I'm glad I found this forum. Maybe you can help me!
I'm 31 years old and have for the past 12 months been living with my girlfriend and her five year old son. I have known them for nearly three years. I moved in with them and then rented my own flat out to a friend.
On paper everything is great. My girlfriend is pregnant and we'll have a baby in February. I can't wait! Her son really likes me as a stepdad and says that I'm the funniest one to play with. I love both him and my girlfriend who is an openminded girl and just everything I have been looking for my whole life.
The thing is that I'm having personal issues with a few things that stresses me a lot and that I don't know how to handle them:
I miss my dad! Sometimes when my stepson is at bed in the evening he cries and says that he "misses his father". His biological father lives in another country. They have only seen eachother maybe 20 times on Skype. They don't even speak the same language so my girlfriend has to translate their (very short) conversations. I'm a great stepdad, but I still get the thought of "am I good enough?".
Mom only! My stepson can be very "mom-sick". He's never allowed me reading him a story before bedtime. Sometimes his mom has to help him with something and DEFINITELY NOT me. These things are very normal for every child (even with both biological parents present), but it still hurts my heart because I really love this kid.
Am I a guest? The other day I heard him say that my girlfriend is the one looking out for him - and not me because I'm looking out for my own family (my parents and sibblings). This hurts because does he just see me as a funny guest or what?!
I feel trapped! I know this is how it is when having a family, but I genuinely feel that a lot is on their terms. I moved into THEIR home, I wake up when THEY wake up, I eat when THEY eat, I can't play video games until the KID sleeps. I feel like their world is perfect, but not mine.
These are the main things that in one combination hurts and stresses me. I really don't know how to tackle it. My mood and emotions can go from top in a whole week to bottom in a few minutes, especially when I get a gentle "reminder" of what my place is in the house.
I get in a vicious circle and I see only the bad things!
I have several times spoken with my girlfriend about and she supports me, but mostly I'm just making conclusions on my own and that's not healthy of me because sometimes I don't see the bigger picture. Deep down inside I know that my stepson in time will see and appreciate that I have been a great father to him, but it's hard to give so much love without getting much back.
Thanks for reading! Any advice is appreciated.