So, here’s my story.
I’ve been working at a parenting and lifestyle company for the past 8 years, but have never had children of my own. I’ve always been around them in some capacity–teacher, babysitter, aunt–but the responsibilities end there.
After my divorce, I went through a period where I just felt like a failure at everything. I started going to grief counseling and met a man who had also just been through a divorce. His situation was 100% different than mine but still ended up with the same result. I found that fascinating. He also had a 2 1/2 year old daughter, Alli, and the custody arrangement was messy.
Here’s where I won’t expand right now, but we became friends and eventually wound up in a relationship.
One day when we were out having lunch, he got a frantic phone call from his ex-wife’s friend. She was outrageously inebriated and could barely stand up let alone make it on the subway with her child all the way home.
We rushed from our lunch to the friend’s house where I waited anxiously behind a tree while he retrieved his ex-wife and daughter, hailed a taxi, and secured his ex inside. He scooped up Alli and put her on his shoulders and he intercepted me along the way.
That was the first time I ever met his daughter.
I instantly fell in love with her. She had these bright eyes and a sweet little smile. She was also the chattiest kid on the planet and it charmed my socks off.
Two weeks later, another frantic phone call came through my boyfriend’s phone but this time it was the NYPD. His ex was found outside of her apartment, passed out in the garbage…while his sweet child was left upstairs, alone.
That night was one of the longest nights of my life. But we brought her home with us and I made pancakes with bacon.
Child Services was at our door the next day bright and early and I found myself in a swirl of questions, paperwork, more questions, lawyers, courtrooms, custody agreements, and awkward conversations.
My boyfriend was awarded full custody and she’s been living with us full time ever since. Once a week and every other weekend she is allowed to visit her mom and we work around the inconveniences and uneasiness of it.
Now Alli is 5 and has a stable, loving home with us. It’s not always Pinterest worthy, but we make it work, just the three of us. This is my world—I’ll share how I navigate my career, my relationship, life in the city, and being a step-mom. This is my step-mom life.