As I lay here wide awake over an hour after going to bed, my thoughts have overcome me.
First thought- why didn’t I take my sleep medicine?! Is it too late now? *the struggle*
Second, my husband and I had a brief talk about “kids” before he so luckily fell right to sleep. It was a nice conversation, but in it, he reminded me that I knew what I was signing up for when I started dating him, and subsequently married him. There were no surprises here. I knew he couldn’t have more kids. But I think what tonight’s brief conversation brought to light was that he really doesn’t want anymore.
I knew he couldn’t have kids, but I figured once we had been together a while, got married, etc. he would want to have kids with me. Seriously… he is Super Dad… so why wouldn’t he want to have a family with me? Come on, one more kid wouldn’t add too much crazy to the mix, now would it?! In my heart, I always thought we would find a way to make it happen.
Anyway, early on, I really did believe I would be okay with only having my two stepdaughters… but nothing could have braced me for how painful the reality of it is now that we’re married, and I’m living through the crazy day after day. I’m constantly reminded by music, social media, friends, colleagues, my stepkids, my in-law’s, etc. that I am just a stepmom.
I don’t even know why the word “mom” is incorporated into this title, because other than myself and my husband, no one sees me as a mother of any kind… not even my stepkids. And of course, I can’t take it out on the kids… they are so young. They can’t even begin to grasp the concept of our blended family. But it’s hard when all day you’re reminded of how you’re not a mom, then you come home and your SD4 starts telling a story by saying “Hey, Ashley… when I was with my mom… not you, my REAL mom…” Like, obviously you’re not talking about me or I would already know this story, right? *I digress*
It’s going to be a long road of processing exactly why my husband doesn’t want a family with me. To some degree I get it… in his eyes, he has his perfect kids and his perfect wife, so he has the perfect family! But there is just no way for me to explain to him the desire I have to truly be a mom. I hate to gender stereotype, but really, this is an urge in [most] women that [most] men can’t even begin to comprehend.
Before I began writing this, I prayed that I would find peace in this and not resent my husband for this in the future. I knew I was coming into an already-made family. I knew I would be the odd man out forever. I knew that… again, no surprises here.
And my husband is so good to me. He is exactly the type of man I dreamt I would spend the rest of my life with. So I can’t let something like his weigh me down forever, especially since we are so blessed to have two amazing kids.
So what do I do? How do I convince myself that I am actually a part of this family? Will it just take time? Or should I consider this an unrealistic expectation and just brace now for the fact that I will always be an outsider?
I don’t think this is one I’ll be able to work through and answer in a few blog posts… check back with me in 40 years and I’ll let you know how it’s all played out.