A Tribute to Step-Parents


A thank you to all parents from a step son.

A stepparent is so much more than just a parent; they made the choice to love when they didn’t have to.

It takes a lot of courage to become the parent of a child who you didn’t bring into the world, and while most, who assume this role, do it with noble intentions such as love or compassion, some kids are not so fortunate when it comes to the families that they end up in.

I lost my biological father before my first birthday. He was taken in a motorsport accident which left two young families without their captain and coach. Growing up in a young, single-parent family, I spent a lot of my early life with mum, going around to her castings for photoshoots and TV commercials. I guess this wore off on me because I spent a lot of time at kindergarten dressing up as pixies and ballerinas. I didn’t stand a chance until Andy came along.

“When someone takes you on as their own when you’re not biologically their own, I think is really special … My stepdad didn’t have to raise me. He wanted to.”

Jonathan Van Ness, American activist

I was four years old when mum met her now-husband, Andrew, and it wasn’t long before we became a family. While I’ve never thought of the young me as a bad child, I did have a few more demons than most other kids while growing up and it took me a lot longer to get them under control. It’s an interesting story. I rejected my stepfather for many years. I acted out in school and often hurt people around me. Yet, through all my difficulties, Andrew would persevere in teaching me everything he knew about life, becoming a man and most importantly, being a good person.

Andrew had no idea what he was in for when he married my mother but God, I’m so thankful that he did. However long it took me to understand some of his decisions, I’m forever grateful for them now. Parents, step parents and guardians, please don’t stop making those tough decisions for your children. We can be difficult, ungrateful, and so much worse, but we can all come around with a bit of time. There will always be challenges in accepting someone as a new family member but don’t throw in the towel as with a bit of patience, and the right attitude, anything is possible.

I asked myself when writing this, would Andy have still dropped the knee to mum if he knew what he was in for? Of course he would have. We had some tough years, but it was all character building in the end.

“Any man can help make a child, but it takes a special man to help raise a child.”

Tony Gaskins, motivational speaker

As much of a blessing as it’s supposed to be, I can’t imagine parenthood to be an easy task for anyone and, I’m sure it would require a great deal of love, courage and bravery to bring a child into the world, let along take responsibility for someone else’s.

If you feel unappreciated by your children, hang in there. It took me a long time to grow up and accept my situation but when it suddenly makes sense to your kids, as it did to me, any lingering negativity will be washed away by an everlasting appreciation. It takes some longer than others but we all come around.

On behalf of all children, to all parents, step-parents and guardians, who are working tirelessly to create better lives for their loved ones, thank you for the role you play in the world and your family’s lives.

We love you and we couldn’t do it without you ❤️

My mother is my heart. But my stepdad is my role model, the hardest working man I’ve ever known.

Published by Harry Hansford

Australian in Spain with a passion for all things sport, health, fitnes & nature. Go deeper to find out more.

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