let's have a thread for fortnightly contact

(96 Posts)
Marilynsbigsister Fri 29-Jan-16 19:12:02

Thought it might be fun to start a thread for fortnightly contact visits... Step parenting is our safe place - right ? If that is true, can I just be really really honest with you and say, I am sitting here with 2 of my dd's . Ds and two dsc who live with us are all out doing what teenagers do on a Friday... And I am clock watching and feeling the familiar dread as the clock reaches 7:15 pm and my dh comes back through the door with the other dsc (early teens) ..who are treated (and behave) like 3 yr olds. Every fortnight has the familiar feeling of dread as I know the next 48 hrs will be filled with tantrums, fighting, pinching, attention seeking and ridiculously infantile behaviour... Ten years on...no change, absolutely no change..except now I plan to be out most of the weekends to avoid them. No longer feel the need to 'make it one happy family' ... Even their own siblings find it unbearable. The other 12 days a fortnight I have a fabulous family life, lovely dh, fantastic, engaging, intelligent, self sufficient dcs/dsc . When will the others grow up ? Currently 13, 14 &16 !!!

Marilynsbigsister Fri 29-Jan-16 19:27:36

Arghhhhh been here less than 5 minutes and 14 yr old already on dh'lap... Off to the pub for me ...

YellowTulips Fri 29-Jan-16 22:44:22

Sorry I have read your post twice and am still not sure I have this right?

You have 2 teenage stepchildren and 3 (2DD and 1DS) with your DH.

I'm assuming the ages at the bottom of your post are for your children?

How old are the step children?

Ok - that's it for the questions smile

My first thought is that it's inevitable that the "family" dynamic changes when there are additional people in the house.

My DSD used to spend pretty much half her time with us, but as she became a teen that has lessened simply due to her social life. She wants to be with her friends at the weekend who invariably live near where her mum does.

I've noticed that since her "visits" have become less frequent there has been a change. Recently it's more like she's a guest in the house rather than being (as before) her home.

It does throw things out of balance. She seems to expect to do what she wants as she's doing us a favour by being here (what to watch on tv, what to eat, where we go etc all of which DH indulges) rather than simply integrating with her half brother, me and DH as she used to.

My DS responds by playing up (and getting told off by DH which has resulted in him thinking DH loves DSD more than him) and the end result is tensions run high all round - apart from DSD who seems totally oblivious as long as DH is letting her do whatever she wants.

Please don't get me wrong - I love her. It is however very hard and like you I have got to the point that when DH tells me she's not coming this weekend, unlike a few years ago when I would have been sad, I now confesses (with huge guilt) that I feel relieved.

I used to think I was a good SM but now I'm not so sure. Obviously I hide these feelings but the truth is I feel more and more resentful of the impact her presence has on family life and especially DS. I've tried to speak to DH about it, but he understandably wants to encourage her to spend time with us.

I live with it for now as given her age we have 3 years before Uni and the situation will change again.

I'm not sure how helpful that was - certainly no insights, but you're not alone in your feelings.thanks

Petal02 Sat 30-Jan-16 13:02:44

I used to dread EOW access weekends, but with the benefit of hindsight (DSS is now away at Uni), it was DH's Disney stance that made things so difficult. He was so desperate that DSS had the best possible 'guest experience', thus ensuring he'd want to keep visiting, that he never insisted on any sort of 'integretation'. So DSS would arrive, normal household activities were suspended, and we'd almost be under house arrest while DSS played on his X-box til it was time to go home again. DH Would ask him if he wanted to go out, he rarely did, so as it was "DSS's weekend" we'd all stay in so that X-box play could continue.

So of course DSS was perfectly happy, DH just used to keep him supplied with takeaway pizza and fizzy drinks, and if DSS was happy, then DH felt the weekend had been a success.

It was beyond frustrating.

Wdigin2this Sat 30-Jan-16 13:48:08

Petal, that sounds bloody awful! I think I'd have said...'Ok, have fun, I'm off out for the night/away for the weekend!'

Petal02 Sat 30-Jan-16 14:38:19

Indeed - but I couldn't really disappear EOW for years on end!

Wdigin2this Sat 30-Jan-16 15:13:24

No I suppose not, but I hope you did just occasionally!
As I've said on here often, all our DC were grown when DH and I met, I don't think I could ever have lived with the regular visitation thing....I really admire all you who have done it and coped!!!

CantWaitForWarmWeather Sat 30-Jan-16 15:23:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WSM123 Mon 01-Feb-16 18:38:16

Omg I totally relate. Every second Friday I dread the weekend at the same time as knowing DP can't wait. I wish I could be like my cats and disappear for two days only to magically reappear the second they leave. They are good kids as far as kids go but I have to be the one to tell them to pick up toys when they finish with them, etc. DP is totally Disney eg weekend just been, SS almost 4 didn't eat dinner, hear DP say ok no desert for you then, two seconds later, here you go here is your desert (the fact they expect pudding every night is also a bug bear, I think pudding is an occasional treat not an expectation). Every weekend DP has a go about something, the other week it was because I said "what" when my name was repeated twenty times, instead of saying "yes". (I say yeh what to everyone) this week 6 year old said he had missed me, and I said "ok did you, cool" (along those lines) DP got shitty because I didn't say I missed you too (because I didn't). Sorry for the long rant it was a holiday weekend so had 3 days rather than two (without being asked)

Petal02 Mon 01-Feb-16 20:30:24

Ah, access weekends that coincide with holiday weekends - used to mean extended pain! Another day to sit inside while DSS plays on his X-box ..... I got into the habit of taking DH abroad over Easter, just to ensure that we didn't spend Good Friday til Easter Monday suffering household paralysis.

