I am a step parent to two children. One is 20 and will be getting married in July, and one is 18 and will be graduating from high school in a few weeks. I met these two children when they were 8 and 10. Being a stay at home mom to my child plus these two before I had my own has been rewarding. Being a step parent can be hard especially when there are other personalities involved. I always hoped that I was doing right by them and setting standards for them that I would expect from my own children, but you just never know.
Saturday my oldest daughter Michelle graduated from college and in the midst of all of that she still remembered that Sunday was Mother's Day. I didn't expect her to do anything, after all I am just her step mom. The card she gave me really hit home to how much of an influence I really have had in her life.
It says You're someone who knows that "family" is the people you love in your life. You're someone whose "motherly ways" have meant the world to me.
After I stopped crying I realized that I have done a good job. You do the best to teach your children the right ways and hope that they take the right path and that they learn from their mistakes. You fight your own battles and learn from your own mistakes, so that when they grow up into adults they don't have to fight the same ones. Family has always been very important in my own up bringing and I always tried to set the example for my children so that they would know, no matter what, your family is always there for you. I know that she understands that. I know that she considers me as much a mom as she does her own mom.
So as parents, step parents or whatever you are to small children who will grow up and be young adults and leave to start their own lives, just remember, that just because you might think you are not setting an example or impacting their lives, you are. There are many things to teach your children, but knowing that I have taught her that family is important and relationships that you build are important lets me know that home is where her heart is and hopefully when she has her own children she will pass along the things that are important in her life to her children.
Loving your children is easy (sometimes). Teaching them to take the right path isn't always. You do the best you can do and pray for them and hope that they will be the adults you have always hoped. But knowing that you accomplished to teach them even a few things to take along with them is rewarding.
So love your children, hug your children, kiss them. Before long (for some of us) they will be gone and grown up. Teach them what is important to you. Pray for them, and leave the rest in God's hands.
Happy Mother's Day to all moms. Being a mom is the most challenging and rewarding job there is. Embrace it.