A Matter of Blood


A Bio-Dad wrote an article around Father’s Day, which was tagged to Family Fusion Community on Twitter, as well as many who follow us, including my husband. My husband is a stepfather. My husband, Bob is an amazing dad. He bends over backwards for our family. I work overtime many days of the week, so Bob often ends up being the one to pick the girls up from school, help with homework, and he deals with all of the girl-drama-melt-downs until I get home every night. Bob and I have a system worked out. He hates laundry and I hate to cook, which he loves, so he handles all of the meals and I am on laundry duty. We split running the kids to appointments down the middle, depending on who works later that day. He is simply an amazing father and husband.

This article came out, which I happened to skim through, retweeted and put out of my mind. I did not see it in a negative light, but then I did not read it the way my husband read it, until he shared his feelings with me. We did not discuss it until several days later.

Here are a few of the things that bothered him:  “Kids are brought into this world by one and only one man. If you’re a divorced dad, here’s a hint: IT’S YOU. True fatherhood is a matter of blood — a permanent position. It can be ignored, even defiled, but it can’t be shed. I tell other divorced dads, “No matter what you do with your kids, if you commit to it regularly and responsibly, you’re the dad. Period. Exclamation point.”

Once I heard those points, I read the article again. I completely understood why it bothered my husband so much. He does so much for OUR girls. Father’s Day is always difficult for him anyway. I’m pushing 41, and many reasons we decided not to have any additional children of our own. To read something stating he is not really a true father to the girls was quite hurtful. He felt insignificant and unimportant. I tried to reassure him that I did not feel that way about my husband and neither did the girls. I also don’t think my ex feels the same way.

What truly makes a parent is the ability to commit to a child, and to give the very best of yourself every single moment. I do not think it is fair to say a bio-parent is more of a parent than a step-parent, a grandparent, an adoptive parent or any other parent.

I would love to hear some of your thoughts on this. How do you feel about what this article? Would this have hurt your feelings from a step-parent’s perspective?
Trish Eklund is taking a nontraditional approach to parenting children after divorce and remarriage. Raising her two daughters of eleven and fifteen with her husband, ex-husband, and his wife, they consult one another on all parenting decisions. Trish is the owner and founder of Family Fusion Community. Trish has been featured on www.playground-magazine.com, and www.bigblendedfamily.com. She is a regular writer on www.herviewfromhome.com, writer and co-editor for Her View From Omaha. Follow her on Twitter: @trishiewriter, Google +, and Pinterest.



4 thoughts on “A Matter of Blood

  1. Thanks for sharing this Trish. As a stepmom with no other children I often feel this way. That others see me as not a real mom and insignificant yet I’m with my stepson as much if not more than biomom. I think being a parent is much more than blood. Thanks again for sharing.

  2. How anyone can read this article and take negativity from it is beyond me. He says…. And I Quote….”I say this with ample respect for step-fathers, adoptive father’s…..”
    He isn’t taking AGAINST anyone! He is telling father’s, the biological dads, ie divorced dad’s, to pull their heads out of their bums and BE the man you are….. a FATHER!
    Him being a great father and telling others to do the same doesn’t take anything away from step-father’s. If they feel that way, maybe there is a bigger insecurity there to deal with.
    Blood IS the legality of parenthood until otherwise declared by a court of law. That’s a fact. How you ‘FEEL’ is what’s important to you. But this man isn’t taking anything away from your husband or anyone else. That’s quite unfair to take his attempt at a positive message and shed a shadow over it because your husband had his feelings hurt for sone reason. His perception is what seems off in this case.
    Good Luck.

  3. I see no reason to think what Joel wrote in his article was a smack in the face to anyone. As someone who is married to a great man who is a phenomenal step-father to her children, I can’t see the problem and don’t see this as something that should be made into an issue.
    Looks like he is trying to tell, divorced dads in particular, to man up. I’m perfectly ok with that! hahaha
    I define my family not just by biology, but by emotional attachment. I’m also not a particular fan of titles. I am my kids’ mother. Period. And if/when they do get a step-mom, what they decide to call or not call her is up to them, not me. Just like what they call my husband is up to them, not me. How they feel about him isn’t changed by the fact that they have a dad too just like if/when they get a step-mom, it won’t change how they feel about me.

  4. My apologies for taking so long to comment back on this! Life has been very busy, as I’m sure you all can relate (I know we are all very busy women). I don’t think I was very clear on this point, so this is completely my fault. When my husband first brought his concerns to me, I was confused as to why he was upset. I had to read the article again and I even explained to him where I felt Joel was coming from. I am a biological mom, so I would like to think I understand a little bit about what Joel was feeling, as well as I am in full support of divorced fathers playing a big part in the lives of their children. My ex-husband is very supportive of Bob and his role in the lives of our daughters.

    This article was not supposed to cast a shadow on his words in any way shape or form. I know my husband felt insecure! That was my entire point, to shed some light on those insecurities and as a reminder that blood is not the ONLY thing that makes a parent. The best thing to do in any blended family is to talk, talk, talk. Step-parents often feel insignificant, and bio-parents sometimes feel cast aside (as divorced dads sometimes feel, especially). We all go through these insecurities. I know this was not the writer’s fault. I completely agree there is plenty of room for children to love all of their parents.

    I was merely pointing out the Father’s Day article brought out insecurities in my husband, which we discussed, dealt with, and are still dealing with. The worst part was that he went days without mentioning to me, which made the insecurities seem bigger. I think the perspective is different when you are a step-parent and you feel like an outsider at times. Again, this has nothing to do with Joel.

    My apologies if the article came across as an attack or detracting from the other article, as it was not meat that way. It was meant to explain only how my husband felt. Feelings are feelings. There are no wrong or right feelings, and really, we are all doing the best we can.

    Thanks for reading. 🙂

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