I should add that DSS is now 21, he's turned into a really nice young man, and I get on extremely well with him!

WSM123 Mon 01-Feb-16 20:55:23

Thank goodness we don't have Xbox or play station he plays a racing game on DP's ph on full volume and that's bad enough. I tell him to go read a book or play outside (weather dependant) but then remember he can't read. Thankfully their mother insists on having them Easters so that's a weekend guaranteed off (phew)

Heavens2Betsy Wed 03-Feb-16 12:16:14

My DSC are lovely and we get on really well now (after a few bumpy years at first) but I still feel 'the dread' at the beginning of a contact weekend. I don't really know why but I still feel invaded I suppose. I know its irrational and horrible and I'd never admit to it IRL but it is good to say it out loud on here.
I think its because DP acts differently when they are here too. He gets a bit edgy and fussy and wants to please them and I get a bit arsey because he's never like that when its just me and my dc. Totally understandable that he is excited and happy to see them but it grates a bit.

WSM123 Thu 04-Feb-16 21:19:13

Good point heavens, the kids aren't generally bad kids, but just things like not being able to get dressed in peace (hence why on another thread I have said I want my bedroom to be a kid free zone) and not being able to properly relax (for various reasons) and DPs behaviour when they are around, not to mention the day or so of moaping around after they leave. Its all sooooo draining

Rainbow00 Sun 07-Feb-16 10:03:15

It's nice to know that others dread the dsc coming. My dh's children come over Thursday to Monday every other week which to me is a long time and the dread I feel when they come is horrible and puts my on edge. He to does change but I try to talk to him about it but he doesn't see it. Also again the children are generally well behaved (6 boy and 4 girl) but still they drive me mad.

MeetMyCat Sun 07-Feb-16 16:53:05

To most people, a weekend is Saturday-Sunday. But bring step-children into the equation, and it often extends from Thursday-Monday, making the weekend longer than the week!

Busybuzzybumblebee Mon 08-Feb-16 19:15:56

I dread the contact weekends also, they are good kids but the constant noise and constant battles, even saying turn the cartoons off at 6 etc. refusing to eat anything that doesn't come out of a freezer, by 10pm I have retreated to bed and they're usually up till quite late. I think it's the distruption I dread

WhoGivesAFlying Mon 08-Feb-16 20:20:12

I'm with you busy, not bad kids but if you're not use the noise, disruption, fighting etc it can get quite stressful, chuck in a Disney and it can push you to the edge. wsm my room is out of bounds, it's important to have a place to hide gather your thoughts.
I've noticed my anxiety starts to creep in by Wednesday.

WSM123 Sat 13-Feb-16 22:29:41

Omg here less than half an hour, and pick up the ottoman and kill a houseplant. Disney dad says nothing, meanwhile every time I look at my poor smashed plant ( that is very slow growing and I had had at Least 10 years) I feel hurt that he just doesn't card my stuff is getting ruined

WhoGivesAFlying Sun 14-Feb-16 00:31:21

And breath WSM....take a step back and direct your frustration at your DP. I know you are having a tough time wine

WhoGivesAFlying Sun 14-Feb-16 00:32:32

My new mantra is is its not thier fault! It's that or kill DH lol

WSM123 Sun 14-Feb-16 00:45:24

I am angry with DP, and his response is what are you looking grumpy about. He could have at least told them off for doing it or they will never learn what's appropriate behaviour,
I have just gone to buy a replacement but can't afford one that size. Got it tiny

WSM123 Sun 14-Feb-16 05:06:12

And so he hasn't spoken to me all day because I'm shitty about "nothing" I know it's only a plant, but last time was a rug, the time before that was my very plush nice chair being peed on. It's frustrating he doesn't seem to understand that it actually hurts my when he is so blazeé about my things bring destroyed

Petal02 Sun 14-Feb-16 09:44:46

I bet they're not allowed to wreck stuff at their mum's house ....

WSM123 Sun 14-Feb-16 18:38:35

I bet youre right Petal, but if I dare say something like that I'm being unreasonable. To me not caring about my belongings equates to not caring about me (I know its not an exact science) when I care about someone I make sure I respect their stuff too.

Heavens2Betsy Mon 15-Feb-16 15:50:17

WSM123 I would have gone mad too. Your DP's reaction is appalling.
What would happen if you broke something of his or his dc's?
And yes - my bedroom is out of bounds, except in emergencies.

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