thank god its sunday

(182 Posts)
BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 12:41:25

I know its an awful thing to say but having had dsc's for over a week I am really ready for them to go home.

They have really pushed boundaries this week and for the first time ever dp has actually disciplined them so we have had the backlash to deal with too. Although he still let's them get away with talking to me like crap...he is starting to back me up when I tell them off for it though.

Am soooo glad i have 2 weeks before they are here again.

Not aided by being 29 weeks pg and having an awful tummy bug for last 3 days

Dejected Sun 02-Jun-13 12:50:11

Not awful at all. You are only human (even though stepmums are expected to be superhuman and take whatever is thrown at them).

I hope you are over the tummy bug soon.

BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 13:00:13

Thanks dejected.

Start of the week was great but then dsd went back to deliberately wetting herself and dss has been an obstinate little sod since Friday. If they were my own I would have smacked the pair of them by now for the way they have behaved

Why is it parents are allowed to love but not like their kids at time but as step mums we are expected to cherish even when they are quite frankly being little shits

FrauMoose Sun 02-Jun-13 13:20:54

Both my stepchildren were regular bedwetters until they reached double figures - older in my stepchildren's case.

I am not sure from your post why your stepdaughter's wetting herself was deliberate.

Just out of interest are you intending to hit your own baby? Or is it simply that the idea of hitting other people's children that appeals to you.

BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 13:24:25

It's not bed wetting its. She knows she needs to go but decides not to. She has told her dad this several times this week

And if my baby requires discipline and I deem a smack is appropriate then yes. Not that it is any of Ur business how I chose to discipline my children

Dejected Sun 02-Jun-13 13:34:07

I know what you mean about parents being allowed to not like their own kids at times...seriously I have been close to breaking point with my own boys but if I dare to mention that my stepkids are doing my head in it's met with complete horror!!!!

Bedwetting is a nightmare isn't it. My eldest wet the bed til he was 7 or thereabouts but one of the stepkids has only just stopped and he is 12. With me it wasn't the bedwetting that annoyed me but the hiding of wet sheets that I only found when trying to discover what the awful smell was in the house. Also when it was done due to laziness, being too busy doing something else or they want to punish you for saying no to something.

I totally get your frustration and if I were you I'd use the two weeks off to relax and build up your stamina for the next time.

BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 13:39:50

dejected that is it totally. She just decides she can't be bothered to stop playing so does it and then denies it, lies, hides her clothes etc. And its exactly the response to being told no. She is fully aware age is doing it and dare I say proud of it.

I have them Wednesday but only to.Gove them tea and then.drop off/pick.up at cubs and.brownies. its the next weekend I.am dreading cos dp works night's so they are with me.the whole time. Might suggest a sleepover at dp's parents on.the Friday night lol

FrauMoose Sun 02-Jun-13 13:42:19

I found bedwetting - though this appears to be something a bit different - very trying. When my children got a bit older, I would ask them to take responsibility for dealing with associated laundry etc.

However I'd want to ask myself what is going on, if it is a more conscious regression into babylike behaviour. Is somebody upset and wanting to be looked after, like they were when they were younger?

Can praise be given for making the effort/having the forethought to go the loo on time.

While stepchildren's behaviour -and the behaviour of one's own children - can drive you to the limit, I think that hitting rarely/never achieves anything positive. Fantasising about hitting another person's child strikes me as a sign of feeling very stressed indeed, although I accept that a singificant minority of people feel that hitting children is absoutely fine.

Perhaps when things are a little less tiring and overwhelming, it will be easier to think of strategies for the next visit. And maybe if it is a shorter one everyone will find it a bit more manageable.

needaholidaynow Sun 02-Jun-13 13:44:45

Fraumoose that's a bit uncalled for. I can't think why it would "appeal" to someone to hit a child. However, sometimes smacking is needed as a form of discipline. Doesn't make it enjoyable though.

You say "someone else's child" as if its a stranger's child. The stepchild is OP's DP's child.

As stepmums we are expected to just shut up and put up with bad behaviour and just because their stepchildren aren't their own it doesn't make the stepchildren golden and even they can be little brats as well as their own.

My DSD is being a super brat today, but so is my DS. They are both driving me up the wall. But because my DSD isn't mine I should just give her a nice pat on the back and punish my DS it seems.

