feeling left out of the mom club

Even though I became a stepmom over a year ago, I still feel left out of the mom club. I'm a parent... but I'm not. I'm a mom...but I'm not. I've said to my husband more than once that being a stepmom is a cruel joke. What I really mean by that statement is that it's hard to be a stepmom because I don't get to be a mom all the time. And some people don't view or think of me as a mother at all.

In a Huffington Post article about stepmoms the writer put it this way: "A stepmom is a parent, yet not the parent. A caregiver but not always a care-getter. She donates considerable time, space, attention, resources, and family income to people from another life."

Sometimes that "another life" aspect hurts. I wasn't there when the boys were born. I wasn't there when they were babies and toddlers. I wasn't there when Aiden was diagnosed with cancer. I can imagine but I don't really know what any of that was like. In fact, no one ever planned to have a stepmom in the picture, myself included.

But a lot of times in life we don't get what we planned on. People make decisions we can't control and suddenly reality shifts. You can either embrace your new reality or fight against it. I've chosen to embrace it.

I love my two stepsons with everything I have. I know I'm not their biological mom and I don't ever want to do anything to make them feel like I'm trying to replace her. I respect her role as their mother. But I'm in their life now too.

Some people may not believe or think it's possible to truly love children that are not their own, but I know different. It surprised me too at first. I certainly never thought seeing my future husband be a dad to children who were not my own would be one of the reasons I fell in love with him. But it is.

It might seem silly but I'm so grateful we have our dog Zoey because I get to be her furmom 24/7. She helps ease the pain of longing to have the boys here with us in our home.

Raising children is a huge responsibility. I feel lucky to participate in raising the boys in whatever capacity I can. They bring great joy, laughter, and happiness into my life.

Blending families isn't easy. I'm still in the early stages of this long journey. And even though I often feel left out of the mom club, I believe stepmoms and stepdads are important parents too.


  1. Well written and thought provoking.
    Something huge that you contribute is - I think that having the boys see Dale so happy and complete because he has you in his life and seeing you guys with together in unity is a hugely important thing for them. It will guide the kinds of relationships they pursue and who they become.

  2. *work together, not with together