Another Mother’s Day has come and gone. Many well wishes were given to me celebrating my step-mothership (I know it’s not a real word) but I accepted them feeling empty. It hasn’t gotten easier being the “stranger” who married their father.
As of recently, the children’s mom appeared to be nicer to my husband in reference to me. But, in my eyes, the damage has been done. For the past 6 years, I (and my husband since he decided to move on with his life) have been treated as the enemy. The kids were undoubtedly told they were unloved by their father and I would never be their mother and need not be respected. How do I know this, you ask? The children’s awkward stares and questions tell us much. Although my husband suspected this to be the case, it has been manifesting itself little by little.
Soooo after much back and forth and their mom literally being a barrier between them, his son is now living with us. Primarily because her hand has been “bitten”. Hence why she is being nice. (Old people saying alert: “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you”). The son whom she spoiled, kept away from his father, gave extensive freedom to and stood in the way of fatherly wisdom and discipline now has a 16 year old mouth and an inappropriate amount of disrespect to use it. Like I said earlier, the damage was done. And now, she wants the father who loses sleep over not being able to see his kids to get involved. I wonder if other men would have said ” you created this, you deal with it!”. I’ve read countless stories of fathers who fought with their children’s mom so much, it just became easier to let go of their kids. My husband was ready and willing to bring his son to what he referred to as a “balanced home”. This showed me how much he loved his son despite everything and I knew that whatever was going on at his mom’s house was not happening with us.
I watched Jada Pinkett-Smith first episode of her show “Red Table Talk” on Facebook. I was amazed (and admittedly a little jealous) at the conversation she had with Tre’s mother. It played well to my current position except I had no table or conversation. There was no table or any platform for her and I. I remember a time when the children’s mom was yelling in the phone to my husband I should have kids of my own if I wanted to help with math and english assignments. They were 7 and 10 years old. Or when one of the kids would say their dad was home with them when I was the only adult present at the time. That was about 2 weeks ago. So, yeah, there were no conversations to be had. My husband took the role of Will Smith and was helping me find my place in the aftermath of their breakup. Although, I feel, it was a learning experience for him as well.
I saw in her show the importance of having all parties involved in raising children. Old people saying No. 2: “It takes a village to raise a child “. Children form their own ideas when their parents split: blaming themselves, identifying causative factors and finding ways to get parents back together a la “Parent Trap” style. Guiding children on the path to understanding requires everyone to be involved and committed to the well-being of the children. I look forward to learning more.
The children are now older, 14 and 16. I wonder if I really need to have a conversation with their mom. Is it really necessary at this point? (Mrs. Pinkett-Smith would LOVE your viewpoint on this!). Now that his son is with us, I’ve decided to have a seat at my figurative square table with its sharp pointy edges. Its definitely not as smooth as Mrs. Pinkett-Smith’s lovely red round table which speaks completeness and understanding. I divulge as much information and teaching about life as gently as I can on our platform. Thankfully, hubby and I are a united front.