• Lynnette Peck


OK, I am not going to pretend that being a step-parent is like being in a fairytale - BUT it is similar to getting your roots done at the hairdressers. What??? Hold on. It is because you spend hours of your life (years, actually) on the huge effort but the final result and rewards are SO worth it.

Plus, you get amazing small people to share your world with but without the ultimate responsibility for them. Win. Win. I say. I love my two stepchildren, almost as much as I love my dog. And anyone who knows me realises that is a good statement.

Here are my ten reasons why being a step-parent is wicked…in a good way

1 You don't have stretch marks and a stretched lady garden from childbirth

Hurrah! Well, this only works if you haven’t had children. I haven’t. That sounded a big smug, but you get my drift.

2 Midlife is not their business

If your peri-menopause/menopause means you want a Saturday in bed reading and drinking gin, as you feel rubbish, you can.

3 They don’t notice hot flushes

They don’t watch your every move like they would a parent, so even if you are dripping wet they will be too busy doing something else to notice.

4 It is not your job to discipline them

When the going gets tough, the tough…call Dad! His kids. His problem. Or something like that. Although if they are about to run across a motorway or put their head in a microwave then it might be best to say something.

5 You don’t have to be a Michelin-style chef every weekend

You don’t cook for them every day, so you don’t have to be too creative. Mine always want egg and chips, pasta with pesto and spaghetti bolognaise. I have cooked these regularly for five years with no complaints.

6 Your girlfriends who don’t have any children in their life think you are flipping Mother Teresa

Take the gold stars and then tell them what it is really like. Nobody is perfect, but you try your best.

7 You get a crash course in parenting by watching their Dad do it (presumably he is a brilliant Dad to his kids otherwise you wouldn’t be with him)

He is the expert on his own kids. Watch his mistakes and successes and then copy the good bits. Well, not the bit where he sings the Hamilton soundtrack very loudly whilst wearing a bathrobe (true).

8 You can tease their Dad and get away with it

Kids love it when a parent is teased and as a step-parent this is also a good way to bond with them. My step kids know their Dad has a phobia about eyes (*eye roll) so we regularly go square-eyed to tease him.

9 You finally learn how to play computer games (ish)

But I still don't understand the point of Minecraft or Five Nights at Freddy’s.

10 They are VERY nice to you

My stepchildren are much nicer to me than they are to their parents. I am not taking credit for this. It is nature. They don’t need to rebel against me. I am their friend (hopefully). They are both still under 13 though so I will report back when they are teens…


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