Doing the whole 'step parenting thing' for the 2nd time and not sure if I'm cut out for it.

(26 Posts)
Lovemusic33 Tue 03-May-16 08:21:09

Met dh ( now ex ) when his dc's were 3, 8 and 10, found it hard but loved the kids as if they were my own, dh and I eventually split and now I am with my new dp, I didn't plan on falling for someone else with young kids, my own dc's ( from ex dh ) are now 10 and 12, I have done the whole 'little children thing' and am now beginning to enjoy adult time. Dp's dc's are 5 and 8, I don't see them very often as they live quite far away, he sees them every weekend but I don't go as I like to spend a day with my dc's as they also see their dad one day each weekend ( so we only get one day together ). I find dc's children hard work, the 5 year old just wingers all the time, they fight like cat and dog ( my dc's rarely fight and never beet the hell out of each other ), they are mean to my dc's ( my dc's have sn's ) and overall it's just hard work when they are here. I feel selfish for not enjoying them being here, dc's parenting skills are so much different than mine, he doesn't really tell them off, never raises his voice at them and let's them get away with a lot. My dc's are reasonably well behaved, I can take them anywhere and they rarely moan.

I don't know why I am writing this, I guess I just needed to tell someone. I'm not really the maternal type, I have found being a parent to my own children and my step children quite hard, sometimes I wish I had never become a parent ( though I love my kids to death ), I just think there's more to life than raising kids and now mine are older I feel I'm getting my life back a little, maybe this is why I'm finding it hard having younger children around again.

Does anyone else find it hard?

Of course I am nice to them when they are here and they don't know how I feel.

KelleBelle Tue 03-May-16 08:33:42

Being a SM is really hard as you already know, having done it before.

I think you need to ask yourself if you love DP enough to accept his kids as you accept him and love them in their own right. If you don't want to do the whole "little kid" thing again then he is not the man for you.

I get you with the parenting differences. DP and I parent very differently.... or did at least. I think I've become a little more structured with my parenting and he's become less strict. It's all about flexibility I think... listening to each other and most importantly RESPECTING each other. If DP disciplines the kids and I don't agree, I wait till kids have gone to bed and we discuss it calmly. Just the same with me and probably my loose rules lol.

Loads of talking. Loads of team building for the kids and massive amounts of love.

Remember, a parent can never love someone who doesn't feel the same way about their kids as they do. That's just my opinion though. I'm sure someone will be happy to correct me on that wink

Wdigin2this Tue 03-May-16 10:06:59

KelleBelle I totally agree that nobody could feel the same way about a child as the parent does, and I defy anyone to disagree!

Lovemusic33 You've already done it, you didn't enjoy it, so...do you really want to go there again? I think you have two choices a) continue seeing this man in a [boyfriend/girlfriend] sort of way, keeping both sets of DC right out of the picture, by just seeing him alone, then see how you feel! Or, b) get out now!

Stardust160 Tue 03-May-16 10:38:22

Aw the older two actually your biological children or step children from a previous relationship? It's a case as you know previously that the DC will always be there. Why did the previous relationship down was it due to the DC?

I think you need to decide if this is for you otherwise your just going to be another 'Stepmom to another set of kids for a short time then leave' I do find from my own children they seem to go through difficult phrases at certain ages my DS was a nightmare at 5. I always think when parents split it changes the dimenics somewhat different rules, houses,new partners it's a real mine field

CantWaitForWarmWeather Tue 03-May-16 11:14:37

Wdigin Kelle actually said a parent can't love someone who doesn't feel the same way about their kids as they do. Which ok, that's fine they are entitled to not love their partner because of that. But I think there will be a lot of disappointed people out there if they go around thinking people love their kids the same way they do, partners included. That's the kind of love you can't just pull from nowhere and I think some people set their partners up to fail.

KelleBelle Tue 03-May-16 11:38:42

cantwait yes I see my wording wasn't the best there. I know what I meant.

Basically if a partner can see that you clearly don't love their kids it's going to be very difficult.

Lovemusic33 Wed 04-May-16 07:42:33

I think I just need to calm down a little, the kids are not a big part of my life and probably never will be as at the moment I only see them once a month at the most, I know I just have to get through it. I don't hate them, they are just children I guess I just can't be doing with the whole 'young wining child stage'. When I first got together with dp he kept commenting in y parenting skills, saying things like 'I wouldn't let my kids speak to me like that' or ' I would make them eat their dinner or they get no pudding' etc....etc..., I guess I expected his kids to be little angels when I fact they are not well behaved at all, they are very noisy, they swear and they punch each other ( and have hit my kids ). My kids have sn's (autism) so they find it very hard when they are here as they don't really do noisy and don't appreciate being punched. I have only had them at my house a couple times, the other times we have gone out somewhere which was slightly easier, I think we will do this more in the summer as it's easier and we can meet half way rather than dp having to drive so far.

