~Welcome to my personal story as a first time wife and stepmom. I use this space to share real life happenings in a blended family, funny stories, my personal frustrations, failures, and occasional victories as I journey through this life with two beautiful and challenging stepdaughters. Thanks for reading, and I hope you find something to help you have a better day!~

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Beginning

June 5, 2009 (Little did I know or could ever have imagined, 3 years later on this exact day, J would ask me to marry him!) I worked as a surgery technician for several ophthalmologists, and did some babysitting on weekends for them for some extra cash. I got a call from newly single (of 6 months) Dr. J to come babysit on Friday night, June 5, 2009. He has two daughters. I had babysat before when he was married, but it had been over a year since I had seen them. We'll call the older one "Jane" here on the internet and the younger "Kate". Jane was one month away from turning 7 and Kate was 3 1/2. When Dr. J got home that evening after a night out with some friends, his intentions of pursuing more than a professional relationship with me became evident from his flirtatiousness... But this story isn't about he and I. It's about the kids. So, moving on...

December 25, 2010 Dr. J and I hadn't seen each other outside of the office because of a strict no fraternization policy. He had gone on to date some other women, and I had dated another guy for a couple months. But we both found ourselves alone and bored on Christmas day, so we met up to play some darts and eat Thai food. From that day, we knew we wanted to see each other more, policy or no policy. So eventually i found another job and we made the dating thing official. He told me lots about the girls, and at this point I was really unsure about him having kids, but I didn't want it to stop me from giving our relationship a chance. I quietly observed how much he had to do by himself for these girls, and fell more and more in love with him for being such an awesome dad. He would take them shopping, get all their school clothes ready, iron, help with homework, cook for them, take them to movies, plan fun activities--I mean, this guys was Super Dad or something.

May 2010 Around this time, I started to gradually spend more and more time with the girls. At first I would stay at their house and "babysit" one while J took the other one on a daddy/daughter date so they could get to know me better. Eventually, they would invite me over for movie night or pizza. Once they became more comfortable with me being around, J told them we were dating, and they could expect to see more and more of me. They were 7 and 4 now, and didn't fully grasp what it meant until they saw their daddy kiss me one night. (Jane told me later she wondered why daddy was kissing the babysitter!)

Evertything seems peachy, right? Well, I left out one little detail: the girls' mother. Yes, that complicates this little fairy tale a bit. They were divorced in 2008 after she had an affair. They got shared custody, which means they each have the girls 50/50. So yes, the girls already have a mom who is involved in their lives. Things between us got off to a bit of a rocky start. She first found out J and I were dating around March and immediately sent J a very spiteful and probably drunk text. It was along the lines of this: "Kristi? Really? How could you? Don't you know the rumors of her and Dr. D? Don't you know she is super religious? It will never work. You're making a bad decision." Of course J showed me this text because he never keeps anything from me, not even in the beginning, even if it might be hurtful. Yes, I was hurt. I felt like she was judging me, and she barely even knew me. She had met me a few times before, but never said more than "Hi" or "Bye". How dare SHE--the one who tore his life apart and made it a living hell, and hurt him more than anyone--SHE warn him about ME? I'M the bad decision?? No, lady! YOU were the bad decision! So, from the beginning, she and I were less than friends. It took a while to get over this, but over time, she had to get used to the idea that I wasn't going anywhere. Now my concern was not how she felt about me, but whether she would voice her negative feelings about me to the girls. That wouldn't be healthy or in anyone's best interest.

Over time, I became more and more involved with these two sweet girls, and they really started growing on me. It wasn't long before we started exchanging "I Love You's" and hugs and kisses. I knew it was going to be tough to figure out my place in their lives, but I knew I had to try.

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