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    Gabrielle Union Says The Term "Stepparent" Is "Annoying" And Explained Why She Doesn't Use The Term

    "It's not a word that I use."

    You probably know Gabrielle Union shares a child, Kaavia, with Dwyane Wade — and that Wade also has three children from a previous relationship.

    Union smiles for a photo at an event
    Lisa O'connor / AFP via Getty Images

    In a recent appearance on the We Can Do Hard Things With Glennon Doyle podcast, Union explained why she doesn't like the term "stepparent" or "stepmom" to refer to the relationship that she has with Wade's children.

    “The stepparent label was put on me by the kids’ school because you have to describe yourself: Who are you if you’re not their mother?" she explained. "It’s very annoying. It’s not a word that I use.”

    Union went on to explain how she developed a relationship with Wade's three children — Zaire, Zaya, and Xavier — since they started dating in 2008. “I wanted to make sure I was consistent in their lives,” she said. “Whatever personality I was trying on that day, or whoever I was, I just needed to be consistent so they can get used to me."

    "They’ve already gone through so much upheaval, moving states away, not knowing anyone, having gone through a divorce. I knew I needed to be consistent. I just didn’t know what my role was.”

    “I knew that when I married him, I was married to them,” she continued. “What I realized 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."

    "If you’re a disciplinarian in your own life, continue to be that. Just be consistent so they know who you are."

    Listen to the entire interview here.