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Survey: easier for stepmoms or stepdads?

RAJ C's picture

Just wondering if people think it is easier for a stepmom or a stepdad and why. I am.thinking same type of stepkid, same type of bioparent, same custody arrangement.

I think expectations for a stepdad may be lower than for a stepmom and hence in terms of dealing with stepkids and hence may be easier for a stepdad but wondering other opinions


shamds's picture

somehow bio mum can remarry and kids must obey and respect him even if they have kids together they are like 1 happy family but if daddy dares to remarry years after bio mum and have kids its like “how dare he?” Why is that? Because thats their future inheritance being spent on wife and kids

bio mum usually has no money because she’s solely depending on exhusband to cover all expenses

CompletelyPuzzled's picture

I think it is easier on stepdads because of societal expectations.  We expect women to be motherly.  There is this idea that women are always nurturing.  Plus, it seems like society and many men expect the new wife to just step in and start caring for the skids.  Men don't seem to get saddled with the same expectations as much.  There is also the issue that many BMs are defensive of another woman being around their kids and they decide to start drama or turn the kids against the SM.  Also, for some reason, kids tend to have a special bond or favoritism for their mother, even over their father.

STaround's picture

Becuae of societial roles.  On average, men earn more, so when a stepdad comes in the household, that improvest the economics.  Stepmoms are more often seen as another person to share resources with (not always).   if a stepdad has kids from a prior relationship, they rarely live with him more than 50/50, if that.   A stepmom may have her kids more than 50/50.   So resources are being shared with her kids as well.

Women generally do not work as long hour, and control the house.  So more change for Dad's kids.

tog redux's picture

I think stepmothers are more likely to come in and take over parenting from the father, which creates resentment from everyone (except maybe the father, who gets a sweet deal). Especially if she has her own kids, it seems expected that she can just include her stepkids in her parenting.  Whereas, stepfathers can come in and be the "nice guy" and not have to do day to day parenting or discipline.

Also, bio mothers, IMO, tend to be waaaay more jealous and threatened by stepmothers than bio fathers are by stepfathers, on the whole, which creates stress and drama.

Thisisnotus's picture

There isn’t even a comparison. Step moms have to deal with crazy drama from BMs.....step dads rarely have to deal with birth dads.

and while us Step moms  work to disengage I think most step dads start off as disengaged and remain that way.

Swim_Mom's picture

This is a generalization but true in our case,. Biomom (me) and her (3) ducklings came as a package deal. Kids will often remain with Mom as primary residence and just visit with Dad. In my case, ex-H chose to move out of state, so there was no staying over at Dad's place, ever. DH moved in with us and assumed all the joys and work that come with being a full time stepdad. In our case, my kids are pretty easy to get along with and accepted him right away. They all have a straightforward, loving relationship with their stepdad (relationship with bio dad is more troubled and complicated, due to his choices). DH's reward for all of his cooking meals, driving, helping with homework, watching swim meets etc etc is when asked how many kids he has, he replies with 7 and that is true! 

He does at times feel guilty that in a way, my kids have gotten more of his "Dad time" than his own kids did/do. All circumstantial - when he was married, ex stayed home and he was primary breadwinner and travelled a lot for work. Now, he is married to someone who also has a demanding career though we consider mine to be the anchor job, meaning more household responsibilities fall to him. (and he is just a way better cook - he totally puts me to shame!)

I realize that in some cases, the step parent whether SM or SD put in all of this effort and time and get nothing in return. In our case, my kids truly love and appreciate their stepdad.

Over to me, I'm barely a SM. I've met his oldest 2 daughters only a handful of times (they are in their 20's) as they live in different states. 3rd daughter I know better - she's ok (same age as my oldest DD, 20) but I would hardly say we are close; she is at university in yet a different state. His 4th child, SS14 is a bit of a shit. I (naively) had looked forward to being a SM as I always wanted more kids. Hasn't turned out that way at all - he almost never stays over (lives an hour away and DH just goes to see him for the afternoon or Wednesday night dinner) and he's kind of a weird standoffish kid. So - I have none of the work but also zero reward. Some is due to the personalities of his children vs mine (esp with SS) but majority is really circumstantial. In the beginning, I was excited to take on extra work to have stepkids - it has turned out to be nothing, but it's also not a negative. Helps that we 100% separate our finances and can each pay for our own kids' college and in his case obligations to his ex.

