I’m sitting here with my maid of honor as we are going over final details. My dress is pristine and my groom is editing his vows for the third time in a week. And as I look at the man of my dreams, the one who simply bought me a cup of coffee on a random Tuesday over a year ago, I realize how much he has helped me.

He has helped me in not only becoming a better person and a better significant other, but also a better mother. He is my son’s stepfather, but only in title. He is the man who has shown my son more love and kindness than his own father does sometimes. He shows my son that it’s okay to like both the color pink and fishing. To wear nail polish (should he choose to when he’s old enough to make that decision) and to like race cars. To be both kind to ladies but to never treat them as incompetent or less.

When I first became a mother I was overwhelmed and sad. But with the love and kindness my fiancé has shown me I have been able to appreciate and even love my roll as my son’s mother. My fiancé reminds me always how strong I am and how hard I have worked to be a mother.

And now, less than 24 hours from marriage, I do not think of myself becoming a wife only. I think of myself as forever teaming up with a man who chose to love my son as he chose to love me. I think of myself forever having someone at my side who loves me when I am depressed and not feeling like a good mom. And I think of myself as the luckiest woman alive.