So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

When I was two, my parents’ marriage ended.  It was over before I was even born, sadly. He left for other women and another life, living freely without responsibilities. The role of a father was left empty and ultimately fulfilled by my mother for years.   

My mom did find love again after spending time taking care of me and it just being the two of us. I don’t remember when my stepdad walked into my life, I was too little, but I remember how he made me feel. I remember being territorial of my mom, saying not to hug herI was the only one allowed to do this. I remember the fear of anyone new in our lives, but I don’t remember the day it changed.

He slowly became my dad, and I thank him for accepting this challenging role. 

Not only do stepparents make a single parent believe in love and commitment to each other, they simultaneously embrace children as their own. In this case, my stepdad had no experience with children and was thrust into toddlerhood with my mom. I don’t know how he did it, but I know it was fueled by love and a desire to show a little girl that men can and will provide for her and be that prince she so dearly deserves. 

He showed up for everything for me, and he didn’t just show up. He took pictures, brought flowers, took me to dinner after events. He learned to braid my hair, watched Ariel at least a million times and acted just as excited each time Ariel made it to land. Things as silly as fifth-grade talent shows he suffered through—front row, nice suit, and a huge grin. He opened car doors, assisted with homework, and put fear into boyfriends I came home with. When we were low on money, I got the last slice of pizza, a matinee movie, and he always let me have the popcorn to myself.

My stepdad sat next to an open seat reserved for my biological father at my college graduation and made sure the day was special for me, though I was deeply saddened my dad did not show. My stepdad loaded the U-Haul and moved me out of our childhood home, married me off to a wonderful man, and walked me down the aisle with tears in his eyes. 

What I didn’t see behind closed doors was that he struggled to learn to parent a child who wasn’t his own, he fought with my biological father, and was mending the broken heart of my mother for many, many years.  

My stepfather has brought life into the word “daddy” and shown me the deepest, purest form of love there isthat of a father.

My stepdad never thought of me as a burden, I’ve always been an added bonus, and HIS daughter, and you know what? My stepdad is MY father. 

I raise a glass to all the stepparents out there opening their hearts to children and embracing the new role of a mother or father. I know it’s not easy to inherit us, but we love you and are forever grateful for your acceptance and love.

The Stepfamily Handbook is one of our favorite tools for navigating the roller coaster of building a blended family.

Recommendations in this post contain affiliate links. Her View From Home may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase.

Jennifer Bailey

Stay at home mom enjoying one little boy and navigating parenting one trip to Target at a time.

Jesus of the Rock Bottom Rescue

In: Faith, Living
Sad woman sitting on floor

Have you ever hit rock bottom? I have and it was the scariest place I’ve ever been but that’s where I found Jesus. Where I truly encounter the Holy Spirit and the healing power and life He can give. I was raised in a Christian home by good parents that would have given their lives for me. I was raised in the church and loved by my church family. I enjoyed going to church as a child and I loved Jesus my whole life. At the age of 8 years old I asked Jesus into my heart and was baptized....

Keep Reading

I’m Done Feeling Guilty for Struggling with My Mental Health

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman walking down a sunny road

My mental health hasn’t been great for the past week. I couldn’t put my finger on what was going on, I just knew I was struggling. My whole body felt like I was squeezing, holding in the building tension of life, trying not to burst on innocent bystanders in my path. It took me days to finally clue in that it was my anxiety, a handful of little things combining to create a perfect storm. The endless cycle of sickness hitting my family, parenting pressure, and pain from past trauma. In retrospect, I guess it wasn’t little things at all,...

Keep Reading

Even as an Adult, It’s Hard When Friends Move Away

In: Friendship
Woman looking out car window

I grew up in an anomaly of a small town where no one moved away. Seriously, I can count on one hand the number of friends who left during my childhood. Granted, most of us hightailed it out of that one-stoplight town as soon as we had our high school diplomas in our hands, but I’ll forever be grateful for the friendships I made there. It never occurred to me how much it would hurt down the road when, as an adult, my friends would move away. RELATED: The Heartache When Your Friend Tells You She’s Moving I remember reading...