But I see the point a lot of people are making here - there is a higher bar for SM's (and all moms) vs Dads. I would have liked the opportunity to have a relationship with DH's kids like he has with mine, but it is not to be.


Rags's picture

StepDads. And it has nothing to do with expectations IMHO.  It has to do with the inherent differences between men and women.  Men are sequential logic thinkers and women are spherical emotional thinkers.  Men are simple, women are complex.  Men generally address discrete events and women analyze comprehensive situations and all of the players and influences.

Men can ignore far more readily than women.  When we reach our limit we confront then move on.

An analogy is if there is a mosquito the house we kill it.  If there are two we kill them both then check for open doors or windows.  We don't consider the nature of the mosquito, if it had a bad childhood, how old it is, how it feels, we don't give it the benefit of the doubt, we don't worry about it.  It is a pest, we kill it.  End of problem.

We for sure don't feel guilty about ending the problem.


beebeel's picture

Oh. My. God. My eyes hurt from rolling.

Men are no more logical than women and females don't magically experience more emotions than males. If men were "simple," we "complex" and superior beings would have figured this shit out centuries ago. 

Men have been taught to act certain ways and women have been taught to accept laziness and a disengaged father because "that's just how men are born." Buuuuuullllllshiiiiiiit.

Rags's picture

I completely agree that accepting lazy disengagement is bullshit.  Men are not born that way. I tend to land on the side of nurture over nature and put the majority of responsibility for kid outcomes on parents.  This is no different. 

I never said men are more logical than women.  I said the logic process between the two tends to be different.  Women tend to be more global in their logic processes and men tend to be more linear in their logic.  

If I want advice on a specific problem I go to my dad who is brilliant technically. If I want understanding of a complex human issue, I go to mom who is far more wholistic in her logic than dad is.  As much as many in today's world would like the genders to be homogeneously the same, they are different in many ways including basic differences in how they analyze situations and develop solutions.

Which is not a bad thing IMHO.


beebeel's picture

Ok well it's great that you have noticed a difference in thinking between your parents, but that doesn't translate to ALL men and women everywhere. The fact that some men don't care about a clean house or properly raising any kids in the home has nothing to do with the testosterone levels in their bodies. They have been taught that these tasks are "women's work." And yeah, the new generations have a lot of work to do in the monumental task of undoing outdated gender roles that have jack shit to do with biology.

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

There's science behind this. Men, staggeringly so, make stronger front to back brain connections, while women make stronger left to right connections. Front and back handle perception and action, while left and right handle intuitive thinking. Whether people want to believe it or not, according to your gender, you are predisposed to think a certain way, although that can be counteracted to some degree since humans are metacognitive.

 The anatomy of male and female brains are also different from the get-go. I'm not saying one is superior to the other, but like it or not, they are different, and those differences are factual - and those facts don't care about feelings.

beebeel's picture

If men were so focused on action-based thought processes, why do so many of these fathers do absolutely nothing to properly raise their spawn? I think it has less to do with how their brains process problem solving, and more to do with those pesky emotions that so many men deny have any bearing on their decisions. 

I will agree that we need to do a much better job of raising boys to recognize their emotions and how they impact their behavior. We see the result of not recognizing guilt and allowing this powerful emotion to cripple all of those oh so linear logical men all the time on these boards.

Gimlet's picture

Please cite peer-reviewed evidence for this.

What do you mean by front to back or side to side?  Frontal lobe to occipital lobe? Frontal lobe to parietal lobe? Temporal lobe to temporal lobe?   Specific brain structures? 

Gimlet's picture

I'm not staying there isn't, but statements like that should be supported empirically.

Study was 1,000 adolescents, which would need to be repeatable, reliable, and reproducible with adults as well as other adolescent subjects.  I am curious how they controlled for other factors like income.  I'll try to find the actual study as this has been interpreted from the abstract.  I wish they had used more precise language, but I am interested in what they found and how it's been validated since 2013.  Definitely a high quality journal. 

From the article: "It is fascinating that we can see some of functional differences in men and women structurally," Verma told LiveScience. However, the results do not apply to individual men and women, she said. "Every individual could have part of both men and women in them," she said, referring to the connectivity patterns her team observed."

