I recently saw a quote that said, “thank you for being the dad you didn’t have to be.”
That’s how I feel about my fiancé.
Whether you call them stepdad, bonus dad or stepped-up dad, there’s something that can be said about a man (or woman) who chooses to help raise a child who isn’t his own.
There’s also something special to say about a dad who is willing to work with this stepdad in the raising of his daughter.
Blended families can be complicated, but it doesn’t always have to be.
According to stepfamily.org, the U.S. Bureau of Census says 1,300 new stepfamilies are forming today, and that over 50% of U.S. families are remarried or re-coupled.
I know in my lifetime I’ve seen many relationships that just didn’t work, and in most of those situations, it was better for the child for the parents to separate, at least in my opinion.
A 2015 publication in the Pew Reasearch Center says, “While in the early 1960s babies typically arrived within a marriage, today fully four-in-ten births occur to women who are single or living with a non-marital partner.”
It says in the 1960s most families were made of the traditional makeup. “By 1980, 61% of children were living in this type of family, and by 2015, less than half (46%) were,” the Pew Research Center publication states.
It’s no telling what that number is today. Today there are children living within blended families, those who are raised by a single mother or single father, those who are products of another form of conceiving other than the traditional form, those who are raised by same-sex couples and so forth.
By 2015, “16% of children (were) living in what the Census Bureau terms ‘blended families’ — a household with a stepparent, stepsibling or half-sibling,” according to the Pew Research Center.
For me, it’s worked well.
Sure, there are days when siblings don’t get along, but that’s in every family — even traditional ones.
I have been blessed in my life to grow up with two parents in my home, a father and mother who always made sure we had what we needed.
Now my daughter is lucky enough to have an abundance of male role models in her life from her dad to her soon-to-be stepdad to her three grandads, Papa, Grandaddy and Papa Bill.
Did you know the first Father’s Day wasn’t celebrated until June 19, 1910? And it wasn’t until the 70s that President Woodrow Wilson made Father’s Day official.
Apparently, when Father’s Day was first introduced, the public wasn’t enthused because “father’s haven’t the same sentimental appeal that mother’s have.”
While they may not be as mushy as mother’s, I’m sure they appreciate the pat on the back. A token of recognition. A simple thank you dad for always being there.
As Father’s Day approaches on Sunday, I can’t help but to not only thank my dad for being the best dad he could be to me, but to Lily’s dad, stepdad and granddads, as well.
Happy Father’s Day