Most people who know me, know that I had a son before my “real” son. Although he came from a different mom, I still consider him my son. I try not to say “stepson” because I don’t want him to feel like he’s apart from my son or me and my husband.
Me and his dad (now my husband) got together just after my son’s 2nd Birthday. I had NEVER dated a guy before who had a child, nor had I seriously thought about how it would be to date a guy with a child. He only had his son T every other weekend, so I figured it would be like any other guy … only every other weekend, instead of it being just me and my guy, it would be me, my guy, and his son. No biggy.
A couple years went by and an incident came up where my husband got primary custody of his son (…long story!). So, T came to live with him full time. This turned BOTH our worlds upside down. This new way of life was new for all of us — T’s mother (my husband’s ex wife), me, and my husband had to adjust — and it was hard.
I eventually moved in with my husband to help him out. He worked early in the morning so I would get T up in the morning, get him dressed and take him to daycare, since I worked too. Boy, let me tell you how hard that was. I became a full time mom with a blink of an eye.
Did I adjust fast? Hell no! … and neither did T. He went from having his real mom there 24/7 to having someone he only saw every other weekend there taking care of him. It was hard for both of us. I had no idea what it would be like taking care of someone else’s child and didn’t know how challenging it would be once he was here every day.
But eventually we began to bond, and we started getting into a routine. I married his dad, and eventually got pregnant, and T became a big brother. We became a family. T is almost 7 now.
Having a non-biological son is difficult. But I have support. I have my husband and T’s mom (my husbands ex). They play a big role in helping raise him, even though T’s mom only sees him every other weekend. I can honestly say I am friends with my husbands ex, which is a blessing because most ex’s (from what I’ve experienced) do not get a long with their ex’s significant others.
She and I are very civil, we talk at T’s soccer games and when he comes home from her house on the weekends. We don’t hang out or anything, but we aren’t haters either. I am very blessed to have her in T’s life.
The reason I say it takes a village to raise a stepson is because there is lots of emotional baggage that comes with divorce, with parents separating. It’s not easy for a child to comprehend why mommy and daddy aren’t “together” still. It’s hard to explain to a child at such a young age that mommy and daddy just didn’t get along and weren’t meant to be together because they fought all the time.
Children’s hearts are so innocent they don’t understand hate, or anger or separation. Which is why it takes a village — everyone plays a role in seeing that this child grows up in a loving environment. Most stories Ive heard of divorced families are very negative. And I can honestly say we aren’t one of those families.
I love my stepson. I’m not sure if he loves me … he doesn’t say it, but he respects me, which is a form of love in my eyes. Of course there are times when we butt heads (because hes just as stubborn as his father) but every parent will experience that with their child biological or not. He is a great big brother and my son loves him so much.