I’m going to confess something that other women do not want to admit. I’m drawing on a lot of courage to explain this, and I hope people understand what I’m writing. No matter how difficult it is to admit this, it comes from a place of honesty in my heart.
I fail at being a mother nearly every day.
There. I admitted to it. My husband read this blog last night and encouraged me to open myself up to even deeper levels. He is my biggest supporter, and he appreciates what I’m doing here, urging me on because he thinks my writing will help document my journey into submission. So I’m writing this now.
I am a fiercely independent woman. I am also an introvert who likes her space. This isn’t an easy combination when I’m trying to be a submissive wife. I struggle daily to work toward this goal, and I come up short most of the time. And mothering is one of the areas I struggle with.
We are a blended family. We got married quickly and with our eyes open. To add two children and a husband to my home hasn’t been easy—especially for me. Still, we love each other. There is a lot of love in our household, and I don’t want to lose that love. That’s a big part of why we chose to implement submission and CDD as ways to build that love and get closer to God.
But, as I mentioned, I fail at being a mother every day. This is particularly true for my relationship with my stepdaughter. “A” is 10 years old and beautiful. She is a daddy’s girl through and through. She is rambunctious and opinionated, but she is also kind and compassionate. Her struggle with ADHD hinders her at times, but she never stops loving others. She also desperately wants to be loved and accepted.
But I still fail at being a mother every day.
As I mentioned, “A” has ADHD. I had never been around a child with this disorder before I met my husband. I didn’t quite know what it entails. I thought I could handle it no matter what. And I’m still committed to doing so. I love this little girl as my own, and I want to have a strong relationship with her. I want to feel the bond with “A” as I do with my own daughter. The desire for that runs deep in my heart.
Still, “A” gets the best of me sometimes. I have little patience for her antics, and I don’t consider that her mind is racing much of the time. I get aggravated and annoyed when she clings to me, and this is hard to manage when she wants so desperately to be loved. Her constant chatter brings out the worst in me even though I don’t feel that way when my own daughter talks throughout the day. This is very difficult to confess, and my husband and I have had many arguments about my refusal to admit this. I’m admitting it now because my husband has asked me to do so—and because I know it is true. I hope that by putting this on the screen, I want to free myself from the guilt that I feel when I snap at “A” or roll my eyes at what she does.
A big part of why I feel this way is because I get jealous. I have a jealous side to me. As a spoiled child and a single mother for many years, I got used to having most of the attention on my daughter and me. I wasn’t prepared to add three people to my household and to filter that attention elsewhere. I recognize this is wrong, and I feel ashamed for how I’ve behaved.
As a single parent, my husband formed a deep bond with “A” and his son. I didn’t understand how strong of a bond this is until we blended our families. I wasn’t ready to accept that my husband’s attention would be focused on the children much of the time. So I got jealous. Sometimes even seeing “A” cling to my husband on the couch got the best of me. It still does. Yet, I think it’s okay for me to have these cuddle sessions with my own six year old. Again, this is hard to admit.
So now what do I do? How do I show my husband and stepdaughter that I accept how things are and that this bond they share may even be stronger than my marriage?
I’m not really sure of the answers to those questions. All I know is that I love “A” as my own and want to strengthen our relationship. Showing that is the hard part. I need to practice patience and understanding with her; I need to embrace her and take a more active role in her life. That’s what she wants and what she needs. In mothering, I am responsible for showing her that love.
This is part of my submission to my husband because I answer to him and God. As the head of our household, my husband knows what is best for the family. I need to follow his lead. He has embraced my daughter as his own. Now I must do the same for “A” and his son.
I pray for this transformation of my heart and my behavior. I ask God now for the strength and understanding to move forward. Psalm 123:5 says this: Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him.
Shouldn’t I embrace that heritage and treat “A” as a reward? Yes, I should. Yes, I should.