Kate Ferdinand admits she cried in secret when learning to become a stepmum to Rio's three kids

KATE Ferdinand has revealed she cried in secret when learning to become a stepmum to husband Rio's three kids.

 Kate shared a statement to her Instagram Story about raising 14-year-old Lorenz, 12-year-old Tate, and 10-year-old Tia – Rio's children with late wife Rebecca.

The former Towie star – who celebrated her 30th birthday last week – gave a rare insight into how she has coped over the past three years.

She shared: "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 stepmum 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 and Rio, 42, tied the knot in 2019, and welcomed baby Cree in December of last year.

She recently hit back at an "offensive" claim that she could love her baby son Cree MORE than her step-children.

The former Towie favourite admitted she is asked about the difference in her love for the four children "a lot" as she addressed the issue in an Instagram Q&A last night.

One well-meaning follower had asked: "Do you love your own child a lot more than step-children? I fear this will happen to me."

Kate reassured the fan: "People ask me this a lot, and I can only speak for myself as everyone is different…

"I love all four children equally and I will never see any difference between my biological and non biological children."

Kate went on to add: "Lorenz, Tate, and Tia taught me what it feels like to love a child way before I had Cree.

"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."

The star has been open about her relationship with her step-children ever since she started dating Rio in 2017 – two years after Rebecca's death.

In 2018, Kate admitted the kids used to tell friends she was their "aunt" when she picked them up from school at the beginning.

She added at the time: "Rebecca is their mum. You only have one and she is irreplaceable."

Rio also asked his children's permission to start a romance with Kate, and they played a key role in his 2018 proposal and the couple's 2019 wedding.

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