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Why is being a step mum harder than stepdad?
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thatsnotmydog · 14/06/2022 18:25

So statistically and anecdotally being a step mum is so much harder than being a step dad, why do you think that is?

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Raspberryjam22 · 14/06/2022 18:27

From my observations of step families , step mums are expected to parent their DSC in a way that step dad’s aren’t.

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Dontknownow86 · 14/06/2022 18:27

Because you are expected to do everything their mother does with absolutely no thanks and with smile on your face and if you fall below the expected par for a mother you are an evil witch. Plus from experience lots of people tend to assume you must have had an affair (seriously) so tray you like a harlot.

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BiscoffSundae · 14/06/2022 18:28

What are the statistic for this have you got a link? Personally I’ve never seen how... given that children mainly live with the mum and the mum is in most cases the resident parent so children will live with the step dad most of the time but see the step mum eow (or so) despite how common 50/50 is apparently on MN I don’t believe it’s anywhere near as common irl and I don’t know anyone irl who has 50/50 so not sure how seeing step kids eow would be harder than living with them the rest of the time, it’s always baffled me why people say step mums have it harder..

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Reallyreallyborednow · 14/06/2022 18:33

Generally because a step dad lives with the child.

it is far easier to set boundaries and form a good relationship if you see the child everyday, have a routine, know where you stand.

if you see a child for one day eow you cannot build that relationship. So you’re effectively expected to parent a child you don’t know.

that and the fact women are expected to take on more of a caring role than men.

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Renniesfixeverything · 14/06/2022 18:45

Because expectations of women are a million times higher than of men, especially where parenting (of any sort) is concerned.

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FishcakesWithTooMuchCoriander · 14/06/2022 18:51

Renniesfixeverything · 14/06/2022 18:45

Because expectations of women are a million times higher than of men, especially where parenting (of any sort) is concerned.

This.

The expectations of any role with ‘mother’ in it are orders of magnitude beyond anything with ‘father’ in it. The bar for men is on the floor.

Plus men often delegate all the child-related work to the nearest woman. So SMs get a really rough deal.

Then there’s the fact that more limited contact makes it harder. NRP attitudes and parenting are hard to live with. The children are accustomed to life with mum and that doesn’t always translate well to the other household.

Many, many reasons. Many steeped in patriarchy.

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Hotcuppatea · 14/06/2022 18:52

Because of misogyny.

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LadyMonicaBaddingham · 14/06/2022 18:54

Misogyny. Couldn't have put it better myself.

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Benjaminsniddlegrass · 14/06/2022 18:57

@Hotcuppatea ha! Was just coming on to say 'The Patriarchy' (with added sinister laugh)

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Isaidnoalready · 14/06/2022 19:00

Because men will claim a big "important job" role and the woman (any woman) is expected to do the mother work my ex does this right now he barely sees his kids he saw them when his mom "helped" he saw them when his nan "helped" when nan died he tried getting girlfriend involved to "help" but nasty children's services (sarcasm obviously) agreed with me that as she is a danger to her own children she shouldn't be around ours you would think this was a wake up call for him but no he reduced contact with his children instead

I often see this pattern repeated step mum expected to keep school hours etc step dads expected to share driving should they take the kids to the beach occasionally

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user2234534 · 14/06/2022 19:07

Dontknownow86 · 14/06/2022 18:27

Because you are expected to do everything their mother does with absolutely no thanks and with smile on your face and if you fall below the expected par for a mother you are an evil witch. Plus from experience lots of people tend to assume you must have had an affair (seriously) so tray you like a harlot.

You also get abuse when you do these mother role duties as you are "not their mum" 😂😂😂

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aSofaNearYou · 14/06/2022 19:35

I think it's a combination of what others have said about expectations of women doing parenting being higher, but also quite possibly that more people walk into EOW scenarios without realising what it's going to be like, than full time set ups. The step dad is usually dating the RP so probably would have been more likely to run a mile from the get go.

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GreatCrash · 14/06/2022 19:38

It's for the same reason that being a good mum is harder than being a good dad. Eg women who work full time tend to worry if they are seeing enough of their DC whereas this doesn't seem to worry men.

