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  1. #1
    Senior Member Willow's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
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    Default Need advice.........

    I am just wondering, when you remarried or moved in with a new partner, what was the division of responsibility towards your children? I mean, did your new spouse feel equally responsible in their parenting role with your children, or did they see it as you are the one responsible for your kids, and they are there to help out?

    I'm not sure I'm making sense. Let me tell my story.

    My ex and I split back in March of 2010. Shortly after, I met my new partner. He is amazing, and I never knew I could feel so much love towards, and from, a man. I was not expecting to meet someone so soon, but it happened. We dated for a while before he met my children. Recently, a situation occurred in which he needed a place to stay for a bit. I invited him to stay with us, as my children liked having him around, and in fact my son often asked for him to sleep over. It was supposed to be temporary, but the relationship continued to develop, and we both felt/feel that we want to spend our lives together. He is older than me (I'm 25, he's 38). He is mature and responsible (a social worker), and very loving and supportive. He does not have children of his own, and we do not plan on having any kids together. There have been little bumps and snags here and there, but never have I been in a healthier relationship.

    He expresses his desire to spend his life with me and my kids. He plays with them, cooks, cleans, changes diapers and anything else, without hesitation.

    However, we had a fight last night that left me feeling really upset. Essentially, he feels that a step-parent's role does not carry the same responsibility as the parent. So that, when the kids are here, they are my responsibility and he is "helping out". Which is not to say that his helping out is not much. He does a lot. And never complains or anything.

    I don't really know how to properly explain what I mean. At all. And I'm super-hormonal right now.

    I just want to know what perspectives others have about the role of step-parent, especially when the step-parent does not have kids of their own, and there are no plans to make more children together.

    Mama of David (6) and Mary (2)

  2. #2
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    My DH stepped in as a father figure for my children from a previous marriage. The younger ones see him as their 2nd Dad. Their real Dad wasn't very involved in their early years. My oldest son loves my DH but has also had a lot of friction with my DH between the age of 11-13. He was 6 when I started dating my DH while the other two were only a baby and a 2 year old so I think it was easier for them to accept him as they didn't really have memories of me and their Dad together. I think it can be different for everyone though. Like in your example if your BF wants to be more hands off you should respect that. You have to find your own roles you feel good about.

  3. #3
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    Personally I think this new guy of yours sounds very sensible. You are the parent and as such are responsible for things such as discipline.. unles of course a situation arises in your absence that needs to be dealt with immediately.

  4. #4
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    Honestly I think he's right.

    I had step parents at a pretty young age and became a step mom to young kids when I met the hubby. Everything I read about blending families and assuming the role cautioned the new person from becoming an authoritative 'parent'.

    My own step parents had a role like your new partner - an adult in the house who deserved respect and got to enforce rules when it came up just because they were an adult ... not because they had had 'parenting' rights now.

    Not sure I've made this clear but hope you've been able to figure out how to figure it out

  5. #5
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    yeah, i hate to say it, but i think he's right too.
    we are a blended family.
    when it comes to my kids, they are my responsibility, he helps me SO MUCH. he cooks and cleans, picks them up from places, drops them off, takes care of them if i go out, BUT they are my responsibility when it comes down to it.
    the same goes for me with his.
    and as far as discipline, we each discipline our own kids. he will obviously say “no“ or express disappointment in their behaviour, but i dole out the consequences. and the same with me and his children.
    my kids were 2 and 4 years old when he entered their life. his were 6 and 8.
    ~"Just because I have strong opinions, does not mean I judge. Do not mistake passion for judgment. For you might find you are the one doing the judging". ~ Unknown

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