Step Mum

Fifty Shades of Motherhood

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on email
Email

Featuring

  • Step Mum

“There is no rulebook, there is nothing out there at all” In today’s episode of Fifty Shades of Motherhood,  Carla talks to Samantha Jay Bee about her experience being a step mum. She talks openly about how she found becoming part of a pre-existing family unit, trying to bond with the children, and shares her advice about how to approach being a step-parent. 

Here is Sam’s Social Links:

https://www.facebook.com/samantha.j.bee

@samanthajbx

 

Carla: [00:00:00] This podcast is sponsored by My Bump 2 Baby family protection and legal directory. To find your nearest advisor or family law, solicitor, head over to www.mybump2baby.com/familyprotectionlegal. 

[00:00:21] Do you love the idea of being your own boss? What about saving money on childcare? Because you can actually work flexibly around your family.

[00:00:33] My Bump 2 Baby is rapidly expanding, and we are looking for people to run their own pregnancy to preschool hubs in their local area. Full 

[00:00:46] training is provided ongoing mentor support, fantastic regular team incentives. A bonus scheme, uncapped commission, review products for free and review days out too.

[00:01:02] If you are interested in being the, my Bump 2 Baby manager for your local area. Email us [email protected] Limited space available.

[00:01:32] Hello, and welcome to 50 Shades of Motherhood, uncensored, unhinged and unapologetic. Guilt-free real raw mom chats with me, your host, Carl Lett over-sharer and founder of My Bump 2 Baby. The UK’s leading the pregnancy to preschool directory.

[00:02:01] Hello everybody. And welcome to this week’s episode of 50 Shades of Motherhood. Now I’m sure you will agree. Every motherhood journey is different. And today I am sharing an episode about being a step mum. Now I am not a step mum myself. Um, but my guest is and she’s going to be sharing all about the struggles that she faced when she became a step mum. I hope you enjoyed this episode.

[00:02:43] Hi everybody. And welcome to this week’s episode of 50 Shades of Motherhood. Today, I am joined by the lovely Sam who is a step mum, and we’re going to be talking all about being a step mum and what it means and the struggles behind actually being a step mum. So Sam hello, how are you? 

Sam: [00:03:05] Hi, I’m good. Thanks. How are you?

Carla: [00:03:08] Well thank you, very well. So today we’re going to be talking about your journey into being a step mum. Um, so, so I think this is an important subject because, um, you know, step-mum’s are a form of mums, of course. And it’s very important to raise awareness on this subject because I think not enough people share and not enough people are honest about what being a step mum actually entails I suppose.

Sam: [00:03:35] Completely, I think, do you know, in the very early days of being a step mum, you’re just frantically Googling, like what do I do? How do I deal with this situation? There’s just nothing, there’s so much for biological mums, but absolutely  nothing for step mums. So that’s why I really want it to come on and sort of share my, my views and how, you know, how I found it. If you will. 

Carla: [00:03:55] I love that. Absolutely brilliant. Yes. I was so happy to hear from you because I knew step mum was on my list and I was like, I really want to speak to someone. Yeah. But then it’s just, um, it’s just getting people comfortable enough to come on here as well, because it is a bit of a chat and sometimes, you know, get a bit carried away. So, so what I thought is like, um, we’ll obviously go back and share your story and stuff. But first of all, I want it to kind of chat with you with what you thought a step mum meant before you actually were a step mum or ever going to be a step mum.

Sam: [00:04:29] I have in my head pre pre being in my situation like just someone that, you know, overly motherly that sort of wants to take it your mum’s place and feels like they are your mum and treats you like their mum. 

Carla: [00:04:46] Yeah. Yeah.

Sam: [00:04:48] Do, you know what I mean? That kind of, they know, they know that they’re not your mum so they overcompensate for that. 

Carla: [00:04:56] Yes, totally. For me. I always think when step mum, cause obviously I’m not one so you’re like in the situation where you are and like, I just don’t think TV and films help because there’s always like the evil step mum. You know, like it’s always that. And also one of my favourite films, which I don’t know if you’ve seen it, it’s called step-mom. Oh my God, it’s a crier. Um, and it’s got Julie Roberts and she’s like, for ages, like the kids really don’t like her and stuff. And I always think, Oh, I just feel so sorry for her.

Sam: [00:05:30] Oh I have never seen it no. 

Carla: [00:05:34] Oh, you’ll love that. I don’t know, yeah. 

Sam: [00:05:36] I’ll give it a watch.

Carla: [00:05:37] It’s a bit of a crier, so I tend to watch it on certain times of the month you know. 

Sam: [00:05:46] Absolutely

Carla: [00:05:47] so, um, so basically with, with your relationship Sam so how, how did you, you meet your partner and what, what was the dealio there then? 

Sam: [00:05:58] So I’ve actually known Stu since I was about eight. Eight and nine, we grew up a few houses away from each other. Oh, I know. And it’s, he’s older than me for about four or five years older than me. So I always thought he was, you know, the, the older really fit lad who played football with his spiky hair, you know, proper nineties style, little twisted spikes. And I just thought he was gorgeous. Life happens, doesn’t it, you know, Stu went off to high school and next thing you know, you bump into each other when you’re adults and you’re just like, Oh my God, how are you? You know? And we actually bumped into each other on the, on a dance floor somewhere when we were both really drunk and just sort of was catching up. And then I didn’t actually speak to him for about four or five years after that, because we were both in relationships. 

Carla: [00:06:49] Oh my God. 

Sam: [00:06:51] Stu how these children. But when he had split up with his ex And we’re just space that we ended up just talking and then caught up if you will. Now we got together in January, 2015. Officially, uh, you know, it’s these days you’re texting and you’re liking each other’s stuff on social media. It just sort of goes from there, doesn’t it, you know, someone’s interested when the liking all your posts and comment in, and then bless him. He messaged me and we just got talking. Then I didn’t. I didn’t even think about, you know, his children or anything. I just thought, Oh my God, like, I’ve always fancied him.

Carla: [00:07:40] So did you know him, Sam from like on your Facebook and stuff? So you knew he had children and stuff and all that, and you didn’t really.. 

Sam: [00:07:47] He’s not very active on social media. If I’m going to be honest, Carla, he’s quite relaxed. He only really uses it for, you know, social like football and stuff like that. So to be fair, he’d not  really put any pictures of the kids on and that, so I knew he had children, but I didn’t know them, if that makes sense. I didn’t feel like I knew what they looked like. I didn’t know. Yeah. You know, I didn’t really know much. It was only when I started speaking to Stu that we. We sort of, obviously you have the conversation about, you know, why, why he’s single and stuff like that. So, 

Carla: [00:08:22] Yeah. Yeah. And then it went from there, then I’m guessing. 

Sam: [00:08:25] Yeah. Yeah. It’s just quite, quite natural, to be honest. And then, I didn’t force anything. I remember thinking, you know, like I’m not going to push anybody to meet me and you know, I’m not ready to do that either. So it means that you just sort of dated to know each other when the children weren’t there and then. One after, we went to an engagement do together…

Carla: [00:08:52] Did that like enter your head, that you were nervous to meet the kids? Or did you not think that far ahead at the time? 

Sam: [00:08:57] I didn’t think that far ahead Carla honestly. I truthfully, I just thought. Not that I couldn’t believe my luck, but I just thought  like hes fit, he’s gorgeous. So even if this turns into nothing, I’m going to take advantage of being seen with this gorgeous lad. Do you know what I mean? 

Carla: [00:09:15] Yeah, no, but you are gorgeous too, you really are. 

Sam: [00:09:19] I didn’t think honestly, I did not think. Any further ahead at that time, I was only 25. So I did not think further than the next weekend if I’m gonna be honest. 

