I’m not a “REAL” mom


Being a stepmom comes with so many obstacles. One of them is the criticism and judgment you receive from society, mainly the moms. 

I’m pretty young for being a stepmom. I pretty much became one when I was 18 years old. That’s reallyyyyyy young. I knew it would be difficult at times but I never imagined how other “real” moms would make me feel. 

“You didn’t carry a child, you’re not a real mom”

So if you adopted, you’re not a real mom? If you had a surrogate, you’re not a real mom? My question is what makes a mom a “real” mom then?

I’ve cared for a little boy since he was a year old. I’ve made sure he’s had food in his belly, clothes on his back, helped potty train him, changed his dirty dirty diapers, he,led him learn words… I’ve nursed him back to health when he was sick. Kissed boo boos. I’ve comforted him when he was scared or had bad dreams. I’ve helped discipline him and teach him right from wrong. Even with all that I’ve done for this tiny human for over 4 years, in the eyes of society and mothers everywhere, I’m not a “real” mother.

This is one of the most hurtful and difficult realities I’ve had to face. I’ve felt it more recently than any other time. I’ve felt excluded so many times. That’s probably the worst feeling. Even though you do everything a biological mother does for her child, you’re not seen as a mother. 

If there are other step moms, foster moms, adoptive moms and everyone else in between that have felt this way, don’t worry you’re not alone. I’ve learned that we ARE moms. Biology has nothing to do with it. If you love and care for a child as if they were made from you then yes you are a mother! 

I don’t like saying that Brysen is my stepson. In my eyes and heart he is my son. I want to know everything he does on a daily basis whether he’s with me or not. I worry about him. I wonder if he had a good day at school. If he’s feeling well or not. If he misses me and his dad as much as we miss him when he’s not with us.

I don’t like feeling excluded by other moms. He’s my son too and I will always make sure I am involved in everything he does. Whether he calls me mom or not does not define me either. My relationship with him is that of a mother and son. It’s special and loving.

A “real” mother loves and cares for her child. To me that is what makes a woman a real mom.

I’m sure there are others who feel or have felt this way and I hope this brings them comfort in knowing they’re not alone and they are amazing REAL mamas!

9 Responses
  • Lisa Mecham
    September 8, 2016

    Sooo I love this post. Being the biological mom, a step-mom, and the mom of a half-sibling, I can honestly say that I am just as much a mother to my stepdaughters as I am to my other kids. They are my family and I am just as involved and dedicated to them. As painful as it can be being the biological mom and watching another woman help raise your child, it’s SO much better for the kids to be surrounded by love and have great, stable homes all the way around.

    • Irene
      September 8, 2016

      They’re a lot happier when there is no negativity between homes! They love everyone the same! Just like parents can have more than one child they love kids can have more than one mom they love!

      • Micky penley
        September 8, 2016

        Amen to this.. I wished all parents had this view ans stop the competition.. There isn’t ANY!!

  • SueEllen Williams
    September 8, 2016

    I love this…I’ve been a step mom, it’s a tough place to be but a beautiful one too.
    We are in the process of an adoption, she will be a newborn…I dare someone ever to say I’m not a “real” mom…
    I actually thought you were his ” biological”mother in all your post I never saw you as anything else.
    Is his biological mother in his life? just curious
    I feel for your struggle, but you are doing an amazing job as his MOM!!:)

    • Irene
      September 8, 2016

      It’s tough but worth it you’re right! She is, we almost have a 50/50 schedule with him. She’s very active as well not a dead beat by any means

      • Micky penley
        September 8, 2016

        I know them both and respect them equally for working through things for sake of the child.. And you love are a rock star.. As I too wear the step mom shoes with an not so equally playing player.. But again no comparison .. No competition at least on my part.. Kudos for this blog.. Utmost respect for you..

        • Irene
          September 18, 2016

          Thank you so much! Never a competition. Its all about love for the kid!

  • Sam
    September 16, 2016

    Very well written and true! Irene you are an amazing mother. And it shows in everything you post. Don’t let the other mom’s make you believe otherwise. All that matters is you give your son a good home and that he’s happy and healthy. Keep up the great work with the blog – my wife loves your style tips!

    • Irene
      September 18, 2016

      Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind words! Its hard at times but i feel that maybe with this post moms will take a second and think about how their words and actions affect moms like me! You are very right! As long as hes happy everything else doesn’t matter. He has two loving homes and hes completely happy and loved

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