As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I reached a vey obvious conclusion–hence the title. I think I have been trying far too hard to establish a working CoMama relationship with her. I see now that this energy would have been better spent on forging a relationship with the kids, especially Ethan. Evan and I already have a close bond. In a sense, it doesn’t really matter if she and I have a relationship or not as long as we treat each other cordially. I can’t guarantee that she will abide by this principle, but I am certain that I will (think Romans 12:18).
This thought occurred to me as we celebrated Ethan’s birthday. It felt so good to see him relaxed and happy. That’s what matters the most–their happiness and growth.
I know that the kids were aware of our past animosity. I felt ashamed by this and felt if they saw us working through it that they would’nt feel so divided. She after all is their mother so they have that automatic loyalty to her–whether she is right or wrong. I am only joined to them through marriage. And what kid feels comfortable around someone who doesn’t like their mom? We have never badmouthed her around the kids, even though I know she has been obscenely vocal about her rancor toward me and my husband, she is still mom…
In other words I didn’t feel good about having them choose sides and putting them in the middle. Kids should allowed to be kids–not miniature liasions for immature, narcistic adults. With this in mind I’ve attempted to build a bridge with their mom and involve her as much as possible in their lives. However, she continues to be paranoid and stressed about a situation she is helpless to change. She refuses to accept any acts of grace for the simple fact that she is not a gracious person. Therefore anyone extending her any type of kindness makes her suspicious. In her eyes kindness is a facade for a hidden agenda or two.
Regardless of who she is I owe it to them to be the best stepmom that I can be. I don’t owe her anything. This is such a liberating notion because I’ve carried the burden of trying to help her deal with her imprisonment for far too long.
And not to say that I don’t wish that it could be different, because I truly do. But, most importantly I see that the kids also need and deserve help lifting their burdens. The burdens of violence and dysfunction that they lived with for so long under her watch. They really had no choice. Eliza, an adult, had choices. Unfortunately she made the wrong one and will have to live through it, as do her children. Hopefully my role as stepmom can make Ethan and Evan’s journey in life more bearable .