I have to say one of the biggest struggles I have had in my recent years has been being a “step parent”. I do not want to be the kid’s mother, I do not want to take their mother’s place… honestly, I am not even sure I want to ever give birth to a child and ever be a “mother”. But having these lovely kids in and out of my life has proven to be very emotionally challenging. I love them entirely, just as I love the kids I have encountered in Africa. Their dad is an amazing man. He is generous, loving, soft, selfless, and incredibly gentle. I do not think they see it just yet because he is their father. The amount of bullcrap he puts up with just so he can continue to have his every other weekend and a few other odd weeks here and there with them is ridiculous. He is an incredibly loving father who wants the best for his children. I have never wanted to have kids until I saw what a great dad this man is to the kids he gets to see part-time. This man makes me want to have kids so him and I can have a family together. I want to give him a family he can connect with fully. However, once I think of all the physiological changes my body would have to go through to have said children I would much rather just have a dog and part-time kids instead. Call me selfish.
It has become quite evident that the kids are not allowed to mention me to the other set of parents, the kids have told us as much.. Yes, their mother is remarried and is even pregnant with their new little one (the kids have said it is a girl so congratulations to them) but it still seems to bother her that Mark is remarried to another lady. It is also evident that the other set of parents have made fun of the way I (or Mark) do things. Logically, this should not bother me; however, there are some times that I just want to scream because of the things the children mention to us that the other set of parents say or do about their father or I. It just becomes so frustrating and menial. I mean, we get angry emails about the children not having their clothes folded properly. First off, we have the kids do their own laundry, fold their own clothes, and pack their own bags when they go back to the other set of parents house. We want to teach the kids to think for themselves and be self-sufficient. If the clothes are not folded to standard of the step father then he needs to teach them how he wants it done, that is not our job. We teach the kids to take care of their things.
I want them to have morals of honesty, integrity, and self-respect. I want to start taking them to Sunday School because I realised how important that was in my early childhood. Dad didn’t start taking me until I was 8 years of age so I know it is not too late to start taking them. Maybe I will take them to at least have something to consider a solid rock while their life is going to be consistent change and messy.