Mine is pretty nice and we get along which should be a given since she’s been my step-mom for almost twenty-five years. We’re definitely not Mother - Daughter close, not even Aunt – Niece close but more like 2nd Cousin close. As a kid I remember her not being able to comb my hair and I’d come home looking like a crazy person. I remember her throughout my child hood as someone who made sure that my dad who was no Ward Cleaver, made an effort to have me visit every other weekend when they lived in NYC and at least once a year when they moved to NC.
Yet throughout the years there’s always been that layer of uncertainty on how close we should be to each other. How close do you get to someone who isn’t your mother, yet has that role for your siblings and is your dad’s wife? Now that I’m an adult we see each other several times a year and she comes up to visit with me and some of her family in DC without my dad at least two or three times a year. I went on vacation with her and my sister a few years ago and she’s the one I communicate with when I’m planning a visit. That layer of uncertainty has thinned out a bit but is still there.
At my age there’s a greater chance that I may be a step mother. How close should I get if I’m not raising my husband’s child, how close should I get if they live with us? As a stepdaughter who has gone through the awkwardness what kind of stepmother would I be?
One of my good friends is going through some drama with her family now and a lot of it centers on her feelings towards her step mother who raised her and her dad who isn’t exactly Ward Cleaver. Her real mother is sort of in the picture but is emotionally unbalanced and they have a turbulent relationship. She’s relied on her stepmother to give her that maternal love and unfortunately according to my friend she doesn’t feel it. Family dynamics can be dicey to begin with and then you bring in the step parent element and it can get even messier.