I came into my step-daughter, Allie’s life when she was 3 years old. I entered into a new relationship with my now husband and immediately took on the role of Step Mom. The first year was spent getting to know each other. I was lucky that Allie was very open to the love and laughter that I brought to the relationship. Allie made it very easy for me to feel confident as I tried to fill the position of another positive female role model in her life.
I knew that a time would come where I would have to get serious and that my role would need to shift from “Good Time Dani” to “She means business,Dani.” I knew that in order for me to gain this little girls respect, I would need to make sure that she showed me respect at all times and even though that may come with a stern voice, she’d love me for it in the end.
There is no easy, clear cut path to becoming a parent figure to a child who is not yours. It ended up being a more complex then I had originally thought it would be. I could not help the residual, less then sparkling feelings between My husband and his ex but I could ensure that regardless of what transpired between them, it would never affect my feelings for Allie.
In the time that Allie and I have been in each others life, we have become close. She talks to me about her little person issues and excitements and I relish every moment. She talks to me because I take the time to listen. Allie knows that I have no hidden agenda and that I come from a place of love. When Allie first told me she loved me, I heard, she trusts me. I knew that was a gift that would be too precious to be taken lightly and that I would treasure that gift, forever.
With the birth of her baby brother, Allie shifted in to the big sister role beautifully. She is a tremendous help and I have yet to see her be jealous of the love her brother gets but rather the fact that we get to carry him everywhere and she is not big enough to do so yet. Shortly after AJ was born, Allie looked at me and smiled and said, “You’re a mommy.” She hugged me and I knew at that moment how perceptive this little girl is. Allie was genuinely happy for me, for this time in my life and I swear when she said that to me that day, she spoke from the heart.
SMOMS (stepmoms), don’t buy into the stereotype attached to your role. This position is a tremendous responsibility and the only things it requires is love, understanding, and time. You will leave a lasting impression and although you may not play the leading lady in their life, you absolutely can be the best supporting female in a stepmother role!