How do you handle being a step parent?

To the women with stepchildren and who have to deal with complicated baby mamas. How do you deal? We have a two-year-old together, but My husband has a 10-year-old son from another woman, and they have a court set agreement/schedule that she is to have him during the week, and he (my husband) gets him two weekends out of the month, so because of that, he is to pay her child support 100$ a week. She often complains about having to take care of him and says how she cannot make sure that he gets to bed on time and has been letting him stay up all night playing video games and eating junk (even on school nights), so when he comes here on his weekends, he displays the same behavior and does whatever he wants even after I told his father that this could not be acceptable in our house that we need to have rules. My husband takes it as “you have a problem with my son” and pitches a fight with me every single time he is here. So while this has been consistently going on now recently, I guess he spoke to his son’s mom about keeping his son for a week at a time now, and I will make it clear the same that I made it clear to him that I think that is amazing for him to get so much time with his son, but I also said that he needs to let the courts know so they can make her start paying child support to him. I think that is only right? When I told my husband this, he once again pitched a fight about it and said I just have a problem with his son, and I told him that he could flip it however he wants, but if we are a team, then he needs to make sure that his son’s mom won’t be getting over on us by still receiving payments when we are taking care of him. This has become a serious argument every time it’s brought up, almost like my opinion doesn’t matter and that I better not say anything or he will belittle me as much as he can in front of his son and call me names and tell me to shut the f*** up about it". This has been really hard. What would you do?


Leave. It’s not worth it. Been going through this for the last 3 years, some times he listens other times it’s hell. And the verbal abuse just got worse and started going to my daughter and not just me. I left and even though I’m stressed I feel so much relief.

I’ve run into this. It’s very hard and especially when what you’re saying makes total sense. My fiancé has been putting up extra money and funding his ex wife’s house hold and even saying he has 2 homes to take care of bc his kids go between homes. I have since slowed the relationship down bc it has become a major disagreement. He doesn’t call me names or cuss at me but does express that I want him to do less for his kids. I want him to do his part in his home and not worry what his ex does. He shouldn’t have to do “extra” bc the ex isn’t willing to step up as a parent. He is going to have to see it oh his own. Your husband will have to open his eyes. I don’t want you to continue to be verbally abused so maybe seek counseling for a better understanding and communication.

Having “cuss fights” in front of the child is NEVER right no matter who is doing it! That being said, I have been in this situation myself several times over the years. Once, I was with a lady who pushed me too hard on the issue and I told her straight up that I loved her but, if she tries to force my hand to choose between her and my children, she would LOSE EVERY TIME! That’s what good parents SHOULD do. They choose the child over lover. I would definitely say the kid needs to respect you and your home, however. The best recommendation I would give you not only as having lived this exact scenario but, as a psychology scholar is as follows… The less you stir this pot of crap, the less it’s gonna stink! I give unorthodox psychological counseling…lol Seriously though, you will need to walk a fine line of making your spouse know you are not alright with the behaviors without nit-picking at the child looking for things to fuss about. Then, it will seem like you are targeting the child…and really you WOULD BE. You will have to face the fact that you are gonna have to bite your tongue a lot over the years if you want to be with this person and have a happy relationship.

As a step parent myself ive gone through this. My fiancee has a child by a previous relationship who is 7 now and our child is 3. My fiancee doesnt pay child support but has always gone above and beyond for his ex for any and everything. When our child was born he felt very upset at the fact he spends his time with our child and doesn’t see his older child. Well that progressed very far and we would argue and fight over the fact he cant just be dad to one or the another. That he now has two has they have to be equal. It got so bad to the point he was taking his older child out and doing stuff and when I would ask why he didn’t take our child he would just tell me he doesn’t take little ones out and about. Which would cause a huge blow up and he would just tell me I had an issue with his kid. Which wasn’t the case. It finally took me having a breakdown and taking our child and leaving for a week for him to finally open his eyes and see what he was doing wrong. He is an amazing father and always has been he just felt bad that his child was separated from him and felt like they weren’t getting enough attention. It also didnt help that his older child would cry to him when I wasnt there that they dont get any time with him cause of the baby and that just fed into his dad guilt. My advice is see if your husband has dad guilt. It’s very much a thing just like us mamas have mom guilt. If he isnt going through dad guilt then tell him your taking your child and leaving until he can figure his shit out and hpw to be a team. Had I not left for a week in my situation I dont think my fiancee would have ever saw what was happening.

