Being an expat can be both lonely and exciting. Being a stepparent can cause similar feelings ranging from elation to despair.
After a year of dating my partner across the Atlantic, I decided to take the plunge and move countries. He had kids from a previous marriage at the time aged 8 and 11; Chris and his ex-wife share custody which made it impossible for him to even consider moving to the the US. I was unattached and lonely in a non-trendy part of Brooklyn. I loved Chris and enjoyed the small time I had spent with his boys.
Preparing to move involved marriage, many, many forms for a visa, packing, plane tickets, leaving my not-so-nice cat with my parents, and so, so many conversations in person and on the phone with Chris. I was excited; I was worried. I was scared; I was happy. I tried to envision how I would be like as a stepmom and how Chris and I would co-parent but those sorts of things are hard to plan before the reality of daily life.
I moved to the UK in February 2015 and suddenly became a stepmom.
This is an ongoing journey filled with highs and lows. Some parts are harder due to being an expat and some parts are easier. When I am in the low parts, I search the web for advice and tips and surprisingly I don’t often find much. I am adding my voice to the conversation because becoming a stepparent can be very hard. I suspect a lot of stepmoms and stepdads may have times of feeling very alone but (statistically) there are a lot of us and there must be commonalities in this shared experience.