I am 34 years old and up until this point I have not had the opportunity to become a biological mother. I have wanted to be a mother for a long as I can remember. When I met and fell in love with a man that had a 9 year old son in his life there was no question in accepting my new reality. I did have doubts as to whether or not his son would grow to love and respect me and whether or not I would love and respect him in return.
My mother always said to me "You will understand what it's like when you become a mother" or the infamous "Just wait when you become a mother". Except I am not a mother - I am a stepmother, and in becoming a stepmother I have so much more respect for my mother, my stepson's mother and the mothers that have existed and the mothers that are yet to be.
I have never experienced love at first sight until I met *Alex on his last day of Grade 3. I can only imagine that this must be what it feels like the moment you become a mother. A wave of maternal instincts swept over me as I felt this innate protectiveness and love for him. I knew that in that moment our lives had forever changed. Every decision I made going forward did not just affect me but the three of us.
I will never be able to be there for the first 9 years of his life. I will never be part of the shaping of the young man that I met just short of a year ago. I am however his stepmother; while that will never replace the act of being his mother; it will mean that I will be one of his most influential figures in his life. That is a role I proudly step into and do not take lightly.
As Mother's day quickly encroches on us. I would like to take this moment to thank all mothers. The mother's that gave their children up for adoption in hopes of giving them a better life, the mothers that adopted them; the biological mothers that endured the blood, sweat and tears and the stepmothers who fearlessly stepped up to the position of second in command.
*Name has been changed