My Family

"Life will knock you down. You can choose to stand up again."

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Other Mommy

Sometimes I get asked what it is like to be a "stepmom." First of all, we don't use the word "step" in our home. I think that it diminishes the role of the parent, the child, the brother, the sister. But, if you listen to Brooklyn talk, she will often say to people that her "real" mom, Amanda, does this and that. Or that her she has friends at her "real" mom's house. As she has gotten older, she will remind me that I am her "other mommy." She calls both Amanda and I "mom" or "mommy" or "mama." I looked up the definition of "mother" in the dictionary. It reads: a female or thing that creates, nurtures, protects, etc, something. No matter what my biological relationship to my Brooklyn, I love her the exact same as I love my boys. I would, without any hesitation, lay down my life for her. I would give up everything I have, everything I might ever have for her. I love her to the moon, just as I love my boys. She is my girl. She has my heart.
I am also very aware that she has a "real" mom. Amanda is a wonderful, nurturing, attentive, organized, loving, and fun mom. Brooklyn adores her mom. Amanda adores her Brooklyn. I am constantly reminded that I need to respect that Brooklyn has a "real" mom who deserves respect, dignity, and love. There was a time, when Amanda first heard Brooklyn call me "mom" that was very tough. It broke Amanda's heart. Josh and I both assured Amanda that Brooklyn knows who her "real" mom is. She loves her and adores her and knows that Amanda will always be her mommy. Shortly after that experience, I ran into Amanda and Brooklyn at the grocery store. Brooklyn was 2 1/2. She immediately called me mommy. I said, "Brooklyn, that's your mommy. What's my name? Heidi is my name. That is your mommy." The look on her face has never left my memory. I went home and told Josh that I would never again deter her from calling me mommy or mom or mama. I am also her mom. I create with her, nurture her, and protect her fiercely. While I am very aware that Amanda is her real mommy, I am honored to be her "other" mommy. I melt every time she says, "I love you Mommy." I love her too. I am so grateful to be the mommy of five beautiful, talented, healthy, funny, smart, witty, independent little children.

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