When I was young I always pictured myself married, not necessarily at a particular age but married. Kids are a given aren't they? Not for everyone sure, but as a child I assumed this was the natural progression and left it at that, never dreaming or thinking deeper into the plans.
I did in fact get married, at the age of 21, and was unexpectedly divorced by the age of 23, no kids. While this event may have caused some of my family pain, it truly did not leave me any heartache, only lessons; I carried on.
I galavanted through the next several years of my twenties without purpose, care or concern for anything or anyone, besides myself. No deeper thought into 'family" and if I would ever have one again.
When I turned 30 I began to feel this uncanny urge to nest. What a strange feeling, I had not thought more than a few times about this my whole life and here I was in a panic; "who would I marry, I am single...will I ever meet anyone? Will we have kids? Can I even have kids?"
When I thought there was no hope for me and I was planning on becoming a Governess on the eastern coast of Massachusetts, not far from the Cape, life hit me. Literally my husband fell from the sky, into my lap. Ok obviously that is impossible but I did meet him at complete random, when I was not looking and least hoped for it.
My knight in shining armor, everything I had ever dreamed and more. It can happen, it DID happen. Maybe my nesting feelings will be relieved by actual nesting...maybe we could start a family.
Just as quickly as I fell head over heels, I was hit with a truck of truth; kids, he already had kids.
A whirlwind of emotions and a flood of never before thought of facts rushed over me. Sure, I was not the type to scrapbook by wedding over the course of my life or name my kids long before I had them, but I also did not ever even consider that the man of my dreams also had a past.
How could I love FOUR kids who have already lived many years as a "family"? How could someone else's dream satisfy my need to create "family"? It seemed impossible, inorganic, the polar opposite of the systematic plan I had.
Who's systematic plan was I following anyhow? My parents? My friends? Webster's Dictionary?
I realized that "family" is whatever we make it to be. My step kids need "family". I am not a replacement, I am a welcomed addition. They are not standing in the way of my dreams, they are standing WITH ME. They are part of me and they make me "family". I may not ever be their mom, they may not ever refer to me as a stepmom or love me like they love their biological mother, but we are "family".
We love, we laugh, we cry, we live, as a family. Inorganic, patch made, FAMILY.
Hi, I'm Ashley!
I am a Southside Chicago native, mompreneur, and lover of all things social! I love to travel, meet new people, and practice my role as a self proclaimed food critic & Rosé connoisseur here in the City!
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