Carla: [00:09:30] Yeah. Well, to be honest, sometimes that might have been a good thing because I suppose being a step mum, like what we’re going to be talking about, obviously it’s a bit of a struggle. And maybe if you did think further on you might have been a bit more reluctant to like. Keep it going, you know, if you were like really nervous about it all and stuff and thought everything that you’d have to actually go through to get to that family kind of life, I suppose. 

Sam: [00:09:55] Absolutely. I think because, because I didn’t think anything of it and because it didn’t fret about it or worry, I think that’s why it hit me so hard in the face later on, because I’ve just found myself in this situation where I’ve thought I’ve completely utterly fallen for Stu. And I knew he felt the same way cause he certainly wasn’t shy about telling me and yeah, it’s just, you know, like a relationship naturally progresses. And then next thing to be, to be honest, the way I met the children, we went out for drinks to a friend’s engagement party. And he said to me the day after to fancy some lunch. So I just assumed about me and him. And then all of a sudden, these two children are running towards my car and I was, Oh my gosh. Oh my God. And they were like, Dad’s told us to get in the car. And I was just like, Oh,.

Carla: [00:10:49] Yeah. I bet thats a good thing in a way though, because I would have panicked the whole night before, like, Oh, maybe I shouldn’t wear this. You shouldn’t do that. I should have like a long dress on like house in a Prairie. 

Sam: [00:11:02] Yeah, exactly. I think I’d have been going, Oh my God. You know, do I wear, what do I wear? Cause I’m quite casual. I’m definitely a jeans and a tee shirt kind of gal. Yeah. You know, if it’s a big  occasion I’m going to dress myself up. I’m gonna make myself feel better. So, because I didn’t, because I didn’t expect it. I was just like, and obviously in front of the kids, I’m not gonna say to Stu when he got in the car, like, what are you doing? So I just left it. 

Carla: [00:11:25] Yeah. Well  had you met his other family? Like his parents and stuff by this point? Or was it just like random?

Sam: [00:11:33] Well, because I knew Stu growing up. His mum and my  mum are quite good friends. So I already knew it was family. 

Carla: [00:11:40] Oh, thats good. Right. Okay. Okay.

Sam: [00:11:42] Within the, you know, the formality of meeting the families, the kids very much were. Quite daunting because it was like, right. I’m very comfortable with Stu and his mum, you know, I see, I see his mum all the time because she’s around to our house before bingo with my mum and you know, his dad knows my dad. 

Carla: [00:11:59] Was that before you and Stu got together, then it was already like?

Sam: [00:12:02] Yeah

Carla: [00:12:03] Oh my God, that’s nice. 

Sam: [00:12:06] I know. 

Carla: [00:12:07] So how old were the kids at this point then? When, like you met them for the first time?

Sam: [00:12:11] When I met the kids, the eldest was eight.

Carla: [00:12:18] Right. Yeah. 

Sam: [00:12:20] Yes. Seven or eight. And the youngest had just started school. Who was five.

Carla: [00:12:26] Cause it’s hard that, because seven and eight, I mean, that’s an age where like, you know, they’ve got all the kind of memories with the dad without you kind of thing. So that’s quite, yeah. Quite scary. Yeah. Because yeah, when, when they were a little baby, like, you’ve got your little boy now, like, hopefully this won’t happen. But like, I think with George as well, he’s very young. And if you didn’t, if you did split or something and someone else came into your life, it would just be normal almost for them wouldn’t it? But when they’re a bit older, I bet you it’s a bit harder to win them over as well. Um, 

Sam: [00:12:59] That’s what I thought. Yeah. Yeah. That’s exactly what went through my head plus they’re boys. I remember thinking like I don’t even know what to do with a boy. You don’t, I don’t like football. I don’t play Fortnite. I don’t know how to play Minecraft, 

Carla: [00:13:12] At least you know the names 

Sam: [00:13:17] If he had, had two girls. Oh God. We would have been painting nails. I think God I would have been in there straight away, but I feel, I felt a bit like with boys I was like what you do, I had to make more of an effort to bond you know?

Carla: [00:13:30] Like do things that don’t come naturally to you kind of thing. 

Sam: [00:13:33] Yeah. And it’s, that’s a lot of the uphill struggle.  Obviously regardless of gender that’s, that’s something that is very hard as a step parent is trying to find that way to bond because you don’t want to come across as that, you know, that creepy new girlfriend, thats like, hi champ, how are you? Do you know? Yeah. You want to be yourself, but you also want to let help relate to them.

Carla: [00:13:59] I know what you mean. It’s almost like finding that balance and there’s no kind of book is there. So it’s almost reliant on how their mum wants you to be in their life and how, how the dad wants you to be. So do they want you to be a friend or do they want you to be all authoritative or are you allowed to tell them off or, you know, are you allowed to like, you know, like, I can’t even imagine what thats like, because it’s hard because what happens when they are  being little shits and you’re just like, right how do I, how do I approach this kind of thing? Are you allowed? Or I don’t know ?

Sam: [00:14:34] Exactly. And that’s where that’s when you Google it and you think, man, what on earth do I do in this situation? I have never had a child behave this way towards me. You know and you are like. What do I do? Do I, do I shout? Do I ignore and pretend it’s not happening? Do I shout Stu and be like, your children are misbehaving. Do you know, you know, there’s no rule book there is nothing out there at all.

Carla: [00:15:03] And I think it’s all dependent on how the parents want them to be because the mum might be like, yeah, they do need telling. And some mums might be like, don’t you dare tell my kid off. So yeah. I mean, were they split up quite a while before you and him got together? Or was it quite soon? 

Sam: [00:15:20] Yes, no, no they’d been split up for, I think it was about three or four years. 

Carla: [00:15:25] So she, so she would be all right with them meeting you then I’m guessing.

Sam: [00:15:30] I mean, I assume so, but I’ve still never asked that question if I’m going to be honest. Stu has always just said, look, it’s it’s at my discretion. You know, they’re my children, I’m always going to do what’s best for them. And I thought it was best for you to meet them. So, yeah. Yeah. 

Carla: [00:15:46] Yeah. Yeah. Well, the thing is you can’t like start knocking on her door. Excuse me. Can I meet your kids, it’d be a bit weird. She’d be calling the police. So, yeah, so, so I mean, how did you go from here then did you get on with them straight away or what hurdles did you face? 

Sam: [00:16:08] So that day when we actually went out for lunch, I remember thinking, Oh, you know, this is actually easier than I anticipate it. Cause all the way, all the way to launch, I was like, Oh my God, what’s going on? And silently in my head I kept thinking christ Stu you’ve stitched me up here. You know, I can’t, I can’t do anything about this. Now I’m in this situation. I need to deal with it. So when we were at lunch, I actually got on really well with the kids and. We were just sort of was having a laugh and they brought their iPads with them.

Carla: [00:16:38] That a bonus.

Sam: [00:16:40] Absolutely. You know, yourself as a mum. So we were just playing on the iPad and so the food came and then we ate and Stu just said, do you want to know, do you want to come, come back to ours and sort of chill out for a little bit? So I was like, well, yeah, go on then. You know, and next thing it was, we were playing and just sort of. Looking back bonding, but I didn’t think anything of it at the time. And then next thing it’s bedtime and it’s just the day just flew, you know? 

Carla: [00:17:09] Yeah. Yeah. 

Sam: [00:17:10] So that was that. 

Carla: [00:17:12] And it was done with then. And that like moment that you’d have probably been like, Oh my God, I’m scared. If he was like, next week on Saturday, your meeting in the kids. You’d all week. You’d have been like, Oh my God. So it’s kind of a good way to do it. 

