So I have news: I am a step mum!
I have a five year old boy who lives with myself and my partner and who we, jointly, bring up. We spend our time, money, love and energy on this child. The same cannot be said for the woman who gave birth to him.
So far, our dedication has brought with it many trials. As a former single gal, they have mostly come as a shock to me. Although I knew, in theory, what I was getting myself into, I wasn’t REALLY prepared. I knew there were trials, many, many trials….but I didn’t know they would come so thick and fast.
One weekend we are dealing with explosive diarrhea at 2am and I’m half naked, showering said child down in the bath while my other half changes the bed. The next, he’s projectile vomited and again, needs hosing down. I don’t think I’ve ever gagged so much. Is this the smell of parenting?
There’s also the emotional toll that step parents especially, have to go through. While my step-son is happy for me to take him to the park (while his dad recovers himself from last weeks bug), make him lunch and buy him sweets, he’ll cry at the thought of sitting next to me on the sofa. While I spend my money on birthday presents and re-arrange my work life in order to meet his child care needs, I ultimately have no say in important decisions in his life.
Step parenting is REALLY REALLY hard. It’s a massive shock to the system. I am only just realising that really, nothing, will ever be the same.
The one thing I have hang on to is I have a very good role model. My dad is actually my step-dad, and has been around for about 20 years of my life. I love him very much and I know I can go to him about anything- although the love I have for him is different from the love I have for my mum, it makes it no less real. So this is my goal- and I will get there one day with my step-son.
According to statistics there are 7000 full time step-parents out there. So if your reading this and your in a similar position, I hope that you find this blog helpful in some way. I want you to know, your not as alone as you might think! And as I share my journey, please feel free to chip in- the one thing I know is, without support, this journey is very lonely.