The other day I had to make the dreaded trip into the Medicare office as my Husband and I decided we wanted ourselves, and all our children, on the same card. I had phoned Medicare and found out that this was possible and the forms that were required.
We didn’t need my step son’s mum’s permission as we were simply copying them onto our card (i.e. they would be on two cards). So I completed the paperwork with my husband’s permission and a signature was required (which was everywhere) and took these forms along with our proof of identity documents into the office.
I had my son fed and he was sleeping so with my fingers crossed that he would stay that way I headed in and began the wait to be seen. It didn’t take long at all, actually like five minutes to be called then about 20 minutes while the paperwork was being completed in front of me. However, the, most surprising thing about this whole process for me wasn’t that it was quick and relatively easy but that there was no judgement from the Medicare staff about our family situation or that I was the boys step mum, organising this sort of paperwork. I am so used to receiving a casual comment, questioning look or downright rude interaction when I explain I am the boys step mum that I generally have my guard up when it comes to undertaking activities with and for them, in which I have the primary responsibility.
In saying this I am very conscious of and prioritise my husband dealing with most circumstances that need the biological parent’s attention. However, in our family, I tend to handle the paperwork side of things, as well as the medical and currently being on Maternity leave it made sense for me to be submitting these forms at the Medicare office. When so often we hear about the negative experiences dealing with Government departments it is nice to be able to say a few kind words about my experience. I wasn’t judged, talked down to nor questioned as to why I was submitting the forms. The experience has boosted my newfound ownership of being the boy’s step mum. I am placing my focus on figuring out the step mum role and owning it. It is a completely learn – as – I – go process but hey, so is life. And it was nice to have a ‘win’ in this rollercoaster journey.
Sydney Ferguson* might be a pseudonym however the experiences she shares are true. A mum to a four-month-old boy, step mum to three boys aged 6, 10, 12, wife, daughter, sister and aunty who resides in Australia. Her house always has country music playing in the background and you can find Sydney most days working with the horses, gardening or practicing yoga. Blessed with one dog, two horses and multiple chickens and birds, she is not only a human mum but also a fur mumma too and loves both of these roles. The aim of her sharing her experiences is to connect step mums and provide a safe place for discussion on the unique, confronting and sometimes humerous challenges faced in this role.
You can find her sharing her experiences at fb.me/mystepmumjourney or guest writing for numerous mum blogs nationally and internationally. Connect with Sydney through @mystepmumjourney and through firstname.lastname@example.org
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