When there’s a child…Am I doing this right??

I’ve never been in a relationship with anyone that has young children before; most men that I’ve dealt with had children of a teenage or adult age if any at all. So having a young one around alot of the time, I have to say, is an exciting new experience.

Having always wanted children myself, I love having a 2 (soon to be 3) year old around. She’s fun to play with, read stories to, watch movies with, and I can’t even tell you what all “pretending games” we play (I’ve played numerous characters, explored many places, and eaten the most interesting things). Without going through pregnancy myself; I have still gotten to reap the benefits of a squealing child jumping with excitement to see me after having been away on a trip, the mimicking of my movements and mannerisms, the cuddling and falling asleep during movies, and the crawling into my arms only wanting to be comforted by me when hurt or scared. Life is blissful with a child in it, even though not my own.

Then there’s that…. She’s not mine….I treat her like my own, in that I love her, would give her anything she needs and her safety and wellbeing is my number one priority. But she’s not my own, and there’s a boundary that I try to work hard at as to not blur. I am not her father’s wife, I guess I would be just called the “girlfriend”; so I’m not sure that I’m exactly what you would call a “stepmother”, I really don’t know? All I can attest to being is someone else in her life that loves her.

Things like disciplining I hand over (gladly I might add, as she’s developing the wonderfully tyrant personality of a toddler only child) to her father; and also defer to him on most decisions that begin with her asking “can I have…”… Though being a wonderfully bright child, after hearing “no” from her father she most certainly will come to me in hopes of a different answering; which is the same as her father’s ———it’s best to relay this united front/parenting/whatever it is while she’s young, hopefully that sticks with her as she becomes older.

I am also very clear to maintain the not sleeping with me boundary. As a little girl that started off life with alot of attachment parenting values being used in her upbringing, she still co-sleeps at the moment. So at night, if I happen to spending the night at her father’s while she is there, she is in Daddy’s room and me, I’m in a spare room. Which I get, co-sleeping is to be with a parent, I am not her parent. Though it’s heartbreaking to tell a child “no” when they say goodnight to you and pout or cry “but can’t I sleep with you?” To avoid this though, I’m more often not there when there is overnights with the wee one.

I feel as if I’m fumbling through new territory, as I’ve never done (or had to do) any of this before. Each day with her is a new experience, which I absolutely love and adore, but am nervous at the same time! I hope I’m doing this right.

What are some others’ experiences out there? Stepmoms? Girlfriends? Loving and caring adult figures? I’d love to hear thoughts and opinions based on your experiences.

Hoping I’m the best that I can be for this little girl..

Still learning….

Normalcy, or something close…

Well, I know I haven’t been on here in a long while, in truth I didn’t know what to write or how to write about it.

They say time makes all the difference, and as I look back on posts earlier in the year I am happy to say that yes, yes it does.

Life with Prince Charming is becoming normal, or at least our version of “normal”. Things I worried about before, such as hiding aspects of us because we were attempting to be sensitive to an emotional situation, have passed. People are moving forward with life and trying not to hold onto bitterness, which I am grateful for, because I’m here to tell you life is too short. I can even have brief conversations with his ex during child pick-up/drop offs; we’re civil and both adults, almost pleasant and never unnecessarily rude. This makes me think positive, as I want the wee one to see all of the adults in her life that love her at least get along. There’s hope! I am even trying to interact more with his family, and allow them to get to know me, because I really want us to get to know eachother. I’m really not that bad. Plus I really want to be the best person that I can be for not just myself now, but this man and his little girl. He makes me insanely happy, and well, I make him pretty darn happy too! I’d love for his family to see and realize this. And, from what I’ve gotten to know of whom I’ve met so far, I think we could get along just fine and even share common interests/ground. More time will tell, they’re adjusting.

Prince Charming and I pretty much operate as a normal couple these day, and for the most part people (other than a few minor annoyances) are accepting. It’s happened… A marriage didn’t work, both parties have moved on to others that make them happy, and yes, everyone involved has the best interest of the child in mind. There is life after separation/divorce!

There have been growing pains in this relationship, no doubt. And we have outside circumstances that affect us, in the form of closure and arrangements from his marriage. But we communicate with eachother and always talk through it, always checking in how the other feels, and what we can do to help eachother.
I think I’ve found my “happy ever after”, which has thus far come in the form of happily splitting my life between two homes, mine and his. As I truly consider “home” where I reside, but also where he (and his sweet little girl part of the time) live.