I had quite a good relationship with my step kids ( ex dh's ) and I'm still quite close to one of them, I did find it hard when they were little, I think I just struggle with them when they are small, I struggled with my own at that age although mine were a bit different due to them having ASD.

I love dp more than I have ever loved anyone which is why I am trying my best, his youngest child is glued to me when they are here, both of them seem to like me.

How long does the noisy, whiny stage last for? Maybe they will grow out of it, maybe once they get used to coming over they will calm down a little.

It's a bit different than last time I was a step parent, I met dh's dc before we had our own, I didn't have other children to consider, of course I am always going to put my dc's first, I don't want them being hit and I don't want them hiding in their rooms because of the noise.

KelleBelle Wed 04-May-16 08:11:05

It's bound to be noisy etc cos it's all new for them still.

Ours are 9, 12 (mine) and 13, 14 (DP) and we've been together almost 2 years and it's like a mad house when they get together.... they're pleased to see each other and they get excitable. The house totally changes.

Give it time. You're going to have differences over parenting techniques... it's natural. Just don't let it become a massive issue. Talk, talk and talk some more.

Show solidarity in front of the kids.... don't undermine each other in front of them and try to plan your time together.

Having kids with ASD it's going to be a big thing, all the change. If they need to take themselves to their room, don't see it as a negative. DD2 does it when things get loud and she wants some chill out time. She's old enough to convey her needs to me and she assures me that she's happy, but she just wants a bit of quiet. She'll stick her headphones on and block everything out for a little while and she's recharged and ready to mix again.

Just give it time

X

Lovemusic33 Wed 04-May-16 08:18:31

Dp allows his dc to go into my dc's rooms when my dc's are trying to get away from the noise sad, I did get a bit grumpy with him about this last weekend as I feel my dc's should not have little children barging into their rooms and making noise and mess, dp doesn't seem to understand this. My eldest is 12, hormonal and likes to spend a lot of time in her room, she doesn't enjoy having a 5 year old jumping all over her and touching her things. Both of my dc's were really upset by the time they'd went home and I was on the verge of tears ( as I hate seeing my dc's stressed out, plus I got annoyed that dp would not dicapline them ).

I think from now on ( or at least through the summer) we will just arrange to meet them somewhere for a couple of hours once a month. My eldest is still struggling with the fact a new man is in our lives so at the weekend I like to spend a day with just me and them. It's still early days for everyone.

Wdigin2this Wed 04-May-16 09:24:19

Cantwait yes I realised that as soon as I'd posted it...but you're right, nobody can expect a partner to love their child like they do!

KelleBelle Wed 04-May-16 09:53:11

lovemusic

Does your DP have any experience with kids on the spectrum?

I tried to explain it to my OH and SC that at times its like shaking a bottle of pop.... she holds it in and holds it in then BANG! We have a meltdown and sometimes it can take days to recover from.

As I've said already.... things take time. Baby steps for you all

X

ArmfulOfRoses Wed 04-May-16 10:57:52

I think you sound too different in your parenting styles tbh.

Even without the sn aspect, your dc should be able to have a space they can retreat to.

Punching and swearing from anyone wouldn't be tolerated in my house, and I would be furious about someone who had such strong opinions about my dc and yet allowed theirs to behave that way in my home.

Lovemusic33 Wed 04-May-16 12:12:06

He doesn't have experience with kids on the spectrum, he is learning slowly, I don't want him to think I am a total bitch by not allowing his kids to follow my dc's to their rooms and by not allowing them to make noise, I know kids can be noisy but TBH his youngest is really really noisy, constant shouting, screaming and moaning, even I felt like holding my ears.

Our parenting skills are very different, I come from a family that does not allow their kids to be little sh*ts, I do let them be kids but they do not scream, shout or beat the crap out of each other, have tried very hard to make sure my dc's are well behaved and they'd don't live up to the 'naughty child' label autistic children seem to have, my dc's are not angels but I can take them anywhere and to anyone's house and not feel embarrassed by their behaviour, if they were to play up I would tell them off, if they didn't listen I would take them home or remove them from the situation at her than saying 'darling, pleasant do that'. I hope that doesn't make me sound like a military parent grin .

I know I will have to have a talk to dp, I did try when they were here, I did say 'are you not going to tell them off' after he had told the little one nicely to stop screaming in the garden several times, he just said 'I don't do shouting' [grr]

ArmfulOfRoses Wed 04-May-16 13:07:51

I don't think you need experience of sn to have empathy, or the understanding that older children need a space away from younger ones, or even basic bloody respect of other peoples homes.

You and your dc are expected to allow his dc to rule the roost and he is showing he doesn't expect them to have to show any respect or restraint to you, your dc, or your home.