From the article "But Verma cautioned against making sweeping generalizations about men and women based on the results."

To be clear, I will follow the science.  If it stands, then it stands and that is neither good nor bad. The interpretation is where things can get dicey.  I plan to spend some time on JSTOR looking at the topic. 

The generalization statement is why I ask.  This is the sort of thing people like to read and then start making sweeping statements to justify whatever bias they currently hold.    I see this all the time on Reddit from some incel or MGTOW usually (not directing this at you). 

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

Of course individuals may vary, I don't know that brain chemistry can be an exact science. Humans can also fight nature due to being metacognative. The article I like shows a correlation that, no, you can't say "all women", but it's good enough to say "many women".

beebeel's picture

Hmmm. That's not accurate, either. At best you can say, "some women." And that can be said of anything.

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

I'd say a lot of people ignore biology based on their subjective view, which really causes a divide with things like this.

Gimlet's picture

It is very hard to tease biology and social/environmental factors apart.  There is a reason that this topic has been debated for decades in the science community.  

tog redux's picture

I'd say more people ignore environmental/social factors - like those (usually men) who want to believe men are more "logical" and women are more "emotional", when boys are still taught to suppress emotions. 

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

I think that the expectations placed on a stepfather are equal to that of a stepmother. 

If you don't "treat them like your own", most babymommas would turn the other way;.


Rags's picture

I suppose if I had not engaged with my SS and chosen to raise him as my own my DW would have been hard pressed to keep me around all of these years.

I had never thought about that until this comment.   Fortuneatly we did not have that challenge and made our marriage and each other our priority.  And... raised SS together as our primary responsibility.

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

You have a good wife. She and her parents made sure her head was screwed on the right way.

Rags's picture

You will get no arguement from me on this.

I did win the wife lottery. The second time I played.

ldvilen's picture

Stepdads.  Research backs it up:

Why It's Easier to Love a Stepfather Than a Stepmother

This is why many SMs are left alone, way off to the side or in the back, during SD’s wedding, along with bio-dad.  Meanwhile, step-dad gets to walk his SD down the aisle, with BM beaming and smiling at him as he approaches the front pew to take a seat right next to her.

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

I don't know. I think a man is much more likely to stay with a woman that either doesn't like their stepchildren, or one that favors "ours" babies. -Than a woman is to stay with a man that shows the same behavior. It's just my perception of the situation, of course.

ldvilen's picture

I have to politely disagree, because I know too many BMs (and SMs) that stay in abusive relationships.  Statistics vary, but "Women are much more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence with 85 percent of domestic abuse victims being women and 15 percent men."  

beebeel's picture

I think it boils down to old ass gender roles. Women are expected to be motherly and take on parenting duties of any poor cretin that crosses her doorstep. Men are expected to provide and...thats it. The household tasks are automatically unloaded on many stepmoms while stepdads are expected to do what fathers have historically been expected to do: pay the mortgage and show up for dinner. 

The problem is that while gender roles have drastically changed for women, mens roles haven't changed that much. Women now work and earn more (as a group, despite the pay gap) than men. But we are still expected (and we do it!!) 90 percent of household tasks and child rearing. Viva la revolution, ladies. 

tog redux's picture

I agree 100%.  Women take on the parenting of skids and housework and the men get to kick their feet up and "provide" (some of them).  Stepdads get to be fun guys and stepmoms have to be meanies. 

And to boot, they get to listen to BM criticize everything they do.  The reason my SS still likes me is because I never did any of that stuff for him, because I didn't have a DH who expected or wanted it. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

Personal opinion only: I think SFs have it easier only because we, as a society, don't view men as "parents". They get a lot of credit for stepping in when a BF "steps out" (even if the BF hasn't actually stepped out, but only has limited visitation), even if their contribution to "stepping in" is just playing fetch with the kid and helping pay his share of the bills. The expectation to be a parent in the way we expect women to be parents just isn't the same.

Basically, SFs can do everything they did before (i.e. go to work, pay their bills, be responsible adults) and just marry a woman with kids - not even contribute to those kids, just not actively mistreat them - and they get a gold star because they didn't "have to".

