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This Dad, That Dad

dad

As you know, I am Noah’s dad.

Did you know that Noah has another dad? His name is Jeff. Jeff is married to Noah’s mom.

Besides us both being dads to Noah, the two of us don’t have a whole lot in common. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

You see, this dad gets to teach Noah how to use a computer. That dad shivers at the thought of touching a keyboard.

But that’s okay, because that dad will teach Noah how to change out a radiator. This dad has a hard time jumping a car battery.

This dad gets to teach Noah how to cry when crying will heal him. That dad will teach Noah how to take a hit and stand back up again.

That dad teaches Noah how to raise chickens. This dad teaches Noah how to train cockatiels.

This dad will teach Noah how to fix broken hearts. That dad will teach Noah how to fix broken engines.

That dad will teach Noah how to build a go-cart. This dad will teach Noah how to build a business.

This dad will help Noah with his math homework. That dad will help Noah with his shop projects.

That dad will teach Noah how to make friends. This dad will teach Noah how to buoy friends.

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832 comments
lovindmutts
lovindmutts

I've recently become that mom- I married a man who has 4 children (25-15) from a previous marriage. Wonderful as your post is, and as much as I would love to be in that place, it only works if all the people on the parenting team (the original parents as well as any step-parents) are on the same page and are willing to work together and communicate honestly.

We don't have that. I try. I want to be friends with my step kids, but the state of friends only happens if there's time spent together, and conversations about things- superficial things and hard things.... and none of that is happening.


I don't want to be their mom- they already have one. I just want to be another friend.

JesterJAG
JesterJAG

This is Beautiful Dan!  And reading it now knowing what Jeff and the rest of Noah's Family went through this summer makes this even more meaningful.  

I have an Amazing Step Father!  My parents split up when I was 10, and a few months after the split My Mom brought my Step Dad into our family.  He has been a part of our family for 30 years this past July, and I owe him So much.  He always told me he could never be my Dad, because I already had one of those, but he would always be there for me just the same.  He taught me that men can be caring and loving to their children, and other people's children.  He taught me that not all men think Girls are inferior, he taught me that Motorcycles are awesome, he taught me how a real man treats the woman he loves.  All things my real Father could never have taught me - because they are very different people.  My step Father is one of the most important people in my life, he still amazes me to this day with his patience, wisdom and gentle nature (which was harder to notice when he rode a Harley LOL)

PEIslandGirl
PEIslandGirl

Beautifully written. It warms my heart to read of so much love for Noah.

I have the world's most beautiful step-mom, inside and out. I have told her several times that I couldn't have picked better myself. 

My parents divorced when I was 6 and my step-mom came into my life about a year later. My dad was self-employed and worked very hard to support the now seven children that he was responsible for and she taught resource class and cared for all seven. I also have a wonderful mother who respects my step-mother and appreciates her role in my upbringing, and I consider myself incredibly lucky to have three amazing parents in my life. 

As an adult, I realize even more how important my step-mother was in my development as a person and I am proud to recognize traits that come from her. She recently had a major health scare and is now on a road to recovery, and she deserves the most beautiful life that ever was lived. Blended families aren't without their challenges, but mine brought so many wonderful people into my life that I couldn't imagine it any other way.

notatrophywife
notatrophywife

Sounds like the subject of your next book! [email protected]

MommaKay2
MommaKay2

I was basically in tears while reading this. 
I have 2 children, and they have 2 different dads. Yes, I know. Sounds like a stereotypical "teen mom" story. Oh well. 

My sons dad is there for him. But refuses to think that my son has a step-dad. He does. End of story. They have a few things in common, but even more stuff that they don't have in common. They can both teach OUR son so much. But his dad just doesn't see it. They get along, but when it comes to "dad territory" my sons dad thinks that is ONLY HIS territory. 

My daughters father isn't around much. She calls her step-dad, dad. He's all she really knows. Her father sees her MAYBE once a week. When it's convenient for him. He's not a constant in her life. Step-dad is.

If your child, or my child, feels that they love someone and that person loves them as much as their biological parents, then why not call them mom/dad. It may take getting used to, but I feel like the bio parent should be grateful that the other has found someone (almost) as amazing as they are! Nobody can take the place of your "real" parents, but it's awfully nice when you can have someone you trust be there for your child as well. 


