Unconcious acts but = hurt(20 Posts)
Morning all, just after some hand holding really. Its been quite a hard weekend visit with Step children this weekend as it is and then to top off this morning when their Mum came to collect (as not back to school yet), they shot out the house with not so much as a 'Goodbye'. I know they are just kids and probably looking forward to seeing her, however I felt really hurt and also annoyed at DH that he allows this from them (not the first time by a long mile).
I feel so insignificant as a role in their lives other than to cook/clean/run around and spend money....I appreciate this is not a malis act on their behalf and god knows I do all the above happily as I do for my own child but I guess at least with her there are many moments of love etc that make it rewarding.
How do others cope with this?
When I feel like that, I realise I have probably been doing too much for the step kids and I make myself take a step back.
Resentment is a terrible thing, try and avoid it by taking a step back, being clear about your role and also understanding that they're just being kids and they won't change unless someone (meaning their parents) pick them up on it.
Mine rarely say goodbye to me when they head off.
But to be fair, by own DCs will head off with their dad for a weekend, or even for a longer holiday, without a backwards glance either, so I try not to take it personally. It's just a feature of being a child/early teen really to live in the here and now and not to think too much about the people you're not going to be with for the next week or so. And if I'm collecting mine from my ex's I tend to be more concerned about whether they've got all their stuff with them, etc than in reminding them to say goodbye to him - still less his DW who I may not even know whether she's at home at the time or not.
On the plus side mine are mostly on FB now, so we have the odd bit of interaction in the week sometimes which can be quite fun and keeps me up to date on what they're doing.
My teenage step daughters are the same! They often don't say hello either. It's so alien to me to not say hi or bye and I think it's bad manners but my husband doesn't seem to notice. It puts my back up from the minute they walk in so in my head the visit is already off to a bad start.
I actually mentioned it a few weeks ago to them and they're better now. After reading the other comments above, they were probably just being typical teenagers and I may have taken it a bit personally, ha ha.
Mine are exactly the same. I feel like saying do you know who washed your sheets, bought and cooked your food and tidied up after you? Do you say thanks for having me when you go to a friends house to play? Not here, no .
I'm not sure I'd ever expect my DSC to say 'thanks for having me' tbh - unless they came very infrequently or were grown ups coming for a visit. If they come regularly it's their second home, so they're no more likely to say that than your own DC is when they go off to their dad's for a few days.
Not being on best polite behaviour is really a sign that they're happy and relaxed at yours - I don't think any child will or should really have to thank a parent for buying their food - that's a basic task of parenting that they have a right to take for granted really. Think your DP should instead be thanking you for helping him with the basic aspects of parenting that you're helping him with!
DH is a stickler for manners. He has always made DSS thank whoever has cooked his dinner for his food (plus good table manners in general), he'll get DSS to text his nan when she's sent him a message asking after him and she doesn't hear back. Plus he's got to say thank you for birthday/xmas gifts or any money relatives impart his way.
At the end of each contact, DH gets DSS to say goodbye to his little sister and me.
TBH its become second nature to him now, and he rarely forgets. But I don't think I'd mind too much if DSS didn't act like this. I suspect some of his manners will become unlearned once adolescence really sets in.
I guess its up to the parents to decide whether this sort of thing is important or not. To DH it is and to you too OP. Could you speak with your partner and see what he thinks?
I agree I dont expect the DSC's to thank me for having them (I do in other peoples houses etc) but as Purple says this is their other home. However I do think when leaving saying goodbye is reasonable, my DD is not exempt in that scenario but the difference is I do recognise this as average actions of a child but that doesnt mean I except it as exceptable and I will give a nudge saying 'have you said your goodbyes to everyone?'
I think I have probably felt a little personal about it this morning as the weekend was pretty hard work all round.
Interestingly in another thread on here someone talks about how the Maternal expectations of SMs is higher than that of SD's and this is true of our house hold, the DSC come to me for most everything rather than their Dad where as DD still comes to me therefore he is able to detatch quite easily as Redhen suggests where as if I was to significantly detatch it would be quite apparant. Sadly though although the maternal expectations are high it is limited to the cooking/cleaning etc etc, I seem to be frowned upon beyond that like expecting expectations to be met and so on
My DSCs are here all the time, and I wouldn't expect them to say thanks for most things, although where DH or I have made a special effort, I would - e.g., not for buying the food, but yes if I make lunch for them (usually they fix their own) - and we would say thanks at the end of a meal they made...
but saying hello and goodbye is different, isn't it, sometimes mine don't say hello or reply when they come into a room after I haven't seen them all day, and I do find it offensive. DH doesn't take any notice (he wouldn't take any notice if they did the same to him)...it is hard not to take it personally, but on the other hand, sometimes they do this and then five minutes later they are chatting cheerfully with me about something, so I think it is 'just' rudeness.
