Being a step-mum: Best thing ever or a thankless task?

This made me cry

<< It’s Mother’s Day today.

I never wanted children.

Ever.

As a young girl, I think I sort of assumed that’s what people do. After all, my friends had parents, I had parents, my parents had parents. That’s normal, surely?

As I got older, into my teens, I began to think that having children might not be what I wanted. I wasn’t anti-children. Far from it. I wanted to be a teacher. I enjoyed being around children. I just couldn’t see myself as a parent. I was an introverted and strange quiet child; the physical (and mental) ‘noise’ of a baby, a toddler, a teenager didn’t sit comfortably with me.

So, by the age of around seventeen or eighteen, I knew, 100%, that children weren’t for me.

Happily, in my prior marriage, I was never put in the situation where the topic of “shall we?” ever came up. He didn’t want them, either. Perfect. We had other family members who did want children and they had them, so any potential rumblings of “isn’t it about time…?” never occurred. Even more perfect!

After many years, that relationship ceased to be.

With much trepidation, I entered into another relationship, not because I was worried about being forty and starting again, but because this relationship came with… CHILDREN.

Sweet Jesus, the thought of falling in love with a man who had TWO TEENAGERS just terrified me. It was easier, at times, to simply not think about it. It was early days. It wasn’t like I was going to be their step-mother, or anything.

So, fast forward ten years, having been married for over four of those years, and I have two step-children, no longer teenagers, who I honestly could not be without. The eldest has a life in another county. He’s happy. We’re happy that he’s happy, but we haven’t seen him for (exactly) a year and that makes us unhappy (bloody Covid-19). He is a beautiful individual and has grown into an amazing man who is charming, engaging and very entertaining. The youngest still lives with us. She is beautiful, inside and out, with a heart of gold and she looks after her wicked step-mother with kind deeds, gifts and all things daughterly. I had nothing to do with their upbringing until ten years ago, so I take no credit for their wonderful ways.

It’s been quite a decade, considering.

I’ve sewn on buttons, glued things together that I didn’t know was humanly possible, stayed up late ‘helping’ with homework, ordered more pairs of thick socks than it’s normal for one boy to get through, combed tangled hair, dyed tangled hair, cut tangled hair, put plasters on things, cooked separate meals, put up with messy rooms, shoes on the floor, make-up fingers on walls, Coke on the carpet, straighteners on the carpet, broken toilets, ‘intolerances’, crossed my fingers when shopping bills went through the roof and countless other things that ALL parents go through.

And would I do it all again?

Too bloody right I would.

I love, love, love my step-children. And always will.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums, be they biological mums, or not. Here’s to us all and our happy families.

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