Feb 16, 2015

Mom to Mom // Stepmom Love From Emily

I became a mom for the first time in a different way than most women. Not biologically.  And to be honest with you, I am not 100% sure of the exact moment that I became a mom, but it is just something that I know now.

I met Ella and Charlie 3 months after I met Nick, and probably two weeks after we started dating.  Ella was 5 at the time and Charlie was 3. I remember being so nervous because I wasn’t sure how they would react to me.  I remember Ella sitting on the couch and starting at me.  Not in a strange way or anything, but she was obviously trying to figure me out.  I spent much of our first afternoon together playing with Charlie and stuffed animals and my heart exploded a little when I made Ella laugh.  The four of us spent every Saturday and some longer stints together for the whole first year I dated Nick and there are flashes of events that really stick out in my memory of that first year with them.

We wanted to do everything in the world with them all in one day, so there was little time for napping and sometimes dinners happened too late and bedtimes stretched way past due.  On one such weekend, we had taken the kids to the Japanese steak house.  Or maybe the zoo.  That part isn’t important, but as we were coming home from _____, Charlie mentioned from his car seat that he didn’t feel well.  I had turned around in my seat to look at him and ask him what it was that was hurting him. Without responding he gagged and projectile barfed everywhere.  We were close to home so there was maybe a minute between him getting sick and Nick carrying him into the house.  Nick sat him on the counter and I hugged him and helped him take off his dirty shirt while Nick went to clean the car. Nick walked back into the kitchen, Charlie threw up again, and I caught it all in my hands. Nick stared at me like I was crazy. I was already covered in the stuff because I had hugged Charlie while he cried and then here I was standing and holding two handfuls of it. I remembered not thinking that there was one thing wrong with that.  Looking back on that, I realize that these are the things that help make a mom - not thinking it’s weird to be covered in barf because you can’t imagine not hugging that child and trying everything you can to make them feel better.

Fast forward a few years to this past summer. We had a long week together and a few hours left before they hop on a plane with their mom to go home.  This part kills us.  All 4 of us, but Nick and Ella the most.  They both wear their hearts on their sleeve and anticipating the separation weighs on them.  We head to the neighborhood park and I can see it in Ella’s face. She has such a big heart for such a little girl and I love her to the moon for it.  Desperate for a fun distraction, I announce that we will be building an elf house.  We had seen one such elf house a few days prior, (a small door with a knob that an artist had drawn onto a large tree trunk), so making one of our own seemed like an obvious activity.  We spent the next few hours designing our house, running around the park looking for materials, and trying to figure out the best way to put a pool in the back yard, (hint: its with a huge leaf).  While we were searching for the perfect pieces of bark, Ella grabbed my hand and smiled at me and told me she thought I had the best ideas.  Again, heart explosion.

So I already am a mom. A step-mom.  All three of them: Ella, Charlie and Nick each make me so excited, to not only be the step mom I already am, but to become a different kind of mama someday.  To know how I feel about the three of them already seems so powerful and explosive that having babies myself someday, and knowing that that will only make all of those feelings stronger, seems unfathomable to me.  But I’m excited.  Terribly excited.  You should see my face as I’m writing this. These are things that make a mama.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so very much for saying so! I was honored to have Emily share for Mom to Mom. I think she did a lovely job.


  2. This post means a lot to me! I have read it multiple times. I am dating a single dad and this post is exactly how I feel about my boyfriend girls. Its so reassuring to have someone share a similar story. Its so nice to see all the different types of mamas in the world! :)


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