As it’s St. Valentines day – a celebration of love and affection, I decided to dedicate this post to all the men who make being a Step-Mother seem like a wonderful idea! More specifically to my man, who washes out all the negativity and makes our life amazing through the most trying of circumstances.
I spend so much talking about my role as an Unmarried Step-Mum and not nearly enough talking about WHY I decided to take on this role, and why every day I choose to continue, even when the diary is full of court dates, the bank statements are full of solicitors fees and our home is full of paperwork and stress.
I could have a very simple and easy life, a straightforward relationship, no children to worry about, no custody schedule to arrange my life around, lie ins whenever I want, holidays and weekends away at the drop of a hat.
My partner does not have a choice in these things, he has had a child… I, on the other hand, have not.
I chose to be in this position, to limit myself in so many ways I couldn’t possibly list them all. And also, equally important, to deprive myself of many future experiences.. not many of my firsts will be my partners… they will still be my first of course, but by not being his they will irrevocably be different. His family have already been through it all, inevitably for some, that will make our firsts and major steps much less exciting.
I have chosen this for myself… Because I love my partner… a LOT!
Its about to get smushy… but honestly, I love him more than I ever really thought I would or could love another person, we have combined our lives together seamlessly over the past few years and I really can’t imagine my life without him now. Even though we don’t wear matching rings, or have a piece of paper to prove it, our lives and destiny are completely entwined, so when I complain about X,Y and Z which are becoming increasingly frustrating, annoying, debilitating or whatever… I forget sometimes that it is a choice for me, because being with my partner is not a choice – it’s part of who I am. His situation is my situation, not just in the physical sense of having his child in the house and financing child support etc etc but all the emotions (good and bad) that come with it too.
Looking at things, as we all do, from my perspective, it sometimes exits my brain that my partner did not foresee or choose this path either, he did not expect to be co-parenting his first child with two different women – lets face it I didn’t even enter his brain until much later when he was coming to terms with being a single Dad. He has ended up with a long list of stakeholders to try and appease (lets not go as far as please here), with many shifting and conflicting priorities and personalities who all impact on his life in different ways. Only he feels this specific pressure of being pushed and pulled in countless directions that is often part of being the Dad in a blended family.
I have to confess, I can be one of those pushing personalities with expectations to meet and opinions to be put at the top of the list. I try to stop myself and play the part of supportive girlfriend but sometimes, I just can’t help it. Somehow, without a safe haven to escape to, my partner holds it all together, himself, his son and us – as a couple and as a family. Sure, there will always be little things that wind me up and cause us to bicker, just as there about me but he is amazing. He copes with and thrives throughout everything life throws at him. His marriage broke down in terrible fashion, and still he opened himself up to love me and completely gave himself to me, allowing and encouraging me to be part of his family – that really is something special I should never let myself forget.
I really think I am amazingly lucky to have found the kind of love that overshadows all the hatefulness, heartache and stress which has intermittently been part of our life since we came together. If these are tests, then we have proven ourselves time and time again and I can’t wait to continue for the rest of our forever.
Happy Valentines Day everyone!!!