6 months of being treated like a worthy human being. Update.
SO and I "celebrated" 6 months since our first date. He bought me a fancy bottle of wine, a bouquet of flowers and took me to a restaurant that just opened. It was very sweet and unexpected.
I've been staying at his place a lot more, both because I enjoy it and to get a realistic sense of what this life would entail. I am trying it on.
His little son is an adhd hurricane of a child and I decided to flat out start inserting my opinion. IMHO adhering to a code of silence, "accepting the way mom does it" boundaries are for when you deeply respect the BM, and I don't. I know society doesn't like to admit it, but some moms are a detriment to their own children and she falls right under that category. She places her fun and trash boyfriends over the safety and wellbeing of that child.
I've never given birth, but I feel I've been around enough childten to see that this kid is screaming for more structure. After all, I lived with a grade school aged dictator for years, who screamed bloody murder when everyone didn't cater to her every whim. Never again. It got to the point where I had to discuss it with SO.
You know what I freaking love about this man...... is that he was so receptive. Not fake receptive to appease me, but genuinely "I really want to help my son and I am spread so thin I sometimes feel like a failure" receptive. Genuine. Appreciative. Willing to try anything - for his benefit and mine. He listened to me and showed me he valued my opinion. I didn't get "you aren't a parent, shut up" like I used to.
So, last night was "night 1" of a regimented schedule for his son. And you know what? The kid loved it. Today he was sent off to the home daycare he attends with a healthy lunch, packed by yours truly. In addition to being off the wall from the second he wakes up until he finally collapses at night, he has some weight issues because mom and daycare worker shovel fast food into his mouth multiple times per day and placate him with a ipad.
Do I want to play mommy? Hell no. But I want to play AJ. I want peace and structure in my life if I decide this is the man for me. I will contribute so long as he continues to meet me halfway. I never liked disengaging, it works for some, but in my "former family" it personally made me feel very isolated.
I don't think steplife will ever be easy. There are proably thousands of suitors out there with less kid baggage. But I don't care. I do finally see that if you surrender to steplife, the partner you choose has A LOT to do with your level of contentment. Not the ex wife/baby mama/trash bin they made the child with. Not the innocent child. Not the weather, or finances, or any other factor. It is our partner who makes it or breaks it. So he better keep bringing his A game. Even after the honeymoon phase ends.