For the record I don't hit either of them, but bad behaviour doesn't get brushed under the carpet and that counts for DSD as well. If anything she is setting DS an example and as his mum i want that to be GOOD example.

BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 13:46:47

needaholiday thank you.

PearlyWhites Sun 02-Jun-13 13:52:45

Babyh you sound quite delightful I am as happy as you that your dsc won't be in your care for the next two weeks.

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 02-Jun-13 13:58:03

What ages are your DSC OP?

BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 14:00:25

They are nearly 8 & 10 but with the attitude of teenagers at times! The mouth on dss is a nightmare.

Spero Sun 02-Jun-13 14:06:19

Deliberately wetting yourself at these ages is a really worrying sign and would suggest to me some emotional trauma.

Of course all children can be annoying and dislikale at times, but you seem quite intense in your dislike. Do you ever enjoy their company?

Sounds like you need a lot more support from your partner, both emotionally and physically and these long stretches of time in each others company sound horrible for all of you.

I think your partner needs to take this deliberate wetting seriously. What are they like at school?

BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 14:12:07

Dp is talking to his ex today about the wetting. She says she doesn't do it at school.but when.we have collected het she is wet sometimes.

I love having them and normally we have a great time but they have been really naughty this week and I am.atmy wits end

Dejected Sun 02-Jun-13 14:13:27

The sleepover idea is a good one!!! Definitely push for that!

Please ignore the people who are quite frankly being rude. You are allowed to vent your frustration and surely it is better to vent on an internet forum than scream and shout at home.

At age 8 and age 10 they know exactly what they are doing and how to twist Daddy round their little finger while simultaneously throwing evil looks stepmums way. Enjoy your stepkid free time guilt free.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 02-Jun-13 14:21:38

baby you can say no to your DP and his ex.

You are not well enough to give your DSC tea and take them to their activities - so they'll have to manage.
You can tell your DP when he comes home from nightshift that you are going out/need to sleep so he'll have to manage the DCs around his sleep at the weekend.

You do not have to take responsibility for his DCs - and if you know that you can't give it your best, then refusing to accept your DP delegating responsibility to you is best for the DCs.

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 02-Jun-13 14:26:41

I would find the bedwetting very worrying indeed. If what the mother says is true, then your DSD only wets herself when she is at yours, or when she is going to yours. You say that she wets herself on purpose. I don't believe that is true, I find it very difficult to believe she is wetting in school for all her classmates to see on purpose. Often children (and adults) would rather pretend that it's a choice rather than something that they can't control.sad

I think that things are very difficult for your DSC and you all sound like you need a bit if help and support to sort it all out before your baby comes OP.

VBisme Sun 02-Jun-13 14:29:30

I honestly don't know why stepmums post on mumsnet about step problems.

Most of the mums don't have experience of trying to cope with other peoples children (it's wrong to call them other peoples children, it's also wrong to call them your children - they aren't and never will be).

There are other boards available.

Spero Sun 02-Jun-13 14:29:36

Of course you are allowed to vent but I would take with a massive pinch of salt anyone who claims that 8 and 10 year olds are deliberately manipulative in such a knowing way. They are still quite little children and its far more likely they are expressing emotional upset in this way, rather than indulging in some Machiavellian plot agains the adults.

Oh gosh.
I tried hard not to post as I am aware the step parenting boards are a minefield on occasion.

Please read your posts back and imagine another woman writing about your children in this way.
Wetting, deliberate or otherwise, is an indicator of emotional difficulties and stress.
'obstinate little sod'
'smacked the pair of them'
'little shits'

These are somebody's children you are talking about. How would your DH feel if he read these posts?

I know the OP is struggling, but why are we mollycoddling her when the children are the vulnerable party?

Or imagine a man who would be so jubilant when his partner's children could not visit for a fortnight?
It's a disgusting attitude, frankly.

BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 14:45:31

I have said the same about the wetting til she told her dad it was deliberate and dss said she does it at home lots and their mum shouts at her. I think neither mum nor dp want to think it a result of their split etc tbh.

Dp is aware of how I feel as we talk a lot. I have used the same terminology to him.

