When I accepted my then boyfriend’s proposal to marriage -my mother sat me down. She wanted me to truly grasp what was going to happen. Marrying my boyfriend wasn’t just about us.
He had a child from his first marriage and my mom wanted to make sure I understood that I could no longer lounge around on Saturday mornings.
“You have to get up. Make breakfast and make sure he’s good. It’s not all about you anymore”, she would preach.
I assured my mom that I fully understood what it would mean to be a step-parent. I didn’t have to go far for guidance on this topic.
I grew up in a blended family.
I distinctly remember packing a bag and being excited to go to Yonkers with my older sister, Natalie to spend time with her dad and his wife. Ahhhh Sandra, the quintessential step-mother. My mother used to prepare me for these trips by grabbing me by my shirt collar. She would say over and over again: “Listen to Sandra. Respect Sandra. Always answer her with manners. Never back talk Sandra! If I find out you talked back to her I will beat you when you come home”.
I would roll my eyes to these warnings (all in my own head of course!).
I never needed coaxing or threats to respect Sandra. Sandra was amazing! She used to let us wear her make-up, her wigs, her fancy, sparkly dresses and high heel shoes! We played music in that Yonkers apartment and danced the day away. When it was time to make dinner- she welcomed me into her kitchen. Teaching me how to make the perfect pot of rice or how to hold a knife properly to cut vegetables.
Sandra was and still is a girly girl. She has impeccable style and she would not hesitate to buy us pretty clothes and nice jewelry. Sandra showed up and loved me like I was one of her own.
Years later she was there for me in the hospital as I battled my own demons-praying with me and praying for me-pushing me to get better.
So, today as a step-mom I just ask myself: What would Sandra do? I couldn’t have asked for a better child to be a stepmom to! To all the blended families out there, continue to lead with love. Peace and blessings.