That’s my brief update for now. More to come and I will try to get on here more now that I can articulate things that have happened/are happening. I think we’re finding our rhythm. 🙂 

Still learning…

Easter hiccup

Easter weekend was the weekend that Prince Charming and I were to attend our first family dinner with his family.. I was incredibly nervous.. Pick a stigma about being the first girlfriend after an ex-wife and I’ve experienced it, the Prince and I have had to work through alot. So needless to say, I was worried about being judged or compared against the ex-wife, or just plain being unaccepted or not given the chance during this family gathering. But I was prepared! I was to come bearing sweets, wine, and to just be my charming self… I’ve already made my mark on previous difficult in-laws and challenging mothers of Momma’s boys (not that Prince Charming is a Momma’s boy, but overbearing mothers are a partner’s biggest challenge was more my point), having them fall in love with me and developed some wonderful relationships with parents of ex-partners.. So figuring this was my best friend, I’m already known to some of his family, it’s evident that I love him and treat him well and given his ex-wife is being a tad bit difficult in the whole divorce process; I thought I was being silly perhaps, and shouldn’t worry as much… They would totally see how wonderful I was! Just being in our presence, you can see how well I get along with and love my Prince and Little Parrot.

Prince Charming and I were to be hosting at his house, putting on dinner for his daughter, his folks, his sister and brother-in-law. I was already in planning mode, gently coaxing the Prince for what I could make, bring, cook, etc… I love entertaining! And this was a huge step for us, our first family function! I was looking forward to it immensely.

Then Thursday came….. and the hiccup….

His mother called, there was a scheduling issues which would turn out to be more feasible to host dinner at his folks’ place….

“And oh, by the way… Could we just have the family this time?..I’m not ready for someone new yet”…..

Prince Charming had to relay to me his conversation with his mother…My worry about being judged, or not given a chance just punched me in the stomach.. I felt ill…I started crying.. Another challenge or obstacle, this time from the people who love my guy the most and who were supposed to support him.

Then I went from tears and sadness, to feeling angry! As if the line had been drawn in the sand.. I now had an enemy and someone I had to steel myself against…I have met this woman in passing before, and she seemed sweet, but now to me, she was the wicked witch of the west! That’s how I felt at the time anyway… I don’t even think I’d uninvite someone who was acquaintance, let alone someone a family member deemed important enough to them to invite in the first place.

Prince and Little Parrot went away to family Easter dinner without me.. I was a ball of emotion between sadness and anger. I had hoped Prince Charming would have a chat with the Wicked Witc… I mean, his mother…

He did… Apparently she needed time to mourn his ex, and was well aware of how he, I, and his daughter function together as our own little unit; she wasn’t ready to see that for a prolonged period of time yet (she spent a few hours with us a couple weeks prior, which I thought went pretty darn well myself). How my Prince puts it is: “I wouldn’t have received a fair chance at acceptance yet”. But he relayed to his mother how important I was to him, and that I’m not going anywhere (that’s my man!).

But now… When I eventually do get to this whole family thing with his side, how do I not have the first impression of being “unwelcome” in the back of my mind? She hurt me… I couldn’t believe it happened (and in truth, Prince Charming couldn’t either)…. I’m not saying I hold grudges, but I never forget things… and sometimes I have trouble letting go of things that bother me… things I have to work on I guess.

So.. I suppose I just smile, like there’s no hard feelings? The bottle of wine and Easter card I sent in my absence should relay that I hope? I’m trying not to have hard feelings at least.. I just pretend it didn’t happen? Yes, yes, I’m well aware I can’t refer to her as the Wicked Witch of the West… She’s probably not a bad lady, she did produce something pretty wonderful afterall (her son)… She just hurt me, though probably not intentionally (I hope).

More time needed for everyone… Just because Prince Charming and his daughter are comfortable and ready to move forward, doesn’t necessarily mean everyone else in life is. I guess I just expected a chance, as that would be supporting Prince Charming and his happiness; but not all think the same way and have that definition of “support”.

I am with him, not his family… And him and I are good! But it sure makes life easier when your significant other’s family at least tolerates you. I have to admit, this past weekend did make me feel a tad bit defeated….

Now to just get past this….

Still learning….

