Being a stepparent is often a thankless job where oftentimes you get viewed as the enemy. My husband does a lot behind the scenes for our son. And sometimes my son isn’t always thankful for the sacrifices that my husband makes. Especially when it comes to his ability to partake in extracurricular activities. Therefore I always gently reimind him, that my husband is the main reason, that he is able to participate in activities outside of our home. With Jui jitsu being one of those things. I can count on two hands, the number of times, I have personally been able to take him to practice within the last six months. My husband is always present and sacrificing hours at work to ensure that he is able to go to practice daily.
Being a blended family has been a challenge for both my husband and myself. It takes great courage, understanding, and love to be a stepparent. My husband has always been there for my son. When we first started dating, I was a Drill Sergeant, stationed at Fort Benning which has been renamed to Fort Moore. I struggled with caring for my son due to the demanding hours and inadequate childcare options for Soldiers. I hired a live-in nanny but it became extremely expensive as I was paying the nanny a thousand dollars a month, including my mortgage and other bills. I attempted to have my son live with my side of the family in Tampa first but due to disagreements and ongoing feuding, I decided for my son to live with my husband in Tampa. My son's father was an active duty Soldier as well and stationed in Korea at the time, so his place of residency was not an option.
When I asked my husband if my son could live with him, without any hesitation, he said yes. My family was not happy about this decision at the time, nor was his father, but it was the best decision so that I could successfully finish my time as a Drill Sergeant. I remember my fellow Drill Sergeant battles saying, “If this guy keeps your son while you work, he’s indeed the one.” My husband was indeed the one! Thanks guys! He kept my son for only a few months but within those few months, he took great care of him. He took him to school every day and ensured schoolwork was completed. He didn’t just watch him…he became a father figure to him. We were in a long distance relationship and he cared for my son in ways, no one else had! Darius needed that. He needed to be disciplined, he needed to be loved, and he needed a positive male influence. But more importantly, he needed to know what it is like to be shown love by a father figure consistently.
I’ve always loved my husband for Darius. He came in gentle from the start, leaving his machismo at the door. He never tried to overly discipline Darius to prove that he was in charge or the man of the house. He also never looked to compete with my son’s dad! This proved to be a big win because it kept the drama down between households and allowed Darius to receive support and love from both sides. It was just Darius and I for years. And while I know Darius struggled with the idea of “losing me,” to my husband; he has gained so much... thanks to the blending of our family. I know sometimes my husband does always get the praises that he deserves and feels unappreciated at times. But I remind him that he is loved by many and one day he will see that his efforts with Nadarius were not in vain.