Nadia Sawalha, stepmum to her husband Mark Adderley’s two eldest daughters, has opened up about the initial stress of becoming a ‘blended’ family unit.
The couple have been married since 2002 and although they are now a happy blended family, the Loose Women panellist revealed that when she first met his daughters, Izzy who was eight at the time and Fleur who was three, they thought she was a ‘mad woman’.
Izzy and Fleur both have different mums, and Nadia and Mark have spoken on their podcast about how the start of their relationship was put under a lot of stress due to Mark’s access battle with his daughter’s mums.
Nadia confessed, ‘The horror of the negotiations bled into our relationship’.
She added: ‘I felt all we were doing was talking about access. It really affects your relationship. Somebody else’s storm comes into your storm. A lot of people find that too much.’
Now also mum to Maddie, 16, and Kiki-Bea, nine, Nadia reassured listeners that she has a wonderful relationship with Mark’s children despite initially feeling like she wouldn’t be good enough.
She said she felt un-cool compared to the kids and a little insignificant. Nadia said: ‘Even their names were the names of rock star children. Izzy and Fleur. They were just trendy names. I felt ‘I am a bit naff. I am this plump, D-list, daytime presenter’ That’s what I thought.’
Nadia with Mark and their daughters Maddie and Kiki-Bea
Izzy, now 23, recently revealed to Nadia her first memories of meeting her new step-mum. Recalling their conversation, Nadia said: ‘She [Izzy] said: ‘I didn’t know we were meeting somebody. And then you pulled up and then this mad woman pulled up, and said ‘Hello! I hear I call you Bob.”
‘She [Izzy] said it was just loads of mad hair. And we took her to McDonalds. And we sang. And she said, that broke the ice as she wanted to learn the song.’
Like many new step mums, Nadia revealed how in the beginning she went above and beyond to impress the girls. She recalled one time when she bought lots of baking ingredients so that that they could bake together.
However, Izzy told Nadia that she didn’t want to make cakes or eat them because ‘she didn’t want to get fat.’
Nadia said: ‘This child, she was one of those ones who put you to shame. And I couldn’t help thinking ‘Oh I bet that’s what her mum is like.’ And there I was, as plump as plump can be, thinking her mum must be really skinny.’
Are you a stepparent? Can you remember the first time you met your stepchildren? We would love to hear about your first meeting and if you can relate to Nadia’s feelings of self-doubt. Let us know in the comments box below!