You’re not in my social media pictures not because I don’t want you to be.. just remember that.

You’re not in my social media pictures not because I don’t want you to be.. just remember that. * * *

Being a step mom has been the most challenging yet rewarding experience I’ve ever had. Rewarding because I was blessed with a son; challenging because my sons birth mother did not want me to be.

Let me explain...I was a step mom before I was a birth mom. I want you to know as a step parent, we feel no less responsibility, no less love, and no less commitment to our step children than we do our birth children.

My husband had been a full time custodial dad since his son was a baby. I admired him for it and I wanted to commit to being the best mother figure to his son because when I married him, I promised I would care for him as my own. Aj and his son moved to Texas officially in 2015! I knew I would never be able to replace (nor would I ever want to replace) his birth mom but I wanted to be the best example of a mother to him I could possibly be.

I played with him every day, worked with him every day, reading, teaching him how to bathe himself, brush his teeth, hang his towel up after bath time (that one is still difficult to remember lol). I wiped his bottom after potty-ing for goodness sakes! We said our prayers every night before I tucked him into bed. No candy, yes sir- no sir, thank you, please, your welcome.. “Manners always Baby”, we taught him. He was as much my son as a birth son would’ve been. I even paid for tutors, private schools, sports programs out of my pocket to help him thrive.

I remember I cried the first time he said “mom can I have a yogurt”.. I thought to myself, did he just call me mom??? I almost stood in shock and then almost felt butterflies in my stomach that he would out of no where feel comfortable enough to call me mom!! Soon it was mommy.. that was even better .

I cried the first time he drew me a picture with the word MOM on it... I still have it. I teared up when I took him to swim practice and we would wave in excitement and pride through the window .. “look at me!”... or the stars in his eyes when I said we were going to whataburger! I remember the first time you felt your sister in my tummy! I remember taking you behind dads back to get strawberry ice cream after school (shhh don’t tell). T-ball practice was the best... I loved seeing you working to be the best like your dad had always taught you. I even loved meeting with your teachers and them telling me “how spirited” you were. Even when you got a bad report you would say “who can get better— ANYBODY!”. I loved you (still do) and loved being a mommy (still do).

But I also cried when I heard you tell me she told you not to call me mom anymore and instead.. “Alyssa”. BUT I STILL LOVE YOU. I cried when you told me “my mom says your not my mom because I didn’t come from your tummy.” BUT I STILL LOVE YOU. I teared up when I looked at my bank account and I had spent the last $$ in my savings account to try to keep you here with us. BUT SON, I STILL LOVE YOU. I cried when she told me I couldn’t attend parent teacher conferences anymore or that I couldn’t post pictures of you on social media because I’m not your mom. BUT I STILL LOVE YOU. I was in so much pain when she accused us of hurting you (sickening!). I STILL CONTINUED TO LOVE YOU. I cried when I felt the wedge she placed between you and I, and myself and Aj. I cried when the stress was so high that your dad and I almost divorced. EVEN THEN, I STILL LOVED YOU, SON. I cried the most when we made the decision to let you go be with your mom for a little bit BUT WE DID IT BECAUSE WE LOVE YOU.

Heres the deal... I can’t imagine how difficult, or challenging it must be as a birth mom to accept another woman helping raise your child/children so please understand I have IMMENSE respect for you if you are doing things the right way. And VICE VERSA. However, I do need to stand up for the BLENDED FAMILY that doesn’t have mature co-parents who think of the child before their own insecurities/jealousy. Children come first— let them love both sides, don’t force them out of bonding with bonus parents. Bonus parents are just that.. a BONUS. Whether you realize it or not.. kids will remember the wedge you create and in the end they’ll run to those who never create wedges at all!

Now, you’ve been with her for 3 years. We haven’t seen you in almost 1 full year. Not because we don’t want to.. just remember that. We will show you everything one day when you’re older. We will show you we bought flights (that she didn’t put you on) and how we called every night, (and she didn’t answer).

We will be here waiting for you to learn the truth and until then, know that we loved you all along.