Learning to be a mom

My kids are 4, 6, 19, and 20. No, the older two didn’t enter this world from me, but they have still helped me learn what it means to be a mom. Quite possibly it is what they taught me about being a mother that has impacted me the most.


credit: Ashley Rose on flickr

It’s easy to love children that you give birth to, it’s a completely different story when it comes to sharing children with another mother.

In a way, my older girls and I grew up together. There are only 12 years between my oldest and I. When we began our journey together we were both in that phase of our lives when it was all about us. Sure, we got along, but I didn’t realize the relationship I had with their dad wasn’t all about me. I know there were many times when I put my husband in the awkward position of choosing between them and me. I was an immature 22 year old and wish now I could turn back time and change my behavior.

By the time my girls were teenagers, shortly before they graduated high school, I grew out of that phase. My oldest and I butted heads much like I did with my mom growing up. Of course, I didn’t realize it then, but it was because we were so much darn a like.

My youngest oldest and I had a much more open relationship. We talked more, we shared more, there are things my husband doesn’t know about her that I do. It just really shows you how different the relationship can be between you and each of your kids.

After 10 years of having them in my life I knew that I loved them, but I also knew that I didn’t love them in the same way as I did my kids. The kids I carried for 9 months.

I often considered that perhaps I loved them differently because I didn’t love them as much.

That couldn’t have been further from the truth.

My girls have both moved out of the house now and are living their own lives. I look at the young women they have become and it’s hit me how proud I am of them.

My oldest got married just 2 weeks after graduation. I’d be lying if I said I was thrilled when this happened, but she followed her heart and proved me wrong. They are happy and what more could a mom ask for.

My youngest oldest found a job, went to school for 2 terms, and then decided she wanted a change of scenery. She put in a transfer at her job, and moved to California. She has been homesick sure, but she is having an adventure and making her history.

I understand now that I don’t love my girls in the same way I love my younger kids, but then no mother can say they love their kids in the same way because not only is each child different, your journey with them is different.

I may not have given birth to these girls but they are mine. They will always be my daughters, I will always be proud of them, and I will always love them.


  1. Kids are crazy, especially teenagers. I know helping to raise my girls has not been easy on my husband. Life hands out some pretty insane stuff. It’s spouses like you guys that make blended familys awesome!
    Angelia´s last blog post ..Wow! That Was Unexpected!

  2. Not sure what brought this on, but I’m glad that you wrote it. I feel the same way toward my parents, if that makes any sense…

    Love the way you said she is having an adventure and making her history – THAT is how I want to be a parent. Once again, Tina, you inspire me to be a better parent. You kick ass, girlie!
    RobMonroe´s last blog post ..Happy Halloween!

  3. I think we go through stages as parents. Sometimes loving our kids is a process that evolves.
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  4. My kids are so different from one another in certain ways that make it impossible to love them the same way. It took a long time to realize that it’s okay to love them differently. It’s not more or less it’s just different, because they are different.
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  5. What a beautiful post. I am my husband’s second wife together we have two kids. But I have often wished that he came into our marriage w/ kids. Then I could have gotten some w/o having to give birth AGAIN. I know this is a blissful thought as the adjustment isn’t without strain. You write beautifully. I really enjoyed this post.
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  6. An inspiring story and a happy one. The girls are lucky to have you.

  7. This is so strange……I too have four children. The two oldest are my step children. My son is 13 and my daughter is 11. My husband and I have two smaller children together, ages 3 and 5. I am only 28 and have been with my husband for 10 years. I love my family and wouldnt trade them for the world, but I feel the exact same way. I am having some issues with the 11 year old. Her mother is not there like she should be: She hardly ever calls, she makes my daughter call her, gets her every other week per court order and puts her boyfriends before her usually, there is a whole lot more that i dont have room to write but this is effecting my daughter but she doesnt know it yet. She keeps making excuses for her and gives me attitude ALL the time. She is now rude and mean to me when her dad isnt around. I have to be extra strict with her do to her ADHD and attitude but im not the “wicked step mother” she feels i am. I love her so much and im the one she comes to with a problem . we are taking her to therapy and she is on medication for her ADHD so maybe that will help. Everyone keeps telling me she is just a child and one day she will see how much you do for her and see her mom for what she really is but it is soooooooo hard not to take it personaly when u love someone so much and she hates you (or it feels that way)..
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    • You know we have very similar experiences and I felt the same you you do. It is hard not to take it personally because, well, it IS personal.

      I can say with definite confidence that it does get better. My oldest and I seriously did not get a long, now we’ve come to terms with our past with each other. We’ve both admitted that we made mistakes and but we’ve moved on.

      The only advice I can give is to keep being there for her. She has been through experiences that you probably cannot even imagine. Of course I’m not saying to allow her to treat you disrespectfully, just know that it will take time for her to work through all those things and when she gets to a better place with herself she will be able to see how much you truly have done for her and how much you have been there for her.

      Keep on keeping on mama! 🙂

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