Walking into a relationship with kids can be tough, but if you are resilient enough it can be very rewarding in the long run. I met my partner Zoe a few years back. We instantly connected, and from then on I knew I was in it for the long haul.
At the time I was unaware that she had any kids until I was invited over to her place for a little house party with a few friends. The first time I met the kids, they were stripped down to their nappies running around the kitchen (talk about making a first impression aye).
Furthermore this was the beginning of a wonderful family. I got together with Zoe and we spent a lot of time together – It was almost like I had already moved in.
Raising Faith and Wyatt was difficult at first – you don’t really know where the boundaries are – whether you can tell them off or not. It’s almost like treading on muddy ground – one minute you could be walking fine, the next you could be submerging into the terrain.
Their biological dad was always going to be in the picture, despite everything that had happened in the past. I had to push that aside and be civil when he wanted to see them. He usually saw them on a weekend (which was good for us as we could have a bit of a break), but more so because we had the responsibility of taking them to school everyday.
There can be good days and bad days, especially when the kids come back from their Dads. The kids behaviour was an issue and we were so quick to point the finger at him. We understood that it might have been difficult for him to take care of the kids solely for the weekend because he hadn’t done it before – this was taken into account.
Dealing with their behaviour was an endless cycle though. As they’d come back from their Dads, they’d misbehave for the first two days or so until Zoe and I got them in check again. By the time they’d actually behave rightly, the weekend had arrived so they had to embark again (couldn’t really win to be honest).
There may have been other reasons for their behaviour which could have been an oversight, but I considered the possibilities including the split between their parents and having to move house – it’s a delicate situation to be in, so I attempted to understand and react to the way the kids may have been feeling.
It was hard to have to share the kids with their biological Dad after they first started calling me Dad too! It progressed from Liam to Spiky and then one day Faith just came out with ‘Dad’. It’s been that way ever since.
We chose to have a baby together. This is when it all changed. Adding a third child to the mix was an arduous task, but we soon found our feet with her and love her as much as the other two.
Aurora is treated just like the other two, but as my own child I can’t help but have a sweet soft spot for her and feel the need to spoil her frequently. It’s a daddy thing – i’m sure you can understand!
Most recently we’ve just had Kiiara which adds a fourth child to the mix. Though she wasn’t planned, we love her all the same. Having two lovely children with my partner is a dream come true! I couldn’t ask for anything better!
The challenges still exist with the kids behaviour but it’s not just Faith and Wyatt anymore, it’s Aurora too! She’s a toddler now. She was good-as-gold as a baby, but has grown up to become a little madam. I believe it’s just typical habits of children of that age though.
Telling off a child who isn’t biologically yours
Some Dads can be torn as to whether or not they should be the ones to tell off their partners child. If you are in a long-term stable relationship and have shown trust with your partner, I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t be okay to tell off their child for misbehaving.
If you have not-long entered a relationship with kids involved, you may need to talk to your partner about whether they will allow you to tell off their children without stepping over a line. Without doing so, you risk your partner finding offense which may cause a rift between you two – a mother will always choose her children over a new partner!
On a positive note, raising a child can be very rewarding, It takes courage and determination to help raise a child who isn’t biologically yours, so I admire all the step-dads out there who have and are currently doing that too! Well done guys!
For all you Dads out there, i’d love to hear about your experiences! Whether you are a step-dad to your partners kids, have your own kids or know anyone who is in a similar situation.
How have you found it dealing with kids that aren’t necessarily biologically yours? Have you found it a challenge or has it been rather effortless? Do you have any tips for anyone in a similar situation?
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