That may seem unfair and like an awesome set-up for a SF, but ultimately, it hurts men because it reduces them to being "donors" instead of "parents". It's not exactly a "win" for men to get the better end of the deal in SPhood.

ldvilen's picture

I agree with you wholeheartedly Lt. Dad.  I don't even see how this can be controversial.  Of course step-dads fare better.  This is often not taken into consideration--the fact that just by virtue of BM having primary custody of the kids, "SFs can do everything they did before."  Not much changes.  Kids don't have to leave the golden palace of home.  Due to child-support from dad and step-dad’s contribution, income either remains the same or goes up.  Long-held rules from BM are kept in place.  Dad was a chump before (like you said, all dad has to do is show up and he’s a hero) and now step-dad is a chump (all he has to do is show up and abide by BM’s rules, the old rules).  

Meanwhile, SM is dealing with kids coming over to a new location EOWE or every few days.  This new location doesn’t have much if any of the same toys or friends or fun.  Because her DH is paying child support, SM’s overall income may go down.  BM has told kids over-and-over, “SM is not your mom!,” so now SM is left with no known role to fulfill for the kids, as far as they are concerned.  They know this woman is involved with their dad somehow and cooks and cleans for them, but what is she?  BM seems to feel threatened by her for some reason, so the decision is quickly made to avoid her like the plague.

Meanwhile, in order to form any sort of minute bond with her SKs, SM has to try to slowly, carefully and craft-fully worm her way into their hearts only seeing them a few days here and there.  She can’t step on BM’s shoes at all or try too hard.  If SM blows it, she won’t get a 2nd chance.  SM and bio-dad now have some new rules the kids need to learn and follow; however, dad may not even enforce those rules that he just agreed to with his wife.  He doesn’t want to be put in the middle of any dfficulty with his family that was of his own creation.  So, he purposefully or accidentally on purpose puts SM there.  He wants to play Good Cop; SM gets to play Bad Cop.

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

I'm going to copy/paste this in a Google doc to reference in the future because it is so perfectly worded and gets straight to the root of the issue!

strugglingSM's picture

Look at the general divorced family narrative - mom is the poor victim who has to suffer through being a "single mother". Dad is the deadbeat who abandoned his children. This is often the view even if it isn't the case in reality. Therefore, a stepdad is more likely to be seen as stepping up and taking the place of the deadbeat dad, making him an automatic hero. The stepmom is seen as stepping on mother's toes and likely seen to be benefiting from having dad as the financial provider, who has since abandoned poor victim mother to fend for herself and the children. 

I also agree, that in general (not all the time, but most of the time), it is the woman who holds on to and acts on bitterness after the divorce, even if she was the one who filed and even if she has moved on. In many cases, mother's acting out is against the new person, the stepmom. I think a lot of women expect their exes to be sad, sorry, and alone for the rest of their lives. Men, even if they are bitter, are less likely to take their aggressions out on the new guy. 

Rags's picture

As much as gender roles are a triggering topic these days, the fact is that they are directly related to biology and human physiology.

Women carry children. Women give birth to children. Women nurse children.  Men can not physically do these things.  Regardless of how they may identify. Biological males cannot physically carry, give birth or nurse.  Period.

Human evolution has developed the biology and behavioral connections that women have with the children that they are physiologically far more invested in than the human male is.  Historically gender roles are heavily driven off of the unequivocal facts of biological procreation roles of both women and men.

Bonded human pairs historically fill the roles that best provide for the successful survival of the species.  Historical female roles allow them to contribute to the pair bond while safely carrying, delivering and nursing young humans.  Historical male roles allow them to contribut to the pair bond  through instinct to protect, provide and fertilize.  The human brain has evolved to facilitate these primary gender roles in both men and in women.

Societal aversion to fact not withstanding, facts are facts and physiological characteristics of both female and male humans are highly influential to the roles they fill. Even in evolving society.

When it comes to accomplishments and self determination, men and women today have far more flexibility in accomplishing what they want to  accomplish.   So while women can be bread winners and men can be the primary nurturing influence hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution will not be overcome in a few short generations though eventually things will change as evolution addresses changes in human existence.

One example of man's influence on evolution of the species is that we are seeing in the increase in diabetes.   Until the discovery and synthesis of insulin, T-1 diabetics rarely lived long enough to procreate and diabetis rarely was passed on to subsequent generations.  Since the discovery of insulin and the advent of insulin therapy T-1 diabetics now live long relatively healthy lives and have kids... so the disease has become far more common in the nearly 100 years since insulin was discovered.