Sam: [00:17:25] Yeah. And I think. I don’t think Stu did it because he knew that I would have been fretting. I think he just sort of made a snap decision. Like, look, I could either, you know, we can do this or we can’t. And I thought, I don’t think he wanted to make a big deal out of it either.

[00:17:40] So, I’m kind of glad it happened that way because looking back, it was very natural and it wasn’t forced, it was very organic and we just ended up having a really good day together.

Carla: [00:17:48] That’s good.

Sam: [00:17:50] And then from then on it just sort of turned into. That’s what we would do when he had the kids. Do you know, we’d very much. Put ourselves in a social setting, we would go to Madame Tussauds together for the afternoon, or we’d go out for tea, you know, just to sort, so we’re not stuck in the house awkwardly going how’s your day been and 

Carla: [00:18:11] Yeah. 

Sam: [00:18:11] You know what I mean.

Carla: [00:18:13] Well kids as well it’s important, isn’t it to do that with them as well, because I suppose when he has them he doesn’t have them all the time, then it’s kind of, you know, actually doing things together. So they think, Oh, when we are with Sam and dad, it’s really fun kind of thing. 

Sam: [00:18:27] Yeah, absolutely. 

Carla: [00:18:28] So, so did you ever have to kind of have that awkward chat with the mum or was it all kind of, has it been smooth or what has been, what hurdles have you faced since then? I know it’s been five years. 

Sam: [00:18:43] Yeah. It’s obviously looking back, at the time. I just, I just thought, well, If I’m going to be completely honest Carla, I just thought, well, it’s no one’s business, but ours, do you know, we’re together, I’ve met the children and I know I’ve got good intentions. I know there was no there’s absolutely no malice or bad intentions on my part. So surely the mum can’t have a problem, but luckily for me, she was, she was fine about it. And we didn’t really, if I’m going to be honest for the first. God, I think it was the first sort of nine months. And then Stu actually had a back operation. He had a split disk. So he was in hospital. And obviously when it, when it came down to him, having the kids naturally, I had to be there cause he couldn’t even get up bless him. And I answered the door and it was sort of the first time we’d ever come face to face. And we both just sort of very awkward. I was just like, Oh, hello. You know, Hi. And she was just, obviously she knew my name and I knew her name. So it was a little bit awkward, but we both, I feel like we handled it quite well. We both just like look you know, I said Stu’s in there bless him he cant get up, the kids just come running in like they do like Hi. And you know, they, they didn’t think anything of it. 

Carla: [00:19:58] That’s good. 

Sam: [00:19:59] Yeah. And it just sort of, like you said, it just felt very natural. It, none of it felt. Awkward or I just remember that was a big deal to me. Cause I remember thinking right we have done it now we’ve come face to face and thats that now. 

Carla: [00:20:12] Yeah. Yeah. 

Sam: [00:20:15] Yeah, it kind of broke the ice with us, if you will. 

Carla: [00:20:19] How did you handle then? It went, I mean, at what point do you feel like you can say, Oh, don’t do that. Or do you, do you know what I mean? Like have you ever had to ask or what do you do?

Sam: [00:20:35] You know, I think within the first year, I didn’t really, I left a lot of it to Stu. Cause I just thought, you know, what. These aren’t my children. And  as harsh as that sounds, they’re not my children. I shouldn’t be parenting someones, kids I’ve got no right. Especially with no children of my own. That’s what I thought at the time. I thought I’ve got no children. I’ve got no right to tell anybody’s child how to behave. So a lot of it got left to Stu but then it sort of got to the point where obviously the more comfortable the children get with you. And the more comfortable you get with the children. They’re children, they push it, don’t they, they get a bit cheeky. And it starts with the odd sort of sly comment or the odd let’s push Sam and see how fare we can go. Yeah. I just thought I can’t. I need to set the boundary and I need to sit and like, I will, I will play with you. I will have a laugh all day long and chase you around the house. But when it comes to disrespect, that’s something that I’m not, you know, I’m not dealing with. So it got to the point where not raising my voice, but just in a stern, stern kind of way of being like, that’s not okay. Do you know what I mean? 

Carla: [00:21:46] Yeah, yeah. And was Stu alright with kind of..

Sam: [00:21:50] Yeah, he really was. Yeah. He sort of sat and said, no, you’re absolutely right. They shouldn’t be talking to you like that. And he did say if I wouldn’t have said anything, a couple of times he would have said something anyway and said, you don’t speak to Sam at that.

Carla: [00:22:03] And I suppose you needed to do that because otherwise, if you didn’t, they’re just think they could do it. Like any kids, not just them. I mean, they’ll just think then, Oh, we’ll just do it when dads not there or like they can walk all over you a bit, you know? So I suppose you have to stand your ground to a certain extent.

Sam: [00:22:22] Absolutely. And at the time I didn’t, you know, I remember not even thinking of anything of it and then overthinking if I was afterwards and thinking, Oh my God. Was I in the right? Or what if they hate me? What if they go back to their mums tomorrow and they’re like, Sam told me off, you know, and I just remember thinking, do you know what, if that happens, I will have to deal with that when it comes, because I’m the only person that was getting stressed about it was me.

Carla: [00:22:48] Had they forgotten about it once you’d done it anyway. And it kind of been, or was it a bit.

Sam: [00:22:53] Yeah, there was a, you know, there was a, the bottom lip came out and a bit of sulking but a couple of hours later at bed time. It was, you know, night Sam and that’s that over and done with.

Carla: [00:23:03] Yeah. 

Sam: [00:23:04] They are children aren’t, they they’re resilient at the end of the day. It’s not, to them I do think a lot of it was just sort of like let’s, let’s push it and see how far we can get. Cause if she’s, I think subconsciously there’s probably sat and thought, you know, let’s, let’s sort of see whether Sam’s here for  the long run, let’s see if she can put up with it.

Carla: [00:23:22] Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, so I’m guessing you’ve got a really good relationship with them now then have you? 

Sam: [00:23:31] Do you know what Carla I’m going to be honest. Nobody says this but, I think I do, but that is something that every single day. I think about, and I think I’m not doing enough, you know, is, am I a good enough step mum to these boys? And do they hate me sometimes when I’ve got to raise my voice or do they worry. I just overthink everything. You can’t help it because you, you’re not their mum at the end of the day and you’re not their dad. They’ve got a mum and they’ve got a dad and you are sort of like a bonus parent who they let’s be. Let’s be honest. They couldn’t care less if I walked out the door tomorrow, because at the end of the day, they’ve got the mum and they’ve got the dad.

Carla: [00:24:11] Yeah. It sad that really because you never really. Like if you left, like you, you will love those kids. Um, you know, in any way, I, every kind of loves different, whether you’re a mum or, a step mum, but you would love them. And then like, if for any reason you did split up, I hope I’m not giving you a complex, cause I have put that story in there a few times, that’s a lot for you to lose like that, that relationship with those two.

[00:24:38] But I say boys, am I right in saying boys? 

Sam: [00:24:42] Yeah.

Carla: [00:24:43] Oh, right. Yeah. With the two boys. Um, that’s, that’s a relationship like that, that there is a relationship that’s ended as well. It’s not only like you have to think about your partner, it would be like them as well. Wouldn’t it? 

Sam: [00:24:57] Absolutely. That’s what I’m, that’s exactly it. You just, you and you’re worried and you think, do you know  everything I do affects these two little people and yet, I didn’t birth them do, you know, and all of a sudden you find yourself in this situation where you’ve fallen, for the dad and you begin to genuinely love the kids because it comes naturally. You can’t spend time with someone’s children for a good year or 18 months and not. Not become attached. It doesn’t, you know, it’s very natural. I think you just find yourself feeling protective like a mother does. And I think a lot of it with me, I didn’t realize how, how much I loved them until little things. You know, when little things happen when just they’d ask if I was coming somewhere, something, as daft as that. If I was getting ready for a night out and they’d say, Oh, you’re not going to watch a film with us Sam? And i’d be like. Oh, Oh my goodness. You know that so sweet. And I think, Oh, bless them. You know, I think they actually want me here.

