Step-parent Etiquette



I was twice asked today how many children I have. The first time I was asked “how many kids do you have” Of course I answered that I am blessed beyond belief to have four amazing wonderful sons. The second time I was asked “how many kids do you and your husband have”? I have four, he has three – if you are good at math you will know that that is seven in total. But this person isn’t someone that I know, who doesn’t know there are step parents and step children involved, that it is a second marriage – what would have been the politically correct answer to give? I didn’t want to say “I have seven kids” – or even “we” have seven kids – no matter how much I love the KoDs kids, they are not biologically mine so I cannot claim them as such. But to go into detail in this situation (nail salon) was not something I wanted to do.


How would you have answered?

9 responses to “Step-parent Etiquette

  1. “There are seven children in my home, not including my husband”. The answer is true, and the humor deflects from a probing question.

  2. good answer!!! (hows the groundhog faring today?)

  3. Half a dozen or so….at any given time. Give or take a few…

    I think your answer was just fine. In this era, people are getting more and more used to these “my husband’s and mine’s….” And if they are too dumb to figure it out, you really don’t have the time to stand around explaining your life to them.

  4. I have two half brothers and my mom would refer to them I guess as stepsons. But then again that was a long time ago and trends may have changed. You could say 4 sons and 3 stepkids. Thats accurate and shouldn’t put your hubby’s kids down at all. I’m sure they know you love them.

  5. lady lock and load

    questions, questions….for this reason I sometimes go get my manicure/pedicure at a place the women of the tribe don’t go to, they ask me too many personal and annoying questions while I want to relax and have me time. Don’t worry, whatever you answer them is fine, they won’t stay up at night thinking about it!

  6. I AM a stepkid and I get extremely offended when people don’t accept me as a “full” family member. I want my stepfather to claim me as his – he is, after all, my psychological father and that’s far more important. I would have said seven and said it proudly.

  7. I guess it’s all too new for you, but please answer something like “we have seven.”

    The Israeli Memorial events are too raw for me. Too many people I know have to answer things like: “We had 8.”

    G-d willing, all of your children will be one family, ad me’ah v’esrim.

  8. I think your answer was fine. Or, “between the two of us, we have 7.” I think using the term “step-children” *might* be something your step-children don’t like as ElianahSharon pointed out. But you could ask them.

    I was also a step-child, but it never bothered me to be referred to in that way. After all, while I love my step-mom and she did play a significant part in raising me, she isn’t my biological mom.

  9. Hi!
    I think your answer was fine. I have a daughter and a stepdaughter, and used to say so whenever I was asked the same question. After a couple of years, though, I began to refer to them collectively as ‘our girls’ or ‘my girls’, and I think my stepdaughter really likes this. It has a sort of ‘proud’ sound about it, and certainly makes me feel so.


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