We will likely see similar accelerated evolution of gender roles and in the physiology of the human brain based on the evolution of gender roles.  That is the nature of evolution.  What will change at a much slower pace is the  general human aversion to change.   People like their comfort zones.

IMHO of course. 

beebeel's picture

Stop it. No one is bitching that their husband refuses to breastfeed so stop it. 

There is absolutely zero biological obstacle for men to feed, bathe, and discipline children and picking up a mother effing broom. None. 

And both my grandmother's worked well into their 60s. I am certainly not a first gen working mom.

Rags's picture

I am not saying that people are bitching about men not breastfeeding. Nor am I saying that there is a biological obstacle to men caring for children or cleaning the home they live in. What I said was that gender roles have evolved over the course of human existence due to the biological function that men and women provide for the continuation and evolution of the species.  

Only in fairly recent human history has society and technology evolved to the point that gender roles can and are rapidly changing.  

Both of my grandmothers worked as well.  My bride works.  

My point is that human biology/physiology has been highly influential in the establishment of historical behavioral gender roles.  That does not make them evil or wrong.  That just makes them the fact of human history.  

Like everything else in human history, gender roles will evolve as the species evolves.  This will happen fast enough for some, too fast for others, and not nearly fast enough for yet others.

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

It's a matter of convenience, Rags. Everyone will find something to complain about when it's convenient for them, even if the "stepdad" is doing what he's supposed to and more.

Want to mow the grass, ladies? Then go mow the grass, I'll watch the baby.

Want to fix the sump in the basement? Be my guest, I'm sure there's a youtube video out there.

Toilet clogged? The plunger's in the closet.

Blew out your tire on the way home? Change it, I'll finish up the dishes for ya.

Breaking out of "gender roles" is a two way street, and from my personal experience with women, paired with the fact I work in a profession that is mainly women (teaching), I can tell you that it must not be that big of a deal, since all of these women come to my classroom to ask me to do things that you might consider "gender based" on a daily basis. (Throwing kids out of classes, hallway sweeps, fixing broken stuff.

I'm not making excuses for lazy men, but splitting responsibilities in a household actually means "splitting" those responsibilities. If I'm maintaining the yard or fixing up something downstairs, I'd expect that the wife is doing something that she's comfortable handling. The worst is when you're a man who just got done mowing the lawn in 100 degree weather for 3 hours, you come inside and get complained at that you're not "helping out". It's always on the tip of my tongue to say "I'd have loved to take care of the infant for the past 3 hours, you take your ass outside next time".

I also come from a house where I do my own laundry, and my daughter's as well. I also cook most meals. It's not in my nature to "nitpick", but I feel like I've definitely recieved "nitpicking" when it comes to, say, putting dishes away in the "wrong drawer". I wouldn't even think to get on somebody about something like that.

beebeel's picture

Oh dear God. You don't have custodial staff in your building because I find it hard to believe admin likes teachers sweeping the hallway (and that's not exactly an historically male task).

Right. Because mowing the grass once a week for three whole months (in my region anyhow) is equal to cleaning the house every damn day. Cry me a river made of man tears. 

Regardless of how your personal household tasks are divided, studies show that women continue to take on the vast majority of the actual work it requires to run a home. And I think it's hilarious how much men bitch when their wives equalize the load. 

I gladly switched with my DH one summer. I mowed the lawn and changed the oil in the cars. He did everything else and that was the last summer he ever took me up on that!! Oh, and the grass never looked so good. It looked like a GD golf course.

P.S. I find it hard to believe you do most of the cooking if you don't care if dishes are returned to their correct place. It is very frustrating to be mid meal prep and you are digging through every drawer to find the utensil you need. Wink

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

Good for you! I'm sure you're in a crippling damn minority.

Housework, from my experience, is only as hard as you make it.

Don't feel like doing dishes? Use paper plates. / Don't feel like running a vacuum every single day? Create consequences for making messes in the house. / Laundry? It literally takes 3 minutes to throw everything in, and 3 minutes to get it out. If you want to spend 3 hours intricately folding it, that's on you. / Toilets/bathrooms? Clean your crap off the toilet after each time you go, it's gross to look at. / Cups? Make your kids wash them out right after the use them for the day. / Have a 6+ year old? Chores.

