Childless Stepparent

for stepmoms + stepdads with the unique challenges – and gifts – of creating a family with their spouse + their spouse's child(ren) and no child(ren) of their own

Category: definitions

Revising The Childless Stepparent Manifesto

Cultivate Your Garden
Maybe it’s because my husband’s former wife is a difficult person in this situation. Maybe it’s because they were married for so long, and old habits die hard. Maybe it’s because it took a while for my husband and me to align our definitions of healthy boundaries. Maybe it’s because co-operative parenting after divorce is not what it’s cracked up to be (watch for my upcoming post: The Case Against Co-Parenting).

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6 Things Every Childless Stepmom Should Do (and Not Do)*

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

2. I am a wife first and a stepparent second. I will enjoy being childfree. I will create time and space for myself.

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We Need a New Term for Childless Stepparents

definitions
The names we give things are important. The words we use have a profound effect on our understanding.

Many stepparents take issue with the terms stepmom, stepdad, and stepparent because step- implies being stepped on, stepped over, “less than.” I take issue for a different reason. It’s the words mom and dad and parent in there that give me pause.

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Parent (Verb) vs Parent (Noun)

definitions
I parent (verb). 

But as a childless stepparent, I am not a parent (noun).

This is an important distinction. Being a childless stepparent means acting like a parent but not being one.

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Stop Thinking of Yourself as a Parent

definitions
As a childless stepparent who has always wanted to be a mom, I’ve learned not to think of myself as a parent with my stepchild. It’s been a long, painful process, but I welcome this clarity.

I parent, but I am not a parent. I am childless. My stepchild has two involved parents.

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When Your Stepchild Has Two Involved Parents

definitions
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.

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Why I’m Writing about Childless Stepparents

definitions
In the U.S., there are an estimated 16 to 18 million stepchildren and 20 to 25 million stepparents. The figures are increasing daily.

60% of second marriages end in divorce. 67% of second marriages with children end in divorce.

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