I "inherited" The Boy and The Girl when I married The Mr.
I have to admit, I never really expected to have kids, and the adjustment to motherhood (STEP-motherhood The Girl would be careful to emphasize) was pretty interesting to say the least. (Disclaimer: To be fair, before I go further, The Girl is very literal. A thing is either black or white, never gray. And she is only 11 and does not realize yet the power of words. The Boy believes every word that The Girl utters.)
The Boy and The Girl have two "real" parents and two "step" parents. We try to evenly split their time (as much as practical) between the two sets of parents.
In a number of conversations lately, we hear The Children talking about their "real" mom or dad, or their "step" dad or mom. I do understand that The Children are just that - children. And they need a way to describe which set of parents they are discussing.
Anyway, I got to thinking about what it means to be a "real" instead of a "step".
From my perspective, I have real kids. My real time is spent cooking dinners, driving to activities, checking homework. My real money pays for piano lessons and sports and will send them to college. I feel real joy when they do well and real pain when they struggle. I have real excitement and fear and worry when I think of what is ahead. I experience real anger and frustration as they enter their teenage years ("Oy Vey!").
And my real love surrounds all of it.
I think that's what makes a "real" parent. I don't mind having the "step" label. I know what the bottom line is.
Any other step-parents out there? I'd love to hear your experiences!