Stepfamily Issues

Personal stories about stepfamilies, childhood and general family issues.

November 06, 2006

stepmother to bereaved kids

Andrea was 33 when she married George, a widower of 42 with two children, and she -- like most stepmothers -- is a kind and caring woman, far removed from the wicked stepmother stereotype.

"We met through a computer dating agency," confides Andrea. "Through that agency I met many prospective husbands, but none touched my heart as strongly as George did."

"George's first wife had died in an automobile accident," explains Andrea, "and when I met him he was a pitiful sight and so were his kids-- Alisdair 10 and Joyce 12."

"At the time I had just broken up with a former boyfriend and was full of pity myself," laughs Andrea. "We sat there wallowing in pity together - what a miserable sight the two of us must have been!"

Joined together by mutual grief more than anything else, Andrea and George married three months after their first meeting.

"It was a civil marriage, very quick and efficient," says Andrea, "and immediately afterwards I quit my job and apartment and started living with George."

"His place is in the country," says Andrea, "and it's a very lonely place to live. It's just me and George and the kids and no neighbors for miles."

"Alisdair and Joyce are very sad little kids," says Andrea, "and I'm having an uphill battle trying to reach in and communicate with them."

"They are very respectful to me and help a great deal around the house and yard," says Andrea. "I have no complaint about being mistreated by them or their father."

"What finally got to me was their 'distance', their inability to warm to me," confesses Andrea.

"They are warm with each other and with their father, but not me."

"When I'd walk in to a room where they were laughing and talking to each other, or to their father, they would shut up immediately," explains Andrea.

"I tell myself that they would behave that way no matter who their father married, so I don't take it personally," says Andrea.

"They are still grieving the death of their mother," explains Andrea, "and I think that George should not have remarried so quickly. Alisdair and Joyce just haven't recovered as quickly from the death of their mother as George has."

"He should have seen that, and put his children's feelings first, but he's a man and men are more practical about things than woman and children are, right?"

"I would love to have a baby and I wonder how the children will react to a birth in the family," muses Andrea.

"George would be thrilled if I fell pregnant," confides Andrea, "and thinks that a new baby would be good for the kids - but I don't know."

"He thinks that a new life will compensate for a death," says Andrea, "but I don't think a new baby will in any way compensate for the loss of a mother and might, in fact, drive their grief into new directions."

"I appreciate that in a few year's time the two of them will be leaving home and starting a life for themselves," says Andrea, "so maybe I should wait for that time before thinking about having a family of my own."

"My predicament," sighs Andrea, "is that my biological clock is ticking away."

"Do I delay having a baby until the children are older and way past their grief, or do I go ahead and indulge my desires, while I'm young enough to do so, not knowing how the children will react?"

"In other words," says Andrea, "do I put the children's grief ahead of my desire for a baby?"

"There are plenty of wicked stepmothers out there," confides Andrea, "but we're not all evil witches. There are just as many nice stepmothers like me who desperately want to do the right thing by their stepchildren and make them happy."

"Believe me," says Andrea, "it's as difficult being a stepmother to motherless children as it is being a stepmother to kids from a divorced family. I'm glad in a way that I don't have to deal with a living mother interfering in my marriage, but a dead mother still interferes in a way that only women in my situation can comprehend."

Labels: , , ,

Copyright 2006-2014 all rights reserved Stepfamily Issues