I am not the evil witch some of u r making me out to be. I am however tired and ready for them to go home.

dejected thank you for your support. It's nice to know there are some ppl on these boards who aren't vile to you when you want to vent! I nr need to push for sleepover, in-laws have been dropping less than subtle hints yesterday so will be asking them to make good for sure, esp if I am still poorly.

Bumply Sun 02-Jun-13 14:47:22

This is a place to rant, though, saying things you wouldn't dream of expressing to those directly involved.

BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 14:48:36

bumply that was my apparently incorrect understanding.

Ppl seem to forget they are only getting a snapshot of what I have had to put up with this week

NotaDisneyMum Sun 02-Jun-13 14:49:16

Amazing, isn't it?

Mums write far worse about their own DCs every day elsewhere on MN - as well as their DGC, nieces, nephews and other DCs.
They are sympathised with - given brew or flowers and told it will get better.

SM are, yet again, demonised - and can't even vent in safety of the Stepparenting boards on MN sad

BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 14:56:35

notadisney I don't know! But I made that point above that it is socially acceptable for parents to dislike their kids but as step parents we are expected to be higher than saints when it comes to the bad behaviour of dsc.

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 02-Jun-13 14:57:14

I in no way meant to demonise you OP. And I really hope you all work things out in time for the birth of your DC. However, it is clear that your DSD is having problems that you say her parents are ignoring. Perhaps if the DSC could get some help to deal with the changes in their life, it would be better for all of you.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 02-Jun-13 15:01:49

However, it is clear that your DSD is having problems that you say her parents are ignoring.

And while her parents are ignoring her needs, the OP quite naturally, finds her difficult to be around.

Not the DSC fault, but no easier for the OP - particularly when she is having to clear up the mess (literally and figuratively) of the parents failure.

OP, Disengage, leave your DP and his ex to screw up their DD and focus on your own DC. Why should your baby ave less than 100% from you just because other parents can't/won't give their child what she needs?

BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 15:05:00

Her dad isn't ignoring it but as nrp and

I don't think it is socially acceptable to dislike your own children.
And whilst I agree that an irrational rant about your situation can be helpful, I think others telling you it's ok to want to smack your sc, or be happy when they can't visit, is not helpful.

Also, deliberate wetting is as much a sign of emotional distress as accidental.
She doesn't do it to piss you off. Though she possibly enjoys the attention it brings.

And yes, I am a SM.

BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 15:07:03

Sorry phone..

As nrp and with other complex issues I am not going into there is only so much he can do. Mum is being given an ultimatum today, take dsd to Dr or we will as we are perfectly aware its not normal behaviour.

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 02-Jun-13 15:09:07

It is clearly difficult for you OP but, as Notadisney said, it is not DSC's fault. Your DH should be doing much more for his children.sad

NotaDisneyMum Sun 02-Jun-13 15:10:24

Mum is being given an ultimatum today, take dsd to Dr or we will as we are perfectly aware its not normal behaviour.

But Why hasn't your DP already taken her? Why is it an ultimatum to his ex for him to parent his DD himself? And why are you involved?

suckmabigtoe Sun 02-Jun-13 15:12:14

maybe she wets herself because she is having to live in a house where she knows one of the adults wants to hit her

needaholidaynow Sun 02-Jun-13 15:15:41

I know the OP is struggling, but why are we mollycoddling her when the children are the vulnerable party?

Nobody is mollycoddling her, merely showing empathy and sympathising with her situation.

It is a classic example of a dear SM being shot down for daring to speak out about the negatives about her stepchildren. All children have negative points. All children can be little shits at times and can really push our limits. Whether that is our own DC, our DSC, our DNiece/Nephew, friend's children. The only people that aren't allowed to come on a parenting website to vent are people of authoritative role such as teachers, nursery nurses, childminders, etc... But we are perfectly entitled to discuss our personal lives and if that involves a SM looking for support because her DSC have been complete utter little shits all week then so be it.

The OP is not an evil SM who is making her DSC scrub floors and locking them in the garden shed with their daily bowl of gruel. She is simply pointing out these children's faults and is letting her feelings known. Just as she would about her own children if this was the case.

You can't just expect someone to live with two young children and be pushed and pushed and just keep it all in. If they're misbehaving they are misbehaving, just because they are DSC doesn't instantly make them adorable.

BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 15:17:06

Part of the custody thing he isn't allowed to. We have tried to support dsd and encourage her and do has spoken to ex about it numerous times, along with other issues like nits that she seemingly ignores (admittedly have not Been privvy to conversations)

It's just frustrating, if we are put she will say I need a wee and we can take her but if she is on her own playing or with her brother slays she doesn't want to stop. She refuses not to disengage when there is something more interesting around.

Dp has asked her if something is upsetting her etc, like the baby on way and she says not. And we had cracked it up until this past week, she hadnt wet with us at least for months, but according to dss she has been at home

BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 15:18:49

needaholiday thank you xx

NotaDisneyMum Sun 02-Jun-13 15:22:36

Part of the custody thing he isn't allowed to.

Unless a court has removed his PR, or there are other child protection issues to consider then I'm astounded that a contact order would include any clauses preventing a NRP seeking medical attention for their DC.
Are you sure hes telling you the truth? It sounds like a very convenient excuse to avoid doing the less convenient bits of parenting.

BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 15:26:32

There are issues that preclude him being involved in certain areas. It's ridiculous but he is being truthful.

There was an incident and whilst there are no court appointed procedures there is a ss agreement in place.

needaholidaynow Sun 02-Jun-13 15:27:25

BabyH I really know how hard it is. I've not experienced the same things as you regarding my DSC wetting herself, but there are other situations where I have experienced bad behaviour on her part, and bad behaviour of my own child too. I often feel like I have no right to tell DSD off, and as much as I'd like to really shout at her sometimes I just tell her quietly but she doesn't listen to me as it doesn't have the same effect. My SIL once told me that I have no rights telling her off so basically she was saying to me Shut up and put up love because she ain't your kid. But hey I am her auntie so I'll tell her off as much as I damn well like, but you're not related by blood so there.

'The OP is not an evil SM who is making her DSC scrub floors and locking them in the garden shed with their daily bowl of gruel. '

This is a very simplistic view. Children do not need to lead Cinderella style lives in order to be emotionally damaged.
Living with an adult who would rather they weren't there, is angry with them when they display symptoms of emotional distress, and is frankly jubilant at the though of not seeing them for a fortnight can be far more damaging.
For instance, the OP claims her sd deliberately wets herself and is proud of the upset caused.
She is 8 years old!
The op's dislike of these children is evident, imo.
Scrubbing floors is no more damaging than living with that.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 02-Jun-13 15:32:53

baby I'm sorry, I didn't mean to pry - but it does give you even more reason to disengage from what sounds like an incredibly messy situation and protect your own DC from future fallout.

You cannot be an effective influence in your DSD life and yet, should things go wrong, any involvement you have has could lead to blame being placed on you.

Disengage - don't parent your DSC, for the sake of your own DC - hard though it is to stand by and watch your DSC being messed up by their parents inadequancies.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 02-Jun-13 15:34:47

Living with an adult who would rather they weren't there, is angry with them when they display symptoms of emotional distress, and is frankly jubilant at the though of not seeing them for a fortnight can be far more damaging.

Of course it's the SM fault - no blame for the DCs being damaged can possibly be attributed to her parents can it!?!

BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 15:38:17

morecrack dsd has no idea how I feel as I haven't said or done anything to her, I instead came here to vent. Now unless you have anything constructive to offer please don't post any further.

needaholiday that is the most frustrating thing about step vs own, it is something that worries me about when baby is older that there will be issues over double standards. Having read threads on here about disengaging and letting dp deal with it with me out the picture but seemed to make things worse.

And for the record I never said she is wetting to deliberately cause upset. I said she is fully aware of the need to go but deliberately doesn't in favour of playing and then can't hold it in and wets. This is nit emotional distress it is poor behaviour because other adults in herlufe have allowed her to get away with rather than explaining its unacceptable.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 02-Jun-13 15:47:31

Having read threads on here about disengaging and letting dp deal with it with me out the picture but seemed to make things worse.

That's kind of the point.

By disengaging, you reveal to your DP and his ex exactly how much of their slack you have been picking up - things will get horribly messy and unpleasant for a while until they either step up or (partivularly in your case because SS are involved) their shortcomings come to the attention of professionals.