Carla: [00:26:11] I bet there is a lot of  second guessing. Cause you can’t really ask them like, hi, do you like me today? Do you care about me? And so it’s almost like you’re guessing all the time. Isn’t it I bet. 

Sam: [00:26:23] Yeah. And you know yourself, boys. They’re not, they’re not very, they are affectionate. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that they’re not affectionate, but they’re not very cuddly. They would never just randomly come up to you and cuddle you they don’t even do that with the dad. 

Carla: [00:26:40] Yeah. Yeah. 

Sam: [00:26:41] Do you know what I mean, it’s not like I’ve even got that. Reinforcement of them giving me a hug it’s just a quick like. Hi, Sam. Night Sam. Yeah. 

Carla: [00:26:52] Yeah. And then, yeah, it’s like, I suppose it’s like, at least with your partner and stuff, you know, they’ll tell you, they love you, you know, things happen in the bedroom and all that kind of stuff, you know your partner loves you. But then with kids,  it’s like, you know, unless they’re actually telling you is a lot of second guessing, isn’t it like, Oh, did I annoy them a bit today? Did I do that today? Or should they have done that? Could I do more? But then if you kept thinking like that and kept doubting yourself all the time, you’re only going to make yourself unhappy when they’re actually happy.

Sam: [00:27:29] Exactly, exactly. But that’s I did live like that for a good, a good eighteen months, because I just, I used to just worry that they didn’t want me there or. Because it’s natural. Everybody had bad days. So there’s days when you know, the kids didn’t want to do this or they didn’t want to brush the teeth or they’re just, you know, they’re just being kids. They’re just being painful because the kids, yeah. I used to think, Oh, well it’s cause I’m here it’s cause I’ve slept over. 

Carla: [00:27:57] Oh yeah. Because yeah, because you didn’t have a child before, you won’t know what kids are actually like, so then you think, Oh my God was they misbehaving because of me. 

Sam: [00:28:08] Yeah, maybe they don’t want me to be, are they playing up tonight because I have come around .

Carla: [00:28:12] When really kids just do that all the time. Anyway. Now we know.

Sam: [00:28:15] Absolutely. Yeah. And now I know that now I’m a mum and now I’ve been in this situation for nearly six years. I know that, course I know that kids are kids, they’re kids enjoy testing our patience. Don’t they, you know yourself, they just, when it’s bed time, they always need a wee or they always need a snack. And you’re just. Go to bed. 

Carla: [00:28:37] Yeah. Yeah. 

Sam: [00:28:38] But as a step parent. You think? All I want to do is spend time with my partner and your patience levels they’re a bit, that bit lower because you don’t have a child and you don’t understand. 

Carla: [00:28:50] Yeah. And then it’s like, I suppose it’s like having to go from like, being, not saying you were, but I think when you’re single and you don’t have children or you don’t have anyone think about, but yourself where you can actually be a bit selfish should I say as a word, like, and that’s okay to be.

Sam: [00:29:06] Absolutely.

Carla: [00:29:07] But then you’ve almost like you’ve not even had, like, you’ve just gotten a relationship and it’s almost like right now, his attention is divided three ways instead of just on me. 

Sam: [00:29:18] Yeah, absolutely. And that, you’ve just exactly hit the nail on the head. I went from. This 24 year old single girl who was, you know, drinking every weekend going out and just enjoying like, as you should in your twenties.

Carla: [00:29:35] And thirties.

Sam: [00:29:36] And thirties yeah.And then you go, you go from that to all of a sudden having this responsibility of you, can’t just blurt out, everything that comes out your mouth, because you’ve got two young children there that you’re going to influence and you’re going to be around and. Like you said a downside of having a split family is if I was to slip up and say a swear word, what if they go to the mum and say, Oh, dads girlfriend said this on Saturday.

Carla: [00:30:02] Yeah. Whereas if their dad said it they’d forgive it as well, wouldn’t that? 

Sam: [00:30:07] Absolutely, completely agree. And that’s, and I really struggled with that because I’m just, I’ve always sort of said, what I thought I’m just, I’m, I’m a very blunt person who, if I say, if I think something nine times out of 10, it comes out of the mouth.

Carla: [00:30:23] Oh god tell me about it. 

Sam: [00:30:23] It’s not always a good, it’s not always a good thing. But then obviously with two young boys around, I can’t, I can’t say and do what I want. All of a sudden you’ve got to have this like conscience and you’ve got to sit and think, Oh, should I say that? You know, should I do that? There is just so much second guessing. So, so much.

Carla: [00:30:45] And especially with two of them, it’s like with one. Is like right? Okay. Yeah. You know, he’ll have him sometimes, but then when one of them needs him  the other one doesn’t when, the other one needs him. I’ve bet its hard, really hard.

Sam: [00:30:59] It was. In the beginning. I really struggled. I don’t know how to explain it. Other than saying, I felt a bit left out. I felt a little bit like that it was very much Stu and his boys. And then me. I felt why I had to conform to the way they did things. I felt like I had to fit into their dynamic and I had to, adjust to their life. Looking back that shouldn’t, that that’s not the way it should be at all.

Carla: [00:31:37] Yeah. Cause it’s like they’re a unit, isn’t it? You’re coming into a unit that’s already made and you’re you either have to accept it or you don’t, you know, like that’s I imagine what it feels like. 

Sam: [00:31:48] Yeah. Yeah. And that’s exactly how it felt. And you like you say when they’ve got the little in jokes or, Oh, dad do you remember when we went to watch this film together and you’re like, Oh, you know, like you’ve sort of got to stay quiet because you weren’t there. And the kids aren’t doing it maliciously.

Carla: [00:32:07] At that time you probably think tare they talking about that like, you know just to upset me or something. 

Sam: [00:32:13] Yeah, absolutely. And that’s another thing that nobody, nobody tells you as a step mum either is that there is all these times where they go, Oh, my mum’s got that jumper. You know, me and my mum did this a week. And then you start thinking like, what, how, what do you say to that?  To an eight or nine year old child. What do you say back to that? Oh, you know, very quickly I figured out that if I just sort of sat and said, Oh, that’s lovely. Did you enjoy yourself or, you know, Oh, well, You know, if, if they said Sam my mum’s got those trainers I’d be like. Oh, well, your mum’s got great taste. Yeah. Yeah. I really struggled. I remember thinking, don’t say the wrong thing. Don’t say the wrong thing. Don’t say the wrong thing. 

Carla: [00:32:55] And then, you end up not say anything 

Sam: [00:32:57] Yeah and then there’s this awkward silence and you’re just smiling at each other in that really awkward way.

Carla: [00:33:03] I can picture it.

Sam: [00:33:05] Yeah. You both just sort of, I do you know what, when. You’re waiting for someone you open a door when you wait for someone to come through it and you do that really awkward smile. 

Carla: [00:33:12] Yeah. Yeah. 

Sam: [00:33:13] That that’s exactly. We had a few moments where we both just going. 

[00:33:21] Carla: [00:33:21] Yeah. Yeah I bet. And then like, obviously you’ve got your little boy now. So did you plan for him or did Stu do, I mean, did he want more children or was he quite open about saying he did? Or ?

