“Do you have kids?”
When you are raising someone else’s kids, how do you answer that? Technically, yes. But you can’t always go into detail about your situation nor would you want to, right? Very few people are interested in the gritty details. You either have kids or you don’t. Which is it?
If you are raising someone else’s kids, they may not be yours as in the normal way one has kids, but, in all other ways, yes, you sure do have kids.
And, here’s why.
When someone plays too rough outside and falls off a skateboard, tumbles over a basketball, or skids off a bike, you make sure you are there to wipe the blood, clean the wound, and dry the tears.
… you make sure you are there…
When someone feels beat down after a rough day at school or gets frustrated with a homework assignment, you speak uplifting words and provide encouragement.
When someone has a favorite breakfast, you go out of your way to make sure it is available in the morning.
When someone has interests, goals, and the like, you do what you can to guide their pursuit. You let them explore the things that matter to them.
You brag about them.
When they do well, you praise them.
When they make a poor choice, you correct them.
When a kid gets excited about something, you feel yourself getting excited, too.
You brag about them.
You show up for them.
You sing with them, act goofy, and have your own inside jokes.
You do what you can to not let them down. And, if you ever accidentally do, you beat yourself up for it long past the time they’ve stopped thinking about it.
You make sacrifices to see them smile.
You hug and kiss them goodnight.
And, by all means, you tell them you love them.
All of these things? This is what a good parent does. And, if you find yourself doing them too – then you are the parent of your kids. It doesn’t matter how they came into your care, whether by marriage, a family member, the foster system, etc. Raising a child means showing up and getting your hands dirty.
Raising a child means showing up and getting your hands dirty.
You will have frustrating days. You will probably even get angry. Let’s be honest, you are doing a job that you may not have planned for while that someone else is out pursuing dreams (or something else not as positive). So, if you are the one raising someone else’s kids, you ought to be commended. One day someone is going to thank you for stepping up to the plate when no one else would.
It doesn’t matter who had the darn kids – you raise them as if you did.
Raising someone else’s kids should be no different than raising your own biological children. Moral of the story? It doesn’t matter who had the darn kids – you raise them as if you did. You treat them as if they are yours. And you love the heck out of them.