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Kate Ferdinand has admitted she secretly broke down in tears while learning how to be a stepmum to her now-husband Rio's three childen.
The former TOWIE star quit her reality TV day job to help parent Lorenz, 14, Tate, 12, and ten-year-old Tia when she coupled up with with their football pundit dad in 2017.
Four years on and Kate is now a fully integrated member of the family and welcomed her own son with the former Manchester United player, 42, in December last year.
However, Kate has revealed that behind closed-doors her transition from TV bombshell to stepmum-of-three hasn't always been plain-sailing as she opened up about the hard times in a brutally honest post.
Kate Ferdinand gave an insight into her life as a stepmum to husband Rio's kids
(Image: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)
Offering an insight into the difficult transition period, Kate shared an extract on Instagram that read: "A good stepmom (sic) is not made she is built. She is built by the hardships of her role, the tears she cries in secret, and by the lessons, she learns through trial and error.
"The passionate stepmom lives in all of us. She makes mistakes. She has strong opinions that she often can't express. She remains quiet when she wants to scream. She makes sacrifices others might not be capable of. She learns how to love in so many different ways. And she gives.
"She gives her heart, her soul, and her life to making sure a child she didn't give birth to smiles, has wonderful memories, and – most importantly – feels loved."
Kate, 30, was praised by fans after sharing the honest extract on Instagram
After welcoming her son Cree last year, Kate said she is often asked how being a biological mum to her own child compares to being a stepmum to her other three kids.
The star even hit out at an 'offensive' claim that she could love Cree more than her stepkids.
"I love all four children equally and I will never see any difference between my biological and non biological children," replied Kate.
"Lorenz, Tate, and Tia taught me what it feels like to love a child way before I had Cree.
Kate said her family of six is now complete
"We worked so hard as a family to get to where we are now, and I take huge offence if anyone even suggests I would love Cree more than them.
"We have been through A LOT as a family, and that I believe has cemented my love for them so deep that the fact we are not blood is not important."
Kate recently celebrated her 30th birthday with husband Rio and their four kids.
Kate Ferdinand takes baby son Cree swimming in Portugal after 30th birthday bash
Inside Kate Ferdinand's lavish 30th birthday celebrations with her husband Rio
It's thought the birthday girl was treated to a brief holiday to Portugal after she shared some sunny snaps in the pool with baby Cree.
Taking to Instagram, Kate said she'd had the 'best day celebrating' with her 'beautiful' family and friends as she posed in front of a large '3' and '0' light display.