the baby space bump at 25 weeks and five days. photo by the baby space man.
It can take time to find your feet as a family. We live in what I suppose is called a blended family. The teen and I were just us for many years before the man joined us and then we had our sweet preschooler nearly four years ago. Maybe in families that start off with two parents the power dynamic set at the beginning doesn't change too much as the years go by. I don't know (maybe you can tell me?).
When the man joined the (then) tween and I --and it was him joining us, we were already a family-- I felt quite protective. Of both of them. I didn't want my only child to feel displaced, or that he should automatically like and respect someone new just because I did. I didn't want him to feel he should have to treat the man like his dad. After all, he already had his own dad that he had, and still has, a very good relationship with.
At the same time I felt a little wary for the man. I didn't want him to feel excluded or that he couldn't exercise autonomous judgement in his own home because there was already a family dynamic there. And most of all, what I really didn't want, was for the teen to one day turn around and say those four horrible words to him in anger: You're. Not. My. Dad.
(p.s The man wasn't worried in the least about this happening -- just me.)
And so our family started as a gathering of separate relationships. Mine and the teen's, mine and the man's. Then the preschooler came along and of course we all adored him, but we still had our relationships with one another that were separate. I suppose in some ways, we always will.
Here's something though -- with the growing of this third (and final, for this family!) wee bub I've noticed the family changing.
Maybe it's just a coincidence; the teen is at an age where he is finding his independence and moving away from me and towards his mates (guess who is saving up for his first car!?) and the preschooler has obviously given the man and I practice at parenting together for nearly four years. No small feat ;)
Somehow the balance has shifted so that it no longer feels that there are several alliances but rather that the man and I are the parents together and the kids are...the kids.
Or maybe it's that family, blended or not, is not something that just is, but rather something that becomes.
At the moment, with the imminent arrival of this third baby, it feels that the individuals that make up our home are coming together as a family unit. It feels really, really nice. I feel so very fortunate.
So that's me, coming up to 26 weeks with the baby space baby. Just a wee bit grateful :)
Have a lovely weekend!