I have a little parrot…

It’s becoming a weekly thing to spend time with Prince Charming and his daughter, and after each visit with them, seeing them together, how cute she is, and how wonderful of a father he is; I fall deeper in love…. with them both.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never been with anyone that has small children before. But where she’s known me before (as I’ve been friends with Daddy and Mommy during her lifespan – I met her when she was 3 months old), she has now taken keen interest in me since her father and I have become a couple. She’s become my little parrot in repeating some of my mannerisms and responses to questions; and I’ve affectionately called her so, to which she responds “yes, I am your little parrot!” How cute is that?

If I’m over at the house, I’m usually bopping around to the Blues station if I’m tidying or doing dishes. To which she will come in and want to dance with me, proclaiming she likes my music, after making sure to ask, “do I like this song?”… I think most visits now, I am obligated to “turn on Blues and dance!”

From how I lick my ice cream cone, to what kind of music I listen to, to how I pet the dog; his lovely little child seems to mimic me. Watching and duplicating what I’m doing, smiling all the time as I watch her. I take this as a good sign, that she’s accepted me (or at least I’m hoping that’s what these things mean).

I assume that she accepts me with her Daddy, easily enough. I think she likes seeing her Daddy happy, or at least maybe finds ways to tell us so. Even from early days when I spent time with them, I wanted to ease her into seeing us in a different light; afterall, I’m not Mommy, and that’s who she is used to seeing with Daddy. So I didn’t broadcast affection with her father right away.. One day while watching a movie, while little one was playing on the floor, Prince Charming made move to sit closer to me on the couch and place his hand on my leg.. To which I quietly told him to move over a bit, as to not have her see that yet. Well, his wonderful little Princess is very quick and very smart to realize this was going on, but she seemed okay with her Daddy being affectionate and happy… She came over to the couch, pointed to space between us, and simply stated, “sit here”. To which I made offer to help her up to sit between us on the couch for the movie, and she replied “no, Daddy sit here.. I want Daddy to sit here”.. To which he moved back over, she smiled, and went back to her toys on the floor…Well then… I suppose we could take that as a sign of approval!

It’s become common practice for her to use my name in tandem with Daddy; “I go do (insert some activity) with Daddy and (insert my name)”; or she’ll make sure to ask me or her Daddy if I’m coming too. She often wants to include me in things that she’s doing. My heart swells every time she asks me or takes my hand to go do something with her.

I never want to push my presence on her, and I give her the power to allow my involvement with her. I’m finding it’s something I’m always cognitive of, not wanting to overstep any boundaries in regards to her. I want her to view and be comfortable with the loving relationship that I have with her father, and for her to know I’m not trying to be her parent, but I am another person that loves her…. and would do anything in the world for her and her Daddy…

So, in this wonderful adventure of meeting my Prince Charming, he came with a wonderful wee Princess… and now, I have a little parrot.

~Still learning…

When will it be okay?

When you’re with someone that is currently going through a divorce/separation, when is it okay to just be?

I feel as if I’m tiptoeing around at times, or walking on eggshells, just to make sure I don’t aggravate an already sensitive situation. A situation that really has nothing to do with me, but has been carried out in such a way to be emphasizing an involvement that isn’t mine.

For those, who need a bit of catching up; my best friend and his wife split, and lo and behold him and I discovered romantic feelings were there. Because of an already close friendship beforehand, the ex has assumed that we were carrying on before the marriage ended (but to be clear, this wasn’t the sole reason of the marriage ending). It’s made it quite an emotionally charged situation for everyone. And I empathize from all angles, I really do.. She is convinced in her assumption, which I get, it’s easiest to direct anger and blame at an outside source; so she is feeling betrayed (even if incorrectly so) by her husband and an acquaintance (me, as her and I were friends through her husband)…

Prince Charming, well, he’s trying to get closure on his marriage and amicable arrangement for custody, agreements, etc. all the while trying to cultivate a new relationship; it’s challenging to have to filter part of your new relationship. You want to be excited, but there’s the looming caution of being careful to not upset the ex and to be sensitive to the situation. The poor guy is really getting it from both sides.

And then there’s, me… I feel badly to be used as an excuse [one of] for the breakdown of a relationship; sadly, as in love as I am, I would’ve given anything for Prince Charming to have happiness and love with his family unit intact….And sometimes I feel insecure because of the filtering that is going on; and by nature I’m not an insecure person, so this is a new experience for me. I’ve spent some time now being careful, not to be around for child pick up/drop off as to not upset anything; I have filtered and removed things from social media that are really harmless, and have had no intent of malice (but were pointed out that “could be” upsetting, just because it’s me that posted it).

