November 13, 2017

Dear Journal, 

Today I was approached by an old “friend” and we were doing the usual catching up and updating each other on what is new and exciting in life…then I was suddenly hit with a curveball. 

“So how is it being a stepfather?” 

Depending on where that question is coming from it can be very offensive. This repeat offender had ill intentions asking me that question. I was floored because this person had already expressed how she felt about me going into a relationship with a single mother a while back. 

“Watch out!”

“Be careful!”

“Aren’t you afraid of baby daddy drama?”

These were the kinds of things she would ask. I’ve gotten used to it because she isn’t the only one who would ask me such nonsense questions. 

I have a 6 month old that I love to pieces and a 9 year old stepdaughter who I love equally. When speaking to others about my family I often find myself having to backpedal and label my 9 year old as my “stepdaughter” even after I’ve already introduced her as my daughter in the conversation. People will even go as far as to point it out for me, “oh you mean your stepdaughter?” 

I don’t introduce her as my stepdaughter because I am her dad. I respectfully took over the duties and responsibilities of someone who decided he wasn’t man enough to take care of what he took part in creating. 

Why is it so hard for people to understand that families can be blended without all the bullshit labels? I mean if I were to call my best friend my brother in a conversation people wouldn’t correct me and ask “oh you mean your best friend?” 

When I met my partner I knew she had a daughter, and we took all the necessary steps and came to the decision that if we were going to be involved, I would first have to meet my now daughter, and she would have to be accepting of me. Everything worked out, but people just can’t be happy for you nowadays. 

There are so many things out there like STD’s, axe murderers, DEADBEATS, and so on, but a stepchild should be detoured. What makes it worse is some of the people asking me these questions either have a step parent, or has a close friend or family member that has a step parent. 

I’ll close this off by saying the stigma of being in a blended family situation is absolutely ridiculous. I’m not looking for any praise, but what I would like to feel is normal. I shouldn’t have to backtrack and explain, and feel uncomfortable talking about my children. After all, would you let the love of your life slip away because they are a single parent? Last I checked that means that they are still taking care of their responsibilities.

 I’ve cut the people who don’t support me out of my life…maybe they can get a “step friend” to replace me. I love both of my daughters and I’m going to take that to the grave with me. 

-TJ

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One thought on “November 13, 2017

  1. As a living product of a “blended family” this post speaks volumes to the ever persistent effects of television and social stigmas that try shape the concept of family into one, stringent mold. To this day my childhood friends cannot point out a difference between their relationship with their mothers to what I have with my stepmother. Even typing that out feels dirty, calling her my step mother and I can say I’ve never heard her call me her stepdaughter in our 23 years together. I think those who correct you by calling her your step daughter are disrespectful. The relationship you have with her is to be labeled by those involved which is you and her. Those on the outside should have no say in that matter.

    All in all, you aren’t looking for praise and sadly you may not get much from many people who see step parents as the devil’s way of tormenting children, but I’m giving it to you now. You are saving the childhood and potential life of that little girl. Father’s are our first loves and having you will shape her into a well rounded, young woman. Not that it wouldn’t be achieved from growing up only having her mother, but it takes a village to raise a child and what you are doing will yield even greater possibilities for her success.

    Kudos to you TJ.

    Liked by 1 person

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