“Not My Kid, Not My Problem”

by childless stepparent

Let me be clear. “Not my kid, not my problem” is not my motto.

I understand how some stepparents get so angry, bitter, and resigned that they’re tempted to back away completely from their stepchildren. I feel great compassion for them – and their stepchildren. They all deserve to find balance and peace, and my hope is that this blog will help stepparents step back and breathe and let go – so they can find that balance.

“Not my kid, not my problem” doesn’t serve me or my family because I truly care about my stepdaughter’s well-being. As an adult in her life who loves her, her happiness and health are important to me. She loves me and I love her. I recognize how lucky we are. I recognize that this love is special because it’s earned.

What I’ve arrived at – and what I’m trying to share with other childless stepparents – is not complete disengagement.

There are some parental responsibilities that I used to take care of that I now leave to her two involved parents. But on the outside I may seem much the same to my husband and his daughter.

What’s happened is a subtle – and yet profound – shift inside.

This shift allows me to step back from my own expectations. It allows me to stop over-exerting myself. It allows me to begin letting go of that part of myself I thought would be a mom. It allows me to accept things the way they are. It allows me to enjoy the abundance and joy in my life. It allows me to explore the blessings of being childfree.

This subtle shift brings freedom. Clarity. Lightness.

Manifesto #1 | I am a childless stepparent. My stepchild has two involved parents. I don’t need to take on a parenting role.