Words carry a lot of weight. I know we’re living in times where it’s hard to say anything without offending someone, but in our house we try to control the controllables. We’re forever navigating life as a blended family and there’s a lot of touchy ground. I personally despise the term “step-parent,” especially when that person is completely involved and loves their spouse’s child. In my opinion, it just creates a wedge in already murky waters. So we’ve always subscribed to term “bonus dad,” but now? Even that seems distant. Our child just has a mom and two dads, and that’s been completely on his terms.
Since I’ve been remarried, we’ve had two more kids and the words “half-brother” or “half-sister” haven’t been uttered at all. Why? Because it’s a wedge and creates a label that’s different from what society deems the norm, and I don’t like any ideas or stereotypes that could possibly go along with that. Nor do I want any of my children feeling different. The blended family situation is complicated enough, and we certainly don’t need to add to it.
I haven’t had any experience where the half-sibling term has been used, but maybe I just don’t give anyone the option to use it. Also, frankly, it just helps that we all kinda look alike.
But what about the families who don’t? I hate the thought of going through life to have your relationship with your sibling reduced to just … half. I know there are circumstances where others may feel the need to use the “half-sibling” words, but it just doesn’t fit in our family trajectory.
In this context, family doesn’t have stipulations. A brother is just that, a brother! No other explanation. You can have a whole family, half-siblings or not.