I come from the USMC in early adulthood, where it was a RIGOROUS cleanliness inspection. It took 20 minutes to get the barracks room to that level. If you're in the business of getting crap done, it doesn't take that much time. I do most of it right now.

As for your "building services" comment. No, they call me when their doc camera/smart board etc. isn't working. Where I work (urban neighborhood), admin comes maybe 25% of the time when you call for them because of behavior. Then my phone rings, many times. Admin is always so completely swamped with behavior that the hallways are a riot zone, and the kids ignore women teachers. 100%. 

You can believe what you'd like. Your dude was probably just lazy, or your expectations too high.

beebeel's picture

I'm not even close to the minority. As I have stated many times, women as a group still do the vast majority of the housework and child raising.

I don't bitch about what I do personally because my dh and I have that much figured out. You seem to be super butthurt/weirdly proud that you keep a house up to marine corps standards. Meh. Color me unimpressed. That's been expected of women everywhere for decades. Wink

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

Minority of women that do traditionally male gender based activities in the home. 

Butthurt? No. 

Amused? Sure. 

Expectations on women too much? Blame your lazy man.

Do you disagree that most housework can be made much easier by just moving your ass and getting it done, or maybe setting a standard for people living there?

beebeel's picture

Wow. I don't know how I can make this any clearer: the "male gender based activities" of the home account for 10 percent of the total work. Yes a minority of women do those tasks, because most of them are doing the other 90 percent. It doesnt matter how efficiently each task is completed. A riding mower ( which most fat asses in my neighborhood have) is far more efficient than a push mower, but that doesnt mean the household tasks are divided equally.

This discussion has very little to do with "my man" or "your woman." But I realize you would rather talk specifics when the statistics don't back up your argument. 

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

No, I think doing the laundry, the dishes, and vacuuming are overexaggerated overall. I can attest to it, because I do most of it.

I think it's hard for people who don't police their children's cleanliness, sure.

beebeel's picture

Oh. Now you argue that these things are "easy" so it's OK that women do most of it. LOL okay dude. It doesn't take me three hours or one bit of my education to mow the lawn. 

Policing my 3 year old's cleanliness is a constant, never ending job. You can come back to talk when your kid starts to walk. Wink

Iamwoman's picture

JSB, you're using your own life and personal experience as a measuring tape for an entire gender. Beebeel's points are based on statistical facts.

I used to be a teacher for 14 years (hated it). I never once called on a male to assist me with my job. Perhaps your situation has more to do with flirtatious women than with helpless women... and kids did not listen better to men than women. On several occasions I fact, I had to assist male counterparts in reigning in classroom control in their classrooms. Kids are basic. They listen to the alpha. I'm alpha.

If housework is so "easy" and whatever else you claim, then why aren't more men doing housework and leaving lawns and oil changes to women? I much prefer mowing in 100 degree heat to never ending housework. The problem is... so does my DH. Lol. If housework were as trite as you make it out to be, nobody would hire a maid. People garden as a hobby. Nobody cleans other people's messes as a hobby...

I have seen what you are referring to in regards to female teachers calling on male teachers to kill spiders and lift heavy things, but those cases have all been flirtatious in nature. Perhaps you simply don't notice the hidden intent. Most teachers I knew took care of their own lifting, classroom discipline, etc.

The point is that you are arguing as an outlier to the norm while Beebeel is arguing the norm.

Are there outliers? Sure. Comparing them to the norm though is silly, because... outliers.

Gimlet's picture

Yes!  Anecdotes are great, but they aren't data.  Good example of the availability heuristic. 


juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

I work in a title 1 urban area. The kids don't respect women because they only see women in their lives. Female teachers are routinely assaulted, whether it be sexually (touching) or violently (pushing, having things thrown at them). There's a violent outbreak in my school daily, sometimes two. Handling discipline in the burbs' or in a rural area is nothing in comparison, sorry. Working with high needs kids is kinda my thing though. I wouldn't give it up. (Unless it's a high needs kid living in my house.)

