How can you actually fall out about..

(19 Posts)
fackinell Mon 16-Dec-13 23:59:21

...towels?!! And actually find yourself reevaluating your whole future?

DSD 16 (not married to DP but together a few years) and I get on good (these days.) But she is spoilt. Extremely spoilt. For around a week now she has had towels lying on her bedroom floor (I rarely go in there but needed something stored in her room.) she lives at ours one day a week but is round two or three. In the past few weeks we have had rather demanding behaviour. Going on holiday wasn't enough, she 'needed' a games console for Christmas. I defended her on this as she didn't ask to go on hol, we offered and took her (and DP spent a few hundred quid on her for clothes etc.)

But the one thing I cannot stand is Princess like behaviour. I commented to DP that she knows where the laundry basket is and I refuse to pick up her towels. Just had a massive argument over this as I've found them in the laundry basket (she hasn't been here for days.) He admitted he picked them up.

I'm not bring arsey but I think something THAT simple should be reinforced. I wouldn't expect anyone to pick up after me! He says if I have a problem I should pull her up, but its not my place.

Probably ranting over next to nothing to a lot of people but its ongoing; a cup with mould left in her room, hair dye debris in the bath, an open packet of biscuits on the table that lies out all night. Just general stuff that is presumed will be cleaned up by another (me,)

Last week she had too much to drink at a party and when she subsequently threw up, he asked ME to clean
It up. I said she could do it herself or at least he should but he didn't dare ask her, and did it himself, eventually.

Honest opinions needed. Should I get out now? I know she will get older but one day I will be putting up with all this with his Grandchildren. We have tried for our own child but have lost two. If that's the way he parents then I really don't want to go there anyway. I have a great opportunity to move away which I haven't even considered but I am now. It's in another country and involves a good friend. P

fackinell Tue 17-Dec-13 00:01:00

Hit post by accident!

I thought I had a great future with him after the early DSD tantrums but now I'm at the fuck it stage!!

Aroundtheworldandback Tue 17-Dec-13 00:18:21

My dd16 is like this. Towels on floor and much, much worse. I nag her constantly. I often think it's bad enough she's my daughter, but if she were my step daughter it would be even more intolerable. Ironically it is my dh (her step dad) who is far more tolerant of her ways than i am, and just seems to clear up after all of them.

Of course it drives you mad. I am shocked though that your dp asked you to clean her sick? Wtf?!! Hard to give you advice about any decision without knowing about the rest of your relationship, but if your dp can see how much distress her behaviour causes you, I would like to see a massive effort on his part to change things, which doesn't include secretly tidying up after her!

fackinell Tue 17-Dec-13 00:36:29

Thanks Around. Our relationship is otherwise fantastic other than a some slight reluctance in his part to be sociable with others. This is improving though.

She was sick in the car and we had to pull off an A road. He was driving but I told her to climb in the other side. There was no way I'd clean up anyone's sick that was capable of doing it. I was annoyed that it didn't occur to her to even make a half arsed offer. She shouldn't have been drinking anyway but we have discussed and allowed the occasion cider etc, she was in our presence and way out of control that night IMO. It isn't my place to say enough but DP never says no.

She really is a lovely girl, I think the world of her, but this laissez faire attitude bugs me like you wouldn't believe. I work from home (very pt) so I have no issue with doing all the household crap, laundry and cooking but I won't 'pick up' after anyone. I still earn a good wage and contribute financially, I just have a lot of free time to do chores that DP doesn't.

SoonToBeSix Tue 17-Dec-13 02:46:53

Honestly I think you need to cross out the word princess and insert the word teenager. My dd is 15 and is a nightmare with towels, your dsd is behaving perfectly normally.

VegasIsBest Tue 17-Dec-13 02:51:21

Normal teenage behaviour unfortunately. Nothing to do with being a step child.

vulgarwretch Tue 17-Dec-13 02:58:57

I agree with last two posters. Teenagers require a huge amount of tolerance. Not that it isn't very annoying, and certainly you should continue to enforce acceptable standards of behavior, and your DH absolutely should get on board with that more. But the fact that she is selfish and inconsiderate right now doesn't mean that you have a nightmare future ahead of you, or that he is a bad parent.