JackieSafforld
JackieSafforld

I don't want to be a step parent so i don't usually date people with kids even though i have children myself.... My children's other parent dates that's okay as long as i don't have to be involved. What the other parent does at its  house with its significant other is fine as long as I don't have to be involved or interfere. I don't see myself sittng down with the other parent  or its significant other or doing any talking but to me this is fine i didn't choose this individual so i don't have to deal with this individual as long as the children are happy i'm happy!! I would hope the other parent would not have anyone around them that was not safe...I don't trust the other parent with my feelings but do with theirs....So i stay in my happy place and hopefully the other stay in it's happy place! No harm no foul..... Plus we didn't see eye to eye in the first place and something kept us from working out our own relationship, so we have nothing in common. Usually when u find someone new its a person more well thought out and more suited for you so i will not have nothing in common with that individual,and that's okay they are for u not me.... I'm just not interested!! That's what lead to the break-up. I'm not pretending because then my happiness is diminished...but i will respect everyone right to be amongst each other and to get along....for the relationship is over and i'm moving on the child has a part to play not me ..i will not neglect my duties as a parent but have no duty to the other parent or the ex-significant ...

Seegraham
Seegraham

When I was a kid- my father would stop by if he was in the neighborhood- regardless of scheduled visitation- just to say, "Hi", or see what I was up to- maybe to take me out for an ice cream cone if there was time in my hectic adolescent schedule. I wasn't home one day when he stopped by for that ice cream cone.  My step dad, Rog, answered the door to let him know I would be back after practice.  My father asked if Rog would like to join him.  Rog simply said, "Well... Never been one to turn down ice cream."  And off they went, down the road like two old friends.  When Rog passed away this past year, my father never left my side and ached for this loss.  He never felt jealous of the fact that I adored my step dad, because I adored my father just as much.  He only had complete appreciation for the fact that when he was not around, I was loved and looked after, and that Rog was a good, hard working man who would never let his family down. You might even say that my dad loved Rog, too.  Almost as much as he loved ice cream. 

sulytavarez
sulytavarez

I love this! thanks for sharing, I myself I am a bonus mom to two kids besides the two that I have! I have a wonderful relationship with the boy who is now almost 19 and with his mom, she knows there is nothing I wouldn't do for him! and she knows that I Love her child as if he was my own, the same for my stepdaughter although the relationship with her is not the same as with the boy and it is in part because of the relationship her mother and I have (two different women) her ways have made it nearly impossible to have a good relationship with her daughter as well as with her.  I wish things could be different as it affects my children who love their sister very much as well as my husband, the relationship has gotten worse and now she doesn't want to see her father, he is good man who has been there for his children as well as for mine we have a son who is 4 and he has been that DAD to my 10 year who knows everything because of him any suggestions on how to approach this situation?  very difficult person to deal with we haven't seen her since March

Cassandra M Kievits
Cassandra M Kievits

So incredibly beautiful of you and him to come together and realize the common goal is to love your sweet boy as much as both of you can, and instead of being the enemies on the opposite side of the line (as too many unfortunately do) you two came together to achieve a common goal: Be the best dads you both can be and get along so well for his sake. When I was 12, my parents split up and my dad moved across the country. A year later, I had the chance to go live with my father. My dad was terrified to tell me that he was seriously involved with someone, and so it was a shock to come home to my Dad and find out this other woman was living with him. I considered her a lethal threat and did everything I could to scare her away. She never backed down, she only loved me more fiercely and stood her ground. This woman became my other Mom. She was the only person in the room with me during my emergency c-section for the birth of my daughter, she was the first person to hold my daughter, and is the most amazing woman I have ever known. She is my best friend, confidante, and my Mom. I know that she will be there, HAS been there, whenever I needed her most, and she is the world's most amazing Nana :) and the great thing is, my bio mom and her get along wonderfully. My bio mom is incredibly grateful to her for being there for me when she couldnt. The world needs more of this kind of love and understanding. Props to you guys for doing the same thing. Love this

