Gripes & Graplings

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Step Fathers Are Important People, Too!

So it's Father's Day again. And once again my daughter wanted to get a card that said "To my Step-father" rather than to "Dad" or "My Father" but do you think she could find one?

We looked in three shops, one of which had a huge selection, but not one lousy Step-Father card did we find!

With the divorce rate as high as it is these days and lots of second-marriages, surely there are almost just as many children living with a step-parent as there are living with both their natural parents? So why make it so difficult for those kids to show they appreciate what their step-father's done for them throughout the year? In some cases, it may even be more important than showing gratitude to a father because a step-father's job can be far more difficult. They have to cope with kids who don't want a step-parent in their lives, who see them as a threat to their parents ever getting back together again, and whereas a father has a legal responsibility to care for his kids, a step-father doesn't, and yet many (most?) still do. They clear up their vomit if they're sick in the night, hold their hands when they're scared, and help them with their algebra homework. All of this should be celebrated, surely?

Richard tells me he saw lots of step-father cards in the shop next to the post-office (you know the one I mean, don't you?) but that place must be an exception in this town. LM was quite peeved at not being able to get one and had to settle for something neutral in the end. A funny one that she thought Richard would appreciate.

I know it shouldn't matter, that it's just a card, but for the kids who want to show their appreciation to their step-fathers along the same lines as they'd show it to their fathers (and remember that a lot of them have fathers who show little or no interest in them), it can be quite an issue. Isn't it enough that they live in an 'untraditional' family unit, without having it rubbed in by the card industry?


PS: Spent the morning at the boot market. Couldn't find a pair anywhere!


  • What about "the bloke mum lived with for a couple of months in 1997" card?
    Or "You might be my father - mum was a bit pissed" card?
    I can see a big business opportunity here.

    hesmypzb - undefined relationship.

    By Blogger Vicus Scurra, at 18/6/06 18:59  

  • LOL. Yes, those are very definitely possibilities, especially in areas where local authorities provide the accommodation, but I think Wilkos might have trouble finding room for them all on their card rack.

    I do actually know a woman who once sent a card that read "Your name's on my birth certificate so I thought I'd send a card".

    By Anonymous Sharon J, at 18/6/06 23:46  

  • I never said a kind word to my stepfather the whole of his life. Then he died and I thought, poor old fucker, it wasn't his fault really, he just married my Mum and got my Dad kicked out.
    I was 10 when it happened and I was 25 when I let it go.

    By Blogger tom909, at 23/6/06 11:33  

  • Hmm... not sure about the "got my dad kicked out" bit. Surely it was your mum who did that? And surely she wouldn't have if they'd been happy?

    I'm glad you didn't spend the rest of your life hating your stepfather. I think most kids find it difficult to accept a new person in a parent type role but most come around in the end. My daughter really didn't like Richard to start with, but she can see now how good he's been to us and how he stuck by me when most men would have run a mile. She still finds it difficult to see him as a parent, but then Richard's never pushed himself into a parenting role. Things have gradually worked themselves out :)

    By Blogger Sharon J, at 25/6/06 12:39  

  • Hi Sharon

    Thanks for visiting my blog and for your comment. I tried to get into your writing blog, but couldn't gain access. Glad to see you're a writer too.

    As for the stepfather card dilemma I think you've raised a reasonable question. In a world so full of conflict it's good to hear your daughter and her stepfather get along fine.

    By Blogger Audrey (aka Amethyst), at 25/6/06 19:30  

  • Ah, yes. I was messing around with it a while ago so I guess that's why you couldn't get it. Must learn to keep my fingers out of the works :)

    By Anonymous Shron J, at 25/6/06 19:42  

  • I started googling topics that were about set fathers and stumbeled upon this one. Great minds think alike. Same title, same centiment.

    By Anonymous cheryl Bowman, at 4/9/11 23:58  

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