When Your Stepchild Has Two Involved Parents
by childless stepparent
The advice I share is informed by my own experience and is meant for childless stepparents who find themselves in a situation similar to mine: no children of our own; stepchildren from our spouse’s previous marriage; our spouse and his former spouse are both involved parents.
What do I mean by “involved”? Both parents are engaged in taking care of the business of taking care of their child. There is some kind of shared custody or regular visitation. There may be conflict. There may be disagreement. When it comes to parenting, your husband may not be as on top of things as you’d like him to be. You may think his former wife is a terrible mother. But that doesn’t change the fact that in a fundamental way, both parents are involved.
This is important because when your spouse’s former spouse is present in your stepchildren’s lives, there is no need for you to be a parent. When your spouse’s former spouse is completely absent – then and only then – it may be appropriate for you to take on a parental role in your stepchild’s life.
Otherwise, step back, breathe, let go.
Manifesto #1 | I am a childless stepparent. My stepchild has two involved parents. I don’t need to take on a parenting role.