Maybe God was preparing me to help raise these girls all along.
No, he definitely was. I know that I was placed in their lives for a reason. But maybe, he was preparing me in ways I haven’t considered yet.
Growing up nomadic… living at different points with my grandma, great-grandma, great-aunt and third-cousins, uncle & aunt, cousins & their spouses, even friends for some college breaks… I’m used to being with a lot of people, but feeling alone.
That’s exactly what it feels like to be a stepmom, and know you’ll never have any other kids. Surrounded by people, but still oftentimes feeling very alone.
Now don’t get me wrong… I always had a room and a bed growing up, but never had a nuclear family. The many family members I knew had no relationship with each other, but all had relationships with me. I was the in-between. I was isolated.
And I never had my mother as my partner in crime, or my father to be daddy’s little girl. It was always just me and whoever my legal guardian was at the time.
I went to college, and almost completely lost contact with my entire family. I worked to maintain relationships with everyone, but seldom had genuine reciprocation. I built tough skin. I built a confidence that I was all I needed. I built resilience that children lucky enough to grow up in a “happy home” could not even begin to fathom.
I used to wonder, “Why me?!” “Why is this my life?” “Why couldn’t I be raised ‘normally?'”
All this to say… I now feel confident this was all in preparation to be a stepmom-only.
On the one hand, I am fit to support the girls as they transition from home to home. I will understand if they ever feel tossed around, or if they ever feel like the “in-between” to relay information. I will sympathize with them when they inevitably overhear “family drama” and feel like they’re stuck in between a rock and a hard place.
And on the other hand, I am used to being surrounded by many, but feeling all alone. I can embrace being an outsider. I can recognize that blended families are hard to navigate, and persevere, like I’ve always done. In my moments of solidarity, I can bask in the all too familiar feeling it brings, and know that although life isn’t perfect, it’s still an amazing life to live.
You never know how your life experiences are going to impact you in the long run, but it’s a great feeling when you catch a glimpse of reason.