Thursday

Remarried Custodial Fathers As Caregivers

This one should come as NO shock to all mothers, and yet stepmothers are some of the most hateful women when it comes to defending their husbands against the big, bag ex-wife:

Myth -- Single custodial fathers who have remarried are the primary caregiver of their children in the household.

Fact: Stepmothers are. "The general picture that emerged is that stepmothers and mothers had been the lead actors in the monitoring and directing of activities and the nurturing and disciplining of these children. This finding about stepmothers was somewhat surprising, given that the children's longer term primary ties were to their biological fathers and that most participants only visited their stepmothers and fathers part time when they were minors. One might imagine that in a visitation or coresidential situation with biological fathers and stepmothers, fathers would take the lead over stepmothers in the guiding and care of their children. This did happen for one of the interview participants, Victoria, reflecting an organization of family practices along a biological/step distinction. Yet, gender imbalances in father-stepmother guidance and daily care of children tended to dominate in these interview findings despite biological fathers' longer term relationships and biological ties with their children that their current wives did not have... fathers' work obligations sometimes created situations in which children were left for long periods under the sole care of the stepmother."

Maria Schmeeckle (2007) Gender Dynamics in Stepfamilies: Adult Stepchildren's Views Journal of Marriage and Family 69 (1), 174?189.


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