I became a step parent before I became a biological parent.
With both my step kids the relationship has developed over time. They were 10 and 4 years old when Fi and I first met. We became friends first and then started seeing each other. I didn’t meet the kids right away. As things progressed between us she told the kids about me. They had time to ask questions and process things before they actually met me.
When the time came to meet them I remember us both being pretty nervous about it, I had absolutely no idea what to expect and went into it with an open mind. I didn’t find it hard at all to connect with Lott the spritely 4 year old. She was busy playing, I said hello and she looked at me saying nothing. I asked her about her toys and that was it. I was in. In a few minutes I was being given directions of how to fit in with her game. I started calling her “The Captain” after a few months due to her natural ability to direct people (mainly me) and delegate tasks.
I was more nervous meeting Caeden but there was nothing to worry about. I can’t remember much about our first meeting but since then I have developed a really good relationship with him. I like the way he is quick to jump to his mums defence if he senses she is upset or if he thinks someone has wronged her. There is a strong bond between them. He taught me a lot about football. He’s a talented drummer. I reluctantly let him play whatever music he is into whenever we are in the car together and then let him know how shit it is and how much better the music I grew up with was. ( A Classic old man scenario) Mostly I would like to be a good role model to him and for him to know that I love and look after his mum.
The kids were seeing their dad on a regular basis when I first met them so obviously I wasn’t going to become a dad to them. I didn’t try to be anyone other than myself. The dynamics gradually changed as time went on and Fi and I got married. I slowly took on more of a parent role.
There have been challenges of course as with any family. At times I have been unsure of what to do when there is conflict. We have continually made an effort to keep reaffirming the principle of respecting each other in our family home.
Probably the most amazing day of my life was watching my son being delivered. I was instantly in love. It was awesome. I remember I became aware of tears rolling down my cheeks as I laughed and said to my wife “It’s a little boy”
Our little man is nearly 2 and a half years of age and my connection with him has grown stronger and continues to do so. He and I spend a lot of time together, especially since Fi started working full time in early 2016.
Fletchers arrival on the scene has been a gift to our family. It”s brought us all closer together.
The older kids adore the little guy. Lott spends more time with at this stage him as Caeden is currently living with his dad. She is an amazing big sister. Can’t wait until she can babysit him so we can go out . How good will that be! A few more years to go before that can happen though, far out how am I going to get through this toddler stage. Oh hang on I’m living in the future again. Back to today. Yes she’s great and I’ve grown to love her.
I was conned quite a few times in the early days before I became a bit more kid savvy, mainly by Lott.
“Mum lets me do that” she would say, or “Mum said it’s fine if I eat these as long as I still eat my dinner”
“Sounds fair enough” I would think, discovering later on I had fallen for her charm. Can’t say I blame her for trying. I could be wrong but I don’t think I fall for many of these tricks now.
Lott has some special qualities. She can be very thoughtful and caring, she will make beautiful cards for us. Sometimes if someone is sad she will create something as a gift in a genuine attempt to comfort them.
Although I use it in this post to describe the situation, I don’t really like the term “step kids.” We are quite simply a family. When we are out and about I’m out with my kids.
This may be stating the obvious but it seems to be the way in life that many worthwhile things take time and consistent effort. So far this has been true in our family.
To be continued.
Thanks for reading and as always please feel free to share your experiences or anything you have found helpful.