I just so happened to stop by the Twitter profile of Black and Married with Kids, one of the leading Black parenting and relationship websites around. While I was there, I saw that they were observing Blended Families week, which of course celebrates the many blended families that come together nicely. I even saw a story on Huffington Post around the topic.
You always hear stories of blended families where all parties involved get along for the sake of the child or children. Most people typically think of married couples when they discuss blended families. But what about all of the many long term relationships where the significant other takes on the role of step-parent before vows have been spoken?
These "bonus" parents, as they or we are now being called, are doing what married people commit to do, only without the commitment. I don't talk about this topic very often, although I began playing the step parent role before I even became a mother. Go-2-baby has an older sister, who has now been a part of my life for almost four years.
Once you marry someone with a child/children from a previous situation, the step parent, or "bonus" parent role is expected, its actually a part of the lifelong commitment you've made to your spouse. Before you get married, you of course have to at least be capable of being a step parent if you ever plan to be married to this person. Many people don't respect non-married couples as families, which has always been strange to me. I know so many happy and unmarried couples who work together better than some people who have been married for years. You shouldn't have to wait til marriage to be respected as a bonus parent, especially when you treat your bonus child/children like your own. Happy Blended Families week to all of the blended families out here in the world, married or not, I salute you!