When I was younger, I had a friend tell me that I would be a terrible mother — I was too much of a “party girl” and I was much better suited to the “Auntie Mame” role than that of Mrs. Cleaver. She was probably right — I really was a so-called party girl, and to be honest, I’m not very good at even being an Auntie Mame. I forget to send cards on birthdays and I tend to buy books as gifts, a guaranteed, “meh” from children.
Still, sometimes I do wonder what life would be like if I had children, especially now that I’m older. What if I hadn’t listened to that friend? I had always kind of assumed I’d have kids, and kept books and toys that I thought I’d pass along to my future daughter. What if I hadn’t been such a party girl, and instead was looking to settle down? More than being a terrible mother, I was terrible at relationship choices when I was younger. What if I hadn’t met the love of my life later on, after he had already had two kids and that was enough?
So instead of being a mom, I’m a stepmom. And I’m not the best at it — I am definitely in the Auntie Mame school of parenting for sure — but I’m not horrible. But I love these kids so much, and do get great pleasure being part of this family. I lucked out, big time.
I think Mother’s Day for stepmothers can be pretty hard, in my experience anyway. Their mom gets the cards, the flowers, and the one time my stepdaughter gave me a card I was thrilled but confused, like, “Wait, for me? How come?” Whenever anyone wishes me a Happy Mother’s Day, I feel like correcting them, telling them that I’m not a mom. My job as a stepmom is far less than that of their own mother; I don’t deserve any accolades or well-wishes, though it’s nice. If anything I feel like an impostor or an observer on this day.
So this morning I’ve been thinking of all of this, and I must admit, it does hurt a little. My biological clock rusted a long time ago, but I do get little nags now and again. But as I was thinking about it — REALLY thinking about it, I think I know what it is: Mother’s Day is synonymous with brunch. And I really like Eggs Benedict. I don’t know if I’ve cheated myself out of the joy of motherhood or cheated myself out of the joy of Hollandaise sauce. It’s a tough call.
However, they did bring me a cinnamon roll this morning, and that was good. And I just told my stepdaughter that her dress was too short (she’s getting tall) and that it’s cold outside so she should put some leggings on. I can nag with the best of them, just like a “real” mom. Ha cha!
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there, and that includes you stepmothers, too.