I know exactly what you mean op. my step kids don't visit too often as we live very far away from each other but they stop here for awhile and just when you think you have bonded well and might miss them they throw it all back in your face by not saying goodbye or even a thanks. I have known these kids for four years now and treat them like my own kids and they happily climb all over me and demand cuddles so I feel that a little goodbye shouldn't be out the question!
This summer hol's however has been different, their mum has given birth twice in a year and they are feeling incredibly pushed out so when it was time to go home not only did they say goodbye and with very fierce hugs they also admitted they would rather stay here with us which was heartbreaking but lovely at the same time. They keep texting their dad saying how they can't wait until Christmas as they will be here with us
I should clarify i don't expect them to say thanks for having me , i just meant the actual attitude of saying goodbye is politeness itself and would mean that to me . if they can say that to friends mums. Why can't they say goodbye to me . When they disappear without a goodbye it upsets me as i think they don't like me even a little and i do do things for them.
My dh thanking me is another matter. He doesn't think he should have to...
I agree brdgrl. I also find I offensive when the teens can't be bothered to acknowledge you or say hello. Its plain rude. I think kids nowadays are so obsessed with their own "stuff" they have lost basic manners. I find it very sad.
At least we all seem to have the same issue :-(
I agree reluctantstepMum, if I think of my own parents rules and expectations for manners compared to today there is a massive difference. Although I may have found it annoying as a child I can say hand on heart I'm grateful now that they instilled these in me as they have served me bloody well in adult hood. Which I think is why it's important to me as I want all of them to be well grounded polite adults.
I'm a bit concerned that I have always thought Dh and I were on the same page but I'm starting to worry that perhaps he has played lip service to me, as although he is verbally to me on board totally, I see little enforcement from him when it comes down to it and is left to me.
This makes me worry about what Redhen has said regarding resentment as I feel it occasionally towards DH for leaving it to me and I'm worried the kids are feeling the same back as they see it as more my rule!!
I really don't have unreasonable expectations, thought I'd list them below to gage thoughts:
1. Please and thank you (without having to prompt with 'what do you say' seeming they are all above 10 years)
2. I do not like 'what' said in a tone of annoyance when I'm actually just letting them know something like dinner is ready - if u don't hear that's fine but say 'pardon'
3. Interrupting when your talking without an 'excuse me'
4. Basic table manners - don't chew with mouth open, talk with it full and pease ask to be excused if you need to get down.
5. Flush the loo (yes I know but believe it or not has taken 3 years to get one to do that)
That's it really - does that seem too draconian?
5) thankfully not a problem
1,2 and 3) took ages to implement as dh felt too guilty to ask them?!?
4) more a ds problem, I remind him again and again, but tbh, dsc have great table manners but thats it really.
They were raised to be mini adults and basically have always looked down on everybody around them. It's only since I've
rebelled detached that dh has encouraged them to say please and thank you, even to staff in restaurants (omg!!!), say goodbye etc. it makes a huge difference to how I feel about them, and dh...
if for any reason I shout them down to tell them something/say dinner is ready ect and someone says what I will just leave it until they come my own ds included too, I expect the loo to be flushed, if someone interrupts I will say I was talking you will have to wait or ignore the name repeating until I have finished. that said I don't expect a thank you for tasks like doing washing/dinner ect. I think its a sign when we feel taken for granted though to look at what we do and take some time back for ourselves whether that be our own dc, sc , work or whatever.
Your soo right Supermario, I'm going to really work on taking a step back. If I even look at this morning it was me who had made sure all needed school items ( which were here as they came back to us last day of term) were cleaned, bagged up and by the front door ready to be handed over.
I wonder what carnage it would be if I left those things, maybe it would only take one stressful handover to get things going.
I should point out DH is not lazy at all round the house but in man fashion is diss organised with those sorts of things - general school admin, who needs to be where and when
you sound like me. I know I shouldnt run around after any of them half as much as I do but i do it because I'm also the one it will annoy when people are late for school, half dressed, forget instruments pe kits ot lunch ect. dp is fab and I couldnt ask for better I'm terms of support but has got the organisational skills of a tea bag. I think its with anything this can happen though even extended family there is only so much one person can do remember that. its okay to think nope I'm going to have a bru and let them carry on
When I feel like that, I realise I have probably been doing too much for the step kids and I make myself take a step back
This is great advice.
I once read a comment on a step parents forum which just said, always try to be yourself but always keep you heart safe from another woman's children. When I read this I had had an identical experience to yours OP. I was gutted as they ran out the door while I was at the loo with a toilet training toddler. We'd have been out in a minute! I was furious that my DP hadn't made them hang back a few minutes. I tried to raise it with him and he said he was "sick of your histrionics"!!!! This was the first time I had EVER raised ANY issue at all. I took a step back then, but to be honest it just made me resentful and i felt like a glorified housekeeper. I'd say instead, think lovely thoughts of them and don't expect too much in return. Wallow in the love you receive from your DD. The best advice I've read here is fake it till you make it. It worked for me until we split, but that's a whole other story!!!
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