I wouldn’t know if marrying a single mom is different from marrying a woman without children.I was 24 years old when I married my wife. She was 8 1/2 months pregnant with our first child. She also had a 4 year old daughter and a 5 year old son from a previous relationship. Before I got married, the children were already calling me dad. My daughter was first to say it but it did take my son a little longer to get use to the idea. I never forced them to call me dad. I think it just came naturally for them. I look at it as a sign of respect. They love and trust me enough to give me that title. It wasn’t difficult for me to raise another man’s children because from the moment I knew I wanted to marry their mother, they became my children. The way I looked at it, I fell in love with my wife and knew her 2 children were part of the packaged deal. Those children had been raised by their mother long enough and needed a father figure in their life. I knew that was going to be me. My wife and I have been married for 29 years. In addition to the 2 children she had prior to us getting married, the daughter we had shortly after getting married, we also adopted my wife’s great nephew. I never treated any of my children differently just because they were not biologically mine. My children have always grown up knowing who their biological parents are. However, in our family it’s not the DNA that makes us family but the bond & love we have for each other.
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As a background of my story, I married my wife and her son was 2 years old. Her son instantly became our son from the moment she said I do. From that point forward I have spent my life doing everything that I can to make the both of them happy. One thing that has brought joy to both of them almost equally was little Zach playing soccer. This year, 2015, was Zach’s second year playing and he was more excited than ever to get back on the field. Our first year I was an assistant coach, helping to teach him and his friends the basics of the game I was there from start to finish helping him grow. This year, however, I was unable to help coach due to an intense work schedule. I had to sit by with the rest of the parents cheering my child on with the feeling of no direct impact. With this, I took on the persona of the person I never really understood, the average 'sports dad’.
I was the guy, with 2 to three others by my side, coaching my son from the side lines, telling him to pick up the pace, move left, chase the ball, and 'get in front of it' so energetically that my wife would occasionally just stare at me in awe. 'Calm down’ and 'it's not that serious’ were often muttered, not that I was getting angry but because I was so energetic with everything I said. The whistle blows, time for the kids to get water. My wife opens her arms and expects Zach to run to her, ready to cheer him up after Dad's obnoxious yelling from the side line. 'Come here little man’ I yell, water bottle in my hand waving him towards me. My wife stares in frustration and worry as Zach runs to me. I am sure she is worried how I am about to interact with him, but I am not worried in the least, the only thing on my mind is what I am going to say to my son in that moment. My wife stares, anxiously awaiting for me to speak. I grab my son and pull him in for a hug, 'Good job little man, way to chase the ball. I am very proud of you. Remember to get in front of it when trying to stop it ok' I say as if I hadn't been yelling for the last 15 minutes.
'What was that?’ my wife asks. 'Just 'cause I am yelling to him doesn't mean I am mad. I am excited and I want him to do well’. I smile ‘I am very happy. I am not weird, this is just what dads do’ I let her know and begin to continue the ritual.