I Never Expected a “Love You, Too” {A Stepmom’s Story}


Our text ended, “Love you,”  with a response from her, “Love you, too.”

I never expected that.

I am the momma of boys, big boys and little boys. So when my husband and I married and I became a stepmom to a boy, I knew what to expect. Then insert his sweet daughter and I felt as though I was in unchartered waters.


To continue the unintended cheesy nautical metaphor, the blending of said family was a bit like a hurricane and a tsunami all rolled into one. The waves were rough and many times I felt as though the pressure of the current was taking me places that I had never wanted to go. As we dove into this family, I fully believed that we would be good to go as a blended family in no time.

It was difficult, I never expected that.

Days turned into weeks that turned into months and then years. It was still difficult.

And then something happened. I decided to love her in everything I did. Love her when she talked to me and love her when she pulled away. Love her when she wanted to share with me what was gong on and love her when she didn’t feel comfortable sharing with me. Love her when she was struggling with things in her life and love her when things were going great. Love her from afar and not push myself on her.

I decided to love her no matter how she felt about me being her stepmom, I was going to just love her for who she was, and where she was with her head, her emotions and her relationships.

So when texting my sweet stepdaughter, almost 11 years after I married her father, I got what I never expected.

The years and the tears and the more than a decade that has passed made that text even more precious.

Love you, too.

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Cheryl Brackemyre
Hey local mommas! I grew up in Centerville, but I now live in Wilmington with my husband Tony. Together we have 6 kids, Joe, and his wife Allison, Austin, and his wife Hannah, Sydney and her husband Hayden, Andrew and his sweet fiance, Lauren and Max and Eli. Did I mention we are a little nuts starting over with this parenting thing when we are 45+???? My husband and I are both ministers , he is a youth minister and I'm a children's minister and we get to work at the same church. We were both married before and brought our families together in 2010. After a few years of marriage we felt God's leading for us to adopt. We added Max to our family in 2014 and Eli joined us in 2017, our quiver is officially full! Blending our family has been an adventure! Add some ex-spouses and two birth mommas and we have ourselves a crazy crew! Coffee is my love language, I just finished binge watching The Crown and feel a bit fancy now. The beach is my happy place and I long to have my toes in the sand. I love being part of the team at Dayton Mom Collective.



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