A letter to my stepdaughter

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Dear Stepdaughter,

I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be a stepmom. But I’m here and I just want to thank you for being in my life and letting me be a part of yours. You and your sister have changed the way that I see the world. You’ve taught me so many lessons and I am so lucky to have you!

The first thing I want to tell you is that I know how much it sucks to have divorced parents. It totally sucks! My parents split when I was too young to remember, and a part of me always thought that they would get back together. I’m glad that they didn’t because now I have an amazing stepdad who wants nothing but the best for me.

I also want you to know that I know how difficult everything is for you on a daily basis. Having two separate homes, two separate sets of belongings, and not being able to see your mom or dad every day. I know it’s pretty tough.

If I could change this for you, I would. Even though, if your parents hadn’t chosen to go their separate ways, you wouldn’t be in my life today. So because I can’t fix it, I’ll just promise to try and be the best stepmom possible!

When I decided to date your dad, I braced myself for some rebellion from the two of you. Some tricks, some attitude, some trouble. Because that’s how I was when I was a child of separated parents. You push them just to see how far they will let you go.

Thank you for being so patient with me as I adjusted to having life with kids…constant background chatter, extra dishes, shoes everywhere, the crazy extracurricular schedule. It was all new to me and it took a while to get used to. I’m still learning every day.

Thank you for being patient with me when I had no idea what to do when it came to being a stepmom…rules, structure, guidance, snacks, G rated language. All the simple tasks seemed overwhelming because they were all new to me.

Thank you for not writing me off on the days when I wasn’t at my best and felt overwhelmed and scared. The days when I may have been quicker to snap or seemed off on my own world. You could have chalked me up as that evil stepmom…but you didn’t.

Thank you for not making a scene when the server at the restaurant refers to me as your Mom. I know it’s uncomfortable, but you handle it with grace.

Know that when you leave and go back to your Mom’s house that I miss you. I miss you, as if you were my own child that I gave birth to. The house isn’t the same without you here. I miss all the little talks that we have, hearing about how your day went, what the new fashions are, and who is dating who in your social circle.

When I step back and think about the first day that we met, I never imagined that it would have taken us here. At a crossroads between love and deception. Love and hurt. Love and sadness. Many feeling surrounded me as I was told you weren’t coming back to our house that week.

I had to stop and think, did I do something wrong as a parent? Could I have done anything different? And the answer was no, no matter how many times I asked myself those questions. The answer was always no because with every decision that I make is because I love you and want what is best for you. There is always a reason or a lesson to be learned in the decision that your dad and I make for you.

In this case, the lesson was not learned. Which only says one thing…I failed as a stepmom. There has always been one thing that I dreaded most for you as my stepdaughter. Never play your parents love for you against each other. I sincerely apologize for allowing you to do this to your parents. To both of them.

It saddens me that I did not have this conversation with you. To teach you so that you would learn the side effects and consequences on how this could ruin the great relationship that you had with both your mother and father.

I understand, that as you read this or when you made your decision, you didn’t think of the consequences that would come from your actions. But here we are, in a world of anger, hurt, and disappointment. For each other and for ourselves.

I understand not wanting rules or consequences for your actions. I don’t want them either. But as you grow older, there will be more of them. From your boss, your peers, society, and even in the relationships that you choose to have. Rules are everywhere, from having to stop at a stop sign to not cheating on a boyfriend. Every action that you choose will have a consequence, good or bad.

The chosen action here…to stay at mom’s house.

Why? To hurt us. To get even. To let us know that our rules suck. To me, none of that matters. The only thing that I see from this is a teenage girl that has a Dad that loves her and would do anything for her and she is choosing to not be with him.

There are so many kids out there without a dad or mom. Either their parents died when they were young or their parent just didn’t want to bother getting to know them. Those kids would do anything to have a Dad like yours.

Someone that loves them, spends time with them, and cares enough about them to call them or send a simple text message. Everything that your Dad does is for you and because of you. He lives, breathes and works his butt off so that you can have a better life. So that you can experience and see the things that he didn’t get to when he was younger. To teach you and show you how to be a better person.

You DON’T have a dead beat Dad, who refuses to pay child support. Never calls or texts. Never goes to a school function, dance recital or competition.  Never gave you a birthday or Christmas present. Never said ‘I love you’ or would ever miss your wedding.

Stop taking what you have for granted. Those kids who have lost their Dad at a young age would give anything to give them just one more hug, one more I love you. Not everyone has what you are trying to throw away. A whole other family that loves you and wants to spend time with you. Choosing anything else but your family is always the wrong choice. Your family will be there for you no matter what, especially your dad. Remember, not everyone has one.A letter to my stepdaughter...where did I go wrong?

We have always said that anything is open for discussion. Any past rule or consequence can always be discussed. Communication is HUGE. In relationships, with peers, and at work. We don’t know what is wrong unless it’s said. If you can’t communicate with us on what you need, then you will have a very difficult adult life until you can start communicating your feelings.

With love,

Your Stepmom

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