Is It Worth It?(171 Posts)
I've read so many posts lately, from SM's whose partners don't/can't discipline their DC, for fear of them not wanting to visit or because the EW is difficult, and generally never putting their new partners first! It makes me a) glad I never went near a man with young DC, and b) think...is actually worth it?!
Absolutely no. ALL members of ANY family dynamic should be happy for it to work.
Im not a step parent but have DC and MN has really opened my eyes to how incredibly torturous a step family dynamic can be. It is something i would avoid personally.
Totally worth it, DH has always had trouble from his ex, but his kids are amazing, they spend most of their time here and I'm very proud at what they're achieving.
But I never expected DH to put me "first", we all respect each other, but the kids need our support until they're grown.
To be honest anyone who expects to come before their partners kids is destined to be bloody miserable.
No relationship is easy. Christ my stbxh had an absolute nightmare exw and there were no kids involved but she made my life a living hell for 7 years and ultimately was part of the reason my marriage failed.
If I had my time over I would still be with dp, even with all the drama etc. I would demand things went slower with regards to meeting his kids (mil set me up big time albeit with good intentions) and I certainly would have set stronger boundaries regarding my having to deal with his exw for pick ups etc. But for me the hassle has been 200% worth it.
My dscs drive me crackers and sometimes I can't stand their laziness and their attitudes but they are the product of their upbringing by their mum and I have to constantly remind myself that it isn't their fault. But I cannot imagine my life without them in it. I love the bones of the little demons
What a goady post
Why are you even posting within the step parenting forum?
Step parents of both sexes get such a raw deal on mumsnet and this kind of post does not help one bit.
If you are not a step parent don't date people with children why are you even posting on here? If you are contemplating a relationship with someone who had DC the ask advise but this is a goady post that does not help anyone
Wheresthelight...I was not suggesting that people should always put their partners before their DC, but now and again when appropriate, would seem to me to be more balanced!
Penguin....I am posting on here because I am actually a SM, a SD, a SS, and a SGM! I said I never went near a man with young children, I didn't...but I am in fact married with SC who were grown when I met their DF, many years ago!
I am aware SP's of both sexes can get a raw deal, but I can only speak as a woman...as can the rest of us females!
I am unsure why you refer to my post as 'goady' as it was simply an observation on many posts I have seen recently...I have been a contributor for quite some time, and I it seems to me that if you date/live with/marry a man with young DC, your road can be a very hard and difficult one....so I would think it would have to be very worth it to even contemplate it!
I've always maintain that no one comes first in a solid family group. If anyone's happiness is put above any others it won't work. You all need to be just as cherished
I think the very nature of dating a parent means that by the time you realise there are going to be 'problems', you have invested a great deal and are in too deep to easily walk away.
The oft-given advice not to meet the DCs until the relationship is serious means that there is no opportunity to witness parenting skills. By the time you see your DP with his kids in an everyday scenario, you've fallen in love and are contemplating a future together.
Similarly, an unreasonable ex may be kept at arms length, and may not be all that unreasonable, until you begin to share day to day life with your DP. How many times do we read that an ex changes their attitude when a couple move in together, get married or have a baby? Changes in her own life can play a part too - if her relationship breaks down, her expectations of your DP can alter.
I am step daughter myself and have a very close and loving relationship with my DSF who has never treated me any differently from my two half siblings. However, my mother was widowed when she met him so there was never a birth dad on the scene - which probably helped.
I would never, ever choose to date a man with children and if my marriage broke up I would never subject my DC to a step father - I may choose to have a discrete relationship with a 'boy friend' but I can see the devastation caused to so many children when their parents get involved in new relationships - I just don't think it is worth it.
It depends who you are asking. For the children involved it is almost always not 'worth it'.
If you are asking the parents they might think it was worth it because they are happy with their new partner and can overlook (or deny) the effects on the children.
Like Ragwort, I wouldn't date a man with children and would never get the dc a stepfather.
For the children involved it is almost always not 'worth it'.
How have you come to that conclusion?
I'm dating someone with children the same age as mine. Its difficult as we have very different approaches to parenting but on the whole both our lives (mine and my partners) and our children's lives are enhanced for having each other in it.
However we don't live together and I can't see that happening in the near future.
Its sad when you read on here about the difficulties faced by step parents but sometimes I do wonder what the great rush was to blend the families.
So in answer to your question OP so far it has been worth it.
It can work, I've been incredibly lucky. DSC were very young when me and DH got together, I wasn't at all sure how it would work to begin with having never had any experience with kids whatsoever and having always been adamant I didn't want DC of my own. It was a revelation, I loved them, loved being a SM and found a maternal side I didn't know I had. Me and DH have always been a team when it came to discipline/parenting and we've both put them first, I don't feel I've been sidelined or that the dynamic hasn't been 'balanced'. DH has always considered my feelings and asked my opinion about things but I haven't struggled with the concept that they are children, who didn't ask to part of a divided family, and deserve to be put first. The exw has made life difficult at times but we've always been a united front and have dealt with problems together. We have a child together now, something I don't think I would have realised I wanted without having DSC in my life, they're young adults now, we're still close and they adore their little sister. I realise it's not like that for everyone but, in my case, yes it was definitely worth it!
Wdigin I didn't say you did. I said it shouldn't be expected that a partner would come before the kids.
When I asked the question 'is it worth it' I actually meant for both the adults and the children in the equation, and each can and do have a very different view of things!
Whogives, I understand what you mean by, everyone should have equal status within a family/blended family dynamic, and I agree in principal.....but that's not always practical in day to day life is it! Also, I have observed situations in my own wider family where children are brought up to consider themselves the pivotal hub, around which the adults must always spin. Some of these children have grown to become entitled, selfish and incapable of standing on their own two feet!
Wheres, apologies if I jumped the gun.... it shouldn't be expected that any member of the family should come first, but inevitably there are some characters who feel that is their right!
My personal experience is that I love my DSD and she is part of my family.
But DH's ex is a nightmare. She treats DSD very badly - always cancelling contact and letting her down. DH never says anything and in my view even enables his ex's bad behaviour by making it easy for her to just ditch her responsibilities.
I find this aspect of the dynamic incredibly difficult and it's an ongoing cause of resentment. I'm angry on my Dsd's behalf and find it almost impossible to detach from the negative feelings I have towards the ex, because of how consistently and unapologetically selfish she is.
Appleby, I don't blame you! It must be soul destroying to see this happening, and to know that your DH will do nothing about it!
Yes it is definitely worth it. I have a stepmum, and I am a mum and stepmum.
I dont recognise most of the blended family dynamics that are discussed on this forum, apart from the normal teen behaviours we seem to have blended well and enjoy our family.
I do however have a very supportive DH who isnt and has never been a disney dad.
For the children involved it is almost always not 'worth it'.
Well in that case I am proud that my 12yo dss falls into the minority
I met him when he was 2 and we are like two peas in a pod. I positively adore him. In fact, most ppl are stunned when I tell them I'm not his biological mum. They often tell me I must be pulling their leg because of the way we talk to and about each other (he lives with us and calls me mum)
We have the same mannerisms, use the same expressions and have very similar senses of humour. BUT having said that, I'm the only mother figure in his life since his mother essentially abandoned him.
Things would obviously very different if he had a 'normal' relationship with his mum in the first place.
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