My family is what most people call a blended family. I married my husband almost seven years ago, and when we met I had a child from a previous relationship, a daughter (now nine) who my husband loves like his own kid. We went on to have two kids together, my 5-year-old daughter and my 3-year-old son.
It worked for us then and it works for us now, but this isn’t always satisfying for the teeming masses, yearning to
breathe free stay all up in my biznezz. Over the past seven years I’ve heard all kinds of crap from people. Some of it, while lame, comes from a place of genuine concern or curiosity. Other things are pure and unadulterated bullshit. All of it is annoying as fuck.
1. “Does your daughter see her ‘real’ dad?”
This goes for sons and mothers also, obviously. The way I see it, the parents in the home are just as much a “real” parent as anyone else. What bothers me the most is the underlying insinuation that the stepparent isn’t a legitimate as the biological parents. My answer to this is usually “Why, yes! Not that it’s any of your business!” Or sometimes “Oh No! The street we snatched her off of is much too far away.”
2. “This whole ‘Situation’ must be SO hard on the kids.”
This one would almost be understandable if I had just jumped into another relationship a week after splitting from my ex, which I didn’t. We thought long and hard about each step of our relationship and, in the end, did what I believe was right for everyone involved. I think the only person confused in this scenario is the dip-wad asking this question.
3. “I would have stayed together for the kids.”
I’ve gotten some variation of this at least a few times a year, usually from older folks. You might argue that they come from a different generation. The thing is, my ex and I split amicably. There wasn’t a nasty divorce, but even if there had been, we did what was right for us AND our daughter. In my unique circumstances, I don’t think my daughter would have benefited from “staying together for the kids.”
4.”Good thing you found yourself another husband/wife.”
No. Just…no. I could get all “Nuh Uh, I don’t need no man!” on you, but I won’t. Because it’s obvious. Sometimes this particular phrase comes coupled with a bunch of anecdata about how kids from single parents end up doing drugs/stealing cars/turning into werewolves, etc. Again, just…no.
5. “Are you sure this is best for your kids?”
This loaded question is a favorite among concern trolls who want to mask their judgement in false worry. It seems especially popular with people who treat every blended family mom like the stereotypical single mom harpy who brings randos by and tells her kids to call him “Uncle Jimmy.”
6. “At least you found a partner willing to look beyond your past.”
This is said in a hushed tone, like we’re discussing my former career as a drug mule. Having a kid and getting divorced doesn’t mean I have a “past,” at least not in a negative way. My daughter is not baggage. Having an STD would be baggage. Being Chris Brown is baggage. My daughter is awesome.
7. “Won’t you be embarrassed to have two different kids from two different people?”
This one came from a close friend who claimed her “cousin” said it, but it was an obvious judgement from her. And at the time (this was before my son was born) I was really hurt, and YES, embarrassed. Until I realized that this judgey dig was more about HER hangups and had nothing to do with me.
8. “Does your husband/wife plan on adopting her?”
My daughter has a biological father who is active in her life (and all of the people who have asked me this know that). So no, we aren’t going to uproot that idea by having her stepdad (who she loves very much) adopt her. This is often coupled with “Why didn’t you take your husband’s name” (which could be a whole piece, but I digress), which brings me to…
9. “I wouldn’t feel like a real family unless we all had the same last name.”
Well, pin a rose on your god damn nose, aren’t you just something? If something as insignificant as your last name would keep you from feeling like a family then that’s sad and pathetic. I get this a lot when I tell people that I kept my last name, which means there are three last names floating around in the house. And we like it that way.
10. “I hope he/she pays child support.”
This one combines two of my least favorite things. Being nosy and talking about money in public (SO TACKY). I usually won’t dignify it with an answer, but sometimes, when I’m feeling salty, I will ask them about their hemorrhoids/ladybits/vaginas. One rude question deserves another.
11. “Are you afraid your ex-partner will remarry?”
I think most divorced people would agree, your ex remarrying is often a relief. Even if you were the divorcee and not the divorcer this can be true. It’s the marker of a new beginning for both parties. My ex remarried before I did, so I’m guessing he got this more than I did. I would get…
12. “Are you jealous of his/her new partner?”
Oh yes, because I went through the entire process of splitting up and meeting a new dude so I could sweat on his new girl. Because that makes so much sense. There is a reason we split up.