Before Lillie and Ollie came along I used to think I was a pretty good stepmum to Will. We would often have days out on our own and do craft activities at home or playing games and doing puzzles.
In the good old days of Top of the Pops, we would have ‘dizzy disco night’ where the rules were ‘dance to everything and just be daft’. Will used to think this was hilarious and we would dance until we dropped.
Changes and Challenges
Things slowed down quite a lot when I was pregnant with Lillie, we would still go for lots of walks together, me waddling, Will on his scooter or doing my ‘challenges’. Will used to be painful when we went out for walks, always dragging behind, always moaning . . . that is until I uttered the words “I bet you can’t get to the next lamp post in 20 seconds” after that we never looked back. I would set various challenges for him on our walks and they worked a treat, he would get lots of exercise and I would get to walk at a reasonable pace.
Sharing my time
Then Lillie came along and Will graciously accepted that I didn’t have the time to spend with him that I had done previously. We would still do odd things together but always with Lillie there and then ultimately Ollie and Albie too.
Meeting Will’s needs
Once when Will was having a few problems at school and we could tell that all was not well with him, I sat down and had a chat with him about how he was feeling. He said that he wanted to spend more time alone with me, more time alone with Daddy and more time alone just the three of us. We have had the odd trip out here and there to the cinema just for Will but time to be just the three of us is a tough call and requires outside help and planning.
During the October half-term, Will went away for a few days to York with Hubby’s parents and he told them that he missed quality time alone with me and so I knew I needed to make a conscious effort to make more time for him.
The little things count
Lillie and I were doing quite a lot of baking and so I decided that I would do some with Will too. As we began sorting out the ingredients Will said: “We used to do this all the time didn’t we?” I thought about it for a second and said: “yes we did, didn’t we”.
Suddenly Will began regaling me with his memories of our baking sessions, the special batman apron that he used to wear, he remembered the times that I would rub flour all over his face and let him just get messy and then he went quiet, I looked down to see a sad face staring into the distance and I realised how much he missed that special time.
For the past 3+ years I have been a crap stepmum and I need to make a change, he is still my baby too – he’s just a lot bigger but he still needs me just as much and I’m going to make an early New Year’s resolution to try harder with him. First stop, I need to find him a new cooking apron because he’s seriously outgrown the batman one!