One of the unexpected experiences in this unconventional setup is that there is a mild and silent competition for experiencing the baby’s firsts. At least, inside my head. I am certain I am the only one who feels this way.

Our infant is naturally experiencing many of these firsts as the months roll on. There are the milestones like smiling, rolling, sitting, first tooth, etc. and those happen for whoever is present and paying attention. There are the other firsts, though, that we do for and with him; first bath, first solid food, first time being pushed in a swing, and on.

My husband has done all of these before with his first child and I feel that sometimes, but what I want most of all is to experience these milestones together with him. I want us to be next to each other, beaming at our little one, sharing that magical feeling. But my unexpected competition is my nine-year-old stepson, who sometimes says things like, I will be the one to give him ice cream for the first time.

And I smile but I think to myself, noooope. 

Sure it’s sweet of him to want to be a part of it but I’ve already given up sharing the experience of a lot of firsts by marrying a guy who had a kid. And I’m ok with this, I signed up for this. But I didn’t expect my stepson to want to get in on the baby action. I kind of expected him to ignore the baby until he’s able to run around and play.


I am not proud of myself for feeling this way. I’m sure a better person would be happy to share these experiences. But feelings are feelings. I mean, the fact is that the reason I’m experiencing these firsts alone in the first place is because of my stepson’s existence. Of course that contributes to the deep psychological conflict that will surely deliver me to analysis one day if I don’t communicate this all to you honestly.

Because rest assured that I feel an adequate amount of guilt over this. It’s turning over and over and developing into a really fascinating thesis I’m sure.

But I want to talk about what this is like. This is what this is like.


Art credit: Kimiaki Yaegashi aka Okimi

2 thoughts on “whose firsts

  1. ok I’ve read a few of your posts now and so much of what you say completely resonates. I like my stepkids, but I also periodically resent the hell out of them, as they are the reason my partner won’t have kids with me. Sometimes it hurts so much to see my partner play and cuddle and kiss his youngest that I literally have to walk out of the room.

    Sometimes it’s just too hard and I think how on earth will I ever be totally ok with all this?


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