Who would be a stepmother?
Now, let me say now that I am by no means some angelic stepmum. I became one before I had any children or experience of children myself. I made mistakes and some of them were big ones. What I do know is that I happily took on my now husband’s two resident daughters and tried to establish a relationship with the daughter who had already left home.
I did the uniform buying and the birthday cake acquiring. I took them out for meals. I cooked for them. I cleaned up after them. I attended parents’ evenings and tried to encourage them to apply themselves at school to enhance their life chances. I worked hard to bring money in to maintain them and I stomached having my purse emptied by one without permission on a regular basis.
I was there when their mother was not only not there for them but was absent from their lives for the worst of reasons.
They are now adults and at Christmas, we travel to them taking gifts for them and their children.
Which is fine on one level although as the stepmum who does not have parental love to fall back on, it can grate when I have made an effort to try and find the right presents and this is what I get ..
“I am very busy and not sure when I can really fit you in”
“I haven’t really thought about Christmas yet”
“I can’t possibly travel to you as I find it stressful to travel”
“Petrol costs money you know”. Yes, I do know because we spend money on petrol to get to you year after year.
“I can’t afford to spend much on your children because we don’t always have a lot of money”. Of course, we are always rolling in money, aren’t we?!
Said step-children never come to see their Dad despite being invited to because it is way too much trouble for them.
This year, partly because I am still reeling from losing my Dad, I asked them to take responsibility for saying what they would like to see happen at Christmas. One of them failed to respond at all, one said it was way too much trouble in terms outlined above and one says that something will be sorted but has left things unclear.
I find it unfair. You can bet that all the transport, money and time issues will be wiped away when it comes to seeing their own mother. You know the mother who put the worst of men above their welfare.
Well, darlings, I won’t get to see my Dad this Christmas. There may come a day when you regret not making the effort.