Put down your proverbial pitchforks. I get this is the land of social media and not everyone knows me personally, but if you did (or if you do), you would know the unwavering love I have for my stepson. He was my whole life before I had my daughter, and now they are my whole life. Point blank.
So, great… She loves her stepchild, tell me again why we’re here then? Why would anyone say you shouldn’t love your stepchild? Well, anyone with a heart, anyway…Let me put out a disclaimer now that I do not know everything about co-parenting or being a step-parent, but for the sake of the post, let’s just assume that from the moment I met my husband, I’ve gotten just a few things right.
When I first started dating my husband, I found out almost immediately the stigma that comes with “raising someone else’s child” (by the way, let’s not use that phrase anymore, yea?) At times it would blow my mind that people would look at me like I was sacrificing something. In almost every comment, I would get some type of variations of “he’s so lucky you dated him even when he had a kid.” or “you have such a good heart for loving him despite having a kid.”
Stepparents are not martyrs, and kids are not terms and conditions in a contract that you have to agree to or you can’t move to the next step.
There are more than a million reasons why you should love your stepchild. Do not let the title fool you. Love them for setting a permanent trigger in your head when you see something they love. Love them for their sweet, unbiased hearts. Love them for repeating your own words back to you when you need to be calmed down. Love them for being wise beyond their years, and yet the biggest goofballs ever. Love them for the way they can go from being completely independent to the worlds best snuggler at the drop of a hat. Love them for every single reason you should love a child, biological or not, but you should never love your stepchild because you have to. If life as a stepparent means that you will deal with a kid because you want to marry their parent, this life is not for you. Trust me, the parenting life is tough as it is, let alone if you’re only half way in.
Dating my now-husband was never a sacrifice. Quite often I refer to them as a two-for-one, because I don’t know how I got so fortunate. Yes, you have to let go of the image that you will wake up every day with a full house, but there is also so much to be gained. You will learn to appreciate the hard moments so much more, because hard moments are still better than them not being there at all. You will learn to open your heart in more ways than you imagined, and to people you thought would be unimaginable. And, as the story of any child that you love and raise (genetics aside), you will learn to love unconditionally.
love you forever, sweet boy.