But you're not my "real" mom!
Stepmothers, adoptive mothers and maybe even some biological mothers have heard at one time or another the "you aren't my REAL mom!"
It could have been because your child didn't get his way or didn't like a decision you made or something you took away, or maybe like in my daughter's case, she said it matter-of-factly in the middle of a conversation recently about something insignificant enough I can't remember it.
I do remember we were sitting on her canopy bed and she said "but you aren't my real mom" to me for the first time.
My immediate reply to her was:
(pinching arm) "Well, I think I'm real. I'm sitting right here. I must be real!"
My daughter laughed and we moved on to some other important topic like "why won't dad let me use the new computer?"
My first reaction to not being called "real" was not fear, insecurity or upset. I didn't feel any need to defend myself. I didn't get worried that my daughter loved her birth mother more than me. Why?
Because I know who is in her heart: both of us, actually.
But who is the person taking care of her daily needs? Me. Who is tucking her in at night, reading Diary of the Wimpy Kid to her? Me. Who is scratching her head when my daughter begs to see the dentist before her six month cleaning is due? Me.
Who took her today to get fitted for her first pair of glasses and explained to her for the umpteenth time the story of how and why we put our dog, Shaggy, down (she wasn't there). Me.
I am real. I am here. And I am her mom.
Her birth mother is real. She is not here, but she too is her mom.
No need to get in a tizzy about these realities. I take the questions one day at a time. I don't need to feel insecure that she didn't come from my body. I love that kid like she came from my own body, but she didn't. And that's o.k.
I am confident she loves me because I'm her mom.
Mother's Day is coming upon us and two generations of adoptive mothers (my mom and myself) will be going to a church brunch to celebrate. Do we look alike? Oddly people tell us we do.
We are both real and we both feel blessed to have our daughter (and granddaughter) in our lives.
Now that is real.