Yesterday when I came to work the two-and-a-half year old I nanny for was not happy to see me. Her mom and dad have both been working lots of hours, and I walked in right as her mom was getting her out of bed.
"You can't come in! Go away!" Not the warmest welcome I've ever received.
I do understand, however. I know she loves me and likes to spend time with me -- it's just that your mom is your mom, and no one can take her place.
Which brings me to one of the many reasons I wanted to have a baby to begin with. In the past twelve years I've had four nanny jobs and become a stepmom to three. Always the bridesmaid; never the bride.
As much as I've loved the kids under my care, and as much as I consider my husband's children part of my family, the truth is, I'm on the periphery.
At work I can be undermined or let go at a moment's notice (not the norm, thankfully). And no matter how wonderful and loving and fun I am, and no matter how emotionally unavailable and psychologically damaged the mother is (also not the norm), I can't compare to Mom. I'm always second best.
It's the same with being a stepmother. My husband completely supports and facilitates my relationship with his kids, but they're still his
kids. I'm at the mercy of their mother, who in the past has told them that I'm nothing to them, tried to convince them that they don't like me, or told them that if I chaperone one of their field trips (my stepson's idea) it would "kill her."
Things are better now -- thank God -- and I have a good relationship with my stepkids, but I'm not their mom.
I realize that in a few years this baby boy of mine will tell me, "I don't want you -- I want Daddy
!" and later on, as we butt heads during the teen years, maybe even, "I hate you!"
But I'm his mom. Not the nanny. Not the babysitter. Not his dad's wife. His mom
. And I couldn't be more excited.