Next weekend marks mine and Martins 3 year anniversary of being together. (Yes Martin, 22nd April, I know you read this, no excuses for forgetting now!) In those 3 years we’ve accomplished quite a lot as a couple, and we’ve helped each other to grow and discover our own potential at a variety of things (namely parenting and work life!)
In those three years, I’ve gained a lot more than a partner and my own family. I guess you never really think about it when you first get with someone, but if you decide to be in it for the long haul then you automatically inherit your partners family. You hear of the dreaded mother-in-laws and the horrendous sibling that just don’t want to know you (even without trying to get to know you.) But I don’t have that. At all. In fact, I feel very grateful that Martins family have accepted me so well into their family. For me, there is no divide between my family/his family, they are my family now too. Over this past week, this has felt very true! I think I’ve seen more of Martins family this week than I have all year!
For example, we spent the weekend at Martins parents. Taking the kids to see the grandparents is always great, and it’s even better when your relationship with the in-laws is just as good. I don’t think I could have asked for better really. They have really taken me in as their own, and I don’t think there are many days when we don’t talk. They’re my second parents!
One of Martins aunties has younger children, around Lily’s age (so, technically Martins cousins but for ease we call them Lily’s cousins) and it’s great because that means I can invite them round for playdates or sleepovers. It’s even better because I don’t feel like I have to go through Martin to organise these, I can quite happily drop a text or a phone call and have a chat without feeling awkward.
And so with Lily at her mums for a few days, I’ve felt quite lost as to what to do, so I decided to take a walk over to the other side of town to see Martins Nan – who wasn’t in unfortunately! So I wandered next door to another one of Martins uncle and aunties, popped my head in (much to their surprise) and ended up staying for 6-7 hours! – Sorry! But it was just so chilled and normal. There was no awkwardness with me being there without Martin, I was very much welcome and it was just so comforting to know that I could do this and not feel awkward for having just turned up unannounced.
It wasn’t just the one aunty that I imposed myself upon, only today I spent another 6 or so hours with another one of Martins aunties! We sat and chatted away for hours, with the odd outburst from William, and before I knew it, it was time to get going! Again, I just felt so comfortable being there and enjoying the company. To be honest, I feel this way with all of Martins family, they have accepted me with open arms and taken me for who I am. I am very humbled to have been accepted so lovingly into this family, and to be able to just drop a text to arrange a visit for a cuppa tea with any of them is simply wonderful.
Martin and I visited his Nan the other day, and I casually called her Nan like everyone else does, and he looked at me all confused and said, “You call her Nanny Val??” to which I replied, “Yeah, why wouldn’t I?” She may not biologically be my Nan, but she makes me feel comfortable enough to call her it.
So, thank you to you all. I know sometimes a family has to be polite to the newcomer, even if they aren’t a fan of them, but I genuinely feel a part of this family and you are amazing to have accepted me. I appreciate that, as Martin puts it, it seems that I’m being a kiss ass here, but honestly I don’t know how else to show my gratitude to you all. I don’t think I’ve really captured it fully in this post, but the gist is there I hope!