Blended, Dads, Divorce, McBradys, Moms, Steppareting

Pros and Cons of Step Parenting

As you might have read on my about me page, I’m a mom of two: Samantha, 18, from my first marriage, and Jackson, 10, from my second marriage. I am {now} also a step-mom or bonus mom as some call it, to two more: Kirsten, 14 and Marcus, 10. Yes, our two youngest are both boys and are only 5 months apart to the day. TWINKIES, not really.

Family photo 2015 by Eye Candy by Candice

Parenting is hard, right? However, step-parenting is even harder. Not because the kids are bad or because we don’t get along. Quite the opposite. I’m pretty lucky because my step-daughter is pretty amazing and outside of being a typical 14-year-old teenager, she is very respectful and we get along great. My step-son is quite the charmer. Albeit not speaking the “Minecraft” lingo, we are quite close.

My Step-daughter and Step-son with my husband and I.

My husband and I began dating when our girls were 10 and 5 years old and our boys were 2. Over the years we have learned so much about ourselves through watching the other parent. There are pros and cons to our unique parenting styles.


  1. The fact is, step-parents have a unique position. We are not quite as emotionally charged and we do not have the unconditional love for our step-children, no matter how much we love them, it’s just not there. You are probably asking, “why is that a pro?” Well, because when you are able to step back and watch as an unemotional and logical person you can see things in a very different light.
  2. You get to be the good guy. Focus on the Family states that Step-Parents should simply be there to reinforce the rules that the biological parent has already set in place. A step-parent should NOT set the rules for their step-children. Especially without a long-term loving and respectful relationship in place.


  1. While you get a fresh perspective from your spouse if you parenting differently, it can cause a lot of friction when you don’t see eye to eye. As parents, we often feel we parent our own children the “right” way. When the truth is, none of us are perfect at it and as the old saying goes, “it takes a village.” Listen to your spouse on what they have to say. You may not agree but if you step out of your “I know what’s best” bubble, you might learn something.
  2. Co-parenting!!! In our case, not only do we have to co-parent with my ex, we have to co-parent with his ex too. When a couple divorces and they have children the ultimate goal is for you to CO-PARENT your children together. This means frequent calls/texts to let the other know how the child is doing, sharing schedules (even if you feel it’s none of their business; the fact is it’s their kid too, it IS their business), and for Pete’s sake… get over yourself. I get it the marriage didn’t work. The kids didn’t ask for you too as parents, they didn’t ask that you get divorced, they simply need to see that their parents ultimately care what is best for them regardless of how you feel about your ex. (I could go on and on about this but there are enough blogs on this and I’m sure I’ll share something later in my blog life).

So as I mentioned, there are pros and cons to step parenting, however, in my opinion, there is only ONE QUESTION that matters.


It’s that simple.

My ex and I do this on a daily basis. We text, call and send photos on the well being of our child, frequently. To me, this is how it should be. I can call him on a minutes notice and ask him for a favor or advice, and he knows he can do the same. It’s not about us anymore. The moment you had those children you made the decision to put your selfish intentions behind you and do whatever needs to be done to ensure you’re raising your child in a loving and healthy environment. You may have to have some difficult conversations with your ex. DO IT!


Accept the apology you never got, forgive the impossible, and love one another above all else.

“You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar”


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