Kathryn Maile writes about the importance of involving yourself in your stepchildren's lives.
It is grey, it is miserable, the threat of a torrential downpour is real, and the icy air could cut you in two.
But where am I on this chilly Friday afternoon? Standing on the sidelines watching my stepson and his friends play in a football tournament, that is where I am.
The wise words of a friend of mine coming into my head (albeit a little late in the day for me to remember them!) ‘if you ever find yourself a spectator at your child’s sport, invest in fur-lined wellies’.
She, of course, was speaking from experience of many a weekend sideline drenching as she stood and cheered on her sons.
Well, I was a spectator at my stepson’s sport; I was cold and alas there were no fur-lined wellies to keep my feet warm.
Mental note to self.
In fact, I don’t know how my stepson and his friends coped – they were only in their football kits and to say it was brass monkeys was no exaggeration.
When my stepson saw his dad and I arriving we got the happiest and broadest smile as he came to greet us.
He was clearly really pleased that we could take the time and make the effort to come and watch him.
He delighted in introducing his friends to us and we dutifully watched every game (even the ones he wasn’t playing in!) until the very end of the tournament.
It is really nice to be involved and included by my stepchildren in such things. It clearly had a happy and positive impact on my stepson and, certainly, my husband and I were very proud of him.
It is also nice to see your stepchildren out of your normal routine of ‘having’ them. Being involved in all aspects of your children’s (step / foster / adopted / biological) lives has a long lasting happy impact all around.
But if that inclusion was not enough I was surprised and delighted to see my stepdaughter who had made the effort to see me on Mothering Saturday (the day before Mothers’ Day) as it was not our weekend together. Such a lovely thing for her to have done, we went out and enjoyed a very special lunch together.
As my eldest brother and I chatted recently, we agreed that a child in a happy environment, who does not need to worry or be anxious about various aspects of their lives, enables them to concentrate on being happy and enjoying all that is laid in front of them to learn.
Kathryn Maile is stepmum to three children and mum to one of her own. She will happily share more ‘food for thought’ on step-parenting and the challenges faced throughout in her blog, www.mystepmumandme.co.uk. If anyone would like to get in touch please do so via her email [email protected]