But step-parenting is one big pile of WTF, a significant percentage of the time, and step-parents are subject to dynamics that bio-parents should consider themselves lucky to avoid. Those dynamics range from stressful to toxic to completely deranged and can be inflicted at times and in situations that (and this is what really and truly makes the step-parenting role punishing) you have zero actual or direct control over, often despite the “best intentions” of most of the parties involved. If you do your job as a step-parent properly, you are taking on a great deal of responsibility while having zero final authority over issues that impact your home, and every single one of your other basic needs.
Let me just emphatically stress that step-parenting also has rewards. I’m leaving that there in the air as a given. And my husband is the best person I could possibly have as a partner in this situation. TOTALLY a given.
I am a grown-up and I did choose this. I don’t regret it. But it’s not frickin’ easy.