Not trying to sound rude at all when I say this. But just leave it be. You’re a step parent. Nothing you say or do will matter to the mother or your husband since it’s not your kid. Best not make it your issue. Just ignore it. Or leave your husband bc he sounds like absolute garbage.

My husband and I have been married for 31 years and blended a family consisting of yours, mine, ours ending with a total of 6 children. We got custody of his from a previous marriage without child support. It was never about money it was about best interest of the children. Mine were raised with rules and his had none before we got them. The rules didn’t change when they came to our house they were told of the rules and the punishment that went with not following them. My first thought is to sit down with your husband and get on the same page. If he can’t take your feelings into consideration and come to an agreement then he would be paying child support for 2 kids. And if his son can’t abide by the rules then your husband needs to understand that a week of the arguments isn’t going to happen. Parents are a team and need to work together

I have been with my husband since my step daughter was 2. We have her every other week Friday to Friday. Unfortunately the courts don’t care we split time 50/50 so my husband still pays child support. When she was little, things were ok but as she has gotten older her mom has taken on the best friend roll instead of mom. Therefore, my step daughter has no responsibilities or structure. She does have to take care of herself at her moms which includes making her own meals and making sure her homework is done etc. Our house is very different with bed times, chores and a higher level of expectations. The best advice I have is to tell your husband that he is your child too. You are willing to take on the roll of being a mother figure but with that you must be on the same page when it comes to parenting just as you will need to be on the same page with the child you share. Both children need to have the same rules and expectations. Other than that you can’t be petty when it comes to the baby mom. She is his mother and what she does on her time you can’t change, so you shouldn’t worry about. All you can do is help take care of your step son the best you can. If you and your husband can’t find common ground when it comes to parenting you will have bigger issues as the kids get older. Being a step mom isn’t easy but it is worth it.

I have 2 children and have had 2 step children for 5 years now. We pay $1000 a month even when we have them half the time. She is incredibly selfish and inconsiderate, especially when it comes to what’s best for the children i gave birth to. BUT it the end of the day, I love my husband, and I adore all of my children, and sometimes keeping the peace is better than fighting for the children. Its a struggle though, and i feel for you

There is a serious problem if he thinks you’re wrong to expect good behavior and a routine while he is there, yet it’s ok in his mind to belittle and cuss at you, in front of the child no less. Sounds like your husband has some serious growing up to do, because his behavior is completely out of line.

Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. How do you handle being a step parent?

100% you need to back off.


Let him take care of his son the way he wants to and drop it


I sm sorry for you. Unfortunately your husband has been abusive to you on so many level’s.
I am sending you healing prayers and good vibes that you will soon have the courage to leave before your 2 year old starts to mimic both negative behaviors.


Are you a stay at home mom? If so I imagine you don’t know what it’s like to pay a child care bill. It’s 70$ a day here for my two kids. I’d leave the child support alone. That alone wouldn’t even cover a child care cost while the mother works. Not to mention the two weeks she will have to pay to keep their place if they decide to do a week on week off visit schedule. It sounds like you have some control issues, potentially jealousy issues. If you aren’t capable of having a healthy relationship with that boys mom, then you need to evaluate your relationship with his father.

I’m going thru a divorce now because of this situation exactly.


Your husband obviously doesn’t want to hear the truth, and sometimes that happens. Especially when it comes to a child in a previous relationship. If his child has bad habits then those bad habits will creep onto your kids, they’re going to wonder why he gets the act that way and they don’t. And I would explain it to him just like that. If he belittles you infront of those kids like that then that’s abuse, and he’s teaching those kids to talk to women in that manner. He can either shape up or ship out.

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As a step mother there are certain lines we can’t and shouldn’t cross. We can give our opinions. But that’s about it. He will have to figure it out and implement what works. You just need to support him and love him and his son. Good luck to you.

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Let your husband parent his son that stays between him and his child’s mother. You need to back off and try to encourage better but don’t tell that man what’s not acceptable with his own child.


At the end of the day, that’s HIS son. What he and the mother of his child agreed on is between them and that’s it. When he feels he needs to set rules for his son, let him. It’ll probably be when shit hits the fan and then you can be like I told you so, but do you even want to stick around for that? The only thing I’d concern myself with is the fact that he talks to you in such a way and in front of a child no less. The red flag here is a respect issue towards you, not the baby momma or her kid.

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