mothership
mothership

that is such a wonderful message. I'm step mom to 4 now older kids. The youngest was 4 when I married their father, she is now going on 15, the oldest is now 26 with a 5 year old of her own. Unfortunately, my husband's ex was not as nice about things as she could have been the first few years, even up and moving 2000 miles away with the kids so our time has always been very limited with them. We decided early on that, no matter what the personal feelings between the 2 of the "adults" from that situation, we would do our darnedest to never say anything negative about their mother or her actions. I have always done everything I could for the kids as they've grown. We've foregone many things we wanted for ourselves to focus on their needs. We also never made the kids call me "mom" if they weren't comfortable with that (I jolly well am grandma though...) We now have great relationships with 3 of the 4 kids and they know they can come to us with any problem and we will do what we can, and even if we don't agree or are disappointed by their choices, we will stand by them. (My step son is the lone hold out right now. He has some problems to deal with and isn't talking to us because we won't support his behavior.. we are willing to ensure he is taken care of, but will not just give him money.. it's a long messy story and we hope things will one day change, but that is up to him. He is 24.) 

It would have been great if my step kids could have seen that sort of connection between their parents and step parents. We never really got to know any of their step fathers.

Being a step parent is hard. It can often feel lonely and "left out," esp if you are unable to have children of your own. Sometimes we get looked down on by others as not being "real" parents, not knowing all the secret handshakes.. but it is so needed. We made sure the the kids had a stable relationship to watch, to build upon for themselves. We're now doing foster care and hoping to adopt.

Just me13
Just me13

Absolutely LOVE this! I wish everyone would see that having more than one mother or father is just one more person to love your child. ♥

Guest
Guest

My 10-year-old step son calls me his "other mother... But not like the other mother from Coraline."  <grin>

NaomiLazarus
NaomiLazarus

My dad was the best man at my mom's second wedding. He used to refer to my step dad as his "husband-in-law". Even when my birth parents weren't getting along (their relationship has had its ups and downs, but they've never given up on having a working relationship as co-parents), my dad and my step dad always seemed to have a genuine affection for each other, and mutual respect. I usually consider myself closer to my dad, but I married a man just like my step dad.

Becki1417
Becki1417

I wish that my ex would see that both him and my husband can be amazing dads to our daughters. They both have very different, very important lessons they could teach them but sadly, it is not a partnership and he can't see, even after 10 years, that they both are Dad! There is no communication between him and his wife and me and my husband. In the last 2 years, I have spoken to him maybe 3 times and that's it. I have tried to have an amiable relationship with them but I guess there is just too much that has happened. The girls still know they have two dads that love them with all their hearts and are there for them no matter what. I just with that we could do this an easier, friendlier way.

PrinceznaLuna
PrinceznaLuna

I wish I could send you blogs to my Ex... However he is the type that will be offended or angry by them... My Ex is trying to sue me for custody. One of the things that drove a wedge between us was how narrow minded he was. My Fiancee is from Italy. He is a wonderful man... very educated with a Masters in Architect Engineering and also a professor at one of the oldest and most prestigious Universities in Italy. My ex is a soldier. Both are hard working, just in different ways. My ex likes hunting, fishing, camping (all things I hate and my Fiancee does too). My Fiancee and I like travel and culture and history and art... My ex can't stand him for some reason. Instead of looking at things like you do, he is jealous and does not want our son being attached to anyone else. It's kind of childish to think I would never find someone else and eventually our son would be taken care of by me and someone else. I have been trying to be very fair with him... sharing custody equally with him (as much as possible). All he cares about is being the only man in our sons life and wasting time and money in a court that will not give him full custody anyway... to prove a point or act macho... I just don't know what he is thinking.

Amy
Amy

As a stepmom I appreciate this post very much! Thank you for sharing. You are a great man to recognize the strengths of your kid's stepdad and recognize that you both want and do the best for the kid. I wish I had that kind of relationship/understanding with my stepkids' mother. 

Casey
Casey

I am the "child in this situation (now 29 years old).. My father remarried when I was 5 years old. I have been blessed in having so many parents. My mother and step-mother have done their best to cultivate a relationship over the years. Every summer we take a girl-weekend vacation. It includes, my mom, my sisters, my cousins, my step-mom and my aunt (who is actually my uncle's ex wife). We spent holidays and birthdays together, my mom is always invited to my dad's and my vise versa. This mother's day my step mom wrote a beautiful facebook post thanking my mother for bringing her children into the world, thanking her for the friendship they have created over the years and stating that she knows that us kids are all the better for having both of them in our lives. My mom has always said "how can I hate someone who loves my kids so much?". This attitude has made a huge difference in my life. I never had to feel guilty for loving anyone. I never had to choose a side. I was allowed to love all of my parents and saw the respect they all held for one another. 

