As most people know, I do not have any children of my own. I do not have the privilege of being called Mommy. None the less, I am happily in a relationship with someone who does have a kid. She is a beautiful and intelligent little girl who refers to me as Jevine, Jevine-o, BFF, or sometimes the occasional PooPoo Head when we’re being silly. I would never dream of trying to replace her mother, but that shouldn’t and will not stop me from loving and nurturing her all the same.
I do understand that most people are not at their best during a break-up, and I understand that some bad things have happened in the process. However, I was not the cause of your break-up and I should not be blamed, hated or villainized by you and that should not be what Jahshae is taught to feel about me. Not for my sake, but for hers. She does not need to carry that in her heart. I am not the reason that one family is now two. When Jahshae is in her daddy’s care, her mind is not tainted with foul words of you or your family. John doesn’t orally object to the fact that he now shares the title dad with another man. He accepts the love people want to give his baby girl because she deserves the best in this life.
Every time you speak ill of me or her Dad when she is with you, she hears it and it stays in her heart and mind. She internalizes it, and struggles to feel that she is staying true to you, her Mom, by being angry when with us. I can deal with that, I’m an adult that understood what dating a father would entail. However, when she gets into trouble and starts acting out, my heart breaks. I hurt for her because I know it isn’t her fault. She is just a child and she simply does not know any better.
If the issue is that you are concerned because you do not know me or what type of influence I will be on her then put your pride away and talk to me like normal adults. You can learn that I am not a horrible person. I’m a regular woman just like you. I have my flaws, but I will always do my best to care for Jahshae when she is with us.
If you are concerned about sharing her affections with me, please don’t be. You are her mother, and you always will be. There is no one on this earth that can replace you, including me. I don’t want to replace you. That is not and was never my intention. I just want to be given the opportunity to develop my own bond with this amazing child. And I am happy to say that 99% of the time, we do have a great relationship. I enjoy watching her grow up and reach her milestones. I want her to feel loved. I want to offer her the world just as you do. No, I am not her mommy. And yes, she knows that.
We are adults and we should deal with things in a grown-up manner by communicating with each other, not through the child. It’s not fair to make her feel like she must have a horrible time when with us just to show that she is loyal to you. Your daughter did not sign up for all of the emotional struggles. Yes, we have a healthy relationship with Jahshae, but that in no way whatsoever detracts from your place in her life, heart, or mind.
I have never once wanted to replace you; I know I couldn’t even if I tried! You and only you are her mother! But just as parents that adopt a child end up loving them as much as a child that shares their DNA, I too can love your child that much. That means she has the opportunity to have another grown-up loving her, wanting to help her, being able to teach her things. That’s one of the very few things that are a positive in this situation.
Coming into a relationship with a man who already had a child, I promised myself that if ever there were a chance the child’s parents could get back together, I would happily remove myself from the equation. But both parents have moved forward. You made your choice a long time ago. Jahshae has a new baby brother and has two Dads. She is loved by so many individuals and to me, that gives her a greater chance at an amazing future. And I believe that is what we all want for her.
No matter what the reason that the two of you are no longer together and no matter who did what, it’s not the her fault that she now has a step-dad (or a step-mom) in addition to her biological mother and father. She shouldn’t be influenced to not enjoy her time with either parent. She should be allowed to have another person love her and try their best to guide her throughout the trials of childhood and adolescence.
I don’t want to take your place; I just want to be allowed a place of my own.