An Open Thank You-on Father’s Day
16 Jun 2017
by, Lisa… WAF Founder and lucky mom and wife
This blog is inspired and dedicated to my husband, and to all the biological parents who carefully and lovingly support our families, as whole and unique families, through their actions, courage, forward thinking, and desire for a loving home for all-up to and after we can and do take the reins alongside you.
I remember it like it was yesterday. Until that moment, I knew there would be a point where I had to parent with love and confidence as the mom of our home. I just had not done it yet. Maybe I won’t have to! No, it always comes. And in that moment, you decide what kind of home you will have. And the actions of your spouse (the biological parent) before and after, also decide to what extent it succeeds or not. And THAT decides whether you can offer your kids a loving, traditional home with a mom and dad readily available for any and all scenarios, or if you will proceed with splintering along bio lines. This matters for the kids, as they need a home where each adult is afforded the ability to love, parent, discipline, make decisions about regular day to day life: equally. This equally loving authority will be a cornerstone for success. It gives them stability (imagine just wanting to know if you can have some ice cream, but you have to wait until the bio parent gets home-that’s a LOT of undue stress on a child!) And until I established it on my own through time and action, it had to be backed up by my husband. So this is my thank you.
So what happened that evening outside on the dinner porch? Our son decided to make ketchup, yes ketchup, his test. “Um, Emmy, I am not eating this!! This ketchup is too cold, and I want it warmer.” (Said in a young, I’m about to see how this flies, tone.) In that nanosecond of decision making, I literally realized this was my jumping off point. It’s now or never. Mike was inside, and for me to go get him would be a massive blow to my ability to show them that I can be strong, be a good mom, and be the mom they need to lead this family. So I went for it! “I’m sorry you feel that way, but that’s too bad, and quite honestly, if you don’t like it or want to be ungrateful, then you are welcome to go to your room and be done with dinner.” GASP. We wait…..he said, “ok, I’ll eat it. Thank you.” (Said in a relieved young child way of “I am GLAD there are boundaries, and someone in charge.”) I RAN inside to celebrate my turning the corner. Mike was there to back me up always, ever since. He had also laid the ground work for respect and equal parenting in our home prior to this. He did so against the old school advice of “let the bio parent ‘parent’, and you just read a magazine in the corner”. In doing these groundbreaking things, he laid the foundation for a successful, traditionally functioning home where all of our kids knew they there was always a parent totally engaged and ready to support. This is hard work for you bio moms and bio dads as you forge these new paths against antiquated ideals.
So I THANK YOU.
Thank you for being BRAVE to stand up and support your family, and to SUPPORT us in doing the same.
Thank you for being STRONG enough to follow through when it could be easy to divide along bio lines to appease those around you.
Thank you for the BACKUP when we blended parents are early on still on unsure footing.
Thank you for ENSURING the kids remember us on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day as a way to teach gratitude all the way around. Thank you for encouraging the kids to also celebrate their blended parent in the other home as well.
Thank you for PATIENTLY sitting with us as we work our way in our heads to the confidence we need to have to be equally present, engaged, and accountable, even in your absence-ESPECAILLY in your absence.
Thank you for being CONSISTENT during times of challenge from other adults, society, and yes, sometimes even the kids.
Thank you for ENCOURAGING us to forge on as we create our own, unique family units with you and our sweet kids.
Thank you for NEVER showing weakness or doubt in the early days when we and the kids are still merging the two paths to one.
Thank you for STANDING side by side with us in those early and awkward sporting events, parent teacher meetings, ballet lessons until we are ready to fly on our own.
Thank you for TELLING us that we are doing a good job, with a priceless and crucial outcome: the kids’ well- being.
Thank you for CHOOSING to do the harder work to unify our families for a much better outcome for all.
And to my husband, may you know that you are the shining star of how to do this brilliantly. I THANK and LOVE you. And so does our grateful family.
It takes all of you and your love and courage at the outset, to make create something that we can all proudly call WeAreFamilies.