Yes, it's awful to think that you will be letting your DSC down and the temptation to continue to cover for their parents incapabilities is totally understandable. But, what is the cost of saving your DSC? Your health? Your own DCs wellbeing?

You can't save your DSC from their own parents - but by trying, you could lose things that are far more important.

Sparrow8 Sun 02-Jun-13 15:50:51

Morecrack, I think you are judging babyh a bit harshly. Op is not saying she always wishes dsc are not there. They are not constantly living with an adult who doesn't want them around, she is just ready for them to go back to other parent and needs the break.
I know exactly how you feel babyh and can totally relate. And you do need to vent as its hard to vent to your dp.

needaholidaynow Sun 02-Jun-13 15:51:13

But it's not the SM's fault though. The parents need to take some responsibility for what is happening instead of instantly pointing the finger at the wicked stepmother for the children being emotionally distressed. They need to get to the bottom of this.

And as for being happy about them going home, I can't see the problem with this. A step relationship is one of the hardest of all, so this space from each other can be just what is needed at times. It's a time to reflect and have a bit if a breather. I like it when DSD is here but I also like it very much when she isn't here as well. There are pros and cons to both situations but I am not going to lie and say I hate it when she goes back to her mum's. As much as she is a lovely little girl I still need a break and she wants to have a break from us and see her mum. This is also the time when I get to spend quality time with my own children without having to share their time with me with her. So yes sometimes I can't wait for Mondays! Shoot me now.

BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 15:56:01

You may have a point notadisney. Guess the thought of them both being more damaged by me doing nothingscares the hell out of me.

Generally they are good kids and tbh when its just me and them they are generally very good. They are aware of the expectations I have of their behaviour and their dads expectations of how they should behave with me.

We had put it down to the small amount of time they spent with him/us due to his shift pattern so he sorted out with his ex that we do eow to try and give them more stability and routine esp as rules are diff in our home eg they are not allowed their Nintendo's here as dp expects them to engage with him, or do more constructive things like read a book or play a board game.

It's just after 10 days of what feels like beating my head against a brick wall I am ready for a break.

FrauMoose Sun 02-Jun-13 15:56:57

There is some quite useful information about daytime wetting here.

http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/expertadvice/parentsandyouthinfo/parentscarers/soilingorwetting.aspx

Although the problems seem to be much more complex, and as much about the adults as the children themselves.

BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 15:57:32

Thank you sparrow.I appreciate your comments xx

Ok.
I do not think that the children's difficulties are the fault of the OP, though I think she should take responsibility for her part in this situation.

Secondly, I find it difficult to believe her sd knows nothing of her feelings. I lived with a step parent who I believe would rather have not had me around. I was very inconvenient. I was not made to scrub floors or told I wasn't wanted, but the feeling was very clear to me. Even as a 5yo.

Thirdly, you did say the wetting was deliberate, and added this- 'And its exactly the response to being told no. She is fully aware age is doing it and dare I say proud of it.'

You clearly believe she wets as a way of upsetting or punishing you, and claim she is 'proud' of this.

Obviously my input is not welcome on this thread.

Spero Sun 02-Jun-13 16:03:59

I work in child protection and I am struggling to think of any situation where a parent who is having unsupervised overnight contact with his children would ever be prevented from getting help for his children if they had physical or emotional needs.

If ss were involved I am guessing it was a traumatic business for everyone. Hs any adult sat down with these children and discussed the new baby?

I am not blaming you for finding it hard but think you are focusing on the wrong thing here. These children are not little shits who need a slap but emotionally distressed children who apparently do not have parents who are looking out for them.

You won't be able to cope, particularly with a new born so it is time for their parents to step up. They need to rule out physical issues behind the wetting but my guess is you will need a CAMHS referral.

needaholidaynow Sun 02-Jun-13 16:05:13

Your input is welcome.

BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 16:06:24

Spero yes we

brdgrl Sun 02-Jun-13 16:07:12

babyh, if you were not a stepmum, I'd be saying this to you:
It sounds like you are really at your wit's end, and having trouble coping in a healthy and effective way with the kids, who are for whatever combination of reasons, being challenging. You need help....from your DP, for starters. You need a bit of a break and you need to be able to enjoy the time you do spend with the kids. I suspect that you do know that its not right or even effective to smack kids, especially over something like toilet training, but you are understandably frustrated. What can you do to get a break/some help with the kids/some support with the issue of the toilet training?

