Guest post by Debi Robarts – Confessions of an
Evil Stepmother Blog.
Growing up I had a list of qualities I required in my future husband. Essentially, he had to be perfect: attractive, rich, always admit I am right, never have been married and not have any kids.
As I got older, certain items on the list fell off as I realized they weren’t important, as my priorities changed and I matured. One thing that remained true was that I was certain I didn’t want to be with someone who already had kids. I have always loved kids but the idea of being involved with raising someone else’s child seemed unappealing. Not to mention the permanent tie it creates to the child’s mother! I have never been the type to remain friends with an ex and I didn’t want to be involved with someone who maintained contact with theirs. If a child is involved, there’s no choice: the mother is part of their life forever.
I had this picture in my head of what my future family would be: me, my husband and our child. A child that I carried inside me for nine months. A child that had his father’s eyes and my nose. A child that probably had a longer second toe, just like I do, and hints of red in his hair.
When I met Lucas, I knew he had a daughter. At first I didn’t think about it; I wasn’t planning out or considering that we would get serious. But as our relationship developed, I had to start considering the pros and cons of dating someone with a child. I had to start evaluating my list, weighing the options and thinking what do I want from my life?
When I came down to it, Lucas having a daughter wasn’t a deal breaker. That didn’t mean that things were easy, it just meant that I was willing to give it a try.
Becoming a stepmom has been both the hardest and easiest thing of my life. Loving Molly has always been easy; being a part of raising her has not. Molly is an only child, and her mother is an only child. That can make things hard, especially considering I was raised as the fifth of eight children. Hand-me-downs, sharing a room, eating what you were given: these are all things that were Everyday Life to me. For Molly, everything is new, everything is her own and everything is centered around her.
Juggling my experiences and trying to help raise Molly as an independent but obedient and respectful person has been hard. My views clash with Lucas’ at times. My ways seem harsh to him, especially when we only have Molly three days a week and we want our time to be good and enjoyable and fun. There have been many discussions, including tear-filled ones, between Lucas & I about what to do and how to do it. And the fact that I am not Molly’s mother makes it hard: yes I’m a part of raising her, a part of her life and an influence in it, but at the end of the day, I’m not a part of the decision-making process. Things aren’t up to me.
Not having that control is hard for me. Sitting by and seeing decisions made that I don’t agree with is hard for me. Watching Lucas struggle at times is really hard for me. We are still figuring things out. We are still getting used to living together, being a family together. But the one thing that ties us together, the one thing that will keep us together is our love for each other. I love Lucas with all my heart, through the good and the bad. I love Molly as if she was my own daughter, and want the best for her. I love the family we created, even though it’s not the one I imagined ever having.
As the song says, “love is all you need,” so we’re all going to be okay.
Thank you for sharing your story with us Debi. You’re a strong woman.