Yes. It’s hard.
I won’t even bother sugar coating it.
But oh, is it so worth it!
Cooper is my boyfriends son. He turned a year and a half on July 4th and is currently “Mr. Independent”. So while I stay at home with him Wednesday, Thursday and Friday… We butt heads… A lot.
Now this is when things get hard for step parents. I’ve been told by my boyfriend that I am to act as if I am his parent and treat him as such. I have been around since the day he was born so, we constantly discuss how to raise him, discipline him and of course, love him.
But, that last one, it’s hard.
Really, it is.
I find my sense of discipline is right on target but my love is distant and cold. It’s easier for me to try and tell him he’s doing something wrong than it is to show him that I love him. It’s not an every day situation. I don’t always feel like this, but when I do, it makes me feel guilty. It makes me feel jealous and makes me envy this sense of connection that he seems to have with his dad. At times I really let it discourage me, and try my hardest to keep a smile on… But eventually.. I crack, I cry and I tell myself he will never love me like I want him to.
But I muster up the courage, regardless of the rejection, and try again.
Since Cooper has been able to talk he’s been saying “Mama” “Dada” “Abe”. Well… As you can guess, I’m none of those names. And I get it, “jay-jay” is really hard for a baby to say, but it hurt. It really hurt that I spend so much time with him but he didn’t even know who I was.
That was, until two days ago. I parked my car in front of the apartment and looked back at Cooper. He was dancing to the song that was on the radio and mocking the singers as they said, “hey!” It was adorable. With a little bit of hope in my heart I looked him in the eyes and said,
“Hey Cooper, who am I?
He smiled real big at me and said,
I know what you’re thinking, he just called me mom right? Wrong. “Mom-mom” to him is a completely different name to him than “mom” or “mama”.
He called me Mom-mom
(Que the floating hearts and butterflies.)
As I’m now grinning from ear-to-ear I respond,
“Yes, Cooper. Mom-mom jay-jay.”
And giggled. Now, that is why it’s so worth it. 🙂