Sam: [00:33:33] Well, I mean, I’m going to be honest with you, Carla. Because I knew Stu had kids. When we went on a first date, I just put it all out there and I said, look, I want to get married and I want to have children. So if you don’t want either of those things, there’s no point going on another date. 

Carla: [00:33:51] Good for you.

Sam: [00:33:53] Yeah. Because I just thought I’m not wasting my time. I don’t, you know, I completely understand if Stu had had his children was happy. Fab, that’s brilliant. But I wouldn’t have been satisfied and I knew that I’ve always wanted to carry my own baby. And have a happy, healthy family. That’s all everybody wants. Isn’t it at the end of the day? 

Carla: [00:34:13] Yeah, definitely. 

Sam: [00:34:14] So I just laid it all out on the line and luckily Stu was just like, no, I’d love to have more children. Absolutely. And I’m not ruling marriage out. So I thought right. And we ordered another drink and we had a really good time together.

Carla: [00:34:28] I know I love that. But thats the thing. I think, do you know, like, I think sometimes. It’s hard for girls because in our head we’ve got this brain thing. And I remember you were , I’m sure you were with someone for a long time before where you, I can’t remember. 

Sam: [00:34:44] I was

Carla: [00:34:45] Yeah. And I remember you splitting up cause we’d do things that were completely not doing anymore. Um, you know, We both were studying accounting weren’t we and I remember, I think when you started there you were in another relationship before and I think you, and so was I, and I think as a girl your brain kind of, like tick tock, tick tock, tick tock. Oh my mum had a baby by this age, I need to get married by this age. And then all of a sudden you with someone and you think right, we’ll probably end up together and we’ll probably get married, but then it doesn’t go how you thought it would be. You’re glad now probably, but then you do want to kind of just get it out there in the open. I think me and Danny probably had a similar conversation as well, because you just don’t want to end up with someone for another three, four, five years, and then like, Oh, I actually don’t want to get married don’t want to have kids. So then its like well, that’s a waste of time. 

Sam: [00:35:40] Yeah. And that’s exactly how I felt. I just, I just remember thinking do you know what if, if, if he thinks that’s overbearing, then it’s not right for me anyway. Stu always laughs, now, obviously, now we’ve been together when he’s got a bit comfortable and a bit cocky, he says only the strong survive with you. And to be honest I think thats very true. Because I’m just very honest and I’ve just, I don’t. I don’t like to waste my time. I would, I would much rather you just say, do you know what? That’s not for me. And we can both just move on. And obviously that’s the reason a lot of my relationships haven’t worked out because people don’t quite know because when I want something I’m very clear about it. And if you don’t want the same thing, then what are we, what are we doing? Kind of thing. So, no, it’s just, yeah, we just, it was no, I would love to have more children and marriage definitely isn’t off the cards. It’s just, when I find the right girl, I just remember going okay. And that was that discussion done and I just thought, right. Great. 

Carla: [00:36:48] So did you, how soon then did you have yours then. Cause he’s only a little baby isn’t he how old is he now ?

Sam: [00:36:55] He’s two in December. 

Carla: [00:36:58] God. That’s gone fast. 

Sam: [00:37:00] It’s flown Carla. It’s like you blink. 

Carla: [00:37:03] Yeah. Oh, bless him. He’s so cute. So, so how, how was that then? Did you plan him and then tell the boys? Well, you’re not going to say boys, right? We’re off. We’re going to do it tonight. Hopefully you’ll get a baby brother. Oh god. 

Sam: [00:37:20] No. I think. So be honest me and Stu, we’d been together three years at this point. So 2017, 2018, and obviously we’d had the discussion because like you said as a woman naturally, your body ticks. And I just kept feeling this pull and I kept thinking, I’m ready. I am ready to be a mum. Do you know? So we sort of just had the conversation and I’ve always been adamant that I wanted to get married before I had a baby. But, we’d been to Vegas that year, and he hadn’t proposed and neither did we get married. So I was a little bit gutted, so I just thought, right. If we’re not going to get married, let’s, you know, let’s discuss the other things. And luckily for me, Stu just sort of said, well, do you know what I think is the right time. So I came off my contraception and we just, you know, we just sort of let it happen. We didn’t plan to. You know, down to the wire, if you will, I didnt track my ovulation, I just thought, you know what let’s yeah, let’s try and see what happens. And it happened. 

Carla: [00:38:25] Oh, so cute. So what would the boys like that when you told them they excited?

Sam: [00:38:32] Do you know what it was really underwhelming and I think they’re going to laugh if they ever listen to this, because they’ll be like, Oh yeah, I was actually. Because it was my first baby. And I was just remember thinking, I remember going on Pinterest and looking at, you know, like how to announce, you know, you’re pregnant to your step children, and again there’s nothing out there. No help whatsoever. So in the end, I thought, you know, what, if I make a big, big, massive deal out of it, I don’t want them to feel pushed out or like, Oh, so how long have you known and not told us? 

Carla: [00:39:06] Did you wait? Yeah. Did you wait until the 12 weeks or did you, I don’t know why we even asked that, but did you wait? 

Sam: [00:39:14] Yeah. Do you know what I did because I was so, so worried. So I put my scan picture, I bought them a little card and just some donuts and stuff. And I’ve just wrote in the card. It’s like, if I’m getting fat, so  are you, you know, we’re having a baby. And they both just opened the card looked at the scan and were like, Oh my God is that what? And Stu was just like, yeah, it me and Sam are having a baby and they were like, Oh,  that’s nice. And ate the donuts. 

Carla: [00:39:51] Thats brilliant. And did you have to then tell the mum, or did you leave it to them to tell them mum? I mean, not that you should need to plan it, but how do you go about doing that then? 

Sam: [00:40:01] Again, I just thought, you know what, it’s mine and Stu’s business and we weren’t by no means keeping the secret from her but Stu quite rightly was just like the kids need to know first. So we’re discussing it with the kids and then whoever finds out, finds out, you know? Yeah. I completely fully supported that. 

Carla: [00:40:22] Yeah, I agree. I mean, it shouldn’t have to be, she might be like, why the hell are you telling me? No bothered.

Sam: [00:40:29] Well yes, she was, you know, she had a boyfriend at the time as well. So she was very much in a relationship. And I don’t, to be fair I don’t think she even like, not, I don’t think she, she didn’t care. I think she was just like, Oh, lovely news. You know? 

Carla: [00:40:45] Yeah. That’s nice. Yeah. Good for you kind of thing. 

Sam: [00:40:48] Yeah.

Carla: [00:40:49] Oh, that’s good.

Sam: [00:40:50] Yeah. Like obviously the more my belly grew, they were just sort of like. They were a bit scared of touching it. I remember trying to encourage them and say like, Oh, you know, your baby brother or sisters in here. And they were just sort of like, Oh, but they are boys  aren’t they? 

Carla: [00:41:11] Do you find out what you were having then? Or was it a surprise? 

Sam: [00:41:13] No, I found out.

Carla: [00:41:15] Oh yeah. 

Sam: [00:41:17] A couple of days before me and Stu actually said to the kids, what, what do you want? Do you want a sister or a brother? And the both in unison went brother and I was like, no, I was like, we need a girl in the house. Like I’m surrounded by men. We need a girl.

Carla: [00:41:35] Yeah. Yeah. 

Sam: [00:41:36] And everyone, but me was right. 

Carla: [00:41:39] Were you excited? Were you, but I mean, it’s a question, a lot of people get asked and like, you know, like when there’s already two boys and stuff were you bothered or were you just happy to have a healthy baby? 

Sam: [00:41:52] Well, this might be controversial, but I was, I was gutted when I found out really well.