TahliaLaurenVaccarella
TahliaLaurenVaccarella

I am "that mom" in my situation. The birth mom hates me. She hates everything about me being involved in our 4 year old son's life, but I do everything in my power to never degrade the love for her that he has. He calls me mom, her mommy. He knows who we are & that we both love him. I send flowers home with him when I can & I tell him to tell her he loves her. I will be honest, I do not like her. I feel she is an awful person & she has done awful things toward me, but I wouldn't have my son if it wasn't for her & for that, I am thankful. I understand parts of her disdain because I have a daughter I gave birth to & I cannot imagine sharing her with another mom. However, if that was to happen, I would have to remember to not think of her as taking my place, but adding another person to give love to my baby girl. It isn't easy for "this mom" or "that mom," but we both love our kids & have to be willing to come together as his moms or nothing will get easier.

As a step parent, I have learned so much that I didn't know before about compassion, patience, & love. As a biological parent, I have learned why it is so hard to share your babies.


There is nothing wrong with another person loving your baby, as long as it isn't taking away from your relationship with them. We should all focus on making our relationships with our children the best they can be, instead of hating the other relationships they develop.

JasonSewell
JasonSewell

As step-dads go, I had a wonderful one who was a million times the man my biological father was. As a dad to a child in a split relationship now, the thought of the other dad freaking terrifies me. I hate the idea. It's MY daughter, no one else's is really what my feelings come down to. How can my love and my pride in raising her be shared with another man, and in this case a man involved in a breakup of a relationship? It's hard.

As far as employment situations, I can say from experience, leave your work frustrations at work, and if you can't, change your situation. If you take it home, it can affect your relationship in ways that you may never be able to repair.

If that's really how you feel, my hats off to you, but I would love to hear about the struggles you've had with that acceptance.

Hektik
Hektik

I've been around for 26 years, my parents split when I was about 12ish, it's slightly vague to me. I had spent most of my teenage years away from my mother and strictly in my fathers care. When I had turned 19 I had hit a rough patch at home and found my mother after all those years, when I had gone to live with her, I had arrived a few weeks before she was to be married. She allowed me some time to go and spend it with the man who is now my step-father (although, he won't admit it because he doesn't feel its right to be dubbed a father) and we got to know one another. I got to know about his profession and what he liked to do in his spare time. I know he loves me as if I was one of his own because he's been there through my struggles with my Diabetes and my moving out and starting my own family. He takes interest in my daughter and we usually have a few beers when we get together at the cottage. It was like an instant bond in my eyes though...he's slightly quiet and at times he seems timid but I know we balance each other out. I couldn't be happier to have him in my life. We are men of few words when it comes to emotions but I think we have an understanding of if we ever need each other we can rely on one another. 

MavisR
MavisR

My step-dad adopted me and my brother.  Unfortunately, our "bio-dad" was not a present force in our lives, but my step dad "stepped up" and made us official and legal family.  He didn't have to take on that extra work, burden, whatever you wan to call it, but he did.  One of our step brothers were giving us a hard time at one point, saying, "you aren't even a real Smith!"  My dad happened to over hear him and put him to rights "You know what?  Maybe not biologically, but I CHOSE them, I got STUCK with you."  (This was during my step bro's "rebellious/nasty" phase.)  I was flabbergasted, but at that point, I knew I was one of his kids, just like the step brothers.  We had a saying in our family "There are no steps," and even though that was sometimes difficult as kids, now that we are grown you can't tell who came from what family, and when people bring it up I'm actually thrown off a bit.  My dad is my dad, my brothers (ALL three of them) are my brothers.  And even though it was 20 years ago, it feels like it has been this way forever.  My dad loves me.

itsahalestorm
itsahalestorm

I wish I could meet you, just to give you a hand-shake, high-five, or a hug for this post.  As a child of divorced parents from before my memories were forming, and then my mother remarrying when I was nine, I grew up with "two dads."  And my actual dad wasn't too happy about my "other dad" doing things for me.  But reading this made me tear up for the simple fact that not all dads are like him, and it truly makes me happy to see that a dad feels this way.

