Blended Families and Father's Day

From a child’s view point:

            “ It was strange and uncomfortable to see a man in my mom’s life other than my dad,    and at first, I didn’t like it.”  Alicia

My daughter was twelve year’s old when my husband became her and her brother’s stepdad.  I chose my husband, the kids did not.  Because my kids were young, they were just along for the ride and trusting that I would make good decisions.  My husband and I were both extremely intentional about our relationship and how we integrated our lives. He was not previously married and had never been a father. 

My kids were his first kids and they call him Dad. 

            Brian shares “When I became a stepdad I committed to fully support my stepchildren financially, emotionally and spiritually.  I had an idea that I would see fruit from my decision, but that it may not be immediate.”

  I met my husband while we were both attending a bible study at church.  My first impression of him came from when he shared with our group about a recent mission trip he had taken.  He shared photos, explained the purpose of his trip and how he planned to go back to India as a full time missionary.  He shared his heart, he was sincere and he was excited.  We became friends and eight months later, he asked me if I would pray about courtship. 

After months of premarital counseling, we were married and blended forever.  We weren’t ready for marriage or blended family life but we thought we were.  What you don’t know is that blending a family is more difficult than you can imagine.  It’s like riding a roller coaster that won’t stop. 

We live near Branson, Missouri and the home of the famous Silver Dollar City.  There is a new ride there called The Time Traveler.  You get all strapped into your seat and from that position you cannot see where the ride is going to go. As the ride begins, you realize that your seat spins around on the track as you are going up and down and then all the way around for what seems like ten times.  It's  a great ride!

Time Traveler has a few things in common with blended family life.  You cannot see where you are headed until its right in front of you.  My husband took every blow pretty well.  He experienced a wake up call.  This would be the most difficult thing he has ever done.

 He wasn’t used to his life being upset on a regular basis.  He had to learn to be flexible and it took years.  Fortunately he is a kind person and didn’t blow up too much.  Behind closed doors we did a lot of talking and praying.

 

            Having a stepdad: “ It was a new experience.  A scary new experience.  It meant that I    had to accept a completely different way of life than I was used to.  I fought it.  I    rebelled.  I did everything I could to get more attention from my mom in the beginning.” Alicia

 

She did everything she could to get my attention, is what she says.  Honestly, I think she internalized a lot.  Although everything seemed fine on the outside, we took steps to show each child that they mattered.  We spent one on one time with them, we encouraged them and we never made them feel guilty for loving their biological dad. 

 

            “Gradually though, I realized that Brian was a good man, and before I knew it, I was thankful that he was part of our family.”

 

Brian made a point to consistently have conversations our kids.  I call them “ours” because he always treated them like his own.  He took a genuine interest in them.  Because of the interest Brian took in our kids, they have shown that they have an interest in him.  We have had many lively discussions at our house.   

 

            “Today I am proud to tell people that I’m blessed by having two loving, caring fathers in my life.  I was lucky enough to walk down the aisle with both of my dads at my side.  I’ve   had people ask me why I did that and the answer is simple:  I wanted to show them both        how thankful I was for their part in my upbringing.  “ Alicia

Brian and I have grown the most in the past fifteen years because of being a blended family.  You get pushed and pulled in ways that you had no idea could happen.

 We don’t regret it, we grew from it.

Talk about twists and turns!  When my youngest son was about six years old he asked me why the older kids get to have two dads and he only got one.  Then he asked me when he was eleven if my ex-husband was his grand-father.  At twelve he told one of our friends a story about his stepdad.  He doesn’t have a stepdad, but he was calling my ex-husband his stepdad. 

In our home, stepdad is a positive title because the stepdad in our home is selfless and kind.

Now, our older kids are in their twenties.  My biggest goal has been accomplished, they love me, their stepdad and their siblings.  Without hard work and a willing stepdad in our lives, we would have survived.  I wanted to more than just survive though.

Stepdads deserve being celebrated this Father’s Day.  They have given their time and their resources to do something that probably did not come natural. 

 

What can you do?

  • Give your stepdad or spouse a big Thank You.

  • Ask your stepdad or spouse about his life, showing genuine interest.

  • Set aside some time to spend with your stepdad or spouse.

  • Tell your stepdad or spouse what his sacrifice means to you.