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Gabrielle Union is tired of being called a stepmom.
During a recent appearance on the "We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle" podcast, the 49-year-old opened up about feeling irritated when she is referred to as a "stepparent."
The "Bring It On" star shares a three-year-old daughter, Kaavia, with her husband, Dwayne Wade, who also has three other children from a previous marriage: Zaire, 19, Zaya, 14 and Xavier, 8.
Union explained that she was initially dubbed a "stepmom" by the children's school.
“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 say that the close relationship she has with Wade's other children was something that was carefully developed over time.
“I wanted to make sure I was consistent in their lives,” she recalled. “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."
Union said she was conscious that Wade's children were still coping with their parents' divorce, even when the pair began dating in 2018.
"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," she explained. "I just didn’t know what my role was...I knew that when I married him, I was married to them."
According Union, even though it was never her intention, she learned it would be impossible for her to replace their mother.
“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," she said. "If you’re a disciplinarian in your own life, continue to be that. Just be consistent so they know who you are."