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Have recently gone from family of 3 (me and 2 DCs) to family of 4 in the week and up to 8 at weekends when joined by 4 DSC so know how you feel. What's worked to some extent is: - Make plans to go out with friends, and ask DP if he's OK to look after DCs - Shut myself in my room with book or laptop - Arrange play dates or activities for my own two DCs, and encourage DP to do likewise with his younger ones - Try and get them off to bed by a reasonable hour (though I struggle with this one with the teenage DSC) - Check that no one's nicked all the hot water and have a nice long bath
I don't have any children of my own but have 2 dsc, a 9yr old and a 14yr old.
I love having them around but by the evening I just want some quiet and adult time, dsd (14) is lovely but talks constantly and by about 7pm I want to cover my ears and say laalaalaalaalaa I either take myself upstairs with a hot chocolate or I have a bath.
I also insist that both kids are upstairs by 9, not necessarily in bed just upstairs so I can unwind before bed
You really do need your DP on board with this to support you and he needs to understand your need for time alone and for time with your DC only.
Step families aren't nuclear/first families and your expectations shouldn't be based on that. You are a step family and you need time to bond with your step kids but not at the expense of your relationship with your biological kids.
I tend to have a tidy up in my bedroom, have an extra long shower, paint my nails and generally extend my evening routine to mean more time in the bathroom / bedroom and less time with DSC.
I also make sure I go to the gym / see friends / go for a walk / go shopping at the weekends either with or without my DS. It also gives DP time alone with his kids which he sees as less important than I do but that's simply because he isn't as outnumbered as DS and I. However, he does now accomodate my wishes (needs) as he understands it's important for me and ultimately, for us, if I am feeling comfortable with our home life.