Carla: [00:41:58] No, I’m glad you’ve said that because not enough people actually who say stuff like that. And, um, I remember a couple of my friends actually has been very. Similar situation. Um, and it’s okay to think like that. Um, I think it’s important to share that because sometimes you’ve just got an image in your head haven’t you? What, you think, yeah. I mean, I wanted a girl I’m really wanted a girl. I could only ever seen myself with girls. I thought, Oh, cause Pink’s my favourite colour. I said, Oh yeah. And then there were, like its a boy. I was like really? Uh, yeah I wanted a boy anyway. 

Sam: [00:42:35] I was so excited to Carla. I was shaking  and I just remember lying there. I’m thinking, you know what? We’re going to have this little girl and it’s going to complete our family and it’s going to be amazing and I’m having a girl I can feel it. 

[00:43:15] Yeah. Did you you tell 

Carla: [00:43:16] people as well?

Sam: [00:43:18] Oh yeah. I didn’t shut up about it. My body will not fail me. I’m having a girl, my entire lineage, is women.  I’m having a girl so I sort of went back  into work with  my tail between my legs. I was like, no, it’s a boy. The sonographer, she sort of she was like, um, do you want to know the sex or not? And I just, I was like, yes, please. Yeah. Yeah. And me and Stu were looking at each other holding hands and she just went, as they do, she’s going around my belly and she just, it was their Carla clear as day. 

Carla: [00:43:54] Oh, dangling out. 

Sam: [00:43:55] Little thingy majiggy, it was  And she just straight away went its a boy. Turned the screen off.

Carla: [00:44:04] That was it. 

Sam: [00:44:05] Yeah. And I think I was just so shocked I remember walking out and being completely silent and Stu was like, yes, you know, get in another boy, wait, this is amazing. It’s another blue. I’m so excited. And I was just sort of like, Oh right. Because I think there was so much pressure on me from everybody all Stu’s side of the family. Obviously unintentionally,  you know,  hope it’s pink for, you. You know, we’ve already got two boys. Come on Sam give us a girl. You know, you can imagine my, sort of face. I just remember thinking Oh my God. Like another boy, what on earth am I going to do with a boy? 

Carla: [00:44:49] Yeah, because that’s like, because you were, so I suppose with the boys that, you know, you had his step sons already, and then him  it’s like, you just wanted a bit of something for you. Like a bit of something a bit different now it’s all three. Like you’ve got four boys in the house. 

Sam: [00:45:08] Absolutely. And even the dog is a boy. 

Carla: [00:45:12] Oh, wow. 

Sam: [00:45:14] Completely outnumbered. 

Carla: [00:45:17] Yeah, I know. And it’s funny, isn’t it? Because people all say like, Oh, did you want a girl? It’s like, yeah, I did actually. 

Sam: [00:45:25] Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. And that’s, that’s all I got for a good, obviously every time we went to a wedding or every time we went to an event, it was like, Oh my God, what are you having? Are you having a girl? And i’d be like, no, a boy. And I think everyone thought of, do you know? And looking back, I bet everyone thought, Oh my God, does she hate her child already? I just couldn’t have been less enthusiastic about it whatsoever? 

Carla: [00:45:52] Yeah. 

Sam: [00:45:54] Then he came. And  bless he is just, do you know what he, Sebastian is the little bonding tool that I don’t think any of us knew we needed. If I’m going to be honest, he’s massively brought us together in a way that I didn’t think it would. He sort of connects us . You know, he’s our anchor. If you will. He he’s the constant in this situation. 

Carla: [00:46:24] Yeah, I love that, do you think you will have any more? 

Sam: [00:46:29] Um, the shop’s not completely shut. Don’t get  me wrong.But if I didn’t  have another, I’d still be happy. 

Carla: [00:46:37] Yeah. 

Sam: [00:46:38] I actually truthfully feel like I’ve, I’ve been so lucky to carry and deliver such the beautiful, happy little person. I don’t know if i dare, jinx it and do it again. 

Carla: [00:46:52] Yeah. Well, I was like this. I was like, cause you think like when they say like so many and so many have miscarriages or so many, and so many of that, you’re like, well, if I have one, all right, one last time, then you start working out like thinking, Oh God, what if it happens? But, you know, there’s a lot of healthy babies out there and you know, you’ll be absolutely fine. I’m sure I love it. 

Sam: [00:47:19] But we’re not, we’re not sort of don’t get me wrong. We are, we have a laugh about it now and again, and we do sort of have the laugh and the joke of, Oh, you know, not yet when, when he’s in school, but yeah, I think , God’s honest truth. I don’t, I think I’m happy. 

Carla: [00:47:37] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I think the thing is because you’ve got the other two boys as well, they’ll keep him entertained. They all keep each other entertained. So then it’s quite good. Really? Isn’t it? The setup. 

Sam: [00:47:49] Yeah. And it’s nice to have that sort of, we are a family at the end of the day. We’re a blended family. We they’re not with us all the time. Don’t get me wrong and I didn’t birth them but I still feel responsible for them. I still take on that motherly role when the here of, you know, of have they eaten and. You know, just a couple more mouthfuls for me, please. Can you eat a bit more of your tea and get in the shower and you just naturally take on that motherly role. So I don’t actually feel like I’ve only got one child. I genuinely feel like I’ve got three.

Carla: [00:48:17] I love that. Love that. So is there any advice that you would give then to someone that’s kind of embarking on the step mum journey? 

Sam: [00:48:28] I think the best bit of advice I can give is. To remember that this isn’t an overnight thing. Becoming a step parent is not, you don’t just wake up one day and all the sudden think I’m a step mum and I’ve got family. It just, it happens. And you shouldn’t, you shouldn’t have to force any relationships. Shouldn’t have to force the kids to love you or, never force it because they are people. You know, the kids, the kids are little people at the end of the day. You can’t force random colleagues to like, yeah. So why would you do that for a child? Do you know? 

Carla: [00:49:04] Yeah. Yeah. 

Sam: [00:49:07] They just, all you have to do as a step parent is be there and love them. That’s it that’s the long and short of it. 

Carla: [00:49:14] Yeah. And not overthink things like, I suppose, like when you were saying that when they were playing up and stuff, naturally and you were thinking, Oh, is it cause I’m here?  Not kind of over analyse every situation. I suppose it will be a natural thing that happens. Yeah. Isn’t it. But 

Sam: [00:49:30] That’s what I was just gonna say. I, I think that, you know, some step parents, I speak to everybody. Everybody says the same thing, right? You can’t help overthink it because they’re not your children. They’re not yours. You’ve walked into this ready-made family, you know, and you naturally second guess yourself, you naturally worry if you’re doing the right thing, you’re naturally sort of overthink everything, because if you didn’t, you wouldn’t care. 

Carla: [00:49:58] That’s exactly what I was about to say. If you think that much about it and you worry that much about it, it’s very likely that, you’re an  amazing step parent already, because there is people out there, that don’t even think like that. So that’s amazing. Love that advice. Yeah. So that is brilliant, I think. Is there anything else that you think we haven’t covered that so well, might struggle with? Or do you think we’ve pretty much covered it all? 

Sam: [00:50:25] Just the, maybe the, when it comes to. So of the ex. 

Carla: [00:50:32] Yes. 

Sam: [00:50:33] I think this is a, it’s a very difficult subject because everybody is different. Every situation is completely different, but the one, the one constant that you need is boundaries. 

Carla: [00:50:45] That’s that’s good. So how would you, how would you do that?

