I am 4 months away from marrying my man and he has a daughter about to turn 3. she was 6 months old when we got together.
I obviously knew they were a package deal when we got together, looking back I was a bit naive to just how big of a responsibility it is. I have always known i would be a mummy, i just never pictured being a step mummy first. but i wouldnt have it any other way. I love her and will always treat her as if she was my own. but the poster who said about the lack of recognition along the way hit the nail on the head, that part is often hard.
We have about 40% care of my partners daugher, so we see the ex all the time, and as her and my partner were together for a long time, she is still very much involved with his family too, which means she is at family events, birthdays, xmas etc.
At first it was very akward and at times, very hard for me to deal with. It took a while to develop a relationship with his parents and brothers and sisters because often the time we spent with them (family events) was the time she would spend with them too. so sometimes they felt they couldnt speak to me without offending her and vica verca. My partner and I got engaged on xmas day last year and I couldnt help but feel a bit robbed of our big happy occasion as when we went to his parents, nobody wanted to make a big deal out of it in front of the ex 🙁
Fast forward another year, everyone is over the akwardness and its great. The ex and I get along really well and at the end of the day, it works out great for our daughter. While a split family is often ‘normal’ these days, she has grown up not knowing things could be any different.
Also makes it easier to parent as it is often a joint decision between all of us on how to deal with situations, so its not one set of rules at mums, and another set of rules at dads.
I have friends with kids to other partners who have to do drop off/pick ups at mcdonalds car park because they dont want each other going into their homes and barely speak to each other. I cannot imagine how awful that is for the child!
For some reason, pepole often judge us on how well us and the ex all get along as a split family, but it works for us and that is all that matters. And to be honest we are probably alot more stable than some non split families! Our daughter will grow up knowing she can speak with any of us individually, or all of us together, and at special occasions and milestones in her life we will all be there to celebrate without her having to worry about us all being in the same room.
I feel very sad for the poster who’s partner passed away and the ex would not let her have access to the child. I cannot imagine not having my step daughter in my life now, I can only imagine how heartbreaking it would have been to esentially lose both.