When I met my now husband, all those years ago, he had already been married and he had five kids.
This was not a situation I wanted to get involved in and I didn’t plan to. I planned to travel and enjoy my life, and was nowhere near settling down. And a man with kids would change all of of that, complicate it all.
But as it turned out, I did get involved, and this is my life now, a step-parent, and my children part of a blended family.
It is crazy and busy, and unpredictable and there have been hard parts, some harder than others – but I wouldn’t change it. We have a wonderful huge family, and it is growing with four grandkids already – and it is never boring.
The reason I am sharing this now is that last week I had maintenance men in our house and they were surprised that I had four kids, and I told them my husband has nine – which shocks everyone! One of the men had twins and I said I would have loved twins in theory but reality would have been crazy, but that after I had my second child people assumed I was done having children and my reply was always “no, definitely one more, and a surprise!” but seeing as we didn’t get a surprise pregnancy on our fourth (we had to plan her!) that the surprise was going to be twins – seeing as I had always joked that his first wife had five kids, I’d have five kids too.
And the response from the guy was “oh yeh and mine will be bigger, better and stronger too”.
I was like “No, the first five are amazing”
But it caught me off guards that that was this guys automatic reaction.
There is no thoughts of competition at all about the kids, I would be so proud if my children turned out like the older kids. They are great adults, such kind people and I absolutely love them and want the very best for them. And I do not want “better” for my kids.
However there are things I do and probably will do differently, as a parent.
As a step-parent, the first thing you have to realise is that while you’re involved in these kids lives, when the big stuff happens you have to step out and let the parents work it out between them with the kids.
So I am a different mother to my children than their mother was to them. I parent differently in different ways, based on my thoughts and feelings, as simple as I don’t like allowing fizzy drinks in our house except on special occasions, whereas when my step-children were small both their parents were happy with fizzy drinks so we had fizzy drinks here in our house for them.
It is in no way to say that my parenting is going to be better than theirs was and is. As you can say, the proof is in the pudding and there is the proof in the five wonderful young adults, and I feel if we can do as well to raise four more wonderful adults, we will be delighted.
We are a blended family. We are a big busy family. We are all family. We are so lucky.