Bridal blogs tend to dish out warm and fuzzy wedding and newlywed advice as though everyone saying “I Do” has never been married and/or doesn’t already have children (whether together or from a previous relationship). Admittedly, even Triple B was guilty of this. Yet when many of us get engaged, we’re already mothers and/or are preparing to wed someone who is a parent. As expected this can get messy — whether the children involved are toddlers, teens or any age in between. We typically witness the messiest of these situations glorified in media — you know, the evil stepmother and the bitter “baby mama” but the below excerpt of a letter written by a mother and ex-wife to her daughter’s new stepmom proves it doesn’t have to be.
To my daughter’s stepmom:
I never wanted you here. You simply were never part of the plan. Growing up and dreaming of my family I never included you. I didn’t want help from another woman to raise my child. The plan was for my family to include me, daddy and our children, not you. I doubt you ever wanted me in your life. I doubt you planned to mother a child that you didn’t give birth to. I can bet that your plan for your family included you, daddy and your children together, not me or my daughter. I can almost bet that when you dreamed of becoming a mother it would be the day you gave birth and not the day you married your husband. I’m pretty sure you never planned on me being here.
But God has plans that far exceed our own and when my little family dissolved to form two families I knew you would be coming.
In my mind you would be a terrible beast and my daughter would not want you to mother her at all, ever! I was hoping that you would be semi- unattractive and prayed my daughter wouldn’t look up to you. Her daddy would know that he was settling for second best. Evil swirled in me because I never wanted to face the fact that another woman would mother my child in my absence.
Then you arrived.
When I first met you I’ll admit you weren’t what I had in mind and a twinge of jealousy shot through my body. You were supposed to be hideous, remember? But you weren’t, you were stunningly beautiful. You were supposed to be a mean old hag, remember? But you weren’t, you were a young, sweet woman.
My plans were foiled.
I realized by the look on your face that meeting me was just as hard as it was for me to meet you. My heart immediately softened. Dang your kind smile! I was planning on really hating you. Why are you ruining my plan?!
I wanted to resent you but you made it impossible and I quickly grew thankful for you.
You’ve accepted our daughter from the very start and have unconditionally loved both her and her daddy, that’s a true gift to all of us. [Read the rest of this powerful letter here.]
I applaud the grace, vulnerability and courage it took for the writer to pen this letter. It reminded me of something actress Jada Pinkett Smith shared on social media a couple of years ago. I’m not a mother but I’m sure this is all much easier said than done. However the children seem to benefit most from this type of selflessness and it simply gets no better than that.
What are your thoughts on this letter? Do you think this type of situation is more the norm or the exception? Sound off in the comments.