When the word “Blended” is used to describe a family what does that really mean? Why is it still necessary to use special titles to describe what is obvious. Are labels just a convenient way to perpetuate prejudice? Like for real, what are all the labels really about? I was dropping off my girls this morning, and saw a poster board of pics with kids and their “male protectors” (I’m being sarcastic!). But the caption on the poster board stated “Watch Dogs” at the top, and at the bottom of it stated “Dads, Step-Dads, Granddads, and Male Mentors.” I was like really? It made me think what is wrong with just being someones “Dad” or someones “Momz?” Why is it necessary in today’s world to have all these labels? Especially given the fact that families today are just a transient as the whether! If we can be honest, and let go of our need for significance, just because you have a biological child and have been appointed Dad or Mom doesn’t grant you anything but a TITLE! If you’re no longer significantly active in that child’s life, it’s quite possible that the child is being raised, taught, and cared for by someone else. The person that is “functioning” in the child’s life like a Dad or Momz has just as much right to the TITLE as the biological parent! To me, parents who want to “protect” their title, are more concerned with their own significance than the actual work of parenting.
Parenting is about relationships. You can’t effectively parent any child you don’t have a true meaningful relationship with. The kindred connection that is developed between the child and parent is paramount to the stability of that child’s existence. When you provide substantive parenting, you are investing nutrients to build that child’s life. There is no replacement for proximity in parenting. Either you are there active in the child’s life or you’re not. You can’t duplicate teachable moments. You can’t recreate time to instill discipline and life principles. There is no surrogate parenting so that you can vicariously instill your brand of fatherhood or motherhood. You can’t be in 2 places at one time. That’s life! There is no “Matrix” to raise a family in that will give anyone the ability to actively parent a child across time and distance. The title of Dad or Momz isn’t lost because of the biological parents absence. That’s not the issue here, but it’s the gaining of a Dad or Momz and the title being withheld because of society’s need to divide through “labels.”
There is nothing wrong with a child having more than one momz, or dad. If people could ever get out of their own emotions, and accept the fact that they don’t literally “own” their kids, then people could embrace someone else being “Daddy” or “Mommy.” The goal is to raise that child in a loving, nurturing environment, so that the child can reach their highest potential in life. “So what now?!” If that’s truly the goal, and another “person” is helping your kid reach that goal, why can’t that child call that custodial parent Mom or Dad? What is truly the real problem, when it’s the child that is being “positively” impacted in a healthy loving environment? The only problem I see is an ego that is bruised by the potential of no longer being valued.
As parents we all know that we have to continually build value with our kids. There are no “givens” in parenting. You have to intentionally build meaningful relationships with your kids. That’s our responsibility as parents. No one is entitled to anything when it comes to parenting. So the title doesn’t denote anything, but the function and space you hold in the child’s life. So if that’s really the case, then why are we calling families with loving parenting partners “Blended?” Seriously, who gets into a life situation with a person with kids, and don’t expect to be a parent on some level. It’s ridiculous to think that a man or woman who is living with a partner that have kids, and don’t function in some capacity as a Dad or Momz. Just because you didn’t give “seed” or “birth” the child doesn’t mean that you’re any less of a Dad or Momz. It’s really not even debatable. It’s just that so many people love their traditional “ideas” (that they don’t even live by), but want other people to abide and conform to while investing minimal personal contribution. And society supports this non-sense by acknowledge these silly titles to perpetuate division and prejudice. So it begs the question, are we Blended or Nah?! I personally say we’re simply families in a world that doesn’t know how to accept nor deal with change.