“It has been said that one can measure a persons greatness by seeing how much it takes to discourage them………”
It is known that some step-fathers in blended families make no bones about establishing their positions in their respective units. Some get along with their step children, others prefer to simply state their territory and do not say or do much to establish a mutual bond or common ground with their step-children at all. Other step-dads come into the picture with their different hats on and ready to be involved in every aspect of their step-children’s lives, while others simply step back and take a neutral position and allow the bio-parent to parent alone.
When I married my husband, I had been widowed 6 years. Being a single mother, one of my personal inner struggles was talking to my boys about things that I didn’t feel comfortable talking about as a woman. No matter what my heart felt with regard to my being able to parent as a mother and a father, I had to accept and realize that as a woman, I could not fill those shoes. We can do our best job, but we cannot replace or begin to understand the things young teenage boys go through, and as a woman, no matter how hard I tried and no matter how good of a mother I was, I could NOT always relate.
When I married my husband, my older boys were 15 and 16. Everyone knows how teenagers can get on your last darn nerves. They think they “know” everything about life and they actually know nothing at all. This is an understatement in and of itself. But, as much as my husband didn’t like their attitudes at times (more often than not), he still sat them down when they wanted to talk, he explained things to them about his life experiences, gave advice to them about peer pressure, drugs, alcohol, etc., all the things that their bio father would have done had he not passed away. He even did not hesitate to put one of them in his place when he got a little too cocky at one point with me. No matter the situation, the boys know that my husband loves them and they love him back! Most importantly, they trust him and they know he will protect them.
The older boys are grown men now (21 and 20) but they know they have a security blanket with their step-dad. What I found to be really special is now, my 21 year old has his own son who is 10 months old. He and my husband have had private talks about the mistakes my husband made as a young father and what it means to make sure you are ALWAYS there for your children.
On the flip side, I have a girlfriend who’s current husband cares nothing about her children and the children care nothing about him as a step-father. They argue, fuss and fight constantly. They have no mutual respect for one another or for themselves. The step-father and children make no bones about not caring for one another. As a step-mother myself, this is nothing short of a travesty.
Being a great step-dad is a trying job, I’m sure. Wearing that hat requires strength, courage, humility, trust and confidence, especially during times when you feel like you may have stepped into a black hole of problems. By being that man of character, you are teaching, building and strengthening your step-children’s future in many more ways than you know.
Some step-fathers come into the lives of children with no fathers (due to death — as in my case), dead-beat fathers and some part-time fathers. Some even come into the lives of children with great biological fathers who can appreciate the important role a step-father has in their child’s life and in the blended family unit. All of these scenarios takes courage. I give all props to ALL the BFSO step-dads who cherish and uplift not only their biological children, their step-children and their spouses lives, but to ALL those who set an awesome example for seasoned fathers, young fathers and all the future step-fathers of the world who may just happen to be reading this blog. So, for those of you who have decided to build character instead of making bones……MY HATS OFF TO YOU!
P.S. Thank you Randy, Desmond and Jay; three amazing step-dads I know and love! Keep building character!