A summer of learning…

I’ve been on a hiatus from this blog and my apologies for that to my readers.  It’s been an interesting and great summer of learning and growth.  Through decision of myself and Prince Charming, we decided to spend most of the summer together and seeing if our lives “meshed”, so to speak.  He being a teacher had the summer off and therefore had his daughter the majority of the time, I booked off most of the summer months to spend with them.

 

We had a fabulous time together as a family; celebrating birthdays (mine and wee one’s as we’re born in the same month), picnics, swimming, park visits, beach visits, and zoo visits.  We had days of activity, and days of rest watching movies and playing around the house.  I became not the novelty of the woman who’s with little one’s father and around on occasion, but the normal every day facet of the family.  This has promoted a wonderful relationship developed with myself and little one, but has also awoke the toddler attitude with which she no longer discerns me.  This summer I have found out what it’s like to truly be treated like a parent.  I’ve cried tears and felt truly heartbroken when made target of a three year old’s tantrum, I’ve analyzed myself endlessly and wondered daily if I’m doing the right thing to aid the development of a happy and healthy (emotionally and physically) little girl, I’ve provided for and looked after with no thanks (well, her father makes sure to thank me for things), I’ve smiled and laughed when I’ve felt unwell… I’ve been blessed with all of this, and wouldn’t trade any of it.

 

Prince Charming and I also got to take our first vacation, just the two of us.  We spent a few days in Mexico.  We learned what it’s like to travel with eachother, and even how we cope with a few travelling stresses (such as a credit card that wouldn’t work).  We experienced adventure, romance and relaxation in the span of those few days.  I think that solidified things for us; we can do the mundane day to day living but we can enjoy paradise too.  We know we can live with just us, which is important I think, because we were away without work, without kids, and in a foreign country; all we had was eachother and later on in life we will experience that again, so we should be sure that it’s okay that way. 

 

This summer we learned about eachother, how we function as a family unit, and what we want from eachother and for our futures.

 

This summer resulted in a discussion about childcare where Prince Charming said “as a parent, I know you can appreciate that…”….

“Wait… as a parent I can appreciate that?”

“Well yeah, I view you as her step parent”…..

 

This summer resulted in a toddler running into the living room in her pajamas after a bath holding a small box, smiling and presenting it to me, “do you live with me?”, her father following behind saying “she’s supposed to say ‘will you live with me?’”….

 

This summer resulted in living, growing, and loving.   Life is wonderful and fulfilling with this man and his daughter in it.

 

Still learning….

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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….