Why Having Four Parents Is Bloody Fantastic

Step parents bring added joy into your life in the form of additional families. Obviously in some cases this can go awry and people don't always get on, but I've been lucky in the fact that I can count my step-parent's families as my own. They're all wonderful.

When I was five, my parents divorced.

I can't really remember much about it, except for that all of a sudden my dad wasn't living with us any more, my mum was working tonnes, I was at my childminder's a lot, and that was that.

My weekends would be spent hopping between two houses. One weekend I'd be at home (my mum's house, which is where I lived), and the other weekend I'd be at dad's. But then my dad would sometimes pick me up from school too, so I like to think I was "shared" evenly between the two throughout my childhood.

Where some youngsters might have found it to be an awful experience, I didn't mind. In fact, it was quite exciting getting to flit between two houses - and there seemed to be lots of new people coming into our lives too, including my step-dad and step-mum.

Since then, almost twenty years have passed and both of my parents have found new partners, re-married and built happier lives. They've both found people they're more suited to and you know what?

I couldn't be happier for them - all four of them.

Celebrating my graduation with me.

(From left to right: mum, step dad, dad, step mum)

There are some, who, when their parents divorce, think it's the end of the world. Like literally life as we know it is about to implode. I can relate that the older you get, the more upsetting it is when your stable family unit starts to unravel. And I can understand why a lot of teenagers, who are already going through turbulent times trying to get to grips with their fluctuating hormones, are particular affected by divorce.

But the thing is, if someone isn't happy in a relationship then that's the way it is. It would be selfish and unfair to expect two people to act like they love one another still and to stay together - just for your benefit.

I seemed to understand this from a young age. In fact it's always been the clearest thing in my mind, so I embraced having four parents and haven't looked back since. For those who still need a little more persuading, here's why having four parents is awesome:

You become a well-rounded person

After all, growing up around four different personalities means a lot of different traits and skills rub off on you. You get a more balanced view of the world, because lots of different viewpoints are being fed to you from an early age and you can make your own choices based upon that.

There's always someone there for you

Having four parents also means that usually, there will always be someone there for you during the tougher times. When I wrote my car off a week after I'd passed my driving test (I managed to crash into a lamppost at 15mph - impressive, huh?), my mum and step-dad were away in Wales. My dad and step-mum were around, thankfully, so they came to rescue the emotional 17-year-old wreck that I was.

Similarly, when my ex-boyfriend and I split at Christmas and my mum and step-dad were in Australia (there's definitely a pattern here), my dad and step-mum were around to pick up the pieces. And that's how it's always been.

Being an only child can be pretty tough sometimes, because you don't have siblings that you can confide in or to help you through the harder times. In some ways, my four parents fill that void.

You get more presents

I'd be lying if I said this wasn't true. Some people even get two bedrooms (greedy).

You get a lot of life advice

Being bombarded by wisdom and advice from all angles can be a real help when you've come to a major crossroads in your life - whether this is an educational choice, career choice or relationship change. When I was unsure about what to study at university, I spoke to all four of my parents about it and their wealth of advice and life experience definitely helped me to make a well-informed decision.

Your family grows

Step parents bring added joy into your life in the form of additional families. Obviously in some cases this can go awry and people don't always get on, but I've been lucky in the fact that I can count my step-parent's families as my own. They're all wonderful.

My step-dad has a daughter from a previous marriage who I now count as my sister. Her own daughter, who is five years old, I count as my niece. These amazing additions in my life wouldn't have even been possible if my parents hadn't divorced. And hey, if I ever have kids, they'll have cousins - which never would've been possible before (#onlychildproblems and all that).

To summarise, having four parents is amazing. And I wouldn't change it for the world.

In my eyes, I have two mums and two dads. And when (if it happens) I do one day decided to get hitched I wouldn't choose between my dad and step dad to walk me down the aisle. In fact, I'd want them both to do it. They've both been instrumental in shaping the person I am today. So why shouldn't they share the moment together?

HuffPost UK Lifestyle are running a month-long campaign called Celebrating Parents throughout June, to highlight the great things parents do every day, as well as the times they've gone above and beyond the call of duty.

If you would like to contribute, either with a special message of thanks to your mum and/or dad, or if you know of a parent (your own or someone else's) with an inspiring story to share, then please email us here with "Celebrating Parents" in your email's subject line.

Before You Go

Go To Homepage