I'm not sure if I'm a very good step-parent

(13 Posts)
BumblingBee89 Thu 07-Apr-16 11:02:19

I have one DSS who is 9. He's great and we have a good relationship. He's with us for the Easter holidays. Last week DP was off work. This week I'm off work, so I'm looking after him.

I'll start by saying I do suffer from anxiety. It's not been too bad lately but yesterday evening it started creeping up again and I'm having one of those wanted to hide under a blanket days today.

I feel like I'm not doing enough with DSS.

This week we've made cakes, made slime, watched a film together and generally pottered around. He had a sleepover at his cousins earlier in the week. This evening we'll be going bowling. Tomorrow we're going the park with my niece and nephew.

He pointed out to me just now that his dad is normally the one to come up with ideas for things to do. This made me sad because I don't think it's always the case. We just tend to do the bigger days out when we're all together.

We had a little holiday over the Easter break which we all enjoyed. Last week he spent most of his time at his nans (my dp was looking after her as she's recently had a stroke).

I'm not even sure what I'm asking. I think I just need to know what to do when you're looking after a child whilst having a bit of an anxious and down day.

costamum79 Thu 07-Apr-16 12:02:35

BumblingBee89 It sounds like your doing a fantastic job! I wouldn't even worry. Looking after children is a full time job but at 9 years old believe me when I say he isn't expecting to be entertained every minute of the day. In 10 years time, he wont remember you were under a blanket for a small period of time in comparison with all the positive things you've done! Keep up the good work!
Also look on Time out for family fun things to do in your area if your stuck on ideas x

Cocochoco Thu 07-Apr-16 12:14:46

I'd do the big days when you are with him and let DH do the boring ones! It's really hard to look after a kid who isn't your own (hard enough looking after your own!!). That said it sounds as if you have spent a lot of time indoors and that gets really boring for a kid. I'd go out at least once a day to the park or for a walk. Is there a friend you can invite round? That makes it easier.

Eliza22 Thu 07-Apr-16 12:41:40

Umm, so, on the week DP looked after him he was at his nan's as she is unwell and this week....you're providing the entertainment.

I don't like the sound of this. A nine yr old shouldn't have to spend a week at his sick grandma's because Dad's looking after her. Where is his mother? Why is he spending the full two week holiday with his dad (well, actually NOT "with" dad). I feel sorry for him and you. And, if "sick gran/dad's busy/working" is going to be a permanent feature, more thought needs to go into holiday care from his parents (with YOU in a SUPPORTIVE role).

But that's just MY opinion.

QueenJuggler Thu 07-Apr-16 12:45:24

Nonsense, Eliza, if his parents weren't divorced and nan was sick, he'd have been in the same position. You don't get a free pass from family responsibilities just because you're the child of divorced parents.

supermariossister Thu 07-Apr-16 12:55:02

You sound like your doing a great job not every day needs to be packed with things going out its good to learn how to just be at home, I suffer with anxiety and I wouldn't wish it on anyone I wish I had learnt as a child how to just be at home and potter as I really struggle with relaxing now as an adult. Also I agree with queen about the week he spent with his dad at his nans that's life, my family often say oh it will be boring for sdaughter and son why don't they go back to mums that day - well because their mum has a schedule and job and deserves her own time and also that's not life you have to do the boring and necessary and not overly fun things, ds doesn't get to go somewhere else everytime something needs doing he won't find interesting, neither do schildren.

BumblingBee89 Thu 07-Apr-16 13:58:05

Thanks so much everyone. I was feeling awful this morning. We've come out to soft play because the weather is horrendous. Feeling a bit better now we're out and about.

Just to answer above questions. DSS lives in a different city about 300 miles away. His mum moved there when she and my dp separated. Dp couldn't move as he needed to be close to his dad (who has also had a stroke).

Dp travels to see DSS every other weekend and stays with him for the weekend, either in a hotel or at a family members. We are supposed to have him for half the holidays but it's often more. DSS'S mum is currently on a two week holiday in America.

Dp had to be with his mum last week because her stroke was recent, we're still sorting care. DSS loves being at his nan and grandads as he sees his cousins and they have a massive garden to play in. Dp booked last week off work to spend with his ds, obviously not knowing his mum was going to become unwell. He does a great job juggling it all.

BumblingBee89 Thu 07-Apr-16 14:10:37

The soft play I'm in do a really good hot chocolate, which is helping brew

Bananasinpyjamas1 Thu 07-Apr-16 15:12:15

It sounds perfectly fine with your DSS - enough activities - he seems happy.

So I wonder what your anxiety is about? If it is mainly 'generalised anxiety' - then do recognise that you are anxious without an obvious cause and so are pinning it on whatever is happening around you at the moment. This may not help stop it, however I would urge you to remember that is what your brain is doing, just pinning it on something rather than nothing. A very natural thing to do!

And so, despite your anxiety, you are managing to look after well a step child (not an easy task) and keep him happy, you are managing a relationship with your DP, and are obviously holding down a job. So, whatever you are feeling, you are to be commended on keeping so many positive things going!

Why don't you take the time to help yourself a bit more. Either go to a counsellor in cognitive behavioural therapy, or your GP, or read up a bit about anxiety on the NHS or Mind websites? There is a lot you can do to manage this, a lot of which you seem to be doing already. flowers

BumblingBee89 Thu 07-Apr-16 15:40:56

Thank you so much bananas flowers

It is generalised anxiety that I have. I've just finished a course of CBT which has been wonderfully helpful. Today has been a bad day but there are now more good days than bad days. A few months ago there were many many days when I couldn't even leave the house. Things are much more positive now. I'm also taking sertraline which seems to be working really well for me smile

I'm lucky in that my DSS is really lovely. I love him smile We were out today and I was so proud of how polite and kind he is.

BumblingBee89 Thu 07-Apr-16 15:43:07

Bananas I meant to say - that is exactly what I do. If I wake up feeling anxious I'll attach it to something. I know I'm doing it and that in itself helps me to stop the behaviours that make my anxiety worse, but some days it's harder than others.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Thu 07-Apr-16 19:40:00

You sound like you are doing a fantastic job with your DSS, he's lucky to have you. cake

Wdigin2this Fri 08-Apr-16 11:30:28

Bumble none of us really know if we're doing a decent job of it, and most of us wing it from day to day. But you have to think of yourself in the equation too....don't beat yourself up about it too much!

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