I’ve not talked much about being a step-mum because I just sort of get on with it and try not to think too much about anything. Having said that, the general connotation of being a stepmother aren’t great, we don’t get a great press in children’s stories – the ugly/evil stepmother, etc. – and recently I’ve been pretty bummed out with the whole thing. I love Gabriella and, with Mike, I look after her half of the time (we have her every weekend and once during the week). I make sure she has what she needs, make her nice food, do her home work with her, teach her to read and spell and hold a pencil right, read her stories, play with her and make up silly songs together and make her laugh. I also tell her off when needs be, get her to make her bed and tidy her room, and make sure she’s in bed on time. But in the end, when big decisions are made about her future, you suddenly realise you have absolutely no say. Despite caring so much for this little person, it is none of your business. I’m referring to the fact that Gabriella is about to move 30 miles away – so new school, no more visits during the week, etc.

I also had a bit of a sulk yesterday because it was Mother’s Day and Mother’s Day sucks if you’re a step-mum. Gabby has her own mum and I’m just the goofy, tall kid who lives with her dad. This is totally fine and understandable but you can’t help feeling a little bit down in the mouth when Gabby’s made a beautiful card and is excitedly choosing expensive, gaudy flowers.

The weirdest thing is that you could be tempted to protect yourself from being hurt. If this was a friend, you’d take a step back so you weren’t so emotionally involved and therefore couldn’t get so upset, but you can’t do that with babies, especially ones that are identical to the man you love! So, we carry on as we were and so long as Gabriella and I are good pals, and she knows that I’m here for her, that’s all that matters.

In the end, it turned out to be a lovely, relaxing Mother’s Day. Mike and I had the day to ourselves, and once we got over being unexpectedly at a loose end, we went for Sunday lunch, read newspapers and had naps. So while Junior was doing laps in my belly, we could still do all those things you can’t do when you’ve got  a little one running around demanding attention. Can’t complain really but I am still looking forward to looking after this little one and them thinking I’m more than just the goofy, tall kid!