My greatest fear that my stepdaughters would hate me never came to pass. They made loving toasts to me and my husband at our wedding.
My husband and I were a little impatient to introduce me to his family, so I met his kids after only a couple of months of dating.
Though things worked out, it was overwhelming to me at first, especially because I wasn't certain that our relationship would last. In retrospect, I think the smarter thing to do would be to wait until we were in a committed relationship for the sake of the children.
When you watch your boyfriend interacting with his kids, you see what kind of man he is, what he's capable of.
When I was online dating, I filtered single dads out of my searches.
There was no way I'd ever get involved with a man who had that kind of baggage.
Who needed to date someone with an ex and children in the mix, since dating was already complicated enough?Then at a party, I met a man who took me by surprise. I felt hopeful again that maybe this time (after more bad dates than I cared to count), things would work.He was warm, kind, funny -- so different from the jerks I'd been dating. I wasn't opposed to having kids of my own -- in fact, I wanted them.But taking care of someone else's kids who might not want me around?Who were just old enough to form their own opinions about Dad's new girlfriend? That was a whole new level of stress I didn't know how to prepare for.I trudged up the rest of that mountain, taking in this daunting new piece of information. We are married, and I can say that those first several months of being together and getting to know his children was a tough, but truly valuable learning experience.