby to be in that yellow bedroom” (the future nursery).
Pronouns. Who knew they could send me into a sobbing mess?
(DON’T YOU BLAME MY HORMONES, THAT’S NOT IT AT ALL.)
Do you focus on ‘pronouns’ as a stepparent? Do you think they have made a difference?