This is the first post in the second edition of The Gift of StepMom Collection. I started this series last year and the response was amazing. Reading stories from other stepmoms encouraged and inspired many. This year, I have had so many wonderful stories submitted that I’ll be sharing a different one each day leading up to Mother’s Day!

It is so true, stepmoms are the heart of their blended family and it’s important that we celebrate our role and the gifts we bring to those we love. I am honored to share this heartfelt piece by Kim Hartsock. I am grateful and blessed to have connected with Kim via Twitter. Please enjoy her Gift of Stepmom:

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I never thought I would end up divorced, a single mother, remarried and now a stepmom. I know the Bible says that God declared ‘I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’. That tells me that no matter our choices in life, ultimately God’s plan comes through.

I believe that some of us choose shorter or longer paths to those plans but in the end, we live out God’s plan for our life. I believe that God’s plan for me is to be a wife to the love of my life, Steven, and to be a mom to Caroline, Benjamin and Sullivan. I strive everyday to be the wife and mother that they all deserve. It isn’t always easy but it is the most rewarding job I have. 

The definition of ‘mother’ is a woman who has raised a child, given birth to a child or supplied the ovum that united with a sperm that grew into a child. When I think about Mother’s Day, I think how grateful I am for my mother, her mother and for all of the amazing women in my life who have in some way influenced my life. That is a very long list! I also think about how grateful I am for the 3 beautiful children God has blessed me with. I only gave birth to one of those but that doesn’t change the fact that they are my children.

My son has a stepmom and I am grateful for her. She loves him and plays a very active role in raising him. I do not feel threatened by her and I definitely do not wish she was not in his life. My son did not ask for his father and I to get a divorce. This was the life we chose for him. My acceptance of his stepmom is in a way, my way of helping to make his broken home complete. And equally am I thankful for our other kids’ mother.

When I married their father, I was not replacing their mother but rather agreeing to become a part of their already formed family. Steven and I chose each other, part of us was our children. Our wedding wasn’t just between the two of us, it was between the five of us. That is a big reason why all five of us stood at the alter with the minister and made our vows to each other and to God.

I believe we are a family. Granted our children have larger families than most. I don’t think it’s better or worse, just different from some other families. Each family has its own dynamics. Ours includes stepmoms and stepdads.

I believe that love makes a family. Our family is full of love. Our children are loved. They are growing up seeing two people live out their vows on a daily basis. So when I celebrate Mother’s Day, I celebrate the love my mother showed me and the love my children’s mothers show them. I don’t think it matters whether or not that title has the word ‘step’ in it or not.

So when you set out to celebrate the mothers in your life, think about the sacrifices these ladies make each and every day for the children they are raising and celebrate the love it takes to commit to that responsibility.

Here’s to all of the amazing women out there that God has chosen to be mothers!

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Kim Hartsock (@kimsock) is a CPA in Atlanta, GA. She and her husband, Steven, have three beautiful children (aka the Lil Socks). Kim is passionate about blended families and encouraging women, especially stepmoms. She also serves as Treasurer and board member of the Susan G Komen for the Cure Greater Atlanta.

 

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