AdoraBell Tue 17-Dec-13 03:04:53

My DDs do the same, not the booze and vomit yet though, and my DH clears up after them, after telling them To do it. Then tríes To nag me for not clearing up after them. Stepson was just the same.

I can't tell you whether To leave, but I can tell you that she is behaving like a teenager and he is behaving like about 50%-ish of parents.

YoDiggity Tue 17-Dec-13 03:40:20

I think the fact that she is your step daughter is beside the point. She doesn't sound especially spoilt, she just sounds normal - like almost all other teenagers up and down the country. the one who does voluntarily pick up the clothes from their floordrobe is the unusual one.

It's easy to think you know what a 16 year old should be like in theory, but I bet if and when you have your own 16 year old you'll realise they are all the same to an extent.

Have you actually asked her nicely to do these things for herself or do you just quietly fume and sulk in her presence and then moan to DP about it?

YoDiggity Tue 17-Dec-13 03:45:55

Oh and on the Christmas present thing, and going on holiday 'wasn't enough' I don't think you can expect a teenager to consider being included on her parents' family holiday as a christmas present. hmm

Of course she 'needs' a games console. Kids and teenagers have completely different needs and priorities to adults, and let's face it apart from food and shelter and a coat on our back none of us really 'needs' anything, but adults don't see it like that so why should she?

SavoyCabbage Tue 17-Dec-13 07:31:41

I think she just sounds normal. Leaving towels and biscuits around.

And she can't have a holiday as a Christmas present.

gamerchick Tue 17-Dec-13 07:38:21

Totally normal... I've never met Before teen who wasn't like what you've described and yes it drives you nuts but it passes.

You were right to refuse to clean the sick up though. She should have been made to do that.

NoComet Tue 17-Dec-13 07:40:59

Yep. Nothing to do with her being a step DD.

I have three towel leavers about (DH, DD1 and DD2).

DH will do things for the DDs especially DD1 rather than back me up in getting them to tidy up.

Anyone being sick is my job (actually I don't mind this too much as it bothers him far more than it does me).

I'm afraid it all goes in the not worth getting very annoyed about pile, if you can find it for wet towels.

fackinell Tue 17-Dec-13 08:07:13

I totally agree about the hol thing although it was a special trip just for her, I actually stuck up for her on that as he said that and the hundreds on clothes was more than enough for Christmas. I'm not sure if I made that point clear enough though.

I have to say I am a silent fumer/ bring it up later type as any time I have made comments I get a smug smirk and a sarky comment back, which is way more annoying in the long run. She trashed some stuff of his in the summer after a wild party and left it for him to sort out, that's when I realised that my comment of 'you should be cleaning this up, Missy' actually gave her ammo to use against me in the Daddy will do it attitude.

I agree it's not necessarily a step issue but I'm not her mother and thought it best to post here as my lack of 'right to opinion' in her boundaries is a step issue, to me. My own family tolerates none of this. My cousin was given one week to sort out her room before my aunt stormed it and bin bagged anything on the floor. She then had to earn it all back.

At DSD's age I was at college and had a pt job, I was expected to take a third of all chores and cooking. I just think DP's babying behaviour is not setting her up well for life. She does strop and disappear for a bit if confronted and I know that scares him even though she always comes back. If we do have our own kids I really don't want to play bad cop to his good all the time.

I don't really feel any less annoyed today about it but its good to know this is totally normal behaviour. I just wasn't one of those teens clearly. Wouldn't have gotten away with it!

Kaluki Tue 17-Dec-13 11:13:49

"He says if I have a problem I should pull her up, but its not my place"
But it is your place. Its YOUR house too. Why should you be picking up after her and you were right to refuse to clean up her sick.
If her Dad is stupid enough to do it for her - more fool him but you have the right to object to your house being trashed by this spoilt little madam.

Fianceechickie Tue 17-Dec-13 12:19:28

Thing is, fackinell, she is a typical teenager and daddy's little princess. Probably his permissive parenting is a result of the fact that they don't live together all the time and he doesn't want to be arguing with her while she is there. It's not right, but it's understandable. You also have the issue of how you were brought up, how your family operates and that jars with the way your DSD acts. Unfortunately that's kind of what happens if blended families and to an extent I guess you have to suck it up. Especially if everything else in your relationship is good. I wouldn't clean up after her though. Leave it for him to do if that's they way he wants to be. If you want to tackle it however you can only do it with DPs full support and it doesn't sound like you're going to get it. This is not to say it's not your place to tackle her because It is if you choose to do so. I would avoid 'making comments' as this will only irritate and not in any way make her change her ways. You're far better off just not cleaning her mess at all and telling her to do it then if she doesn't, leave it as long as you can stand! Try not to see it as a problem in your relationship; bet he'd have different if it was yours and his child that was with you full time! As it is you're just stressing yourself out!

