Gabrielle Union has opened up about her feelings toward the term "step-parent", calling the label "annoying".
During an interview with Glennon Doyle for her podcast We Can Do Hard Things, the 39-year-old got candid about her experiences parenting with basketball star husband Dwyane Wade, who has three children from previous relationships - Zaire, 19, Zaya, 14, and Xavier, eight - as well as their three-year-old daughter Kaavia.
"The step-parent label was put on me by the kids' school because you have to describe yourself: Who are you if you're not their mother? It's very annoying. It's not a word that I use," she said. "When I first started dating Dwyane, obviously I knew he had children. To this day, I'm kinda like, 'This is wild. You're a single NBA player who got full custody of small children.'"
She continued, "It's not common. So, all of a sudden, it was Monday and we were just this carefree couple. I'd gotten divorced a few years prior and I was enjoying my life. We were fully enjoying all the things. And then on Tuesday, the kids arrived on a dime."
Union explained that following Wade gaining full custody of his children, she became an "additional adult in their life" and wanted to make sure she was "consistent". The actress empathised with how much the kids had already "gone through" and wanted them to get used to her.
"I knew that when I married him, I was married to them," the Bring It On star added. "What I realised very quickly is you will never, ever, I don't care if the other parent is dead, you will never be able to replace the other parent. Don't try to replace the other parent. That is not your job. Your job is to be consistent. If you're a disciplinarian in your own life, continue to be that. Just be consistent so they know who you are... and kids adapt."