Julie E
Julie E

This Mom gets to be my daughters mom every magical second of her life, that Mom got to give my that magical thing that is life :)

Kristi H
Kristi H

very good post and I am glad your co-parenting situation is cool. I didn't get steps until I was 13 yrs old. Both of my parents remarried my step mom broke our hearts at that time and I hated her for a long time, because she had just hurt my mom her ex- best friend. well we are 15 yrs later doing ok she was there for me when I had my first child and didn't know how much to give but ended up making up for some animosity by helping me out when I was really sick and stuck on bed rest post baby. Then we talked and she actually expressed her feelings and I did too. I still hate what happened when I was a kid but that is the past and if she and my dad are cool that's fine by me and we have a good relationship now. On the other hand I had an amazing step- father :) he took me in and raised me like I was his own child (and he never had any bio kids). He came to our home state from MN and made my momma so happy they were high school sweethearts and I saw the love and care they had for each other. As any teen I took a little time to warm up to him in our relationship but he made sure I had everything I needed and wanted for the most part. When my bio dad was being a dead beat he picked up the slack paid private school tuition because that is where I wanted to be and I excelled. He helped me grow up and mature spiritually and was always there to talk as I started to date and didn't understand boys at all. He was and still is an amazing supporter of both my momma and myself as I feel any good man should and chooses to be. My senior year of high school I decided one way to show him I appreciated him was to ask him to escort me to the Father-Daughter dance at school. That made him cry knowing that in those few short years he had made such a difference in my life and that I loved and accepted him. Heck I am tearing up at the memory right now. I got both sides of the coin and have a decent relationship with both now as an adult and I make sure every mother's and father's day I put my whole heart into making, writing or buying something for each of them to show how I feel and what they mean to me. This past year I got those cards you can put baby hand prints in and everyone of course loved it. But I try now as an adult and parent myself to show my parents how much they mean to me I say I love you every day every chance I get and I take the same opportunity to show my son the relationships that I cherish most besides him and his daddy :) sometimes things were hard but it all helped me grow and become the person I am today... I hope to make them proud!

NormaLouEitemiller
NormaLouEitemiller

I am the one and only parent through adoption.  Sometimes when I see how my divorced friends are constantly at war with each other, and not realizing the impact it has on thier kids, it makes me glad not to have to share with anyone else.  Seeing your post and how much the entire family loves your son, I would love my girls to have this kind of support.  Bravo for all of you, and what a wonderful man Noah will grow up to be because this and that care so much. 

MountainKatie
MountainKatie

Amazing post. I have been with my partner for 22 years. I met him as a young, single mom of a five-year-old girl. He met me with a five-year-old boy and a nine-year-old girl. Five years down the road we had Sam, the little glue that bonds us all. I don't think there is a tougher job than finding your way as a step parent, and I can't say the road was always easy. My step kids have a very strong, loving mother in their lives, so finding my place was hard. It was easier for my husband, as my daughter's father was not in the picture much. I have to say, though, after all these years, I have the most amazing, loving, intelligent, well-rounded children I could ever hope to be connected to. I feel very blessed. Your post brought tears to my eyes - you are an amazing role model for all those men out there who are forced to share the daddy role; I can't think of a healthier approach to it than yours. I will be sharing this post with many...

melkel
melkel

love this so much! we have 3 sets of families that are intertwined ;) I tell my son frequently he still has 2 parents who love him very much & more; his stepmom has a big family who all adore him, he gets to be a big brother now, his best friend is his step brother's half brother, he is surrounded by more people who all have one thing in common... we all love him very much ;) Both his father & I had to give up our jobs of 14 year senority because the same company we worked for shut down & we would have to relocate to keep our jobs. Since we are intertwined with 3 families, we both chose to stay & start over with our careers so everyone could stay close together. It hasn't been easy but I'd make the same decision again. You can't make up for lost time & i believe children need our presence, love, & support in their life more than anything else

ScarlettHurcomb13
ScarlettHurcomb13

There is so much drama and sensitivity (much of the time, understandable) when it comes to stepdaddies. You are in a rare situation, and a beautiful one, all because you put your son's well being before your own ego. That can be hard to do and so many people fail at it or don't even try. Kudos to you, and many others should take a lesson from this blog.

