I hate being called a stepmum or stepparent. It freaks me out when people refer to Whirling Dervish as my stepdaughter/ stepchild.
My brother, in his thirty-something years of maturity (!) likes to sing “Stepmum, stepmum, you’re a stepmum” to the tune of Tom Jones’ Sex Bomb (which obvs also applies to me). The last time he did this he got told, in no uncertain terms, to go forth and multiply.
My dig-in-and-kick-back reaction is partly (mostly?) bullheadedness on my part and self-ingrained habit from many MANY years of having to explain that I don’t want children of my own, which has gone from a lengthy speech in my early twenties, to a “because they freak me out/ scare me/ bore me/ I’m the centre of my universe” succinct response as 40 looms.
The whole ‘what business is the activity of my uterus to you?’ discussion is for another time.
I can be a bit slow on the uptake when it comes to other people’s feelings (see aforementioned centre of my own universe) and whilst I have never refused the stepmum title in front of Whirling Dervish (it has never come up), I have done it in front of New Husband and am a bit mortified.
I actively make suggestions to include Whirling Dervish in our lives and our home more than the prescribed times, I even now (sometimes) offer to have her on my own if New Husband is away and her Mum is working (this is a big step, believe me).
I get more and more involved with Whirling Dervish as time goes on and I would hate for New Husband to think that my response to the S-word was personal to Whirling Dervish, although how could he not think that?