After taking some time off from such a trying time in my life, I’M BACK. I decided to jump right in and talk about STEPparenting. Yes, I know this is a touchy sensitive topic, but I felt that this needs to be a conversation. Ladies, are you a stepmom? Do you have stepparents? Or, in a co-parenting arrangement with your ex and your child has a stepparent? 

Personally, I have a stepson and I’ve been in his life since his first birthday (he is now 12 years old and I am so proud of him). He was gifted to me on September 7, 2012 when I married my husband. I also am a product of a coparenting arrangement and I have a stepmother and a stepfather. They have both contributed to who I am today, and I would not have it any other way. Since I feel like I have the lifestyle to back up what I am saying I am just going to jump right in.

Recently I came across an article from Parenthood & America by Beverly bliss, PhD, she did an article on stepfamilies in the United States. According to Beverly Bliss, about half of the 60 million children under the age of 13 and this country are currently living with one biological parent and the parent’s current spouse”. That is a lot, especially knowing that was NOT our original plan when we conceived our little bundles of joy. 

According to the stepfamily foundation most families have shifted from the biological bonded mother & father and child we are in a nation in which most families are divorced. Most remarry or form living together relationships such as:

  • Divorce with children, the children reside with one parent and visit the other parent. Most are dating or looking for new partners.
  • Remarried, we couple, living together, with his and/or her children, he/she in the role of stepparent.
  • Single mothers, recovered, dating and alone.
  • Divorced dad, these days generally just visit their children. Often, they are re-coupled, bringing a stepmother figure inside their children’s life.
  • Lesbian & or gay couples with children from prior relationships.

I would love to know what you ladies think, how do you feel about your child’s stepmom? Do you have a relationship with her? And how do you feel about your current spouse having a relationship with your ex? Personally, NO ONE WINS WHEN THE FAMILY FIGHTS 😔. We are family no matter what! My boys are my BOYS, step is just a word not how I feel. 

Even though this article is old, I still feel it is relevant today in 2020. See below

Ten Steps for Steps, by Jeannette Lofas

Step 1.Recognize that the stepfamily will not and cannot function as does a natural family. It has its own special state of dynamics and behaviors. Once learned, these behaviors can become predictable and positive. Do not try to overlay the expectations and dynamics of the intact or natural family onto the stepfamily.
Step 2.Recognize the hard fact that the children are not yours and they never will be. We are stepparents, not replacement parents. Mother and father (no matter how AWFUL the natural parents) are sacred words and feelings. We are stepparents, a step removed, yet in this position can still play a significant role in the development of the child.
Step 3.Super stepparenting doesn’t work. Go slow. Don’t come on too strong.
Step 4.Discipline styles must be sorted out by the couple. The couple, ideally with the help of a Stepfamily Foundation trained professional, needs to immediately and specifically work out what the children’s duties and responsibilities are. What is acceptable behavior and what are the consequences when children misbehave? Generally, in the beginning, we suggest that the biological parent does the disciplining as much as is feasible. The couple together specifically works out jobs, expected behaviors and family etiquette.
Step 5.Establish clear job descriptions between the parent, stepparent and respective children. What specifically is the job of each one of us in this household? We need to be as detailed as we are in business.
Step 6.Know that unrealistic expectations beget rejections and resentments. There is no model for the step relationship except for the wicked stepchild and invariably cruel stepmother of fairy tales. Note the absence of myth around the stepfather. It is vital for the survival of the stepfather to be able to see and delineate expectations for each member of the family, especially the primary issues of upset in step: e.g., money, discipline, the prior spouse, visitation, authority, emotional support, territory and custody.
Step 7.There are no ex-parents . . . only ex-spouses. Begin to get information on how to best handle the prior spouse.
Step 8.Be prepared for conflicting pulls of sexual and biological energies within the step relationship. In the intact family, the couple comes together to have a child. The child is part of both parents, generally pulling the parents’ energy together for the well-being of the child. In step, blood and sexual ties can polarize a family in opposite energies and directions.
Step 9.The conflict of loyalties must be recognized right from the beginning. The conflict is particular to step and is a round robin of confused emotions. Often, just as the child in step begins to have warm feelings toward the stepparent, the child will pull away and negatively act out. He/she feels something like this: “If I love you, that means I do not love my real parent.” The feelings are normal and must be dealt with. The pulls of “Who am I loyal to first?” go all the way around in the stepfamily.
Step 10.Guard your sense of humor and use it. The step situation is filled with the unexpected. Sometimes we do not know whether to laugh or to cry. Try humor.

Ready, Set, GO!!!!!!


Proud StepPARENT,


1 thought on “STEPparentHOOD”

  1. I don’t have any stepchildren but I am struggling with making my partner feel like he is a “parent” to my children as well. They are grown ups so it is very tough trying to get them and him on board with the FAMILY situation. Any advice?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *