Parenting, What Makes A Parent, Step Parents and Daughters

What Makes a Parent?

There is a really easy answer to this question…and the answer is Love. Love makes a parent, not blood or biology. Children, like my own daughter, are incredibly lucky because they do not just have the unbreakable love of their blood relatives and parents but also that of another family. A family that has been blended into their lives through circumstance.

Adam is very much a step father to my daughter. No, we’re not married, so legally he has no obligation to my child. However, Adam has been an absolute constant in my daughters life since 11th Janaury 2013 and very much a part of our family from moving in with us on 1st June 2013. Since he made the choice to live with us and after months of building up a relationship with my child, he has been every single bit a parent as I have.

There isn’t any point listing the financial pressure this put on him at twenty two years old, almost four years ago, because that’s a bit obvious, isn’t it? When you live with someone, regardless of children, you have a financial obligation to the home. So not counting all the school trips, clothes, food, rent, bills, electric, days out, holidays, plasters, calpol, sweets, cinema trips, picnics and toys that have been bought I’m going to tell you about the times when Adam has been a parent.

Unfortunately for him he had to learn to change a nappy without me to hold his hand. He didn’t know what he was doing but I was at work. However, it’s a parents responsibility to keep a child clean. He just did it because that’s what parents do. He probably didn’t want to be in on the potty training either, but do you know what he did when he came home from work? He lifted her, sat her on the toilet, and if she’d had an accident, he cleaned it up and sorted it out. Isn’t that what a parent does? Isn’t that what a dad does?

He hasn’t been afraid to take her to the loo on car journeys, find a good bush if she’s been desperate, and help her clean herself up if she’s needed the help. He didn’t take shortcuts. Instead of telling her she needed to be in pull ups at night and when travelling, completely messing up the consistency it takes when toilet training a child, and forcing her to have embarrassing accidents because she was so confused. He just did what he thought he should do as a parent. He helped support my decisions and he went with it rather than trying to build up a wall against my decisions because he was lazy.

And bath time, oh gosh, that’s been an experience too! My daughter has the longest hair, almost to her bottom, and he has sat there in the bathroom and washed it for her. Making sure no soap gets in the eyes. Laughing with her. Trying to make it fun because she hates having her hair washed. He has sat their with a hair dryer because she hates the feel of wet hair on her back. Surely thats what a parent does, step or otherwise?

He has walked her hand in hand safely across roads to and from nursery, and now to and from school. He has been involved in parents evenings, nursery one to ones, read her report with pride. He has attended her Christmas performances, sports days and met each new teacher. He has taken time off work to attend these meetings, sacrificing his scarce annual leave so he could watch, listen and cheer her on. Isn’t that what a parent does?

Whilst I have always lead the way in disciplining my daughter, he has helped me and supported me with every method we can think of. He has helped with reward charts, pocket money, park visits and he has stuck by me when her attitude is not as positive as I would like. She listens to him, she respects him and she does what both of us tell her. Isn’t this what parenting is all about?

There have been times when my daughter has woken late at night, just as Adam has got home from work, and he has given her cuddles, tucked her back into bed and read her a happy story. He has held her hand when she’s been so sad. He has listened and encouraged her school reading, worked with her on her homework and basically done every single little thing a parent does for a child.

Rather than letting any petty jealous emotions get to you maybe you should think about a few things when it comes to the step parent in a child’s life. No, we’re not married right now, but we will be. We will have children together and we will celebrate that we will have a larger family. We have built an incredibly strong, happy and supportive relationship and family home over the last few years. Pretty much every parenting choice that has happened since Adam came into my daughters life, he has known about, supported and encouraged. He has been there for her too. He will always be a father figure to her. He isn’t her father, my daughter knows exactly who her dad is, and she is incredibly lucky to have the love of three parents.


  1. This is so lovely. Rob’s really good with Emma. He does loads of nice parenty stuff with her, he even made her a treasure map to find in the garden. He coffee stained it and burned the edges and everything bless him!

  2. Brilliant post. My older children’s biological father has nothing to do with them (including refusing child support, don’t get me started!). They are incredibly lucky that my new partner loves being their dad and treats them the same as our child together. I know step parents gets a bad press but often they do an amazing job as we both know. Good luck in your future together #stayclassymama

    1. Author

      Ah thank you so much! I’m so glad to read you have a loving supportive partner that is treating your children as family!

  3. What a beautiful love letter to your partner as a dad! You’re right, your daughter is very lucky to have three parents who love her so much.

  4. This is such a lovely, positive read, and highlights that when everyone involved in a child’s life behaves like an adult and puts their own negative feelings aside, the child ultimately gains so much from that!!! I love this, what a great post #abogginggoodtime

  5. What a lovely post! He sounds like a pretty amazing parent to me and you all sound like such a lovely family to be a part of. Your daughter is so lucky to have three loving parents in her life. Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  6. “What Makes a Parent?
    There is a really easy answer to this question…and the answer is Love.” Couldn’t agree more!Thank you for linking up such a fab post to #ablogginggoodtime

  7. This is a beautiful post. It definitely takes a special kind of person to take on this role. I’ve seen my friend do it perfectly, just like Adam. And sadly I’ve witnessed my husbands friend do it the wrong way and it makes me sad at times. Your daughter is incredibly lucky to have you both. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x

  8. Wow he sounds like an amazing step dad. I totally agree with you being a parent means giving them unconditional love and doing things for them you may not want to do but you know it’s right. Thanks so much for sharing with #StayClassyMama!

  9. Gorgeous post and I totally agree that love or should I say total unconditional love is what makes a parent. Adam sounds like a great guy and an amazing partner and step dad. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama xx

  10. This is so lovely! It’s wonderful that your partner has embraced his step father role, that your daughter has built such a strong relationship with him and that you acknowledge and appreciate it. There is arguably something more special about a step parent / child relationship because there isn’t any obligation for a relationship. It’s all just done through love! Your daughter is very lucky indeed xx #Sharingthebloglove

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.