"Not your kids, not your problem"
"Do you realize you are just helping people who are never going to appreciate what you are doing?"
"Let their mother figure out what to do with them"
"Your kid comes first"
"You are never going to get ahead in life if you continue in this relationship"
"Just leave them all and come live with me"
I'm sure there is more but these are the constants. Being in a blended family/step-family, whatever you want to call it, is difficult enough without unnecessary comments. I mean, we are 2 adults and 3 children trying to make something work that has a 60% failure rate. You would think that my family members would be supportive but nope, not them. Sometimes, I think back to see if there was something I said that bothered someone along the way but I didn't. I made a choice, a choice I am happy with. I've actually made many choices I am happy with. Our family life isn't always rainbows and sunshine but I am happy. I am happy as a mom of three (every child is the same to me). I am happy getting to spend summer vacation with all three. I am happy that we talk and laugh and love fiercely.
My choice of partner is widely criticized. Here is a man who has overcome many obstacles in life to be a college graduate, great father, loyal partner and incredible step-father. Above anything else, the incredible step-father part should be immensely appreciated by my family. Adrian is tough, extremely jealous and stubborn and JC has stepped up to the plate and parented him just like he does his biological children. He has been Adrian's father for the past five years. Has my family even whispered a thank you? Nope!
Nine years ago, I made the decision to become a single mother. It wasn't the smartest decision on my part but it was a decision I made. Five years ago, I decided to take a leap into a relationship with a man who had two small children. I have no regrets about this decision. I love my family. Sure we don't look alike or share the same genes but that doesn't make us any less of a family. We are a tight unit. I love each and everyone of them and I do this for me. It brings me great joy to be able to raise a family with JC and I know people will always criticize. I just wish it wouldn't be my family.