Even though I have not been a legally engaged stepdad for almost three years, I still worry about my kids. I still wonder if they are upset about something that happened at school. I still wonder if they need help with homework. I still want them to go to the doctor and dentist, just like my parents did after I moved out.
I know their parents take care of them adequately. But I know I put them first whenever I could for five and a half years. And I believe that it takes a village to raise a child. I also believe that continuity is healthy.
When a step parent divorces they are considered free of this responsibility. And if the step parent wants to help their kids because that's what they have devoted the last five years of their life to, their previous commitments are considered irrelevant unless they can prove the biological parents are bad parents. It doesn't matter how much the step parent benefited the step child. It only matters how the biological parents feel about the child's relationship with the parent.
I think that the best interests of the child and who has been caring for the child and that visitation requests by step parents should not be an opositional approach. Instead, safety and continuity should be the first consideration.
Where does the child live?
Can their housing and schooling locations be continued?
Who is responsible for the child's education?
How will that best be achieved? Who does the most care?
When you take care of kids they take up your time
Working and planning to make sure things work out alright
Because they're depending on what you decide to get it right.
From early in the morning to late at night.
So many details you got to get right
Hoping that you get them to the bus on time.
And waving at them till the bus pulls out of sight.
When you can't see the kids, You don't feel right.
You toss and you turn and you wonder if they're alright.
You hope they're always treated right by everyone.
When you can't see the ones that you took care of
Day and night gave all your love
What do you do with your dedication
In that situation.
When you feel like a part of you has died
Because the biggest part of your life has been denied