Last week my husband and I were away in Mexico for a conference. Even though it was work related, having the alone time with him was phenomenal. It was so nice to leave our parenting hats at home and just be a couple!
When you marry a man with kids, you don’t get that period if alone time when you’re dating “pre kids”, so I am always extra appreciative of any opportunity we have to be just us.
That being said, I missed my daughter and stepchildren A LOT. I have always been a fairly homesick person, an have a really hard time being away from the kids. (Even though we have my stepchildren on a week-on-week-off schedule, being in a different country always makes it feel different).
The kid’s stayed with their mom while our daughter stayed with our babysitter.
At the end of the week, I couldn’t wait to get home! As soon as I walked in the door I smothered my daughter with cuddles, hugs and smooches! I literally held her all night long!
The following afternoon, even though it wasn’t “our time”, we went to my stepson’s hockey game. We were just dying to see “the kids”. ,
It worked out great because my stepdaughter and her boyfriend were time-keeping the game so we were able to see 2/3.
(SIDEBAR: I hate when people say “my time” when referring to their kids – we’re talking about people not timeshares here!)
When we saw them, I had the hugest urge to go up and give them a big squeeze, just like I had my daughter.
But I didn’t.
Like always, I held back.
This may sound absolutely crazy, but I can count on one hand the number of times I have hugged my stepkids. To be exact, it’s four.
I’ve never been a hugger. With the exception of my husband, until we had our daughter Reese, I was never one for physical touch.
Basically what I’m saying is that I didn’t start out hugging my stepchildren, so now 5 years into my step-motherhood career, we just don’t hug.
This isn’t only because I wasn’t a touchy feely person, and wasn’t raised in a touchy feely home – it’s also because I have always approached my stepmom life remembering how I felt as a child of divorce. I know for a fact that I would have had a HUGE issue if my dad’s girlfriend tried to wrap her hands around me.
(Remember when I said I used to try and get rid of my dad’s girlfriends for sport – yeah, I wasn’t exaggerating! My experiences very much shaped how I stepmom)
I never wanted to make them feel uncomfortable or to overstep, so I held back in the hugging department. So now, as we are knee deep in the tween and teenager years, I kind of feel like that ship has sailed.
This may actually be one area where step-parenting according to my experiences as a child, steered me in the wrong direction.
I try not to dwell, or beat myself up over it. It isn’t the end of the world.
We still have a great relationship.
The kids still know that I love them.
They know that they’re my people.
I just show it in different ways!
But I still wish I could give them a good squeeze!
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