An Open Letter From a Mom to My Kids’ Stepmother: 6 Reasons I’m Thanking You on Mother’s Day
Every Mother's Day I think back to when I was a little girl and my fantasy image of my future life as a grown-up.
It looked a lot like my parents' life: happily married for decades with a house full of kids.
Never once did I envision that by the age of 30 I’d be a divorced mother of three, or that a few years later I’d be remarried and the stepmother of two step kids. (Whom I love as much as my own.)
And never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d be sharing my own kids with a stepmother.
This was not the picture in my head of what my life was supposed to look like.
Today as I look at our extended family tree, it's got so many extra branches it looks more like an overgrown vine. But I don’t see a tangled mess of weeds. I see a vine that’s beautiful, fruitful, and full.
Full of love, grace, chaos, wisdom, passion, and extra hearts and hands who embrace my kids and call them family.
It's not always easy, and this doesn't match what the world (or the church) typically celebrates as a picture of a "healthy" and "normal" family. But I refuse to be ashamed, because we're not normal, and that's OK. I recognize how rare, and how truly good our situation is. Somehow we've all found God's love and grace through all of this, and learned to lean more on him.
For that, I’m grateful.
And focusing on gratitude helps me embrace the reality of my motherhood with a heart that is full of this truth:
Our family is not broken—we are blended. And we are blessed.
So this Mother’s Day I’m choosing to celebrate my kids’ stepmom with a letter thanking her for how she impacts the lives of my kids:
As the world celebrates mothers, I celebrate YOU—the stepmom of my kids—and the qualities you’re teaching them with the gift of your life in theirs:
- Patience: You endured the awkward season of getting to know your husband’s insanely extroverted ex-wife and decided that showing up and being present on the sidelines of the kids’ sporting events mattered more than avoiding the situation. (I know it wasn’t easy.) Thank you.
- Nurture: You are a true caretaker and a champion for the underdog. Whether it’s rescuing an animal in distress, volunteering your time to serve those less fortunate, or caring for a family member when they need you—you’re the kind of woman who’s always there for others. Thank you.
- Grace: You allow a continued friendship between me and the kids’ dad, and have extended genuine friendship to me as well. (And thankfully I can at least always count on you to answer text messages! lol!) There’s nothing like toasting a glass of wine together at a graduation party or how you save seats for us next to you in church that proves to the world that love is much more powerful than hate. Thank you.
- Faith: Your bold, wholehearted pursuit of a relationship with Jesus and the strength you draw from your ever-growing faith are both an example and an inspiration for all of us. Thank you.
- Authenticity: You’re the real deal. You don’t claim to be perfect, nor condemn others who aren’t. There’s nothing put-on about you. You embrace who you are and laugh at the rest. Thank you.
- Love: You make my kids’ dad happier than I’ve ever seen him. Because of you, the kids will have a legacy of seeing their dad in a healthy marriage that they’ll carry forward forever. Thank you.
So thank you, Kari, for investing your heart and influence into the lives of my kids…OUR kids. Thanks for showing them that love is bigger than fear—and that love wins.
I’m honored to share Mother’s Day with you and recognize that our kids will truly be better because they had another mother like YOU to love them.
You rock, sister-mama! I love you!
Happy Mother's Day!
Together in Jesus, with love and gratitude-