Being an involved step-parent

I’m the biological mother to 5 beautiful children who live with me and my husband. My husband has 2 biological children who live with their mother. So together we have 7 children. My husband and I do not have any biological children together of our own, but we are raising these children together and show them unconditional love and treat them all as equal.

My husband and I have been living together going on 3 years this November. My four youngest children started calling him daddy on their own around 2-3 months after we moved in together. He was the constant in their lives and their biological dad wasn’t around often if at all. My oldest daughter however, called him by his first name. In reference to him as daddy only to her siblings. Over the past year she’s called him daddy or dad herself from time to time but would catch herself or sometimes not realize it at all. She asked us on a few occasions if she had to call him dad ever, we simply told her she never had to call him dad if she didn’t want to but that he was her step-dad.

Recently she told us that she was going to start calling him Dad because she felt like she was ready to. She said he is everything she ever dreamed a dad should be like, they have an amazing father-daughter bond and she understands his role in her life. We had a long emotional 2 hour conversation with both girls one night discussing such topic.

The similar thing was happening with my step-daughter (which visits our home as  much as we can possibly get her, every other weekend, shared holidays and school breaks), she told me that she wanted to call me mom but asked first if it was okay. I told her that if she felt she wanted to call me that then by all means she could. Prior the conversation and after the girls have been referring to him as Dad and me as Mom and it just flows. Things are going smoothly and even though it’s still new for us to hear it come out of their mouths, it’s actual quite pleasant because we know they are old enough to understand these terms and what they mean and that us as opposite step-parents to these children have provided them with enough warmth and love and nurturing that they feel as though they can and should call us that. It’s heartfelt and it really brings a smile to my face.

The only down-side to their new decision (which is what they said themselves) is they feel like they can’t call us those things in front of their other biological parent/family. They don’t want to hurt or make the other parent angry at them for calling us Mom or Dad. I can see their concern, I really can. I’ve dealt with it before with my children and my husband and my oldest and my ex-husband. It is a very emotional subject. We are not replacing their biological parent at all in any way, but we are also a very involved parent albeit Step or not. I feel like if they want to be able to call us what they want to call us is fair to them, they are 10 and 11 years old, they know and understand who is who and what roles we play in their lives.

Everything we do, we do for these children. My husband treats my (our) kids as his own no matter what and I treat his (our) kids as my own no matter what. Our  love is equal whether they are “blood” or not. These children are our lives.

summerbabies

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Being an involved step-parent

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