I'm 26 years old and live with my mother who is a single mother. She adopted two children as newborns who are now 5 years old. My mom has recently started working outside the home so now I even get them up and ready for school in the mornings when she is gone and take them to school and pick them up from school. I feel like I fulfill the role of a father figure. I teach them things, I comfort them, I discipline them.
I sometimes feel conflicted and depressed about not being their father. Especially around father's day. Many people approach me when I am out with them in public or when I take them to the doctors and stuff calling me their dad and it makes me feel bad to say I'm not their dad.
Even the other day when I was picking them up from kindergarten (can't believe they are in school already) another child's father approached me asking if I was my brother's father because he wanted to set up a playdate for the boys... I'm starting to feel really conflicted about it. Because I feel like I am their dad, I fulfill the role in their lives but then I have to tell everyone I'm not their dad and I feel like I can't get any recognition for fulfilling that role because I am "just a brother".
It's come to the point now that I almost want to move out and move away so I won't be their "stand in" father anymore because it depresses me. I just don't know what to do.
I just want peoples' opinions. Has anyone else ever been in this situation?