A Letter to My Blended Family on Mother’s Day


My Dearest Blended Family:

When I look at the last few years, there is only one word to define us: transition.

The transition from the pandemic. The transition between career roles for both adults. The transition to middle school. Transitions from Court-Involved disagreements. Transition of interests. Transition of finances. Transition of what we can do together. Transition of how we use our time. Transition of another child in the home. The largest transition for me…was motherhood.

We have spent the last five years celebrating Stepmother’s Day (the Sunday after Mother’s Day). This has always been a day to show appreciation for the added parenting support I give to Dad with two of the three children in our home. But that role has only been amplified now that I am both a Mom and a Support Parent.

But, even more, defining is what truly makes a “Mother.” On a day when mothers are celebrated, please remember to express appreciation year-round. Mother’s Day is only one day. Think about what makes a Mother. A few qualities that come to my mind daily are affectionate, adaptable, consistent, forgiving, supportive, attentive, patient, dependable, sincere, generous, and protective. A few additional roles a Mother holds are mentor, provider, leader, nurturer, role model, academic liaison, and listening ear. Through these qualities and roles, a Mother must simultaneously navigate guilt, move through grief, attempt to find balance, juggle mental load, and create routines for self-care.

None of these words may mean much today, but next time I become overwhelmed, please remember we are all working to be the best people possible. And for me, a small piece of being the best person I can be is in the role of Motherhood in our blended family.

I truly do not know a Mother who has not failed, nor do I know a Mother who does not want the best for her children. What I can promise is that every Mother tries. Her attempts may be met with no appreciation, her attempts may not have the intent that you would like, her attempts may leave her isolated, and her attempts may challenge you. More importantly, through these attempts, she will continue to love and parent.

But please remember that through her attempts, Motherhood transitions…just as our family has.

All my love,

Miss Melanie/Mom

Blended family

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Melanie Bange
By day, Melanie works full time in the fields of education, social service, and juvenile justice. By night, Melanie is a partner (Wes), mother to an infant (Otis), support parent to two a teenager and elementary schooler (Maddie and Wesley), and suburban farmer (4 chickens) among other roles. Growing up as a Navy Brat with family from Northern Louisiana, Melanie created roots in Central Ohio based on access to travel, diversity, and Midwest honesty. Melanie prides herself on enjoying local businesses, finding low cost family opportunities, and prioritizing self-care. On a weekend, you may find Melanie at a Farmer's Market, museum, coffee shop, restaurant, trying out a new recipe, or traveling on a day trip away from Central Ohio. A typical date night for Melanie includes riding on the back of a Victory motorcycle, exploring a record shop, or attending a concert. Melanie and family love to kayak, hike, shop, explore museum exhibits, play board games (especially Sleeping Queens), paint, and dabble in "try nights" (trying a variety of junk food after eating a nutritious meal). Follow along with Melanie and the family's adventures on Instagram at ohiogirl.travelingworld


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