AmberSmyth
AmberSmyth

This is amazing.  I grew up with my step parents being a solid part of my life.  My parents split just after I was born and my mom and step dad met when I was 8 months old.  I met my step mom before I even remember, so I've always known them. I loved having the kind of relationship with them that only included the word "step" when clarifying which parent I was talking about.  I am a step parent to 4 wonderful kids, and my husband is the step parent of my two.  We try to hold up that feeling, that step is only a clarifying term.  This post was epic, as it is difficult for all parents involved to get along sometimes.  I love that you're trying to at least do this for Noah.  I try to do this for my step children.  Even if I don't like their mom all the time, and I'm certain she doesn't always like me, we have the same goals for the children, as they are the important ones.  Good job, keep up the good work.  I'm glad it's not just my family who sees past the differences in parents, and strives to do whats best for the child(ren).  Major props.  

RaeRedford
RaeRedford

This brought tears to my eyes, Dan. It says, and very well, my exact feelings about my ex's new wife and how I'd like my kids to see my new boyfriend. In all the blessings I've had since my divorce, the advent of these new people, very good people, who are important in my kids' life, is definitely one of them.

Pamela Vinton
Pamela Vinton

Probably your most Epic post to date! Excellent words.

DevelopmentalDad
DevelopmentalDad

I play the role of both a step-father and a father. This is powerful stuff. Thanks for sharing.

AbigailFabelFried
AbigailFabelFried

Thank you so much for posting this.  Coming out of a long marriage with an alcoholic, I was very bitter, for lots of very warranted reasons, I feel.  BUT... it does no good to stay angry and hateful forever, and is actually detrimental to my relationship with my child and how I show him how to treat others.  SO... then I fell into this huge depression.  When his dad quit being so drunk and started actually stepping up to the plate, I fell apart.  I was always the GOOD thing in my son's life, the constant, the one he could count on.  When someone else started being that person, I lost myself.  I felt unworthy... blah, blah, blah.  Lots of things where I worried that my kid would love his dad more because he is a better "player" than I am.  Just RECENTLY have I finally started looking at the situation a different way.  It's okay that his dad takes him to THOSE kinds of movies and does THOSE kinds of things with him, and it's okay for me to do THESE kinds of things and watch THESE kinds of movies.  He likes ALL the things we all do, and in this manner, he can get the best of both worlds.  Hopefully he will take the best parts of each of us to become a good man.  This post reiterated that, that it is okay that we are different and bring different things to the table, and it's okay that my son likes and does ALL of these things.  Thanks for writing it out and making it so much more eloquent than I ever could.  :)

Lexy
Lexy

I'm married to someone who has a child from a one night stand. She doesn't Iike us so no one gets along. She has told the little boy that he doesn't have to listen to me because I'm not his real mom. She has done the same to my husband so when we go get him he would cry and say your not my dad I don't want to go with you. She doesn't really work so in the state of Iowa it's based off income. My husband works construction and averages on 28-30,000 a year but it does vary. He needs to pay 700 a month so his checks are not high and she's fighting for more money (and married) we are to meet halfway between where we live which is both of us driving 3 hours and sometimes she doesn't show up. I'm happy your situation is better then ours because at this rate I can't do 13 more years

HB62
HB62

I was a step father for 2.5 years.  I can say it totally was tough.  It is refreshing to hear people can do it but it wasn't a good fit for me.  I honor and bless the people that can do it.  


lilies_poppies
lilies_poppies

My stepdad is an amazing man.  He took on two surly, overly bright, and sarcastic teenagers who were reeling from major life changes.  He never saw himself as a parent, but rather an advocate.  Our familial situation was a little different.  You see, my stepdad isn't my mom's husband, but rather my dad's partner.  After 42 years on the planet, and 13 years of marriage, my dad came out as gay.  The two of them have been together for almost 18 years.  My mom and dad are best friends, and the trio of parents all come together to celebrate holidays, birthdays, weddings, and milestones in my daughter's life.  I am so blessed to have two great parents, and then to have a bonus dad, too.

