I don't think I ever anticipated that being a stepmom would be as hard as it is. When I met Husband, I knew he had a daughter and, obviously, the biological mom that comes along with the situation. And I knew that falling in love with him would make me an insta-mom. I knew it all. I gladly accepted the responsibilities because, well, I couldn't stand the thought of not being with Husband for my forever. People will say, "you knew what you were getting into," and yes I did, to an extent.
I don't think you can ever fully comprehend what it takes to be a mom until you are one, and I may be biased but I truly believe being a stepmom is harder. And it's hard to explain what I mean. I am not trying to say it is easy to be a mom, because it is most definitely not and I get that! What I am saying is that you take everything a mom has to do, and then combine that with having to do it from one step away (meaning you aren't 'their parent' and so what you feel and say comes second, always) and also not gaining the bond that comes from being a parent and having a child. No matter what anyone tells you, the bond between a step-parent and step-child is not the same as the bond between a parent and their child. The way Punk interacts with Husband and RealMom is totally different than the way she interacts with me, and I'm sure as she does with her stepdad. I will always be 'Stepmom'. It will always be just a little different with me than it is with RealMom. I get it and I can't blame her or RealMom or anyone; that's just the way it is.
But it's HARD. Really hard. To spend a weekend giving everything I've got emotionally to a child that is ecstatic to leave me on Sunday is sometimes more than I can handle. It makes me feel like I'm not doing enough, or I'm not caring enough, or I am just plain not enough. And it's probably just my mind telling me that but I can't help it. I over-criticize every decision and every thought and every action because if I am not the perfect parent, I'll end up in the 'wicked stepmother' category, and it's all I can do to not just give up. Why try if you're going to be looked at negatively anyway?
Why does it have to be like this? Why does it have to be a never-ending uphill battle for stepparents? It seems like the universe is all anti-stepparent or something.