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My unconventional path to parenthood

My name is Nancy. I met my husband Bob when I was 45 years old. He had just turned 50. At that point, I had pretty much given up on becoming a mother. There were signs I was entering perimenopause and I didn’t see a partner anywhere on the horizon. But when I met Bob, all of that changed. Bob was married to his first wife Patricia for 10 years. They had two lovely children, a daughter Claire, and a son, Luke. Patricia died very suddenly from breast cancer when Claire and Luke were not even in school yet. I met Bob two years later at a fundraising event for breast cancer. We hit it off immediately, and went pretty quickly from friends to lovers. We were married a year to the day we met.

I knew from the beginning that Bob was a “package” deal and that if I was going to be with him, that meant that I was going to be a part of his children’s lives too. Bob and I talked about what role I’d have – one that honoured Patricia’s memory, but acknowledged my involvement in the kids’ lives too. We wanted Claire and Luke to know that I wasn’t going to try to replace their mom, but I was going to be a special part of their lives. It took some time for the kids to warm to having me in their dad’s life, and in their lives as well. That was pretty understandable. They missed their mom and really needed their dad. So I did my best to give them space as a “family”,  and some time to get use to having me around and to accept me as part of their lives.

That strategy eventually paid off. I remember the first time that Luke said ”I love you” – I was reading him a bedtime story, and when we finished, I tucked him in and kissed the top of his head, and he said in his sleepy voice, “I love you Nancy!” My heart melted. I had tears in my eyes when I told Bob what Luke had said. Claire took a bit longer to warm up, but we eventually bonded over “girl” stuff like playing dress-up and making jewelry. Now Bob and I have been married for 5 years and we truly feel like a family – even though it was an unconventional path to get here. Now I can’t imagine what life would be like without Bob and my two, wonderful step-children.

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