Respecting ALL Parents

Stitch Edited

“This is my family. I found it, all on my own. Is little, and broken, but still good.”

~Stitch

I am a complete dork because I cry every time I watch this scene.  For those of you who haven’t seen it, Stitch finally realizes that he has found his family.  Despite its small size and its societal “brokenness”, he is happy.

We too can learn something from this little, but fierce cartoon alien.  We are often told how families are supposed to work and how they are supposed to look.  Well, life doesn’t give us little gift wrapped family units anymore than a stork dropped off our clean, swaddled infants like in the movie, Dumbo.  Wouldn’t that be convenient?

I was once a step-mother.  While it had its challenges, her mother, was the biggest challenge.  Everything my ex and I did was wrong and she would constantly tell us how to take care of “her daughter”.  I was even called and giving bathing instructions…..for a 2 year-old….who could swim.  I promised myself that if I EVER ended up on the other end of this relationship, I would treat my child(ren)’s step-mother with respect.

My ex is now remarried.  The girls have 3 parents and they are “our” children not “my” children.  Last time I checked, they are not in fact, the immaculate conception so they were never just “my” children.  Moreover, I completely agree that it takes a village and I love that the girls have more people who love them.

Each of us offers something.  Each of us love them unconditionally.  They have a parent for every need.  While they may go to one for one thing, they may prefer another for something else.  Remember that loving someone else does not diminish your position as their parent nor their capacity to love you.

With this marriage comes extended family as well.  As someone who doesn’t have a ton of family to offer, the girls suddenly getting another set of grandparents was a wonderful addition.  As we say often in this house, family is family no matter how you come by it.

As parents, we often forget that your children have a relationship with others outside of their relationship with you.  We forget that they can love more people and still love you.  We forget that we all need a break and having 2-4 parents is far better than playing the martyr.  Respect all the parents in your child(ren)’s lives because parenting is hard and they all sure as hell deserve it.