Keep Reading

Setting Boundaries Has Side Effects No One Talks About

In: Living
Family walking away

I cut off my brother a few months ago. Easter Sunday, to be exact. It wasn’t something I wanted to do, but it was a choice I had to make for my sanity, for my family, for our peace. If I’m being honest, it was something I should have done long ago, but I’ve never been one to rock the boat. I typically avoid confrontation at all costs, but that particular day was the straw that broke the camel’s back and forced me to take action. I was prepared for the anger. I was prepared to feel uncomfortable. I was...

Keep Reading

A Mother/Daughter Bond Should Be Unbreakable, but Sometimes It Isn’t

In: Grown Children, Living
Frowning woman holding phone

It’s OK to grieve your absent parents while they’re still alive. I see so many articles or well-meaning posts from people who had beautiful relationships with their parents and are now grieving their loss. It’s amazing to read about such incredible parent-child relationships, but it also usually comes with guilt for me. “Call your mom, I wish I still could.” Yeah, me too, I want to say. I stare at my phone, my finger hovering over her name, and sigh. I let the screen go black instead. My birth mother is alive and well but I chose to end my...

Keep Reading

My Grandma Doesn’t Remember Me but I Visit Anyway

In: Living
Elderly woman embracing young bride

Today I went to see my grandma in the memory care facility she now calls home. Visits now are nothing like they used to be at her house. There is no kitchen stocked with my favorite snacks or comfortable room of my own with a fold-out bed stacked with hand-sewn quilts. It’s just her, an armchair, and a twin-sized bed that creaks up and down with a remote control so she can be bathed and dressed in the optimal position. But her face lights up when she sees me and her small body relaxes into me when I hug her. ...

Keep Reading

“Yours From the First Moment I Saw You.” Read the Tributes To Olivia Newton-John That Have Us Tearing Up

In: News
Olivia Newton-John Instagram photo

“Tell me about it . . . stud.” I’ll never forget the iconic ending scene of “Grease” when the camera pans from the shocked face of John Travolta as bad-boy Danny Zuko to his high school sweetheart, Sandy, who has literally transformed from an innocent transfer student into a leather-clad cool chick, complete with massive perm and sky-high heels. In the starring role of one of the most successful movie musicals ever made, beauty icon Olivia Newton-John stole America’s heart and never looked back over the course of an awe-inspiring five-decade career, which included both movies and musical hits like...

Keep Reading

The Rollercoaster of Foster Care and Adoption

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother daughter photo on beach

After spending most of their childhoods in foster care, Addy and her brother Dominick had never been to a birthday party or down a water slide. They missed out on many childhood staples, but it was the least of their concerns. Addy was riddled with anxiety and panic attacks—crippled with fear that she would age out of the system before getting adopted. She carried a backpack full of anxiety fidgets to cope with her uncertain years in foster care. She had such a bad case of TMJ that the kids at school mocked her for adjusting her jaw every ten...

Keep Reading

While I Wait for Another Door to Open, I’ll Hold One For Someone Else

In: Faith, Living
Woman teaching another woman by computer

I’m waiting for another door. All my life, I’ve been told that when God closes one door, He opens another. And here I am, staring at the imminent end of the business I’ve built from nothing. Closing down what I started up from sheer willpower, too much caffeine, and the bold determination to work for myself. Scratching out what I made from scratch . . . and it feels horrible. God didn’t just close this door. He slammed it shut, boarded the whole thing up, and hammered the nails in where I cannot pry them open. Believe me. I’ve tried....

Keep Reading

The Pain of Loving an Addict and the Power of Love

In: Living
Couple embracing in hallway

Mental health is no joke. Addiction is no joke. In my experience, these things go hand in hand. People often turn to things like alcohol and drugs when they are looking for an escape from reality. And people with certain mental health struggles are more prone to addictions than people without. These behaviors are a cry for help. They are not attention seeking. They are not purposely trying to hurt the people in their life. They are saying in the only way they can they are drowning and they need a lifeboat. And it is hard on everyone involved. Having...

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.