Sunday 14 March was a momentous day for my little family of me, J and Miss M. For the first time ever, Miss M called me "Mummy".
To Miss M, it was no big deal. I’ve been in her life for 2 years, and for all intents and purposes, I am her mother figure on the weekends when she comes to visit. To her, there hasn’t been a time when I haven’t been around. So it is natural for Miss M to think of me as a mother.
To me, it was a huge deal. To the point that I burst into heaving sobs of sheer euphoria when Miss M said "You are my Mummy". Even today, 2 days later, I’m on the brink tears of happiness as I type this.
To know why it’s a huge deal to me, you need to know that I have had some moments of conflict with my status as a stepmother. Of whether it is right for me to discipline Miss M when she’s misbehaving. Of what my rights are to Miss M. Of what my standing is in her life. For 2 years, I have treaded the very fine line of stepmotherhood, where I have held back on unleashing fully my brand of discipline, mainly because it may not gel with the brand of discipline agreed by J and JX. For 2 years, I have been supportive to J and have made suggestions about child rearing when he’s been frustrated with part time parenting. And for 2 years, I’ve sometimes felt that I don’t have a right to speak up with regards to how to raise a child, all because the child is not mine.
J has been my rock and cheerleader throughout this time, to the point of telling me that he and I are one team – The H Team – when it comes to the matter of raising Miss M. J has always told me that I have a very important place in Miss M’s life, and that she is as much his girl as she is mine.
Still, I couldn’t help but let that little thought creep through my mind – "No, G, you’re not her mother – she’s not yours and you’re but a stepmother." On the Friday afternoons of Miss M’s sleepover visits, my Facebook status often reads "G is going home to her boy and his girl". His girl. Not my girl.
Another point to make is that neither J nor I have ever asked Miss M to call me by anything but my name. We have never once asked Miss M to call me Mummy, nor prompt her to call me Mummy. I was G to her – well, I was always referred to as "Miss M’s G", which is lovely – but never anything more than my name.
So to hear her say to me, "you are my Mummy", was a heart-melting, heart-bursting, exhilarating, all encompassing moment of pure unadulterated euphoria that resulted in my bursting into heaving sobs.
Poor Miss M. She thought she’d upset me by calling me her Mummy. But when I managed to compose myself enough to tell her that I was happy, and the tears were actually my way of saying how happy I was, Miss M continued to call me Mummy.
It was quite funny how Miss M reacted to my tears and subsequent explanation, which was more akin to "Well, duh, you ARE my Mummy, so why are you so surprised I called you Mummy?"
So there you have it. I’m a real mother. I’m someone’s Mummy. I’m Miss M’s Mummy. Miss M is really "my girl". And I love it.