Mother’s Day conjures up many emotions for many different people: happiness, delight, sadness, anger, grief, and the list goes on and on. But for me, Mother’s Day brings thankfulness — and not just for the two children who call me Mommy, but for the woman who raised me too.
You see, the woman who raised me didn’t birth me. She didn’t carry me for nine long months, feel my kicks inside her womb, endure an excruciating birth, watch me take my first steps, or even see my first tooth break through my gums. She met me as a young child, and even though she didn’t get to experience those specific “firsts,” she got to experience many more, and for that, I’m thankful I get to call her Mom.
A Letter to My Stepmom on Mother’s Day
You may not have known me as an infant, but you loved me like I was your own. You took on a role that many women couldn’t and wouldn’t: raising another woman’s child. And not just any child — a child who wasn’t wanted by her birth mother, a child who was desperate for and needed a mother.
As a wife and a mother now myself, I see how difficult it must have been for you, a newlywed in her early 20s . . . with a husband AND a child. A lot of people get the marriage first and then the kid(s), but you got a two-for-one deal. You never got that alone time with your husband like most newlyweds get with theirs. You jumped from singleness to wifehood and motherhood; I can’t imagine navigating both at once.
You taught me to tie my shoes, painstakingly tried to help me with my math homework at the kitchen table, listened to me sing “This Is the Song That Never Ends” at the tops of my lungs as you pushed me in the cart around the grocery store (I’m still sorry for that one), and took me to church every Sunday.
You taught me to write thank-you notes and how to cook, chauffeured me to and from every activity I decided I wanted to do, and dealt with those bratty, dramatic teenage years for which I’m sure I’ll receive epic payback in the years to come.
You picked out my prom dresses with me, welcomed my boyfriend (now husband) into our home with open arms, planned my entire wedding, and helped me get dressed on my wedding day. You waited in that cold hospital waiting room for hours upon hours for your first grandchild to be born and, two years later, drove four hours in record time when you got the text in the middle of the night that your second grandchild was coming — and fast. Not only are you a mom, but you’re also a mother-in-law and a grandmother, too — and a fabulous one at that.
I’m sure when you were a little girl and dreamed of becoming a mom, I wasn’t exactly what you pictured. You didn’t carry me or birth me, but you raised me and taught me how to be a wife and a mother. And most important, you loved me and were just the mom I needed and wanted.
So Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you — and thank you. I’m so grateful I get to call you mine.