Sam: [00:50:50] When I first got with Stu, there was, there was no boundaries between him and his ex, obviously, because he was single whenever she needed, you know, a favour or please can you have the kids this night for me, or, you know, it, he was there. So I think when I come along and naturally it was like, well, I’ve got plans tonight. It created that bit of tension. Poor Stu, you know, if, if there’s any step parents listening there, they’ll completely get what I’m saying is it creates so much tension and it’s so important in the beginning, the responsibility isn’t on you as a step parent, it’s on your partner. They need to draw that boundary and sit and say, look, I’m in a relationship now I’m not here to, you know, I’m not here at your beck and call. I have, I’ve got a life as well, just because the relationship didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to. You still need to put the children first and sit there and think, right. Well, we’ve got our own lives and I can’t just come running every time it’s needed. If that makes sense. And I’m not saying thats with everybody but I know that it’s quite a common theme when I speak to other parents, you know, there’s always something that’s sort of going on with the boundaries and it’s difficult. 

Carla: [00:52:05] It’s hard because like, when you’re not with someone and someone says, Oh, do you want to have the kids? And you’re single, you would naturally be like, yeah, I’ll do it. And then, and then for that person, all of a sudden, you’re not able to do it. And then it’s like, it reflects badly on you when it’s not you. It’s the fact that actually now he is busy. You know, because he is with someone 

Sam: [00:52:26] Absolutely. And that’s, it’s hard and that’s, but that’s why it’s so important in the beginning. If you truthfully feel like it’s going to be a serious relationship and it’s not just sort of, you know, a casual thing that them boundaries are drawn early on, because it definitely, definitely weren’t in my situation, caused a lot of arguments, you know, and tension. And it’s just looking back, that’s something that should have been prioritised.

Carla: [00:52:51] Yeah, exactly. And you didn’t know at that time, and it’s only now looking back, you know, more, but it’s good that you can, you can share that with people because yeah, I bet that is a common theme and it just puts a strain on a new relationship as well. Doesn’t it really? 

Sam: [00:53:08] Yeah. Cause you already feeling sort of like a bit of an outsider and then all of a sudden. You know, you, you sort of go and see your partner, it’s like, Oh, what’s wrong? Oh you know, they’re just giving me a bit of jip cause I couldn’t have the kids tonight. And you think, Oh, but have I caused a bit of trouble here or? And obviously your partner’s going to go. No, of course not on the flip side of it, they’re, then in  a bit of a text war or, you know, there’s a phone call war,  arguing because one parent isn’t happy with the decision that’s been made. 

Carla: [00:53:40] Yeah. That’s hard because then you feel bad, you feel bad. Like, did you want to have the kids? Did you want to see me? Or what, what am I doing the right thing? Oh yeah. Oh, no. You know what it’s given me, it’s stressing me out. Even just thinking about it. Honestly, I couldn’t cope. But that’s amazing. I think you’ve really covered quite a lot of things there I think will struggle. I think it’s really important because. Being a step mum. I admire step mums so much because of everything that you’ve said, I’ve always thought, God, I could never, I couldn’t do it. Well, maybe I could. Now I’ve got George and I understand what being a parent means a bit more, but I think going from being single to being step-mum overnight, almost that that is a huge responsibility. Isn’t it? 

Sam: [00:54:29] It is and thats. You you feel the weight of it quite often do you know it’s? Cause all of a sudden, like I said earlier,  all of a sudden you’ve got schedule Sundays filled with football practice or kid’s parties or, and you thinking, you know, six months ago, you know, I was. Sitting on a curb absolutely steaming. And now I’m up at 8am driving to Garstang for football practice like, who am I ? Then  the further you’re in it when you’re in that situation. And you’re just thinking God, six months ago, you know, this wasn’t my like then naturally people’s opinion starts to weigh in when you’ve been with someone a while, then the opinion start of like, Oh, you know, what do you mean? You won’t take that child to a birthday party. But it’s not my child’s like?

Carla: [00:55:26] Yeah. Yeah. 

Sam: [00:55:29] And then you start doubting yourself. Thinking well, should I be going to these kids’ parties or is that something that just the dad should be doing? You know, do I tip up and present a united front, if you will, as if we are a family, or am I overstepping?

Carla: [00:55:43] Yeah, because that that’s, it isn’t it. You don’t want to like, go do things. Cause other people might be like, well, you shouldn’t be taking them to the party. Cause you’re not the mum or you’re not the dad. And then other the people are like, well, you should be, if you want to be like the step mum, you should be doing it. So. I suppose the thing is to make, do what works for you as a family and kind of F everyone else, really. And just because every relationship and every family is going to be different, isn’t it? Like Stu may need you to take them to a party or, you know, or they. You know, maybe their mum might want to actually take them to the parties. I don’t know. I suppose it’s hard. Isn’t it? It’s like you want to, actually, as soon as you meet someone and you’ve got step well, you might be getting step kids. It’s like, right. Let’s all sit around the table. What do you expect of me? Put it out there and I’ll sign at the end. You know, that would be easier wouldn’t it? At least you knew what to do.

Sam: [00:56:36] Of course it would. But how awkward is that conversation? Its so it’s and it’s so difficult. And I think that’s. Like I said earlier, that’s the reason, that I’m here to speak with you because there’s just so there’s nobody being completely honest and saying, you know, what on earth is this? I’ve got myself in this situation where I’m now classed as a step mum. And there’s no advice. There’s no one to help. There’s no, everybody just sort of everybody that you speak to just says, well, you know, you knew what you were getting yourself into.

Carla: [00:57:13] No, but I don’t think you actually do. Then it happens 

Sam: [00:57:18] That phrase, Carla boils my blood. And when it gets said to me or has been said to me, my face instantly changes. And I know it goes because it’s just the stupidest thing to say to someone like you say who is single, who was single, young, living  the life who all of a sudden has found themselves with this perfect man. Who comes with a bit of a baggage. Yeah. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into actually, because you wouldn’t say that to a biological mum. You wouldn’t say that to, you know, a mother who had had a baby and is suffering from postnatal depression, a doctor wouldn’t turn around and say, well, you knew what you were getting yourself into.

Carla: [00:57:58] So true. It’s also why we’ll hold on a minute. Yeah. I love this man. And this is the man I want to be with, so you accept every part of them. Um, so it’s not really it’s a bit of stupid thing to say, isn’t it? 

Sam: [00:58:13] It is. It is. So that’s another piece of advice 

Carla: [00:58:16] Don’t say it. Yeah. Don’t say shit like. 

Sam: [00:58:19] Or you might get punched in the face. 

Carla: [00:58:24] Yeah. Is it’s important to say these things because like when I have had people on before when they tell me like, Oh yeah. When people used to ask me this, or when people used to say that, and it’s funny because sometimes you don’t realize what you’re saying or what you’re asking could upset someone. So it is important to say, say, um, say that anyway. 

Sam: [00:58:45] I feel that’s what I mean. I think the more that I think the more honest and open your are sometimes about your situation and you know, how you actually feel rather than. Giving the, you know, the correct sort of political thing to do, which is sit and say, Oh, I accept my stepchildren as my own, and I treat them no different with my biological child. Cause that’s also bullshit. That’s not true. 

Carla: [00:59:07] Is it? What do you think? What do you think it’s like then?

Sam: [00:59:11] If anything, I’m far less harder on Stu’s, kids than I am about Sebastian completely. Yeah, because. You don’t want them to come to your house and you don’t want to be that mum, thats going pick your stuff up, put your stuff in the washer. Do this, do that, because they’re not going to want to come. So you find yourself overcompensating and spend, you know, 

[00:59:35] putting more effort into them. 

[00:59:38] Yes. 

Carla: [00:59:38] Because I suppose they, they have a right to change their mind about you. Like, I think when your family, like when it’s your biological son you know he’s programmed to love you. Your program to love him, but they don’t have to, like, you do they? And that sounds harsh but.

