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Any childless stepmums?

(33 Posts)
saysa Fri 22-Nov-13 15:18:03

By childless stepmums, I mean no biological children!

My partner has 3 young children, and he is the sole parent as their mother died last year. I have known my partner since before the death of his wife, and love him to pieces. I completely accept that if we are going to work, I need to embrace these children, who have made wonderful progress but at times are still so sad, and of course miss their mummy so much.

I began seeing the children last year, and all was fine, I genuinely thought I could do it and one day we could all be a family. But we went away for 2 weeks on holiday, and I found it so difficult. I was used to the children going to school / preschool in the day, then being around for 4 or so hours until it was their bedtime. But the reality of 3 young children 24/7, being isolated in the countryside of France, and with no babysitters or quality time with my partner... I struggled, I feel so sorry for my partner because I was so upset with the situation, and he was stuck in the middle.

Since then I have seriously been questioning whether I can cope with the life my partner is offering me. I realise there are 3 very fragile children involved here, and that my partner and I can't just amble on aimlessly, and that I can't have an on-off relationship with the children. We are long distance, which doesn't help, and I have little time to even see my partner let alone time for him and the children too.

The main struggle for me is - I really really miss my partner. I feel so sad to think that we won't ever have time to just be us, and I think that affects how I feel about spending time with him and the children. Given the choice, I would always rather see my partner alone than see the children as well. And I think largely this is because we are long distance, and I only get 2 nights with him once a fortnight. I feel like I am mourning the loss of a stage in our relationship that we will never had - the stage where you are just a 2, before you decide you want children.

I am wondering if and how I can get to the stage where I feel just as happy to spend time with him and the children. I know we can't move forward if I am always secretly longing for the children's bedtimes. I also know that I will be their only mother figure (if ever we move in together) and that they will need to feel completely cared for and loved by me. That is what they need, that is what my partner needs for his kids, and that is what I would want if they were mine.

So - basically looking for tips and advice. I am not ready to walk away from the situation yet, but I know that ultimately I have to find a way to accept and be happy with it, or let my partner find someone new.

Please - I really don't want to be berated for struggling. I don't hate the children, I don't want them to disappear, I am so sad for them and for my partner and frustrated for feeling this way, for not being able to slot into this life easily. I want us to be a happy family and am trying to find ways to get there.

saysa Wed 01-Jan-14 16:54:25

Thanks for your advice cappy123 - what you said about your DSD is very sweet!

Hi Mimishimi - thank you for your post. Me and my partner are on rocky ground now so walking away is looking more and more likely, which I'm devastated about. I think my ideas about being a couple without children are based on past relationships and I did enjoy it just being myself and my ex-partner at home. I think the problem is that I'm not at that stage in my life where I'm ready to share my home and life with children - I wouldn't dream of having a child of my own at the moment so I suppose I'm just not ready.

Thanks everyone again for your advice. We had a lovely holiday together and the children did really well staying with their granddad. Sadly though we are realising that our lives just aren't going to gel together - we are both hating the long distance but there is no option for either of us to move nearer. If the sadness and loneliness is outweighing the happiness and fun, it's probably time to walk away. sad

SaveMeTheLastGreenTriangle Sun 05-Jan-14 20:21:43

flowers so sorry to read that, saysa

cappy123 Sun 05-Jan-14 20:33:22

You're very brave and mature Saysa. With that attitude you'll make someone a v happy man.

rubyflipper Sun 05-Jan-14 20:49:21

Saysa - I think you are a good person with a lot of love to give.
But I am not sure if this is the relationship for you. You are stil so young and have the rest of your life ahead. Do you want to sacrifice your hopes and dreams to be the partner of a much older man and a stepmother?
Will your partner want more children with you? He already has three and may not want any more? You may resent him for this later - do not underestimate the drive to want your own biological children.

rubyflipper Sun 05-Jan-14 20:50:10


saysa Mon 13-Jan-14 14:37:44

Thanks ladies.

We are still together, seeing how the next few months go. I am actually feeling a lot more positive - I have spent more time with the children lately, which has gone well (was worried that they would forget about me and be indifferent towards me as I hadn't seen them much since our summer holiday, but that was far from the truth). The only problem at the moment is the practicalities of it all - bit worried that my degree will suffer if I am going down to DP every weekend but will have to play that one by ear.

The main problem at the moment is DP's depression - he has been heading that way since the end of last year, partly due to our relationship struggles and the long distance, but also because of his life in general. Since Christmas he has hit rock bottom - it is like Jekyll and Hyde at times. I have been quite hurt by some of his behaviour, but only when I searched on the Internet for experiences of having a partner with depression did I realise that largely it is his depression talking. At other times he is painfully sad and vulnerable. Anyway, he is sorting out some counselling so we will see how things go.

Just plodding on at the moment smile

thedogwakesuptoodamnearly Sat 18-Jan-14 23:17:13

Why are you going every weekend? That's rather unfair.

saysa Sun 19-Jan-14 12:29:50

It's just the way it's worked out lately. He came here a lot before Christmas as I was revising for exams, so this is me reciprocating a bit! Also as I'm trying to spend more time with the kids, it's preferable to just go down there than to try to cram them all in my tiny flat. Towards the end of the year when exams loom again I expect it will all switch round again.

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