When I was four months pregnant, three-and-a-half-year-old Kai collapsed on my lap in a friend’s living room, amidst the low buzz of an early evening dinner party. Before long he fell asleep. His head lay firmly against my chest, his breath flowing straight towards my heart for the next 30 minutes. As I carried him to the car that evening, I found myself thinking what every parent does: don’t let anything happen to this little boy. And then the stepparent’s corollary: don’t let anything happen to my husband, because then I’ll lose them both. For me, this is the hardest part of stepparenthood: Realizing I have no legal bond to this child I love and living with the fear that he could easily be snatched from my life.
“I’m so jealous.”
“God, that’s so convenient.”
“You’re so lucky.”
“I wish I had another pair of tits in the house for when mine are exhausted.”
Our breastfeeding-on-demand, child-led-weaning, sling-toting, attachment-parenting mom’s group almost seems to levitate at the thought of my partner and I both breastfeeding both of our sons. And I have to admit that, in the beginning (that is, before the babies were actually born), we also had those romantic pictures in our heads, pictures of a two-mom, four-breast family, all cuddled up close and love-y. And the convenience! We’d be able to split up in any configuration without having to pump or resort to the dreaded bottle.
By Beth Price I used to think I wouldn’t be that mom who would run her kid’s stuff to school because he irresponsibly left it on the kitchen counter. I thought I wouldn’t be that mom who absent-mindedly forgot appointments, …
I am a stepmother and I never know how to respond to the question “Do you have children?” Neither “yes” nor “no” answers the question. Yes, because Beloved, my husband, has two adult daughters. No, because I have never given …