Tricia K
Tricia K

I'm a stepmom to a wonderful and incredibly smart 15-year-old young man. I love him as if he were my own. I have a 4-year-old biological son and he loves his stepbrother so much. I am blessed beyond measure to have them both in my life and I wouldn't want it any other way. Unfortunately, my stepson's biological mom and stepfather aren't very nice and make mine, my husband's and stepson's lives miserable. My only saving grace is that my stepson knows that we love him unconditionally and that he's always a part of our lives & household.

Cheri
Cheri

I can't say how much I love this. My parents divorced when I was 4 and my dad remarried when I was 6, about a year and a half before he died. After his death and her blaming my mom for it, my stepmom basically stepped out of my life. My older brothers kept in touch with her but I didn't see her again until I was 18. So far we see each other once every 10 years and I'm good with that. She sends a Christmas card every year and when I get cards out I send one to her with our family update.

Almost 18 years ago I fell in love with a divorced man who had a daughter. In all honest truth, I saw her first. I instantly adored that bouncy little blond and quickly fell for the dad who came along with her. We've been married 17 years and have a total of 7 kids together, 6 living. When that little girl was 5 we did the hardest thing we've ever done in our lives--we left her. It was horrible. Never before or since have I seen my husband cry that hard. But her mom had gone wacko crazy and was quickly falling off the deep end. It wasn't anything that would mean we could legally obtain custody of my stepdaughter--her mom just picked fights, created conflict, reneged on commitments, and basically treated us like 3rd class citizens. Once she took her daughter for ice cream when we had her for the summer week and promised to bring her back two hours later. She called and said she was going to keep her overnight. My husband, fed up with her always changing things, told her he was going to come over and they could talk about it. So we went. When she saw her parents together, that adorable, wonderful little girls hid under the piano so she couldn't see them fight. My husband refused to argue, and talked to his daughter and told her he would see her tomorrow. As we were leaving the police arrived. His ex had blown the situation so out of proportion her younger brother called the cops. 

Leaving was the best option we could come up with. We couldn't start a family under those kinds of conditions. Our kids would live their lives under so much stress. And that poor little girl needed to know that her world was safe. Even though it killed us, we moved. And have been blamed for it ever since.

That cute little blond is now in her 3rd year of college, and though we know she loves us and she visits when she can, we content ourselves with the fact that she is well rounded,  confident, and secure in her life. She calls her stepdad dad but has never called me mom since her real mom told her it made her sad. I've accepted feeling like a 3rd wheel in her life, backed off when our attempts to connect sent her mother into a panic, and tried my best to be content with the relationship we have. Because it's about the kids. It's not about the parents. She grew up comfortable, safe, and secure and knowing that she is loved by all of us. I know she loves me. But I also know I will never be on equal ground with her mom. 


Thank you for doing that for Noah.

Em
Em

This is beautiful.  My children recently went from having two parents to having four, but in a different way.  Their dad now lives with their new bonus mom and her three children.  Her children also have a dad who is close by and together, the four of us (myself, my ex husband, his girlfriend and her ex husband) work together as one unit to care for, love, co-parent and teach all five of the children in our new, big, crazy family.  Some adults don't understand but all of our children are loved, safe, well adjusted and now have more people to love them and take care of them. 

MirandaRibbingLundy
MirandaRibbingLundy

I try to encourage and accept that, but it's difficult to support am irresponsible and immature set of parents. There is a very good reason I left that man. I encourage my children to mind them, love them in spite of their flaws, pray for them to find a better path and do the right thing always, even in their presence. I wish my children had that. Someday, if there is a man out there that wants the responsibility, I hope to provide an active in love, teaching and discipline, co parent to our family. I thought I had found him, alas I did not.

Carroll Ann Swanson
Carroll Ann Swanson

In our family we talk about "bonus" dads and moms and sibs and grandparents etc. We chose that over "step" when we recognized how much we had all added to each others lives and what a blessing that is if we look at each other through eyes of love and gratitude.

Frances Marrero
Frances Marrero

That's awesome. My ex husband is threatened by my daughter's relationship with her step dad, even though he barely makes the time to see her and doesn't provide for her at all. She's 5 and already says she wants daddy #2 to be at her wedding, but not daddy 1. His loss :(

Nicoya
Nicoya

@Seegraham This right here? I needed this. Thank you, thank you, thank you...and sorry for your loss.

Hektik
Hektik

@itsahalestorm I know the feeling about the bio-dad being upset about the step-dad doing things for you.