My point wasn't that there aren't lazy men. My point was that I think that housework is blown out of proportion. I realize that I'm on a board full of women saying that, but think about it. Statistically, most famililes are dual income now, when you take out people on social security and/or retired folks. Houses are occupied only half the time. By the time everyone comes back into the house, it's already time to eat, wind down, and go to bed. There isn't the traditional playtime indoors or that kind of craziness happening. Dishes and laundry get tossed in, the vacuum three times a week, you go to bed and repeat the process. I do it more often than not now, becuase of teacher schedule, so I can attest that it's not too bad. 

If you have a man that kicks it up with muddy boots like Gaston at the end of the day, then just actually give him half of the tasks. "Yo, throw that laundry in", "Hey, throw that crap in the dishwasher.", "Run that swiffer across the floor real quick".

Iamwoman's picture

Sorry bud, but you've either never done housework ROUTINELY or you're just a misogynist.

My own husband will be one of the first to admit that housework is the worst, and obviously so will Beebeel's. In fact, I told him about this thread and he thinks based on your comments that you've never been solely responsible for housework on a regular basis.

Its never ending. As soon as you're done cleaning, the messes begin to pile up again.

Pitching in every now and then and being the hero is not the same as having an entire society insinuate that housework is your responsibility and you getting stuck with it day in and day out until the day you die. Sure, the tasks on their own can be short lived and not too strenuous, but repeatedly and over time, its enough to make anyone feel like a slave to their own home or family.

Also, you're comparing apples to oranges. You're taking your own job and experience with title one kids (I have experience with them too), and you're applying it to an entirely different population. Every woman on this site has a man in her life who is an active father in his child's life.

Dont get me wrong, I appreciate you taking on that job. I've done it and it sucks. I left title one schools because I can't relate and I'm not interested in being blamed for problems I didn't create. No one is denying you have a tough job, and I can understand any other type of work completely paling in comparison to what you have to deal with every day. When I worked a title one school, I used to be envious of gas station attendant jobs... or even homeless people.. being homeless seemed more appealing at that time. You have a tough job. I know. That's why ne reason I left. I spent only one year in a school like that and it completely and permanently jaded my view of the world and of certain populations.

However, to belittle anyone and everyone's household and lives that don't jive with your skewed view is not ok either. If your job is really getting to you to the point where you feel the need to belittle everything and everyone around you, then perhaps it's time for a career change?

Whether or not you agree on that last question, your points a about housework are yours and yours alone. You are being abused on a daily basis at work, so anything else will of course be a dream in comparison.

Rags's picture

The work day is from 08:00 -17:00 during which we are both working. If one or the other of us is not working a job, those hours are work hours none the less. The work just happens at home.  When we both arrive home from the usual work day it is not my time or her time to deal with household stuff, it is our time to deal with household stuff.  When the kid was young I would not take the kid hand off when I walked in the door from work.  DW and I both handled the kid.

My brother and SIL had a far different model.  She was a SAHM and he had/has the career. When he would walk in the door from the 10-15 hour work day she would hand him the kids and park her ass until bedtime.  He looked like the kiss of death with halitosis for a decade or more.  He never got a break.  His choice drove me nuckin futz and I still worry about him not having a trule life partner.  He agrees that he doesn't.  He regularly shares with mom, dad and I that he has 4 kids and not just 3.   He asuaged much of the tensions around making a home and caring for kids by adopting the outsourcing model.   In less than a year their youngest will leave for college.  I worry about my brother's marriage at that point.  Mom and dad and I are holding our breaths on how their marriage will respond to my SIL not having a kid to dote on.  With their last gone I am not sure my brother will continue to engage housekeeping services while my SIL flits around.  Time will tell on that.

Not that the outsource model has been completely seemless and without the occassional friction points.  We both detest house work and I detest yard work.  So, we outsource as much of it as possible.  There is still some tension due to my DW's general feelings that I do not invest time into making our home.  Usually if I do something it is not how she likes it done.  So, I play the "if you don't like how I do it, feel free to do it the way you want it done" card. Not a wise move....but it is what it is.  As for yard work.... I carry a complete lawn care took kit in my pocket.  It is called a smart phone.  One call, $50 twice a month and it is done. I will Weed & Feed and pop crab grass twice a year to keep the grass healthy and weed free but mowing, trimming, edging is all outsourced and the sprinkler system does the watering.

