Parents

To my daughter's stepmom: I never wanted you here, but thank you

To my daughter’s stepmom:

I never wanted you here. You simply were never part of the plan. Growing up and dreaming of my family I never included you. The plan was for my family to include me, daddy and our children, not you.  

I doubt you ever wanted me in your life. I doubt you planned to mother a child that you didn’t give birth to. I can bet that your plan for your family included you, daddy and your children together, not me or my daughter. I bet that when you dreamed of becoming a mother, you thought it would be the day you gave birth and not the day you married your husband. I’m pretty sure you never planned on me being here.

But God has plans that far exceed our own. When my little family dissolved to form two families, I knew you would be coming.

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The author's daughter with her new stepmother at her father's wedding.

In my mind you would be a terrible beast and my daughter would not want you to mother her at all, ever! I was hoping that you would be semi-unattractive and prayed my daughter wouldn’t look up to you. Her daddy would know that he was settling for second best. I did not want to face the fact that another woman would mother my child in my absence.

Then you arrived.

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Hey, you were supposed to be the wicked, ugly old stepmother... what happened?

You weren’t what I had in mind. You were supposed to be hideous, remember? But you weren’t, you were beautiful. You were supposed to be a mean old hag, remember? But you weren’t, you were a sweet, young woman.

My plans were foiled.

I realized from the look on your face that meeting me was just as hard for you. My heart immediately softened. Dang your kind smile! I was planning on really hating you. Why were you ruining my plan?!

I wanted to resent you but you made it impossible, and I quickly grew thankful for you.

You’ve accepted our daughter from the very start and have unconditionally loved both her and her daddy, and that’s a true gift to all of us. You’ve included our daughter in everything you do and make her feel loved and accepted. You put her relationship with her daddy above yours, and only a brave and courageous woman knows how to do that with such grace.

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This happily-ever-after might not look the way we planned... but we are happy.

I knew when her daddy and I decided to divorce and live in separate homes there would be times when she would need her mommy and I wouldn’t be there. I’m so thankful that you are there in my absence. I’m grateful that you have mercy on her teen years and never reject her. She needs a mommy at your house and you’ve done an amazing job being that for her.

You’ve respected my position as mom from the very start. I appreciate that you check with me when you question if you are making the right decision with her. I know our situation is rare. It’s not often that a mom and stepmom text to remind each other that they love and respect each other. You are a gift.

Our daughter will grow up with more love than I could have ever imagined. It wasn’t her choice to have divorced parents, and even though I wouldn’t wish that on any child I am so thankful that she now has four parents who love and respect her and each other. She’s compassionate because of it, and understands that a failure in one area can turn into a blessing in another.

She’s excited to call you and tell you her stories when she’s at my house, and that makes my heart want to jump from my chest with joy. I fill with pride when you wrap your arms around me and squeeze for a genuine and loving hug each time we see each other.

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More love to go around: The author's daughter with her stepmother.

I know what it looks like when a mother cannot accept her child's stepmother in their life. Gratitude pours from me that we are able to do what is truly right for our daughter. Thank you for being mature enough and respectful enough to co-parent with me.

I promise to always respect your input for our daughter. I promise to never minimize the position you hold in her life or make you feel like you are not her mother. I promise to raise her to be grateful to have two strong and brave women in her life who have the courage to mother her together. I pray she is never in our situation — even though it is peaceful — but if she ever finds herself here, I promise to set an example for her of what co-parenting should look like.

Precious woman, you are a rare and beautiful gem. God bless you and I love you.

A version of this post was first published on Candice Curry's blog, Women of Worth. You can follow Women of Worth on Facebook and Twitter.

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