Momma, Can I Call Sue 'Mom'?

I slapped a big fake smile on my face when my daughter asked me the question that ripped at my heart.  I tried to hide the pain and pretend that my answer was a no-brainer when in fact I felt as if I'd been stomach punched.  I'd hoped she couldn't see my true feelings when I said, "Of course you can!" when she asked me if it would be okay if she called Sue 'Mom'.  Both of my girls then began singing Sue's praises...telling me about all of the cool stuff that they'd do together at Dad's since he'd married Sue.  Sue had a daughter slightly older than my two girls so they were like stepping stones and they made a happy trio.  They got to stay at a real house with a yard of it's own and they had dogs and a horse.  It was waaaaaaay cooler than our little apartment. 

So, I had to deal with my jealousy.  I didn't ask for it to rear it's ugly head but it did.  I was green with it but I did not have any intention of letting such a stupid, self-centered, useless, negative emotion color my life.  After all, what is it that I would WANT their relationship with their new step-mom to be like?  Bad?  Noooooooooooo.  So, the fact that Sue was so good and warm and welcoming to my children that they felt loved enough by her to want to call her Mom was a wonderful thing for them.  Besides, I'd met Sue a few times back when Ronald and I were still married and I'd liked her.  Her ex was a police officer too and we'd been to a few of the same back yard get togethers.  I had to remind myself that her being able to enjoy a good relationship with them had nothing to do with the quality of our relationship.  Sue and I never became the Bobbsey Twins but we joined forces now and then in doing things together with the kids.  It's safe to say that we did become real friends. 

My girls were in elementary school when Sue became their step-mom.  Her marriage to Ronald didn't last forever, but her relationship with my girls did.  Sue died a few years back and it was a tragedy to us all.  I couldn't have picked a better person to be my children's other mother.  Sue is sorely missed.
honeybit honeybit
61-65, F
11 Responses Jul 3, 2010

You are wonderful!

it sounds like u had normal feelings. you wanted to share your kids with someone but not as another mother. i hope everyone is still doing well even with Sues death

Looks like you took that green and turned it into gratitude. Good for you! Sorry about Sue...

I love this story. Actually Mama went through the same thing with me and my step-mother...only years later did she tell me how it just "killed" her to put on a happy face about it.....and I think you are right....I think ya'll did become REAL friends.

Hi Karen, Yes this is a wonderful story of how an aware mind can bring out the best in any situation. It is never easy but always worth while.

Thank you Sage. I promise you I've done my share of screwing up but I am glad that in this instance I did do the right thing at least once.

You handled that beautifully. I guess many would have behaved like they were the child and felt long lasting resentment. You are a great mom!

Thank you so much AM! I am the one who is amazed at the wonderful human connection to be found here on EP. It IS a small world after all!

I agree. I'm so used to hearing stories or hearing cries of utter contempt and disgust where the exact opposite reaction happens, so you could probably imagine the amount of awe and admiration I felt while reading that.<br />
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People can be incredibly selfish and self-centred, and you're clearly coming from the opposite spectrum. I hope more people read your story and take a leaf from it, because you have a lot to share.

Thank you DepthsUnknown -- I am truly touched.

You are a strong, sensitive, and well-centered woman. The world could (and should) learn from your insight and your capacity for understanding.