So I wonder… When will it be okay? When can Prince Charming and I operate freely and openly as a couple, without the fear of what upset it could cause? Enough time must’ve passed by now for it to be “acceptable” for moving on, as the ex now has someone in her life. (Not that I keep tabs on her love life, but not much is secret with a two year old around, lol… plus eventually the new fella was introduced to Prince Charming, so it’s made evident to him and he gets to know whom is around his daughter)..

When will be okay to share on social media the super cute moments I capture on film of Prince Charming and his wee Princess, so friends and family can see and comment? I haven’t even thought to post a photo of him and I, not that we have any, but when will that be okay? When will it be okay to meet his family (though I’ve already met some due to our friendship)? Another point of social media, the relationship status thing, when is that okay to change? Not that it’s a huge point, but I’m happy and proud about who I’m with, and I’d like the world knowing we’re connected.

I understand our situation is sensitive… And I’m reasonable, logical, and empathetic about the whole thing and everyone involved.. But sometimes I just feel like stomping my feet and shouting, in true tantrum, “it’s not fair, when will it be okay?”…I almost feel like we are stunted in growth as a couple by this.. My actions/feelings affect him and I, that’s normal and to be expected.. My actions/feelings affect his child, also to be expected that’s part of him and his life and number one priority… But then my actions/feelings affect the ex-wife too, I have to be considerate there, and I’m not sure that is normal, or at least it hasn’t been for any of my past relationships. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been a bitch to any of my past partner’s exes, not my style as they didn’t do anything to me. But my life feels too involved around her.

I know we will get past this, perhaps it’s just more time (and patience on my part) needed. We talk frequently about feelings surrounding this, and thank goodness Prince Charming can keep patience with me while I’m passionately (at times) discussing things. But my emotions are so up and down with this, another trait I’ve developed that I’m not used to.

But I still wonder… almost daily…

When will it be okay?

Still learning….

Vulnerable and happy

I’ve been through real, intense, heartbreak twice in my thirty years.. The first being the breakdown of my marriage, and the second being the breakdown of a short-lived but intense relationship with a man who promised me everything only to find he himself was not wanting the same type of life… Two times I thought I had found love, and two times I’ve been let down and disappointed.

I’ve never wanted to miss out on that chance though, the chance of finding that love and someone to share life with. While I’ve not had many opportunities for that intense love that I’ve been hoping for, I never have closed myself off to the possibility. Even at one point having decided to continue on with the life I wanted and considering having a child on my own, I thought that maybe later love would happen. There’s a difference between a thinking a relationship won’t ever happen and thinking you don’t need a relationship to happen; I was of the latter idea. But I’ve always tried to be open and vulnerable to the possibility of something wonderful happening.

It’s funny though, when I was younger, and I find many people now (regardless of age) maintain a level of being guarded in a new relationship. We’ve all been hurt and we don’t want to endure the pain and heartbreak again. Sure I’m cautious in getting to know new people of course, but I don’t have that internal struggle anymore (and haven’t for a while) that says “I don’t want to fall in love, it’s going to hurt… so not yet”. I am accepting of what I feel and when, there are no instruction manuals or acceptable timelines; if I’m going to fall in love, so be it! Because if I remain guarded, I could miss out on an opportunity for something wonderful and great…. So that is how I live… I try not to be guarded with my emotions; I’m up front, all cards on the table, this is what you’re dealing with, wearing my heart on my sleeve… Believe it or not, it has helped weed out some ill matched suitors in my past. BUT… This way that I live gives ample opportunity for me to be hurt.. I’ve always said resilience is my best quality, well, there are many reasons for that.

For the relationship I’m currently in, even with outside factors affecting the relationship (somewhat), I’ve maintained this vulnerability. This has allowed me to fall in love with this man.. But something is different about these emotions. I’ve been married, I’ve been with someone I planned to have a family with; but I don’t think I’ve ever felt this. Truth be told, this man has all the power in the world to hurt me and he doesn’t even know it. I have never looked at a relationship that way, someone having “power” over me, and have been hesitant to give that power I guess, as I’ve discussed with a friend in the past.

