Advise please(9 Posts)
I am looking for some advice really, from anyone that could help- sorry quite long and complicated.I have been with my husband 6 years, he had 50/50 custody of his ds when we 1st met, he was 4, his exw then went off the rails soon after; drink,drugs, not parenting at all. My DH went through court and we got full residency, BM having contact every other weekend. Things were good, I feel I did alot for DS and was more like a fun aunt than a SM. BM has always been very poisonous, telling SS whenever we went away for the weekend when he was with her that we didn't love him otherwise we would have taken him, even when we went on honeymoon. SS is always very protective of BM - naturally and will never say a bad word against her or open up with how he feels. She has repeatedly let him down and not shown up or put him in unsafe situations, she has never paid any money towards anything. We have had our own DS 10 months ago, which SS was desperate for and happy about (he is now 9) but I have since seen a different side of him. He is manipulative of his DF, so much so that there are no boundaries in place, he is never asked to do anything which may upset him (like taking his plate out when finished) so I am constantly tidying up after him, I have become the bad person that he tells people I always leave him out. Both myself and my family have done a lot to make him feel included, my DM takes him out for days on his own, as well as my DH's family and his birth family. DS has told school that we leave him out, he sits in his room alone all the time and we force him to see his BM so we can get more time with the baby-this is completely untrue. I understand having a new baby in the house is hard and I have tried to make things as equal as possible, as well as the material spoiling and attention he gets from BM's family and DHs family, but it still hurts when I know he is bad mouthing me. I have a different parenting style to DH and believe in rules, boundaries and consequences, I feel I can't raise anything with DS as I am even more 'the bad one'. When I try to speak to DH about it he says I have failed as a SM and can't see his DS's feelings. I am really starting to resent DS and don't know what to do!
Sorry for the rant.
Things are in a massive transition at the moment.
I am not a stepmother, but have been a step daughter and I always had massive, massive issues when my half siblings were born.
It is a very, very threatening moment for a child in a step family, all the more so when his bm is not available to be of support to him.
I can't tell you exactly what to do, other than give him time, and don't blame him too much. He probably doesn't understand why he is feeling the jumble of feelings he is feeling, which is manifesting in anger towards you, as you are the means by which his insecurity has come about (unfair as that may be).
One thing to consider is to try and give him a role relative to his new brother. Give him as much responsibility for helping as you reasonably can, and praise him to high heaven every time he helps you in any way with the baby or the house. That may help him feel that there is still a role for him in the family and reduce his insecurity.
It's tough that you are having to deal with this at the same time as dealing with a new baby, but unfortunately there is not much that can be done about that.
He's going through a massive transition right now, which can't be easy given everything he has been through. I'd give him time and as much reassurance as he needs.
Thankyou for your replies. He takes on a big role with the baby and does a lot with him, which is good, he never says he resents him or any thing negative about him, which we are really lucky with. I think it's more me that finds it difficult, with the differences in mine and my OH parenting styles and his BM's constant destructive input.
Don't forget your own feelings change. I too was a SM before becoming a mother, it is a big upheaval. You say you were a fun aunt to him, you now are a mum to your ds. DSS might feel replaced by a newer model and one that is, unlike him, related to you. You will need the patience of a saint and all eyes are on you to watch how fair you are. You will manage. It gets easier. Good luck .
If my H told me I'd failed as a step mother, I would be hurt beyond belief. How dare he?
I would step right back from this now and let him sort it all out. Particularly stop tidying up after him. Your H can do that now, what with you having failed as a step mother.
Aim your resentment at your unsupportive Disney dad of a husband not at your poor stepson.
I have a different parenting style to DH and believe in rules, boundaries and consequences
So how are you going to deal with this with your own child? Ultimately you will face the same issue? It sounds like you need to seat down and agree compromises, which means that your OH will have to accept some rules that he wouldn't himself, whilst you will have to accept some flex and eye closing to things you wouldn't if you were a single mum.
Don't forget that your DS is at the age when they like to convince himself that anyone imposing rules are destroying their lives. That doesn't mean that deep inside they don't accept them. I went through that phase with DS, every little thing I asked him to do was me being the devil re-incarnated, but one day, when he was in a good mood, he actually took upon himself to say to me that I was a fair mum and that he did deserve the grief I was given him. The grumpiness is part of the process, so don't take it too personally and don't assume that it is because you're his SM rather than mum.
I agree that this is more about your DH than your DSS, and you really are going to have to grit your teeth to get through this period of your DSS's development!
However, for your DH to tell you that you've failed as a SM....well words fail me!!
Your DH is out of order and needs to step up an be a PARENT!!!
I strongly recommend "How to talk so kids will listen, and listen so kids will talk" and then the sister book "Siblings without rivalry"
Your DSS will have very conflicted feelings about so much in his life. Those books will give you some fab tools to help him acknowledge and voice them.
It isn't good that he keeps all the negative feelings locked away and not voicing them to you and DH tbh.
Good luck and I hope that you get things sorted with your DHs attitude asap
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