Let me start by saying, i am a child of divorce and i also was married and with someone for 20 years. I too went though a divorce with three kids that we shared together. I have been on both sides of the fence when facing step-parenting, i had a step-parent and i am married to someone who took this role very seriously. My words come from experience, knowledge, and empathy. These feelings i share are not only for my kids, they are for any kid facing step-parenting, but with that said they are for the people who fill those shoes daily as well. I strongly believe that step-parenting is more then a title! This title is not given it is earned! Just because you are dating, married to or are interested in someone who has children DOES not make you a step-parent. You also are not a step-parent just because you may have the kids over on certain weekends because of custody sharing. It is not just about part time parenting nor does it mean all fun time, and just about happy times. It is so much more!! It is a full time job, you do not get paid and there are many sacrifices that you make whole heartily without reservation.
Step-parenting means being a full time parent. You carry out the same roles any parent would. That means carrying out the role of a mom or dad 24/7. It means financial, emotional support and putting the needs of kids that you did not create before your job, your own sanity, and your own needs. These shoes are hard to fill and not everyone can fill them. Picture the man in the game monopoly, with his hands coming out of his pant pockets empty, yes you are that man. Prepare to be broke. Prepare for drama, rebellion, craziness, and constant nagging, wants, needs, rides, discipline, and wiping tears away. Think of it this way you have no time to yourself all your play money is gone and you still wake each day knowing you made this choice with a open heart. And more so when you spend countless years giving up your freedom your love is by choice and that far outweighs circumstance!!
My husband came into my life seven years ago. He has a amazing but hard job, very demanding. He had money, freedom, a easy, relaxed life! He had a beautiful home, dog, and a harley!! He had total peace! Then he met me. I showed him a different life, one that is not easy,it is not that white picket fence , with all laughter and love. And was honest with how his life would change dramatically. I assured him there is minimal rest, there is constant worry and stress. There is constant appointments, demands and times you fall into bed only to sleep a few hours and start all over. And poor him he came into a wildfire, dealing with stressed out children the product of divorce. It took many years of constant stress and craziness for him to gain the love and respect he deserved. And seven years later, he gained all that from my three wonderful kids. He earned his title, and now has the benefits of all that good parenting has to offer. The love and respect of three kids that he stuck around to raise with me. He also earned the title of being a grandparent that is just a much added bonus!!!
See us mothers have maternal instincts. Step-parents who have no children have to be willing to learn instincts because it is foreign to them. As for my kids and as a kid who went though the same thing, we learn what is real, who we can count on and who loves us unconditionally!! We go though many ups and downs dealing with step-parents but we also see that when we push to far who really dedicates there time, money and love and who invests all they have in us regardless of paternity! I have always stood by the blood is thicker then water attitude and part of me still does BUT gratitude and appreciation for those who dedicate themselves to a life they do not have too is in my opinion heroic and a amazing sacrifice and makes me think that love is thicker then water!!