There are literally 1000 things running through my mind since yesterday when I heard some very disturbing news. There were several people APAULED that I signed a card to my ‘stepson’ (a word I NEVER use) “Love, Mom”.
Let me start by explaining that I know a little about this subject. I had foster parents, I had and aunt and uncle whom I lived with for a period of time, I lived with my sister as well. All before the age of 18. I was a child and they were all my adult caregivers. They fixed my ‘owies’. They made my dinner and my favorite cheese bread. They LOVED me! They CARED for me. When they didn’t HAVE TO!
Second, there is no limit on love. There is no way to measure love. If another person is added to your heart that you love, there is no love ‘taken’ from someone else to equal everything out. The amount of love a person has is infinite and loving one doesn’t mean you love another any less!
I am divorced. My husband chose another woman whom he believed he loved over the family he already had. We had three children together. One day he may marry this other woman whom he cheated with. Do I like that a cheater and a liar may end up playing a role model for our girls? Not at all! If he marries her and our children call her ‘Mom’ will I flip out? Not at all! They know I am their mother. They know I gave birth to them. They know they were in my belly. I have read them stories, put on the band aids and raised them with beliefs I hold dear: A love for God, honesty, integrity, and many more. I am their mother. If they love another woman or call her mother, our love for each other will not change! The love my children have for me will never be diminished simply because they begin to love another mother figure (see paragraph 2).
If hearing your child call another person mother threatens you, seek counseling! That’s about you! Not them. If you continue to put your ‘baggage’ on them they will need to seek counseling at some point in time. YOU are setting them up to deal with the same insecurities you are struggling with yourself. Your child loves everyone. Racism, insecurities, hate, and many others are not instilled in kids. Adults expose children that ‘baggage’ along the way. It is not about the person that is loving and caring for your child. This person who makes their favorite meals, reads them books at night, tucks them in, and sends them boxes of love is not to blame. You probably should be thankful that your ‘ex’ has found someone that loves your child. There are far too many children who are not as fortunate.
As I have journeyed through the process of becoming divorced I have discovered that some States actually foster animosity between children and any perspective ‘other parent.’ These states allow, too be included in the divorce decree or parenting plan, that the children are not to call another person ‘mom’ or ‘dad.’ Seriously?! Let’s remember, the children have absolutely zero control over what is taking place in their little lives! Now one (or both) ex-spouses want to cause further emotional distress by telling these already traumatized children which words they can and cannot use as they try to develop some sort of normalcy with the new adult care giver in their lives? Shame on all of them!
The day my newest son called me ‘momma’ was I supposed to respond with “I am not your mother!”? He was telling me he valued our relationship and that I was important to him. So some attorney thinks that instead of responding with love I should have told my newest son that I am not who he feels that I am? THAT will likely cause him to attend counseling sessions on ‘rejection’ by someone you love.
So here I sit. Hearing that I should be sorry and NEVER again refer to myself as ‘mom’, although he refers to me as such. I should apologize (to the adult) as I might have hurt her feelings? I will not apologize, although I will give her a good number for a counselor I know. She is no victim. No one has done anything to her.
Maybe she should have thought about someone else in her child’s life before she ran out on her family for another man, made seriously poor choices, and lost custody of her son. There are consequences for all our actions. Another lesson I plan to teach her son and mine.
(The Other Mother)