being committed vs. knowing when to cash in your chips
Well...as the title of this thread would suggest, I'm interested in knowing when and how people came to the decision to become a stepparent, overcoming whatever odds, obstacles, problems, personal misgivings etc. and committing to staying together for the long haul, no matter what.
BF and I are at a juncture where we are either going to commit to going forward with wedding plans and plans for a life together (we are not yet officially engaged), or going to go our separate ways. None of this is about a lack of love...
Even though I am in love with BF, and he is a wonderful father and supportive partner, and his kids are fun and lovely, deep down I have an ever-growing suspicion that I may not want children (fear of not being suited to motherhood??), or at the very least that I have serious issues to deal with re: my feelings about becoming a stepmom, being from a broken home myself. Please don't judge me too harshly...I am trying to be honest.
BFs daughters came today while I was at work (BM and SF dropped them off at our apartment, so anticipating that I slept for about 5 seconds last night), and even though the thing I think I should want most is to go home and throw my arms around them and play with them until they go to bed, what I also want is to go home and be alone with a glass of wine. Why do I feel so apprehensive and nervous, sitting here in my office feeling sick to my stomach and not wanting to go home to these wonderful people!? I am terrified and almost in tears just feeling like I don't want to "deal with it". I am not even asked to parent them, to buy them anything, to clean up after them - all BF wants me to do is bond with them and have fun - why is that making me feel so weird, when on the outside all we do is have fun and on the inside I'm so afraid of doing something wrong?!
BF and I usually go along through our daily lives, but every time an issue comes up (money, BM, etc.) or we have a discussion that is hard for me I feel that we are so fragile together, and that I am the weakest link. I feel like if we experience half the issues I read about here, I would run for the hills. That isn't fair to me, to him, or to the girls. And it's also atypical as far as I'm concerned - I have never been afraid of committment, settling down, being vulnerable, maintaining emotionally mature relationships, anything! Is it so strange to come to a realization that kids intimidate you, that the very idea of parenting scares you and fills you with dread inside and that you just think you're not mom or SM material??
I don't want to go forward with this relationship and later realize it was the biggest mistake of my life, that I didn't catch the red flags, that I didn't listen to my heart. I also don't want to give up someone who loves me so much and hasn't run for the hills himself with all my hangups and fears. After 2 years you'd think I'd know whether or not we should stay together but I am so conflicted and in such a state of personal distress I hardly recognize myself.
Sorry so negative today! I feel like my feelings on this flip-flop several times per day. Maybe I am having trouble articulating exactly what it is I'm getting at. Can you remember how you overcame any fears to become a stepmom, when you decided it was worth it, anything that could help me, especially from you childless stepmoms? How can I tell the difference between my apprehension and the possibility that I am going in a direction incompatible with what I really need to do?