Which is Tougher: Being a Stepmom or Stepdad?


Writing in the parenting section on The Blended Family Blog, Gerardo Campbell posed the question, Who do you thinkhas the more stressful and demanding role – stepdad or stepmom?

Todd: Stepmom Sarah rules I say. On so many accounts, and I’ll begin by telling you this way. Four little monkeys jumping on a bed will make most stepparents lose their heads. Not Sarah, though. Super-stepmom Sarah handles our monkeys with smarts, wit and humor.

“Teach me,” I ask of her. As the fifth monkey of this household, I’m well aware that I can be a handful. Even so, Sarah continues to inspire me and the kids with her zest for living, loving, and laughing. She’s dedicated to our dream of growing a successful blended family blog and at the same time completely on top of her game as a nurturing soul to our kids. Then there’s me. I emerge from stage left with a big spotlight shinning bright on my on my stepdaddy skills. And even though my resume is long with accolades and accomplishments, I do realize that it takes two to tango. Successfully managing a blended family of six is all about teamwork. I do a lot. Sarah does a lot. We’re both committed to winning and we don’t need a scoreboard. This is a long game. The questions of “who does more?” and “who has it worse?” don’t do any good for our team.

Sarah: It totally depends on the parents and kids in the equation. In our family, I think both Todd and I do a lot of heavy lifting. There are days when he takes all four kids to school. There are Saturday mornings when I watch all four kids while he skis. There are Saturday mornings when he takes all four kids out in the boat while I sleep in. There are many evenings when I cook for our family of six, and Todd cleans the kitchen after. The to-do list never ends for either of us.

In no particular order (many things left out here)…Put gas in the car. Run to the store. Get gas for the boat. Clean the boat. Clean the car. Cook food. Drive kids across town to various activities. Pick kids up. Go on play dates. Volunteer at school. Go to work. Write. Take pictures. Play hide-n-seek. Swim. Ski. Clean the house. Clean the house. Do laundry. Clean the house. Read. Tweet. Groceries! Make flower arrangements. Yard work. Put kids to bed. Sing songs. Wake kids up. Sing some more. Eat. Pray. Love.

The subtext to the question “Who do you think has the more stressful and demanding role – stepdad or stepmom?” is that someone’s doing harder work. The biggest lesson I’ve learned about relationships is that it’s a mistake to keep a tally, to make determinations about how one parent stacks up against another, who accomplishes more. That way of thinking has created lots of angry moms and dads who are divorced, are tempted by the idea, or at worst have given up sex. No thank you!

Comments (2)
No. 1-2

really.Negative feedback does not make it difficult - but if you know, things will start flowing downward. And you thought things were good


It can be so painful, and so disconcerting, when your stepson or stepdaughter starts being mean to you. It's especially hard when things were going well, and you thought things were good. It's tough not to react negatively - but you know if you do, things will start spiraling downward.