Step-Parenting is tougher than you think

Step-Parenting is tougher than you think

Parenting. It’s a challenge that is difficult to put into words. You love your kids so much but they can be total messes. If I’m being honest, I was the exact same way when I was a kid, and had the benefit of my parents being there for me. They helped me become who I am today, and while I’m far from perfect, I’m much better off because of their influence.

I was raised in a pretty traditional family demographically though. Mom and Dad were around, were married, and stayed that way. Even when I was young divorce numbers were high, but today it’s even higher. 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce. Couples with children have a slightly less rate of divorce, but it’s still very high.

Why am I spouting off divorce numbers? Well, because divorce is what leads to step parenting.

I married a wonderful woman with two wonderful boys ten years ago. It was and still is a package deal. And while it was easy for me to fall in love with her, it hasn’t always been as easy to fall in love with being a blended family. After all, there is a specific, natural love that you feel when a child is born. You can’t explain it, it’s just there. And you have another kind of love that you feel towards others, and it’s just a little different.

I love all my boys the same, but sometimes, as a step-parent, it’s tougher to love my step-sons. I have to work at it a little bit more. It’s not because they are bad kids, it’s just tougher. And I think it’s tougher for them to love me in the exact same way. We have come a long way but still have a long way to go.

Our boys spend the majority of their time with us, but their Dad is still in the picture too and loves them dearly. I want them to have both of us in their lives, but we are different people and this can be a real challenge when it comes to parenting. The boys are with us a lot, but we have learned to be able to part with them on some weekends and holidays. After we had our youngest child, those occasions were a more difficult as he was separated from his brothers and didn’t really understand why.

I guess I’m saying all of this to say divorce sucks, but there is redemption and learning that arises from the ashes.

It’s a constant struggle to figure out how to be a good step-dad and I’m just going to put it out there simply. It is tougher than being a regular Dad. It really is!

That’s not to say that regular fathering is easy, it’s not easy at all, but it’s just easier.

Thankfully, I have a great wife, great parents of my own and great in-laws to help make sense of our blended family. It’s been ten years and we are still doing our best to figure this mess out.

In conclusion I guess I would like to hear from other Moms and Dads from blended families, I know you are out there and none of us can do this without the encouragement of each other.



3 thoughts on “Step-Parenting is tougher than you think”

  1. I love the man I want to marry. I love him. He has a six year old that is a challenge. His experience sabotaged every kind of interaction I have with his daughter. He can’t really do anything because he doesn’t want to lose his visitation rights so it’s a constant battle. My feelings, his thoughts, his daughters well being and calming down the beast (the ex). If I could take it all back i would. It hurts saying it but I wouldn’t wish this message on my worst enemy! There are so many challenges that no one understands, or so you feel that way. You are in it alone while you are being ridiculed by outsiders. It’s not worth getting into. It’s important to ask the person you want to date if they have kids. Then it’s purely your choice to deal with it. I didn’t know he had a child, I found out after falling in love. Now it’s hard for me to have him without his daughter. I can’t fully be in bliss with this new relationship like I should be enjoying. I went straight to being a step parent before being his wife.

    All in all, not worth it!

  2. To the author of this article can you email me so I can write to you in private? I would really like to get your thoughts comments on my situation. I don’t want to be a statistic.

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