Unfortunately there are times when people feel they have the right to correct you when you count your stepchild as “my kid”. It’s one of those annoying realities that comes with the package of being a Stepmom.
This sometimes happens when you are the one speaking. For example, you are in church and gathered in a group of some friends you know and some you don’t.
Me: “Hello, my name is Ruth. I have the 3 kids. 2 girls and 1 son.”
My “friend”: “STEP-son”
This is immediately followed by an uncomfortable appearance in the person I was just introducing myself too. And this puts me on the spot to then explain about both my husbands and my first divorces and that the youngest is “Ours”.
You’ll become great and putting a lighthearted spin on your story of divorce, keeping it short and brief without dampening the mood of the conversation. Some people interpret this as you not taking marriage seriously and making too light of divorce.
Let me assure you, divorce is not a light matter. Neither is Blending a Family.
Let me assure you of one more thing. HE ABSOLUTELY IS MY KID!!!!!
I have been blessed with being a Sunday School teacher. And it is absolutely not uncommon for someone who is asking about my class to say “How are your kids?”
How many times does a school teacher refer to her class as “My kids”?
A Foster Mother who reminisces about the dozens of children who have been in her life will refer to them as “my kids.”
As a single mother I was employed as a nanny and i would take my baby with me so I wouldn’t have to put her in daycare. But the children I nannied were often acknowledged as “my kids” no only by myself, but others. And they did so freely.
So why is it not acceptable to refer to your stepchildren as “My kid”?
I care for him more than I have any of the other “my kids” in the examples above.
Just because he doesn’t reside in this home full time like his sisters doesn’t mean I’m any less responsible for him.
He has his own room. He has his own backpack hook, even though we don’t have him through the school year. He has his own place at the table.
When I buy clothes, shoes or toys, I always account for 3 children. Not just 2.
When we think of family activities, outings or vacations we always take him into consideration just like any other member of the family.
He is a permanent part of our thoughts and daily prayers.
We don’t “make room” for him when he’s here. He ALWAYS has a place in this home, whether he’s here or not.
So how on earth is he not my kid?!
Because I’m not his mother?
Of course I’m not his mother! Just like a teacher, a nanny, a foster parent, a coach or any other care provider isn’t his mother either! But that doesn’t mean he’s not my kid!
He absolutely is my kid!
But this doesn’t mean I am trying to replace or usurp his mother. I care and love for him very much. And as such I have learned how much he loves his mother.
I would never presume that my relationship with my kid would ever equal the relationship with his mother. I fully acknowledge her permanent precedence over me.
However, even accepting my inferior mother status will never change the fact that I genuinely and deeply care about him with such intensity I might as well be nipping at her heals.
I’m may not be his mother. But he is my kid!
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