I utilize a similar model with housekeeping.  We usually have a cleaning service come twice a month to do the major cleaning.  We generally do our own laundry though I outsource the laundering of my work clothes. I do my jeans, underwear and casual shirts.  The resk I drop off for dry cleaning/washing, starching, pressing, and minor repairs.

I find that once a service is engaged after a couple of months any related tensions fade and we have a much more relaxed home.

Technology and outsourcing are great tools for relieving marital housekeeping and lawn care tensions.



1wonder woman's picture

I'd have to say it would be much easier being a step Dad instead of a step Mom. Most step dads work fulltime and really are not around the kids that much. I know I spent more time with my step mom instead of my step dad because she was a at home mom.  When I was a kid I had more issues with my step mom then my step dad. Plus after being on this site I have read more complaints from Step moms then Step Dads. I have seen more BM's having a very hard time letting go of their ex-husbands and moving forward and disconnecting from their ex-husbands so that causes the step moms more drama. 

Iamwoman's picture

Stepdads have it easier.

Effort-wise, both SMs and SDs can conttribute much or as little as desired. So, that point is moot.

Emotionally, society will readily berate a SM who neither cares for nor engaged with her skids. On the same token, society will consider a SD a hero just for existing in the same house, and blame the wife and skids if he is disengaged.

Women are basically blamed for everything, including things that men get blamed for (it's almost always turned around, because as a gender, most men really don't want women to be considered equals).


Bad kids? Bad mom

Messy home? Woman's fault

Expenses too high? Woman needs to work

Women not nurturing enough? Woman's lib. Women shouldn't work.

Someone's birthday forgotten? Wife's fault

In-law problems? Must be the wife

Bad drivers on the road? Must be women

This list could go on and on, but for most of these items I see just as many, of not more men than women at fault, yet the automatic societal assumption is that it's the woman. SMS are women, so yes. We get blamed for everything that goes wrong in a stepfamily, when in reality, almost none of it is our fault.

This is a way to keep women, as a gender, oppressed. Especially since, if we defend ourselves, we are witches, if we point out universal facts, we are wrong because one single outlier doesn't fit the trend, and if we confide in one another all of these truths we all secretly know, we are "whining." Even some women are so emotionally and mentally beaten down by this constant onslaught from society that they will agree with everything men blame us for... which of course only encourages the gaslighting of an entire gender.

SMs have it harder and considering this is even up for debate... will always have it harder, at least for the rest of my living days.

Kiwi_koala's picture

This thread is hilarious.  How is it even a question if SM's have it harder? Life in general for women is more difficult. Women make beings from an egg into a whole person, deliver babies and feed them from their body. That alone is absolutely amazing and a very big drain on a woman's body, not to mention that it changes her to the core, physically and otherwise. Then aside from all that a woman is expected to work, pay half the bills, take care of the children a majority of the time, run a household and meet everyone's needs. Ohhhh and we can't forget also look like a model. This society hates women.. and a lot of the hatred comes from women themselves. It's honestly disgusting. 

Men are expected to work and protect. That's what they're wired to do. In step families this doesn't work though. You can't have a woman who is not the mother expected to be the mother when they already have one. Yet, society expects women to raise their own kids, help raise another woman's kids, household chores, accept money and resources leaving her home and maybe contribute her own resources thus, decreasing her sense of security. Sounds like a great deal. There may be some step father's who contribute to raising their step children, but from what I've seen it's mostly monetarily ( not to say that isn't generous). They don't normally discipline the children or have to deal with maternal loyalty bonds. Most kids are more open to step father figures. 

Oh and it's less time consuming to put air in tires, wash cars, change oil and mow the lawn than do daily cleaning, organizing and cooking. 

Felicity0224's picture

In my experience, my SDs’ stepdad has it way easier than I have. After 12 years of helping to raise them, every single thing I do has been twisted into something negative by BM. I’ve been repeatedly vilified to the point that the kids, who know that I love them, have no idea what to believe. There have been obstacles set in my path at every turn, unless of course it benefited BM in some way to “allow” me to do something. Meanwhile, their stepdad has been around for 4 years, and if he so much as drives them three miles to school, he is lauded as a hero who has “stepped up” to replace their “deadbeat dad.” The double standard is mind boggling.