"The step family perk I never expected."

At first I was worried about how they’d get along.

When I gave birth to my first child, my stepsons were just 16 and 12. I admit, I was nervous. In my mind having a child would make us a true family. Finally, my stepsons and I would be blood relatives, related through the child I was about to have.

As the pregnancy progressed, I started to worry.

What if they didn’t automatically love the new baby? What if they felt the baby was competition for their father’s affection? What if they resented it?

What if instead of turning us into the big happy family I dreamed of, it turned into a nightmare?

Soon, I didn’t have time to worry. I had the baby and before I knew it I was at home nursing, prepping bottles, trying to find time to shower and sleep. At the time my oldest stepson was living with us and my younger stepson was with us on weekends. They were a little bewildered by the newborn that had suddenly joined our family. I think all the crying and pooping and wailing took them by surprise. That made two of us.

A couple of months in I was sitting on the lounge holding my little boy who was looking up at me gurgling and grinning and being incredibly cute. My oldest stepson was walking past us. He made a couple of cooing noises at his baby brother and waved and to our surprise, his little hand reached out and grabbed his big brother.

My stepson and I looked at each other and smiled.

Ever since that day my oldest stepson and my oldest child have shared a special bond. I never expected nor have I ever heard of such a close and instant bond between two half-brothers. In fact their bond is so tight that my son doesn't even let me say half-brother. "He's just my brother Mum," he always says.


And now that my oldest stepson lives overseas they remain close. Thank goodness for Skype.

Having two, much older brothers is such a gift for my children. They feel so lucky. Whenever either of my stepsons are in the room, my husband and I cease to exist, as does everyone else. All my children want is the attention of their older brothers. They greet them with squeals and hugs and kisses. My younger stepson is still bewildered by their overwhelming love and enthusiasm in his presence.

My kids perform for their brothers, chatter non-stop and compete for their attention. They love, worship and adore them and they feel special every time they get the tiniest bit of attention from them.

After the challenges of the early years of dating a man with two children, the insecurity, the struggles, the sometimes-hostility, I can safely say that I would go through it all over again just so my children could have the gift of much older brothers.

There isn't even a competition when it comes to who my children's favourite people in the world are. It's their brothers. My husband and I don't even get a look-in. And that's fine by us.

What do you love about being part of a blended family? How do your children get along with their half-siblings? 

Want more? Try:

10 things to look out for when you partner becomes you kid's step dad.

After the divorce, how do I get through this day when it inevitably comes?