Written by Alison Tedford
“It’s time to make room for baby!” I remember thinking, stroking my belly and holding on tight as my new body began to take shape. I recall the excitement of pregnancy, eagerly preparing for the arrival of my child.
Furniture was procured and nursery color choices selected. Names were chosen. The excitement was palpable. An unknown quantity would be welcomed into our lives. It was magical. These days we are preparing for the arrival of a different kind.
We are a non-traditional family. For so long after my separation from my husband it was just my son and I. We were happy enough, but became even happier when my boyfriend entered our lives. He changed everything for the better. The time came for him to move in and it was the best decision we could have possibly made. Now that he has settled in, the time has come to expand again.
We are beginning to create space for his children to join us for his parenting time. This is just a physical manifestation to symbolize the way they are already a part of our family. We made room in our hearts for each other and now it’s time to make room in our home. Truth be told, we are looking for something bigger. The two-bedroom apartment we’ve occupied, just my son and I, can no longer contain all of our joy (and people!).
We are becoming a “blended family.” I look at the word and I’m ambivalent. Blending sounds a bit violent and painful. It implies a loss of the previous consistency and that scares me just a little – as I’m sure it scares them.
I don’t think we are losing who we are – at least I hope we aren’t. I will still be the mom who encourages random cheesecake for breakfast and he will still be the dad who subjects us all to musicals. We will still be us; we are just expanding to accommodate more of us. It’s only natural, heat expands and our love for each other is so warm.
So today, we are picking out furniture. This time, we’re looking at bunk beds instead of cribs. It’s a bit different from pregnancy. We are not expecting an unknown quantity. We know exactly what is coming. They already have names, but we will call ourselves “family” because that’s the name we have chosen.
The excitement is palpable. I am preparing for the arrival of someone else’s “babies”. In blending our families, the bulge is in my heart, not my belly. Taking his hand, it’s all I can do to hold on tight as I watch our new family take shape.
Alison Tedford is a freelance writer from Abbotsford, BC. She writes about motherhood, mental health and moving your body on Sparkly Shoes and Sweatdrops.