ShesYourDaughter Tue 17-Dec-13 13:47:21

Seems like I'm in exactly the same situation as you, but the other way round.

Unfortunately it is a teen thing, they are disgusting. I was sorting the laundry basket to get a las I the machine once when I found a used tampon wrapped up in a pair of her kickers!

Part of dealing with a teen is to respect their privacy, and that means to some extent staying out of her room and not commenting on it.

BUT....

It is your house and you deserve for her to respect that.

Tricky tightrope to walk. My partner thinks I pick on the smallest of things and yes, maybe leaving big blobs of toothpaste in the sink and being too lazy to was them away isn't such a big issue. Or flushing the toilet. Or wiping your makeup off on the bath towels. Or just leaving things lying around when it would take no effort to put them away again.

Sound familiar?

Deal with it calmly. Firstly you need to get your partner to understand that it's part of the growing up process to be responsible for your own mess. Understanding her impact on others is something she needs to learn. You'd be amazed at how limited a teenagers vision is, and how tiny the world they live in is. They don't really see anything but themselves.

Secondly you need to develop your negotiating skills with her. I'm not saying reward the things she should be doing but set an expectation that stuff won't happen unless....

You don't have to justify everything, and you will be challenged to do that. You just have to talk to her, explain some things are up for negotiation but there are some that aren't. She doesn't need to know why, she just needs to understand what they are.

And your partner needs to be there when you have that chat, and back you up physically afterwards. If he doesn't dont argue with him there and then, wait til you've got privacy and remind him he's supposed to be helping.

We often have a room cleaning order placed on the girls part way through the week so they know if they want to do stuff from end if school Friday inwards then room tidying comes first.

And this isn't a sexist thing to say but.... Watch out for the hormones! and tread even more carefully. Give long lead times on stuff you want done to avoid the explosive reaction. By Monday I'd like your room tidied etc.

And don't worry it's impossible not to get into an argument with them. If you do try and walk away then go back later when things are calmer and explain your position.

Good luck

Agree, she sounds like a typical teenager!

I know when my DH moved in with me, he found that I had a more relaxed attitude to housework and general tidying up than he does, particularly when it came to my 2 teens. Meh, I pick my battles.

She WILL grow out of this, so work on getting through it for now. Have a family meeting where everyone can contribute to what are agreed house rules, and then put these up somewhere central and obvious. I often just had to say "Rule number 1!" in a good-natured way. Mind you, Rule number 10 was "No invoking Satan!" but that's teenage boys for you.

fackinell Tue 17-Dec-13 15:52:44

Cheers all, good to know this is normal. Feeling quite fortunate that she rather Emo and there hasn't been any Satan invoking!! shock

I like the idea of not getting into an argument and letting him do for her of need be. It's difficult to make rules when I'm the newest one to the HH but if she announces her bed needs changed then I certainly ain't doing it.
It has been vaguely suggested and I laughed enough to get my point across. DP did it in the end.

We will be moving house in a year or so and that will be so much easier. It's pretty far away but she will be with us for long holidays. (I did suggest for her to move with us but she chose not to.) I have told DP she will be mucking in or else, if she's there for a fair length of time. It's a big gamble as I'm pretty sure she won't and he will cover her ass.

I do respect her privacy but she has a habit of borrowing my stuff and when I can't find it I usually do, in her room. This, I don't mind, it shows she's comfortable with me. She's actually a very likeable girl, usually smiley and polite, just horrendously lazy and plays helpless. She's really come out of her shell lately and I've loved seeing her grow into a confident young adult. I'm lucky compared to some of you on here. Used tampons? Urgh!! If and when we do have our own, I'll be kicking DP into touch immediately. I spent years in child care and I always got great results when I got the little ones young enough. FX'd I have the same success with my own. Thanks for all advice. smile

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now