Last year, I found out I was pregnant the Friday before Mother’s Day. I think David was the only person I told at that point, wanting confirmation from the Doctor’s Office and a little time before I shared the news with the world.
Last year and the year before, I was a Mother’s Day outsider. I still am in a way. I am a Step Mother. I have two children who I call my children but who do not call me their Mother. Because I am not. And they shouldn’t. They have a mother.
There is no clear relationship for what a step-mother should be to her step-children. I’m ok with forging my own path, with following their lead, with sometimes making the wrong choice. But there are certain situations where it becomes sticky for them and I see that Mother’s Day is one of them.
Their mom picked them up at 9am this morning, but all weekend, it has been on their minds. My “Mother-ness” has been on their minds. They worry what Abraham will call me since they call me “Vicki.” They want to know if he is giving me a gift or card (no, just a giant poop, which is a good enough gift from a baby). Their friends come over to play and call me “Zoë’s Mom” or “Nathan’s Mom” and they look to me to see what I will say (I say, you can just call me Vicki – not wanting to make a big deal which I know upsets the kids, we’ve talked about it).
Having Abraham makes this easier and more complicated at the same time. They call him their brother, they crawl into my side of the bed to snuggle him the morning, they miss him and us when they are not at our house. But it makes them closer to me, which I know makes their situation more complicated.
I have a Mother, and Grandmothers and a Mother-in-law and Grandmother-in-law. I love all of these women differently. I am an adult and understand how that can be. That loving my Mother-in-Law does not displace my love for my Mother.
Last Mother’s Day I had a tiny, secret child inside of me. This Mother’s Day I had a growing, chatty boy outside of me, though frequently attached to me. Everything else was the same, but always changing.