One thing I love to watch more than anything is Chris’s relationship with Lily grow. They have such a close relationship and it really is lovely to see!
Early in the relationship, as I was getting to know Lily, Chris would have a lot more quality time with her, as I didn’t live with them, and worked away, which meant they were able to have that essential daddy-daughter time, and it didn’t really affect my time with him. But as mine and Chris’s relationship grew, and I eventually moved in with Chris, I was there a lot more often, and the quality time for both myself and Chris, and Chris and Lily turned to family time.
Now, I am not saying that is a bad thing, far from it. I love our family time together, it’s amazing. But something I try to push for as often as possible is quality time for them both together without me. Not because I don’t want to be there, but it’s healthy and natural for Lily to want to spend time with just her dad.
And I am not going to lie and say I never get jealous of that, because I do. After a busy week at work, and us not being able to have much quality time of our own, there have been times I have found it so difficult to accept that they need their own time together when at that time all I want to do is have time with Chris. It’s not selfish, it’s a natural emotion, and nothing to feel guilty about.
There have been times, especially early on in the relationship I have been jealous of the time and attention Lily gets, sat there wishing I could be the centre of Chris’s gaze. And on particularly emotional days, because we all have them… right? I’ll sit and cry to myself while they go out and have fun together. I’ll feel hurt because I haven’t been invited along, betrayed that neither of them want me there.
But that’s not the case. Not even in the slightest – and it’s something I have had to learn along the way
Both Lily and Chris love and adore me, it’s plain to see, but they need their time too, just as much as I need time with Chris, and as much as Lily likes to have time with just me as well.
And how do I get over that sting of jealousy that crosses my mind from time to time? There is no real answer to that. I embrace that time to myself, I use that time they have together to focus on myself, to do things I maybe wouldn’t have time to do when they’re around.
Sometimes I read, I sort the house, go for a walk, sit and scroll through clothing websites adding clothes to my basket that I know I won’t end up ordering (hoping I’m not the only one who does that!) or I do some yoga to clear my head. Other times I don’t do anything, I embrace the quiet and feel thankful for the usual noise of laughter that fills the house.
Then when they get back from their adventures, I get to hear their stories of what they’ve done, I see the smile on both their faces and it makes me thankful and happy that they were able to go and have fun and want to share that with me when they’re back.
And then, when Lily’s in bed, Chris and I have time to focus on us.
Sharing your time with the person you love, especially in the early days is never going to be easy. When you fall in love, you don’t imagine having to share that with anyone else. I never imagined I’d have to share my future husband with a then two-year-old, but I’m grateful for it. I get to miss them, miss him, and take that time to feel jealous and realise what I have.
When that jealousy creeps in, at times you wish your partner could only focus on you and no one else, the sooner you are able to embrace the instant family you have, the happier you will be. I love Chris and Lily with all my heart, more so when I see them spending time together.
My focus now is on each of us having the quality time we deserve, and we are all so much happier for it.