KelleBelle Wed 04-May-16 13:25:32

I think having experience of SN would be beneficial though.

My OH thought he knew about SN until he got to know DD2 a little better. I think sometimes people think autism can be switched on and off to suit situations.

I do agree though, your DP should be respectful of the fact that the older kids will want time out.

Maybe when you can see your kids need some time out, you or OH could use that time to do something with the younger kids..... play a game, watch a film, bake a cake etc.

I have a firm belief that if kids are playing up, there's a good chance it's because they are bored or under stimulated. This is only based on what I learnt from home schooling 2 kids for 4 years and managing our time and space being together 24/7.

ArmfulOfRoses Wed 04-May-16 13:48:08

I agree about them probably being bored in a house that's set up for teens so probably a lack of toys etc aimed at their ages, but while it would be very nice of the op to maybe pick up a few bits or bake a cake, it just removes responsibility from their parent to manage their behaviour.
He has made it clear he doesn't actually think they're doing anything wrong and it's the op who should get her dc to change and that op herself is in the wrong.

Lovemusic33 Wed 04-May-16 14:47:48

I agree about the being bored thing, dp does try and do things with them but they refuse and just want to pester my dc's or play with their things. I think I will have to have a serious talk with dp before they visit again and lay down some rules, this is my home and my dc's home and although I want them to feel welcome I also want them to respect how I do things and respect my dc's.

Lovemusic33 Wed 04-May-16 14:48:59

And there's plenty of toys aimed at their age as my youngest is very young for her age due to having ASD, we also have loads of things to play on in the garden.

Writingdragonfly Thu 05-May-16 17:35:35

I'm in a similar situation my oldest is on the spectrum she's 6 and my youngest at 4 is also quite a mellow calm child they're just gentle, DP's sons are quite unruly and rough with my two and I find it super hard to think what it would be like to live together and have them over regularly. All things pass and they will get older and so on, but tolerating unkind behaviour against your own kids is hardest to handle I think, no matter how much you love DP. You're not alone, I feel like walking most of the time, not sure what keeps me hanging in there to be honest apart from love! Taking it slow is good, but I guess you need to figure out what it is that you want and can or can't handle, and be honest not optimistic about your expectations. You're not alone though xx

Lovemusic33 Fri 06-May-16 08:20:17

Thank you writing, I'm glad it's not just me grin, at the moment I see his dc's about once a month, they have been asking to stay but TBH we don't have the room and I don't think I could survive a weekend with the 5 year old ( my head hurts after a few hours ), I am hoping it continues to be once a month for quite a while, maybe until the 5 year old has calmed down a little. My eldest has begged me not to have them over this weekend as she wants to spend some time with just me and dc2.

Dp will be working away a bit during the summer so this will also mean there's less chance of them coming over, I'm sure as they get older things will get easier, I prefer older kids, so much easier when they entertain themselves and are less noisy.

ArmfulOfRoses Fri 06-May-16 10:38:14

If your dd is begging to not see them when it's only once a month anyway, then tbh I think it's gone past hoping things get better in a few years .

Writingdragonfly Fri 06-May-16 11:35:36

I think you've got room to wiggle here, no one says you have to love them and since they're so far away you're unlikely to ever be massively involved, I think you need to have a really honest chat with DP about his future expectations etc though? Does he expect you to be super close to them or is he happy to keep things fairy placid?

Lovemusic33 Tue 10-May-16 14:45:34

I don't know what he expects, he doesn't push for them to come over more, he seems to understand that I need to spend some time with my dc's alone at the weekends so it's not a good idea to bring his dc's over every week, he understands that my dc's are not that sociable but he doesn't seem to understand that when my dc's go to their rooms to get away that his dc's are not allowed to follow. We have made separate plans for this weekend, I don't think he will push for me to be involved with what he is doing with his dc's but does drop hints about 'meeting up somewhere'.

The distance helps and in the future I have a feeling their mother will move then further away to be near her family so I don't think I will need to be hugely involved in their lives. There are a few issues with their mother which is causing dp concerns and he has talked to me about him phoning social services and a couple times has said 'they would be better off with us' but I don't think that will happen, if it did I'm afraid I would have to walk away as I couldn't but my dc's through it.

Writingdragonfly Tue 10-May-16 15:06:48

Knowing that's your breaking point is good, and I think you need to step in a bit and make it clear that there are boundaries for bedrooms, just like if you had a puppy the rules are if it goes back to its bed you leave it alone, it's the same for the whole family, lay down the rules and be united and firm in it. Do the step children have a place that's their room when they stay over?

Lovemusic33 Wed 11-May-16 13:31:09

Writing, they don't stay over ( only come over for the day ), my house is quite small so there's no space for them to have their own room, DP would like them to stay over one day but I don't have a clue where they would sleep or how my dc's would cope.

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