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LorW · 14/06/2022 19:40

Ahhh soooo many reasons, the main one being misogyny. Stepmums are expected to do all the woman work and basically be a doormat for no thanks or consideration and god forbid you end up with a bitter ex who just wants to make your life hell and will use the children as weapons at any given opportunity.

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Googlecanthelpme · 14/06/2022 19:40

Because men.

Patriarchy, misogyny and ingrained sexism

do you really have to ask?

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Magda72 · 14/06/2022 19:41

Misogyny & the patriarchy.
Mothers are expected & expect to fully parent their dc & stepdads are expected to do very little bar offer support.
Fathers are not expected & don't expect to fully parent their dc. Therefore society (which includes fathers, extended family members, media & often women) expects sms to fill in all parenting gaps & judge sms very harshly if they dare to tell a father to get on with his own parenting.
You see it on here ALL the time - judgement after judgement heaped on sms when it's nearly always the dad who is not parenting effectively.

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BlackTourmaline · 14/06/2022 19:42

Renniesfixeverything · 14/06/2022 18:45

Because expectations of women are a million times higher than of men, especially where parenting (of any sort) is concerned.

100% this

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Beamur · 14/06/2022 19:46

I'm a SM who had SC 50:50. Ours worked pretty well and I was not expected nor did I offer to co-parent. My DH however has never really understood that I don't feel the same as he does about the kids and has always struggled I think to really understand that.
Despite my friendly but fairly hands off style I was the one who noticed when they needed new clothes (and bought them) did the laundry and made their packed lunches! DH was oblivious.

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User39498 · 14/06/2022 20:12

aSofaNearYou · 14/06/2022 19:35

I think it's a combination of what others have said about expectations of women doing parenting being higher, but also quite possibly that more people walk into EOW scenarios without realising what it's going to be like, than full time set ups. The step dad is usually dating the RP so probably would have been more likely to run a mile from the get go.

I’d also add that EOW scenarios are in a way a lot less predictable, in that children’s boundaries and values are set by the parent that has them 12/14 days, not your DP, and you often get Disney dads. Before you go into a relationship you look at your future DP’s values etc and don’t realise the guilt that they feel because they are only with their child 2/14 days which causes those values / boundaries to be thrown out of the window and the Disney dadding.

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MrsTerryPratchett · 14/06/2022 20:15

For the same reason being a mum is harder, on average, than being a dad. Sexist expectations.

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museumum · 14/06/2022 20:18

Because all mothers are held to a far higher standard than all fathers. And in fact whatever you do as any kind of mother someone will tell you you’re wrong.

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Youseethethingis1 · 14/06/2022 22:11

If you are a step dad who takes the kids to the park for an hour you get a round of applause and a medal.
If you are a step mum who refuses to rearrange her work around the step children's mothers new job, you are failing in your duty to treat the children as your own and centre your entire existence around them as you knew what you were getting into.
I'd take the kids to the park for an hour over all the anti SM bullshit any day of the week.

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toomuchlaundry · 14/06/2022 22:15

I assume financially though stepdads end up paying more for their stepkids than stepmums do.

You get many stepmums saying they would hate it if the stepkids moved in permanently, stepdads have to put up with that more often

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FishcakesWithTooMuchCoriander · 14/06/2022 22:18

Especially if you were given a medal and had a building named in your honour for doing so, @Youseethethingis1. If you were a stepdad who’d taken the day off work to do so, you’d probably have a public holiday declared in your honour.

slight exaggeration. But the difference in expectations and responses is the same.

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Reallyreallyborednow · 14/06/2022 22:24

You get many stepmums saying they would hate it if the stepkids moved in permanently, stepdads have to put up with that more often

it’s usually the stepdad moving into the kids home though. Reducing his living costs, with no extra laundry, cooking etc as that’s mums responsibility.

stepmums have the kids moving into her home. Vastly increasing her workload as she’s expected to do the cooking, cleaning, caring etc. even if the dad pulls his weight, she’ll still take on half the increased chores and it’ll be her work that flexes around the kids.

plus a stepdad moving in doesn’t require extra space and bedrooms like stepkids do.

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