Sam: [00:59:51] No, that’s  exactly it Carla . And like you say, with George, with your son, you wouldn’t, if you send him to his bedroom and say, you know, you do not speak to me like that, or you don’t ignore me, you know, that is going to go to his room for five or 10 minutes being a bit of a worry, but it’ll be over it. And it’ll soon come back down and like, mummy, but then if you stepchildren that’s that that’s not gonna happen. 

Carla: [01:00:15] Yeah. And you’re so worried about that because it’s like, it’s like, for example, I do always do this going completely off track. But It’s like, almost like if your friends splits, up with this bloke for awhile or whatever you give the bloke a load of shit as friends do or whatever. Yeah. And then they get back together. Like, no matter what, what you’ve said to him or her will never be forgotten and that will never be repaired because they don’t actually have to like you do they really, and you can never take things back once you say it.

Sam: [01:00:47] And you know, and that’s, like I said before, that’s what, that’s the worry all the time is, you know, do I say something about that or do i you know, I don’t, daft things like they are chewing too loudly. And you think, I thought that sound drives me crackers, but you know, if I shout and tell them to shut the hell up, you know, it’s going to, is it going to cause world war three and they’re not going to want to come anymore. 

Carla: [01:01:10] Yeah. And they’re going to think I’m being a bitch or? Was it harder after you had Sebastian like that you felt like you were having to be even nicer to send them, so they didn’t feel left out? How was that?

Sam: [01:01:22] No, because. By this point, but I think by the time I had Sebastian, we, we had to become a family properly. And I think the kids saw that, you know, this is it, um, you know, I’m not just daddy’s girlfriend anymore. Like I’m, I’m here because I love you and I want to be with you. Do you know, we are a little family and it just, like I said earlier, it just naturally progressed to the point where the kids, if we ever did anything together, went to Chester zoo or, you know, whatever went on, days out, it was natural to them. They were just like, Oh, is Sam coming? And I just knew that. I just knew that like all of a sudden it’s like, everything  just clicked and we actually felt like a family. So if anything, having Sebastian. It’s its made us all relax. I think we’ve all just realised that we’re just in this little crazy blended, dysfunctional little family and we all just, we all just love each other and no, none of us are perfect. We still raise our voice. We all have our moments, but yeah, we are all family at the end of the day. 

Carla: [01:02:33] That’s so good. No, it’s lovely. I love that. And I think anyone listening to this that is entering that realm of step mum, I think that it would really help them there. So, yeah. Thanks very much for, for coming on and talking to us about that. 

Sam: [01:02:47] Absolute pleasure.

Carla: [01:02:48] It’s really actually really nice to actually listen because I never really have had to think about that. Um, it’s not something that I’ve ever had to think, Oh, I’m going to be one or anything like that. So I’ve never, I never realised there’s so many things to consider but there is. Um, but yeah, no, but not that we want to put anyone off either. There’ll be a lot of single men out there and women after, when, after locked down anyway. 

Sam: [01:03:17] And honestly, as much as I hate, like I said before, the politically correct of, Oh, you know, life’s perfect. It’s not. Blended life is not perfect, but that’s what makes it good because, you know, I can’t think how to explain it other than I think about my step kids and I do smile and I think, you know, the drive me bonkers leaving their pants all over the place and you know, the socks and the house is dirty because I’m living with a load of men, but 

Carla: [01:03:54] You wouldn’t have it any other way would you?

Sam: [01:03:56] I actually wouldn’t. 

Carla: [01:03:57] And that’s amazing. 

 Sam: [01:03:59] I can’t imagine. Yeah. I can’t imagine my life without all five of us crazy people that I live with. And I think, like I said, after having Sebby that the boys are just the best big brothers, my camera roll is full of pictures of them together. And I just, I feel proud, very proud that they are brothers to my son. Yeah. And stuff like that. If you are listening and you’re becoming a step parent trust me, it’s worth it. It’s so, so worth it. But when you’re in that moment of can do I this. So I don’t know if I can do this. 

Carla: [01:04:38] It’s just finding you your ground, isn’t it. It’s finding where you’re comfortable and it may just take a little longer, but you’ll get there.

Sam: [01:04:47] Yeah, absolutely. That’s exactly what I was just going to say. You will find your normal, don’t try and fit in with this ready-made family. What you need to do is be, be yourself.

Carla: [01:04:58] And others people advice and stuff like that much, and there’s loads of people are, Oh, do this, do that, that one person saying, don’t do go to those parties. One person say, no, you shouldn’t be going to those parties. Just do what do what’s right,really do whats right for you, and you know, no one else can tell you what to do. You’ve just got to do what’s right. As a family. 

Sam: [01:05:18] Yeah, we all make wrong decisions. I’ve made plenty in the last, nearly six years of being with Stu and I’m sure the kids and Stu will tell you that, but it’s all coming from a good place. So as long as, as long as the kids are in the forefront of your mind, and you start thinking, you know what? I actually want to go to this child’s party. I want to take my step child to that party. Then you go, there’s no right and wrong. If you want to go do it. 

[01:05:44] Yeah. 

Carla: [01:05:45] Yeah. Yeah, I love that. Brilliant Sam. 

Sam: [01:05:50] Yes.

Carla: [01:05:51] Thank you very much for coming on. And if anyone wanted to kind of message you about it, would you be happy for that? 

Sam: [01:06:00] Absolutely. I think I love speaking to other step parents, so please feel free to message. 

Carla: [01:06:08] Right. That’s great. That’s great. Are we all right to pop a link to your Facebook page or something like that on the, on the podcast?

Sam: [01:06:16] Absolutely. Facebook and Instagram. 

Carla: [01:06:18] Instagram. Yeah, that’s fine. You just send me the links afterwards and I’ll make sure those go on there. So thank you.

[01:06:28] Thank you so much for listening to this week’s episode of 50 Shades of motherhood. My aim is to support free chat around motherhoods uncensored unhinged and unapologetic mum chats. If you like this podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe and tell all your friends about it. The more listeners we get, the more subscribers we get, the more chance we’ve got of getting series three done.

[01:06:57] So I look forward to speaking to you next time and keep your eyes peeled on our social pages to find out who our next guest is. I’m sure you wouldn’t love it.

Latest Episodes

Fifty Shades of Motherhood

Peri Menopausal

“This horrible period is over!” Following World Menopause Day, Carla is joined by Fiona Legge, who opens up about her journey with PMDD.

Listen Now →
redundant mum
Fifty Shades of Motherhood

Redundant Mum

“You will look back and…realise this was the turning point for you” Carla is joined this week by Amy Downes, from Content Planning Wizard, who discusses being made redundant whilst pregnant.

Listen Now →
Fifty Shades of Motherhood

Giving Birth During Lockdown

“Birth plan…ripped up…out the window” Today Carla is joined by first time mum and founder of Babber Box, Phoebe Mills, who talks about giving birth to her little boy in April during the peak of the pandemic.

Listen Now →
Fifty Shades of Motherhood

6 Children and a Business

“He’s had the snip now so we are alright” Today Carla is joined by Kate Ball, founder of Mini First Aid. Kate talks about her life as a mum of 6 children, including 2 sets of twins, and how she balances it whilst running her own company with her husband.

Listen Now →
Fifty Shades of Motherhood

Mummy’s Got a Lump

“I don’t have time for cancer…I have three children.” In this week’s episode, building up to Breast Cancer Awareness month, Carla is joined by Clair Milling. A brave and inspirational mother who, during lockdown, got diagnosed with incurable cancer.

Listen Now →
Fifty Shades of Motherhood

Step Mum

“There is no rulebook, there is nothing out there at all” In today’s episode of Fifty Shades of Motherhood, Carla talks to Samantha Jay Bee about her experience being a step mum.

Listen Now →