Choosing love. This is a topic that has been weighing heavily on my mind and heart lately. I am a step-mom to four wonderful kids in addition to my two little girls.
We are a blended family and we are happy, but not perfect, just like any family. Being a blended family does not come without its challenges, how could it? But everyday I get to be a part of something beautiful. I get to see so many people come together and CHOOSE to love.
I have seen many wonderful posts about how stepmoms make the choice everyday to love their spouse’s kids. And that is a special bond. I remember meeting my husband’s children the first couple times and thinking “Man, these are some cool kids.” I cared about them the day I met them. I made it a point to try and build a relationship with each of them and I fell in love with each of them. While there are many bright sunny days, there are some overcast ones as well, ones that may even make it seem easier to give up. These days taught me something really important about myself. I am a “pleaser” and a “fixer” and sometimes I just can’t make something better, but what I can do is CHOOSE to keep my door open when they need me, and that is what I try my very best to do.
But this isn’t just about me. I love that there is so much support in the online community for stepmoms, but for this post I really want to focus on the kids. Having someone join your family cannot possibly be easy. None of us have a manual for how to do it. We all have different personalities and are blending our lives with different personalities. We are all just winging it and learning as we go. I know I have made a lot of mistakes and I’m positive there will be more, but they are made with the best of intentions, and they know that, and that to me is what is important.
The truth is, they did not have to accept me and they definitely didn’t have to love me (but it is always nice), but they did (and do). They include me in their celebrations, they make plans on a regular basis with me to go shopping or share a meal. And I think that’s amazing.
More importantly, not only do they care for me, they love the HECK out of their two baby sisters (“ours babies” with my husband). I knew they would, because they are so kind and loving, but seeing them altogether brings a new kind of love and magic into our home. Three out of four of the kids are adults. They could maintain their own lives and families, but they choose to spend time with them and love seeing them. That is the most precious demonstration of choosing love I have witnessed and means more to me than they could ever possibly know.
This wonderfully complex family has taught me so many wonderful lessons in life and love, most importantly, the amazing power of loving deliberately. All of us know that not all days are going to be sunshine and daisies. And some days life throws some curve balls and it’s really hard, but all of us can rest assured we all value love and family above all other things. We are a family because we choose to be. We choose love.
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