In this post, I want to introduce you to my blended family. Well not introduce my husband and our daughter as such! It’s going to be more about my thoughts and experiences before we all came together. When two became three (not quite Spice Girls, but you get the idea)
I want you to get to know me a bit more
This year, I would like my followers to get to know me a bit more. I’m not saying that my life is going to be an open book. My life is interesting to me, but I believe some things should be kept private. Besides there is enough reality TV and I am most certainly not about that Kardashian life! I guess by sharing little bits of what makes me, me will help you understand what makes me tick.
A little while ago, I had the privilege of attending one of the most beautiful weddings. It was an absolute blessing. The bride had a young child from a previous relationship and the little boy, was very much involved in the ceremony. There was a moving part of the service where the groom made a vow to the child to love him forever. This was a super emotional moment for all. Me, being the sap that I am ruined my make-up as I was in tears. To be honest, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house! My then fiance (now husband) and our daughter laughed at me as they always do, calling me soft. I was moved as it was such a beautiful moment.
For me, the moment also felt like a victory. This was a reminder that all single mums deserved to be loved and the children are very much a part of that. It is something to be celebrated rather than stigmatised. Blended families are on the increase and no longer a rare occurrence.
a bit of my back story
I was 19 when I had my daughter. I was going to college and at that time had been dating my daughter’s dad for two years. We were together for more or less 10 years with a couple of relationships in between when we broke up a few times. It hasn’t been easy at all. I have experienced financial hardship being the sole breadwinner for my family and this was particularly difficult during my student days. Although the struggle was very real, and at times very painful, I don’t regret anything I have been through. Every experience has been a lesson and created opportunity for me to grow into who I am today.
When I started dating, my relationships would follow a similar pattern. Everything would be great, and would show signs of real progression…until it came to the inclusion of my child. This was a problem, I mean my child is part of me, what do you want me to do? Put her up for adoption so you can have me to yourself? jog on dot com, not involved (insert side eye and kissing of teeth). The relationship with my daughter’s father broke down due to our lives taking different paths and growing apart as a result. After we broke up, I took time out to work on me and spent time on being the best mother I could be. In the past, I had made some really poor life choices, so I was trying to get my life back on track.
I went to university aged 27 and decided that I deserved some much needed time on my own, to develop as a person, so I made the choice to remain single. I had male friends that I would go out with from time to time. Sparks of attraction would fly with some of them, but it’s like they all had the fear that I was going to ask them to be a father. I had a close male friend who basically told me I was everything he was looking for, but due to my “situation” i.e. having a child, it would never work (we no longer talk). I am not here to bash men; everyone is entitled to their opinion and what works for them.
Single mothers are two-in-one. We have been holding things down and taking care of business, so what makes you think that you need to assume parental responsibility, just because you take me out to dinner?
Who was going to love me?
I just wanted someone who would love my daughter in the same way I did. I love my daughter unconditionally and care for her needs, but who was going to do the same for me? In my head, it is logical for someone who claims to love you, to love EVERYTHING that makes you, you! I was not looking for love when my husband came along. I had known him for well over 10 years as he was a friend of a friend. We started talking and we clicked. We clicked on every single level and it was scary.
When I took time out to develop myself, I also decided to give my life to God. My faith is the foundation of my life as it stands. Jumping around from relationship to relationship wasn’t going to work for me anymore. Dating with purpose, meaning dating with the intention of marriage, was what I was looking for. It was a really scary time for me. My previous relationships that showed promise, took a nosedive at the mention of possibly meeting my daughter. I prayed about our growing relationship and just left it in God’s most capable hands.
The first meeting
When Nays was about 10, we went ice skating. Our relationship was progressing, So I felt it was a good time for me to introduce her to Rich. To be honest with you it was a bit awkward. It went well but it was like everyone was trying too hard. Nays has always been wise beyond her years, so I could tell she was weary. She was also a bit of a daddy’s girl!! In trying to create a less tense environment, I was doing way to much. I was almost forcing them to get along. I guess I just really wanted things to work out.
They get along like a house on fire, a bit too well (they gang up on me-no loyalty these kids will sell you out for a bag of skittles) but I love it. They will correct me if I am wrong, but I can say hand on heart, we truly are a family. Nays calls my husband, uncle and I will not force her to call him dad, as her dad is present in her life. In saying that, she also knows that she has another father figure in her life should she need it or not! We refer to her as ‘our’ daughter.
I have had some inner struggles, as in the past I have had to deal with and resolve issues on my own for over 10 years, nearly 15 in fact! I was once told, nobody would love me with a child. This cut so deep, and I actually started to believe it. My husband constantly reminds me that we are in this together, so I am slowly but surely learning to let go, although it will take time, we are definitely getting there. I still struggle a bit with sharing the struggle! The blending is not just the coming together of a couple and children from previous relationships. Blending is also the beginning of letting go of old ideas and building new ideas together.