I took Paisley a while back to get her nails done on one of our usual ‘girls days’ that we have together. The lady smiled at us sitting in our manicure chairs and said, “Oh, lovely fingernails! Do you like to get your nails done with your Mom?”
“She’s not my mom…”
My heart completely sank. Again.
This wasn’t the first time that this has happened, and I’m sure it will not be the last. Paisley looked up at me with a ‘Gosh, why do they keep saying that’ sweet and sassy attitude and I just smiled at her and gave a wink. I looked at the lady and said, “We are just here for our girls day. Painting our nails is one of our favorite things we get to do together.” The woman just smiled and walked away. She didn’t know, I get it. And I didn’t know my feelings would be so hurt, but I should have expected it to a little I suppose…
I never once, since the day they came into my life, ever expected, pictured or wanted his kids to call me ‘mom.’ They have a great mother, who is a very special and main part of their every day life and they definitely don’t need me to fill that role by any means. Having Owen, in the same situation, I share that same feeling with her. That hard gut feeling of frustration of knowing that you have to share your children’s life with someone else. There is some anger, some frustration and some self control that gets mixed in. This was not my plan, and I know it wasn’t theirs as parents, but we have to find a way to make it work and understand that this is part of life, part of moving on and the part of growing that we need to be able to mold our future. This should never be a competition. This is just love. What child couldn’t use some extra love?
Those words though, ‘she’s not my mom,’ do tug at my achy heart strings a little bit each time I think about it or when I actually hear the words come out. And I can’t help but feel a little bit lonely. It feels like it is getting (a tiny bit) easier as time goes on, but maybe that’s just me learning to accept it rather than actually being okay with it. There has always been a part of me during this journey that makes me think that I am or never will be good enough. Moments like these when I feel the most blessed and happy, there is just something that triggers and only makes me feel that yes, there is still something missing. I’ve always wanted a big family, in which I’ve always envisioned carrying and giving birth to them all. You know, being known as ‘mom.’ But that plan has changed, as I know it does in many other families in various ways. But getting my mind to understand this has been a pretty darn difficult thing.
At the end of every day, I’m here. I’m here for these kids and for all of us. They know I’ll be there when they need a friend, someone to talk to, someone to help them, give advice and help guide. They know that they can call me whatever ‘name’ they want, however they see me fit into their life. But what I most certainly do know, is that I love them just as much as Owen, for their own individuality. I would do anything for them. Being ‘Mom’ is something I don’t need to be to fill this role.
As long as they will know just that, my heart will feel fulfilled.