It’s not that I didn’t want kids, it’s just that I really didn’t want kids, ya’ll. C’mon, I didn’t make a conscious decision NOT to have kids, I just didn’t think about having them or really want it to happen. If it did, it did. If it didn’t, well fine. Through my twenties and thirties. It just didn’t happen and I was fine with that.
The Reluctant StepMother
Fast forward to present day. I’m a stepmother to two little girls. You think raising kids is hard? Try raising someone else’s. Just saying.
DISCLAIMER: Yes, the rewards outweigh the sacrifices. No, I have no regrets. Yes, it’s sometimes very challenging. No, I’ve never doubted my decision. I love these little girls, period.
But here’s the thing, and I’ll be totally honest – this has been the hardest and most exhausting year of my life. A 3 year old and a 7 year old. Holy crap. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s also the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
Let’s start with mentioning that I have NO maternal instinct. NONE. Like, if I slam on my brakes in my car, you’re so going to hit the windshield. That “Mom” right arm will NOT fling to the side and grab your chest and save you. I don’t have that chromosome.
My Mother-in-Law is always making comments about me being a “Mommy” now. Well, I just don’t feel it. It’s going on almost one year of marriage and I, for the most part, just don’t feel maternal. I feel loving and protective, but not maternal. They already have an awesome Mommy. I love my relationship with Johnny’s daughters, but I’ve never actually felt like a Mother. I feel more like a kinda cool older sister, really.
Until Thursday. There I was, dishing up lunches for 58 kids at the pre-school. My back was to the kitchen door. Suddenly, there was a teacher at the kitchen door. She said, “Miss Jenny, we need help”.
Her voice shook and her words were riddled with forthcoming tears.
I turned around and saw her holding our little one, Ella. Ella had whacked her head on a wooden chair playing in her Pre-K room. It was a perfect three inch cut on her forehead. However, as most folks know, a head wound bleeds like a stuck deer. I turned around to see my husband’s little one ( I dislike the term stepdaughter. Not sure why) with blood running “Carrie”style down her face. Also? It was mixed with tears of pain and fear on her little face.
It was like everything happened in slow-motion. I grabbed Ella. I also grabbed a cold juice box and slapped it on her head. I tucked her into my arms. called Daddy and ran for the door. Her Daddy works next door, but more importantly, so do a few paramedics.
We met outside and had the paramedics check her out. She was fine. A nasty forehead gash for sure, but no stitches needed and no concussion. She even got to go inside the ambulance and push the siren button. Couple that with 3 Oreos back inside the school and I’d say it was *almost* worth her while.
Anyway, my point is this: For the FIRST time in my almost one year marriage….
I felt like a Mom. I turned, saw her bloody sweet innocent face and I went into OVERDRIVE. Fix this baby. Comfort this baby. This baby is hurt and I will do whatever it takes to make this better. It scared me half to death but I was also really, REALLY happy that I apparently made the right decisions and handled things well.
So there, universe. Maybe ole Jenny can be a Mom. Maybe I can make this work.
No. I’m wrong. I already have.