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The Love-Mother

By On Dec 2 2010, 6:00 am

When I get married at the end of this month, I’ll be acquiring not only a husband, but also a stepdaughter. She’s six, and she’s adorable and feisty and always up to something new. I don’t have kids of my own, so becoming part of her life has been, well…eye-opening. Wonderful, but…well, mind-expanding. Here’s a list of things I never did before she came into my life.

1. Watch Barbie movies. I never liked Barbie as a kid, but now I’ve watched every one of these movies. Luckily, they’re not bad. They’re fun and generally have a positive message for young girls. And she LOVES them. So I watch them.
2. Pretend to be a prince. Yep, in games of make believe, I get stuck with the prince role while she gets to be the beautiful princess. I don’t mind too much—at least I don’t have to be the evil stepmother.
3. Wipe another person’s butt. She was three when I came into her life, and that time has included learning how to properly tend to herself. I’ve changed diapers, of course, but it’s never gone beyond that before. Did I mention “mind-expanding”?
4. Take half an hour to get out of the house. When I was single, I grabbed my purse and walked out the door. No more! With three of us, there’s coats, boots, hair-brushing, snacks, things we forgot, the last-minute trip to the bathroom…half an hour is optimistic sometimes.
5. Worry so much. About that cough she has, about her sugar intake, about the kid who was mean to her in school, about whether she’s learning to read fast enough, about whether it’s hard on her, having a stepmother.

That was my biggest worry, until she informed me she doesn’t like the word “stepmother”—all those fairy tales—so I’m now her “love-mother.” I figure, if she loves me half as much as I love her, we’ll be okay.

Any advice for a soon-to-be “love-mother” would be much appreciated!


10 Responses to “The Love-Mother”

  1. MJ says:

    No advice, I just wanted to say I love your post, and congratulations!!!

  2. Sami Lee says:

    Aww, she sounds like such a special addition to your life. Congratulations.

  3. Pamela Fryer says:

    What a sweet post. I love the “Love Mother.” It sounds like you’re doing everything right (you had me at “worry”)

    I don’t have kids, but I love the Tinkerbell movies. Sponge Bob…Crash Buttowski…Futurama…Phineas & Ferb….

    p.s. congratulations on your upcoming nuptials!

  4. Awww…that is so sweet! You sound like a wonderful “love-mother”! Congrats!!

  5. Knstrick says:

    As a child of a loving step-parent, can I just say thank you for being a good “lovemother”. I love that name! I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful and patient stepfather who treated me as his own. He allowed me to have a father in my life when I wouldn’t have had one and I know he made me who I am today just as much if not more than my biological mother. Your post made me smile and send an “I love you Dad” to my dad.

  6. Lainey Reese says:

    awww! This is so awesome. It sounds to me like she’s as lucky to have you as you are to have her.
    I love the love-mother angle.
    My daughter is adopted and my husband didn’t come along until she was 3. I don’t think it’s possible for two parents to love more than we do. If having a biological child would bring about a deeper love than what we have for her, I doubt that either of us could survive it. She is in the center of every decision, and the axis on which our lives revolve.
    Don’t let the ‘step’ part fool you… I tell my child all the time: “God didn’t make you from our bodies, but he made you just for us all the same.” So, tell yourself that when ever a doubt or worry comes along. Or when you feel like you’re making a mess of things and think you’re failing miserably…God put that precious little girl in your life because no one else could be her love-mother but you.

  7. Sharon says:

    I absolutely love the “love-mother” idea, that is so awesome. One thing you might want to consider is to have a day that you two celebrate your special connection. Maybe it’s the first day you met her or a day that is special to the two of you. My friend who has adopted two children that she has fostered always makes a big deal about the day they came to live with her. She calls it their “together forever” day. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

  8. Mary G says:

    Oh My, Juniper
    I loved your post, it gave me goosebumps. You don’t need advice if she calls you her love-mother. How wonderful. She may not be a child of your body but she’s a child of your heart. Thank you for sharing something so precious.

  9. Oh, Juniper, that’s great. “Love-mother” <g> When I met my husband, he had two daughters who were 2 and 4 at the time. It was often challenging, but there was a lot of joy also. No advice except make her a part of your life and it sounds like you’ve already done that. Congrats on your upcoming wedding.

  10. Juniper Bell says:

    Thank you so much to everyone who left such lovely, wonderful, helpful comments! I never expected to get such beautiful advice and support, and I truly appreciate it. Love from the “love-mother”!


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