Two Homes, One Family

A near fatal error occurred the other day.

Somehow, my name was also included on the class list of one of my skids.

Yes, it is true.

I actually laughed when I saw it as I knew it would send my skid’s mother through the roof. I figured there would be some “dire consequences” to it (which there were in the typical passive aggressive manner we have become accustomed to).

It’s funny because I don’t even know how it happened. I think their Mom thinks it was some malicious attempt I made to overthrow her. I am listed as an emergency contact (as is one of my best friends for that matter) on the main school documents, but on the sheet for the specific teacher info was only written Rob’s contact info – not mine. But, I guess the teacher saw I was picking up my skid some days, was clearly married to Rob, and thought perhaps we were all grown ups and had a normal relationship, so she wrote on the list the Mom’s name and number and then underneath wrote Rob’s name and my name and our home number. Gasp.

Apparently, not only did it lead to the passive/aggressive dropping the kids off at a babysitters instead of dropping them with me as arranged when Rob was away (without letting me know), it lead to the accusation of “trying to take over her mother role”. Afterall, she would never do that with her stepkids (which really has no bearing given the dynamics of how that relationship came to pass and furthermore, to each their own. There are many things I would never do either that she does).

It boggles my mind.

I have been the Mom of my boys (or the dreaded “ex wife”) – when they have had a Smom. She was even a woman who I had a strong negative history with when I was married to their Dad. I have to admit, at first it was tough having her spend time with my boys. But that was mainly in part because I felt like she had stolen my husband – and was then taking my kids. I was also going through the “divorce crazy stage”. So, I think there was even an actual reason to be upset. But, as soon as my life moved on from “divorce crazy” to “some acceptance” and then eventually to “insanely happy”, I couldn’t care less about her. In fact, I wanted her to be a good Smom as that only benefitted my children. I would have prefered that she loved and adored them and treated them as true family, as that would have made them feel loved, secure and accepted. It didn’t turn out that way, as she had issues accepting them. Maybe I’m just biased because of my experience…. I would way prefer my kids to be loved by their Smom.

I guess I am also confident with my role as a mother. The best Smom in the world can’t replace me as a Mom, so why feel threatened by it?

But in the case of my husband and his ex? I don’t get it. It was her choice to leave their marriage to move on to “greener pastures”. I was not in the picture until later – so there was no pent up anger towards me. So why on earth does she carry such anger and animosity? Is it because I actually do love my skids and she would prefer I didn’t ? Or perhaps it is more of a reflection of her own inner self and state of mind….

My skids and I have had this conversation since day one: They have a mother. They love their mother and she loves them. No one can ever replace their mother. No one wants to replace their mother. There is no competition. We don’t even play in the same league.

But the reality is, I have married their father and have become their stepmother. They live with us a full 50% of the time. I have two choices. I could decide to treat them as my “husband’s children” and tolerate their “50% of the time visits” (which I saw what happened with my children and their Smom when this approach was taken). Or, I could try to establish independent relationships with them and develop our own Smom/Skid bond and extend our family circle even wider to include everyone.

I have chosen the latter. Sue me. I have chosen to love them. I have chosen to do all the little things for them that I do with my own kids: celebrate their birthdays, help them with homework, do special things for them, sign them up for activities on our time, show them and tell them I love them. Horrible person that makes me I know.

Our kids all have two homes, but they each have one family. They each have a Mom, a Dad and a Step parent. There is no competition between any of those roles. It’s just the way it is. We can fight it or we can celebrate it and help our kids learn to love their unique family, and live peacefully in two homes.

One of my skid’s teachers summed it up quite nicely I thought at curriculum night (yes, I’m sure me being there again was seen as “crossing the line”. But, I’m at the “whatever” stage now. I go to support my skid). My skid introduced us all to his teacher, and his teacher responded, “Wow, it must be nice to know you are so loved with all these people here for you”. That is the way it should be. No competition. No choice required. Just a bigger family. Two homes, one family.

Let’s just hope she doesn’t put my name on the class list though.

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