This is a question I've been asking myself repeatedly over the last week. I'm 32 years old and I'm questioning this more than before.
I spent Thanksgiving with the ex in-laws and that very extended family. A trip itself that became extended due to my reluctance to take an almost puking but surely sick little girl on a plane. A trip that was fun and very good for our souls in the end. But a trip during which I walked into a house full of thirty "family"members and knew I didn't belong. I love them all, I do. This trip found them treating my children better than any visit in the past. I had an amazing time with my brother in law and his wife and their charming children. But there was something missing. That sense of this happening again. That sense of creating memories and history. That sense of belonging and fitting in to a family.
Then I returned home. Two days later than planned, but finally we arrived. I walked into my own home waist deep into some issues and drama. Waist deep into life changing battles that I don't have a whole lot of say in. Why? Because while we live here, while Josh and I are in a relationship that is beyond committed, while we're raising our kids as one family together - it's not MY family. We are not married. I have no say so in anything that happens in this home unless it directly effects me, Madeline, or Noah. I can offer my opinion. I can provide support. I discipline as I see fit. And for the vast, vast majority of the time this works. This works beautifully. We tweak as we go along and everything is fine on our bumpy road called life.
The fault in that whole plan is apparent when something like this happens. Something that will change the trajectory of all of our lives. But this something is something that is not happening to Madeline, Noah, or myself. It's happening to one of Josh's children. He gets the say so. I get to offer opinions and advice. But if they fall of deaf eats, I can't push it. This is not my family either.
So, I've spent the last week or more wondering where I fit in. Where my family is? I am not attempting to seem unhappy of ungrateful for the life I am leading. I love it, I love my kids, I love our home, I love what is our life right now. It just became apparent to me that I don't have a long, historical, authoritative role in anyone's life right now. And while I make an effort to form history and traditions every day with these kids, the large picture long scheme jist is that I wasn't here first and it's not for me to decide and deliver.