“Family isn’t whose blood you carry. It’s who you love and who loves you back.”
When I was a very young teenager, my parents divorced. My dad left the house we’d been in as a family since birth, and for a while lived with my grandmother, his mum.
He then got his own flat, some time after, myself, my sister and my brother were introduced to ‘S’.
On reflection, things were handled really well. She was introduced as a friend, then they were a couple, then they moved in together. Obviously not as quickly as I’m saying it, they took time, had holidays, lived out their dreams as two separate entities, then as a couple.
When they eventually did move in together, I was in my mid-teens. A good, bright teenager, although as most do, I had a small amount of rebellion in me.
Looking back, I wasn’t one for sticking to rules. I had a very tempestuous relationship with my mother, and rebelled against the rules my father set out. As individuals, my father and my stepmother had their own priorities. My dads being his children and ‘S’. She had no children, so her priority was primarily her own family and my dad.
It didn’t stop them joining forces and helping each other raise us to be the people we are today.
To say I was happy about the joining of forces would be a lie. I tried to rebel more, (honestly nothing major, just not keeping to rules etc), and I put this down to not wanting to be disciplined by my dads girlfriend.
Honestly, now I look back, I know why I rebelled and disliked it so much. I wasn’t used to it. My mother used to shout and swear to get us to listen, which obviously never worked. To have two people actually enforcing rules and punishing us when we didn’t adhere to said rules, was slightly alien to me.
Months and years went by and I finally realised how unfair I’d been on them both. At the end of the day, these two people were and still are my constants. They still teach me, care for me, help me and love me , even now when I have children and a husband of my own.
Special recognition, although my father is amazing as an individual too, has to go to my now, stepmother.
It takes a really special person to love someone else’s children and treat them as your own. A step mother’s love is selfless, unappreciated and rarely noticed. But I have noticed it.
I suppose, to end, I’d like to say I’m sorry, I know I was really hard work, but I hope I’ve made you both happy and proud of the woman I’ve become, and I hope you know how much you’ve influenced and helped me throughout the years.
And to my stepmother? Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.