“When you love someone, truly love them, you lay your heart open to them. You give them a part of yourself that you give to no one else, and you let them inside a part of you that only they can hurt-you literally hand them the razor with a map of where to cut deepest and most painfully on your heart and soul.”
― Sherrilyn Kenyon

Prince Charming makes me feel valued no matter what; we have our struggles and can both be exasperating at times trying to relay our thoughts and feelings on alot of intense subjects. It happens when you’re in the midst of life changing events (such as divorce and custody arrangements), and starting a new relationship. Emotions are going to run high, and they may overlap at times. But we talk, he’s never told me I shouldn’t be upset about something and always validates my thoughts and feelings. Admittedly, once I’m “passionate” (again, his verbiage, I’m “passionate” NOT “a pain in the arse”) about something, I can be pretty exhausting to deal with; but he talks through it with me and hasn’t run the other way.. And well, I haven’t run away either… Life is not easy right now…

Prince Charming also has this way of looking at me. He always looks at me, almost as if he’s studying me, and as if I’m something new to behold each time. I’ve never held any man’s gaze so intently. He doesn’t know that he does this, I don’t think, but it makes me melt every time. I feel so… I don’t know… Adored perhaps is the word I’m looking for?

I look at this man and my heart swells and I smile; thinking how lucky I am… He’s seen me at my highs and lows over the past couple of years, we spend time together easily, and we make eachother laugh; I truly fell in love with my best friend. It wasn’t planned, it wasn’t even thought of, but somehow, and luckily, here we are. We just…. Fit.

Prince Charming happens to come with a little sprite of a Princess as well. I have never been in a relationship with anyone with young children before. This is also a new ballgame for me, and a whole new level of vulnerability. I have a love for children and yearn to have my own someday, so I would never ever ever be guarded emotionally around a child. They should be openly nurtured and loved to build confidence, caring and help shape them into kind and happy little human beings. So I have fallen in love with this little girl as well (as she is some of the most wonderful and best parts of her Daddy) and the more time I spend with her, the deeper it goes, but will write more on that experience in another entry.

So, here I am…. Vulnerable….In love, all encompassing….and happier than I’ve ever been despite that it’s not easy….

Still learning….

Adjusting

Something about me, I’m extremely open and quite forthcoming with my emotions. So, when I have a partner, you can bet that people know that I am “taken”, “off the market”, “with someone”, etc. In fact, if I’m feeling pretty good about said relationship, I’m a shout it from the roof tops type of girl.. I’m in love, it’s wonderful, the world seems brighter, yay!

I’m finding an adjustment period though with my fella. We are transitioning from best friends to significant others (or do I call him my boyfriend? I’m over 30 now, do I have “boyfriends” at this age?). We already know most of eachother’s quirks and we still talk about everything, but I find our conversations (especially disagreements) have become more “passionate”.. Yes, passionate was his choice of wording one eve as I was exasperating him with a difference of opinion or interpretation of something. He’s so wonderful; he doesn’t say I’m a pain in the arse, I’m passionate! LOL But we communicate about EVERYTHING, and quite openly… I’ve always appreciated that about us. That transition is going wonderfully, I adore him…

Although, there is another adjustment that we are going through as well…. Slowly letting people know we are together.. Where I’m happy and feeling great about our blossoming relationship, there’s a slightly negative cloud hung over us. We are sort of soon after his previous relationship ending… There’s a perception by a few that him and I were carrying on before his previous relationship had ended (we were not)..In fact I’ve lost a few acquaintances over this. Though the people that really know me, are quite happy for me and know what did in fact happen (and not happen for that matter); I hate others having the perception that I would assist in the demise of a relationship, especially when there is a child involved (I don’t think I mentioned he has a wee one yet, have I?). But I have to remember: feelings were hurt, there was (is) pain and anger; and for those that don’t really know me, I suppose it’s easiest to think I had some involvement. It’s human nature….I hold no ill will towards anyone with this perception, nor am I aggressive or confrontational about it. It’s just unfortunate, all around…

So where there’s this new and wonderful relationship, I fear we are not able to enjoy it to it’s full potential… Yet…

There will be adjusting, not only for us, but for others as well. I know that all will be well in time; and I truly believe that something positive and great will come of this despite the negative light at first, we just seem to fit. But my mind wanders endlessly to everything the future will hold… Will his friends accept me (the ones that knew his ex)? Will his family like me? Will his ex and I eventually be able to talk? (I’m sure we eventually will have to cross paths, she’s the mother of his child, I would even say her and I were acquaintances before they split, I liked her – though at present moment we don’t talk – yes I get why)… These are the challenges we have, and things that I think about…

I guess we just move forward, and deal with what may come and try to focus on the good things. This will take strength from both of us.

Still learning…