I hope you had a great easter! I sure did.
Anyway, this morning I somehow ended up having a really deep conversation with Eddie, my oldest stepson. I don’t really know how it started, but it went something like this: ”You know, before any of us lived together, I actually lived back in Denmark” I told him. He was utterly shocked by that… Haha!
(It’s funny because we have actually been to Denmark twice the past year, visiting my family, but apparently it ever occurred to him that I actually lived there before. His reaction and facial expression was hilarious!)
”Whaaaaat?” he bursted out. His big brown eyes stared at me and he was clearly trying to wrap his head around these seemingly shocking news. ”Yes, I did. I grew up there too. Then I met Daddy and we fell in love”… He sat on my lap, playing with my necklace, as I continued my story. ”…and because we were in love, we had a choice to make. Either Daddy had to move to Denmark and live with me, but then he would never really get to see you guys, or I had to move here to be with all of you… and I chose to move here so you guys could still have Daddy close”.
Eddie responded in a typical 4-year-old way: ”But we would still have Mommy!” and that kind of child logic can be hard to argue with sometimes… ”That’s true, but you still need both of your parents, even though they aren’t living together anymore, sweetheart”. Eddie sat there a little while and he was clearly taking it all in.
”Mia… When Daddy said that he didn’t want to live with Mommy anymore, Mommy cried a lot… For a very, very, very long time. She cried and cried and cried…” Eddies voice was calm, but it was clear as day that it was bothering him and it made him sad.
In that moment, my heart simply broke for him. I always knew it was hard on them when their dad moved out, and that it bad been hard for their mom too. I guess that it had just never really occurred to me what kind of impact it had on the kids that their mom was sad… Not until that very moment.
It must have been so hard for them… Being so little, having their life turned upside down, their mom was sad and crying and they had no chance of making it better. I can’t even imagine how frustrating and heartbreaking that must have been for them… For all three of them actually.
I felt a knot in my stomach as my thoughts slowly unravelled. I had no idea what I was supposed to say, but I answered him in the best way I could possibly think of…
”Of course mommy was sad, sweetie… It was a really sad situation, but you know, sometimes moms and dads just don’t want to live together anymore. Even though it’s hard, it’s often for the best. Look at you now… You still have mommy, daddy, but you also have a step-mommy, three new fury brothers, you have new cousins in Denmark… You have sooo much now” and even though he smiled at me with his big, goofy grin that reminds me so much of his dad and said that he wanted even more, I know that in a heart beat, it would probably all be traded if it meant that he could have his parents back together under the same roof.
I guess that that is the biggest downside of being a stepmom…
Even if you are a good one, you will always be their last choice. No matter how much you love them and they love you, they love their parents more and they will choose them over you. It’s understandable, but it hurts… Especially when all the sacrifices you have made was for them.
One day about a month into our new life of living together, Eddie and I had an argument and he got really mad at me. He walked away and when he came back five minutes later, he said: ”Daddy… Mommy just called. She wants me and Levi and you to come back home to her”.
Honestly? I would rather have taken a stab with a knife directly to my heart than hearing those words uttered, it would have been less painful! Without saying a word, I walked to the bedroom, closed the door behind me and I cried in bed for hours. I was completely devastated.
Up until that moment, I had done nothing but giving up everything for these kids. They were the whole reason why I moved to Sweden in the first place, so they didn’t have to grow up without a father, like I did… I had sacrificed my business, my education, my family and friends, and 3 of my dogs, and it had been the hardest thing I had ever done.
Björn came in multiple times and tried to comfort me… ”Baby, he didn’t mean it like that” and I knew that already. To be honest, it wasn’t what he said that hurt me, it was the pain hidden in his words. I knew that he never intended to hurt my feelings, he simply said it because it was the truth and behind that truth was something even more heartbreaking: It was probably harder for him having two homes than I had thought it was. That hurt the most.
Eddie said that because he wanted things to go back to normal, and I couldn’t blame him for that. Still, it just hurt me so much knowing that he was having a hard time dealing with the choices his dad and I had made, because all I ever wanted was to love those to little boys with my whole heart, and that was all I had done up until now.
I was devastated. No matter how much I loved him, I couldn’t take away his pain or give him what he wanted: To have his parents back together.
The truth is, if I could have granted him that wish… I would have. If I could have turned back time and made sure that his mommy and daddy would have the same love as me and their father, I would have done it… without even thinking twice about it. In a blink of an eye I would have erased myself from their life as if I never existed, and have them all living the rest of their lives as one big happy family. I would have let them all go, no matter what would have happened to me.
One thing is certain though: I would be miserable without them. I would have been completely heartbroken, and I honestly don’t see how I could ever survive that… Yet, I would still have done it. I guess that’s what love is all about, making sacrifices and putting someones happiness before your own.
However, I did eventually stop crying and the pain in my heart subsided a bit, but a painful reminder of the truth was left behind: I will always be the last choice, even if they are my first. I have carried that with me ever since in every confrontation we have had, along with the fear of not being good enough for them.
The last time Eddie ever mentioned that he wished that his parents lived together was probably five months ago. This time it was different, and it didn’t hurt as much, because he didn’t say it as a result of an argument or disagreement. He just sat there with his big brown eyes and wondered about things and life, like he often does because he’s quite the little philosopher.
I took a different approach this time and answered him: ”I understand, sweetheart… But you know, then Mia would be alone… and I would be really sad without you”. He looked up at me, his brown eyes even bigger than before and they were filled with worry. I could see that it made him sad to think about. ”Mia… ” Eddie began nuzzling my hand and continued ”You need to come and live with me and Levi and Mommy and Daddy” and it was written all over his face that this was the greatest idea he had ever had. I hugged him and I couldn’t help but laugh a little bit of the thought of us all living together… How weird would that be? Haha! Just imagine it: the wife and the mistress under the same roof!
Eddie looked up at me, clearly waiting for my response to this perfect solution to our problem, so once again I answered him in the best way I could think of: ”It sounds really nice, sweetheart… but I don’t really think that it would work out in the end. Besides, we have it pretty good here with the dogs and the cat, don’t we?” he nodded and almost as if the conversation had never taken place, he ran off to play in his room…
He’s such a funny kid that one. One minute we can have a deep conversation about life and the next second he can turn around and say ”Mia, my farts smell like poop sausages”. I really love that about him! He’s such a little joker…
So, in the year we have lived together, one thing has clearly changed… I went from being replaceable to someone they don’t want to live without. Maybe I’m their last choice, but it doesn’t mean that the choice wouldn’t be prioritized. Being the last choice doesn’t mean that I’m not important, it just means that I’m almost as important as their biological mom and dad, and I have no problem with that. Actually, I think it’s my biggest accomplishment of all in the year we have lived together!
The truth is that loving those two rascals isn’t hard… In fact, they make it impossible for me not to. The truth is that I have probably fell in love with them the very first time I ever saw them on Skype, just like I did with their dad.
I may only be “The Stepmom”, and I might not have given birth to them, but they are my kids too and I love them more than I ever thought was possible. Being their stepmom isn’t just a choice… it’s a privilege, it’s an honor. It’s extremely hard and very frustrating at times, yes, but the hard work pays off and the reward makes it worth it all in the end:
Being called ”Mamma Mia”…
Nothing but love,
I know I’ve been a little slow with the blog lately, and I’m sorry, but hey! At least it gives you time to catch up with my story of how me and Björn actually met in case you missed out on some chapters! Happy reading!