Let me start off by acknowledging what anyone in a blended family knows all too well. Whichever way you look at it, being a ‘step-someone’ is really hard.
I can only imagine what it would have felt like for my mum, having to keep things civil while watching another woman walk into her children’s lives.
And for my step-mum, I’m sure getting an instant family complete with three, fully formed kids going through puberty wasn’t ideal either.
But for the kids who didn’t want any of it, that feeling of being caught in the middle never goes away.
When I was younger, I felt guilty about not loving the new woman who entered my dad’s life. Without my permission.
But now, well into my thirties, I feel guilty for loving her too much. Because if I’m really honest with myself, I’m far closer with my step-mum than I’ve ever felt with my real mum.
It was never a case of being sat down and told to 'pick a side'. But to this day, with every decision I make, I'm choosing one or the other. Because in a blended family, there will always be two sides - my mum's or my step-mum's. And right now, I choose my step-mum.
She's the first person I go to when something wonderful happens in my life. When I met my now husband, I couldn't wait to pick up the phone and share the news with her. I didn't tell my mum for a month.