Welcome back to my blog.
I have to apologise for my absence but this year has been really pants for illnesses in our house! I currently feel like I am always unwell so that’s why it has taken me a while to get around to writing a new blog. Anyway, that isn’t what this blog is about!
I will talk about my dyspraxia again but this time I thought I would have a go at telling you what it’s like for me to be a Step Mum.
I have talked about my other boys so it’s only fair that I tell you about life as a Step Mum.
My Step Son is called William and is currently 12 years old and about a million foot tall ha ha!!!! He grows so flipping fast that boy I just can’t keep up!!!! I’m 5ft 5 (ok I’m almost 5ft 5 but shhhhhhh!!) and he’s practically the same height as me!
When I first got together with my now husband, William was weeks off his 2ndbirthday. I never thought for one minute that I would be a Step Mum to anyone. My life was planned out ahead in my head, I was almost 22 years old and I wasn’t ready for children just yet I was studying to get ahead in my career. Now before you judge me I love William like he’s my own son. He is amazing and we have an amazing friendship. I fell head over heels for Ste (the Hubby!) and our relationship progressed quickly. We had known each other for a long time so I knew he had a son. Taking someone else’s child on is a big thing though. It’s so different to having your own.
I first met William on his 2nd birthday. Ste and I took him to the zoo for the day, we had a great time and William was so cute and sweet it’s hard not to love him to be honest!!! He might almost be a teenager now but he is still one of the most considerate, kind and caring children I have met.
It was hard though, Ste and I didn’t really have any time together just the two of us. We both worked and my evenings in the week were spent studying. So when it came to weekends,it was always family time. Don’t get me wrong it was lovely, but Ste and I skipped the honeymoon stage of our relationship in a way. We were up early every weekend, going to the park etc all the time. It was lovely but as I said, it was hard as alone time was few and far between.
A few years after Ste and I had first got together, William’s visits went to every other weekend.
We missed him so much. We loved our weekends together and it was our routine. We still have him every other weekend now. Alfie loves it when he is over for the weekend.
The trouble is when they don’t live with you, to me, you feel like you can never ‘win’. Let me explain. Yes ‘proper’ couple time just me and Ste would have been great, going out, getting to know each other, weekends away and general adult stuff. Trouble is we would miss William. Even now sometimes I’m gutted we don’t see him as much as there is always something I would love to take him too but it’s never our weekend so we can’t take him.
Everything we have done has always centred around when we have had William and when we can do things. Ste used to work every other weekend for a while too and him working always fell on his weekend when William wasn’t with us so even then we didn’t get time together for just us. I know that’s kind of how it goes when you have children but when someone else is telling you when you can I can’t see them through the year it’s very hard. Ste and I just didn’t have a say in anything. From when we could have him at Christmas, birthday or anything. We got what we were given basically. Which is fine, I mean I have no say anyway but it’s Ste I always feel bad for. Over the years we (he) has missed out on so much. From taking and picking him up from school (picking him up was rare for us), getting stuff he had made a school, parents evening, teaching him stuff. There’s just so much that I feel like we have probably missed out on being part time parents. Ste is an amazing Dad and loves all his children so much and it makes me sad that he may have missed out on things like Father Day gifts from School, teaching him stuff or even taking him somewhere one day to a really cool event just because it wasn’t our weekend.
(Man this blog is hard to write!!! Please bear in mind that no matter what I love my Step Son and I wouldn’t ever change anything. He’s great and I love how much he loves Alfie too.)
Aside from the missing out on things I had my own difficulties. As William wasn’t mine, I found it hard to ever have much of a say or tell him off or whatever. As much as I consider him one of mine he isn’t my son by blood an ultimately I don’t have a say in anything. After more than 10 years of being his Step Mum if Ste and I split tomorrow I wouldn’t have any right to see him and to be honest that would break my heart.
It’s also hard to tell off someone else’s child. I always question (even now) if Ste might agree with me or not or if I have done the right thing. Just because I have known William almost all his life it still makes me feel uncomfortable if I have to tell him off for something.
The other thing that bothered me for a long time is that I would never be able to give my husband and his parents the thrill and excitement of the first child / grandchild. Someone else had. I was second and worried for a long time that there wouldn’t be as much excitement the second time. I also worried that I would feel hugely inferior to my husband’s knowledge of already having a child. I never quite got over that feeling, I just learnt to ignore it to be honest.
After we lost Ethan though I felt like such a failure. I was so sure it was all my fault that his heart was broke. After all my husband already had one healthy child so it must be my fault. It took a while to get my head around the fact that this was a fluke what happened to Ethan.
So, as William isn’t my flesh and blood son that obviously makes him and Alfie half-brothers. Their bond is so lovely, despite the age gap they get on great and after William experiencing our first loss I think he appreciates even more just how special Alfie is. The adore each other! William is already excited about Christmas and told me recently that he is staying with us on Christmas Eve so he can watch Alfie open his presents! He’s just too cute! He helped Alfie write his letter to Santa the last 2 years and I imagine he will until Alfie can write to be honest. I love that they have this love for each other as it did worry me that because they won’t live together all the time that they might not get on and also because of the age gap but you know what it doesn’t bother them. They treat each other like brothers although Alfie is still a bit young to understand relationships. I think it helps that William is such a lovely boy.
We have lots of fun together as a family and we still try when possible to make separate time for William so he gets that he is still just as important to us as he ever was. Although sometimes I get sad that we haven’t thrown his birthday party, or helped him with homework, or got to know his friends whilst he’s growing up, not seeing him on his birthday or only seeing him for a short time over Christmas…….
We do still have a special things that we try and do together. I have tried so hard to make an effort with annual yearly things like Halloween parties and bonfire nights etc. I work hard to create special times and moments for him at our house and as far as I am concerned I have 3 sons and he is one of them. I love and treat him like he is my own. I have shared things with him, books, events, our own secrets from his Dad (sorry Ste ha ha ha!!!). William and I love doing stuff together and I feel so lucky to have such a loving young man as my Step Son. As he is getting older things are changing and there is lots more fun stuff we can do together and it’s great. I have learnt not to dwell on what we might have missed out on and concentrate on what we have experienced as a family and what we can do.
So yeah, being a Step Mum is hard work emotionally, mentally, everything. Really hard. You know what though? When your Step Son is excited to do something with you that youalways do together, or he tells you you’re a good parent. It makes everything worth it.
Fingers crossed I continue to do a good job eh…….