That's what I'd say if you were not a stepmum. Since you are, I'll say this:
It sounds like you are really at your wit's end, and having trouble coping in a healthy and effective way with the kids, who are for whatever combination of reasons, being challenging. You need help....from your DP, for starters. You need a bit of a break and you need to be able to enjoy the time you do spend with the kids. I suspect that you do know that its not right or even effective to smack kids, especially over something like toilet training, but you are understandably frustrated. Your DH needs to take over, right now, and give you the break and the support that you need, because it is his responsibility and by delegating it to you, he's making things tough for both you and his children.

BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 16:15:13

Spero sorry on phone...yes we have discussed the baby with both kids. Dss is being a typical boy and fairly dismissive atm. He is looking forward to it as long as we don't make him change nappies which I am fine with. Dsd on other hand cannot wait to change nappies and feed it. She is looking forward to teaching baby about the computer games she likes and how to Tie shoe laces (something she has yet to master I might add). They have both known about baby since very early on and have helped choose names etc. They appear outwardly at least to be coping well with it.

We have tried to use this enthusiasm to.deal with the wetting, ie you need to be a big girl so you can help show baby how to go to the toilet which appears to have had an effect as she has Been dry since Thursday evening.

As for being proud of wetting this is how she came across to dp when she was telling him she had done it.

Dss has autistic tendancies and imo very much favoured for attention from dp, mum and grandparents so part of it may be to get the attention and negative is better than none I guess.

Thanks to those with support and constructive advice, has helped immensely

needaholidaynow Sun 02-Jun-13 16:17:48

Thanks to those with support and constructive advice, has helped immensely

Any time. I really hope things improve for you. smile It's not easy.

BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 16:20:09

Thanks needaholiday I have to say I won't be posting here again! Can live without the abuse

needaholidaynow Sun 02-Jun-13 16:22:38

Aaah it can be good to get your feelings out on here. Do come back if you need us.

Nobody has abused you.
This is not a forum where only those in agreement may post.

VBisme Sun 02-Jun-13 16:32:56

Please try the British second wives club, they won't always agree, but they to understand the situation.

VBisme Sun 02-Jun-13 16:35:10

And they don't have posting names that make drugs sound like they thing it's cool.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 02-Jun-13 16:36:27

Telling the OP they have a disgusting attitude when her original post acknowledges that her feelings "sound awful" is abusive in MN terms, though.

Unsupportive and personally attacking posts aren't tolerated on the other boards; it's an indication of how thick skinned SMs are that there are rarely pages of "deleted sure to breaching talk guidelines" here wink

BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 16:39:08

vbisme thanks hun will have a lurk.

'And they don't have posting names that make drugs sound like they thing it's cool.'

Oh dear.
So I post an opinion, receive this in reply, and I'm abusive?
I do understand the situation.
I have a 15yo son with various behavioural difficulties. I have never referred to him as a little shit or wished his dad would smack him.

Pointing this out has made me unwelcome on this thread.

15yo stepson

NotaDisneyMum Sun 02-Jun-13 17:56:46

Telling the OP that she has a disgusting attitude has left the OP feeling more vulnerable then she felt when she posted her OP which said that she felt awful for saying it.

Talk about kicking someone when they're down! I'm sure there are days you've wished things in your family were different and felt guilty for doing so - it's perfectly possible to be empathetic while disagreeing.

mummytime Sun 02-Jun-13 18:04:05

I totally understood the OP saying she was relieved her SC were going home and she wouldn't have to see them for 2 weeks. That sounded very similar to Mums saying they are relieved the kids are back at school.

However, the explanation is worrying. I would strongly suggest that she read some a renting books, goes on a course or at least watches "Super Nanny".
The little girl sounds in emotional need, and smacking a child or wetting themselves is almost universally condemned (as counter productive). I would suggest SS need to be more involved, and there needs to be more help for these children. It makes me feel very sad for them.

Spero Sun 02-Jun-13 18:08:41

There has got to be a middle ground between abuse and sympathy. Neither are much good in isolation.

I don't think anyone has abused the op, but nor is she simply the frazzled step mum some of you wish her to be.

Morecrack was quite right to point out this Thirdly, you did say the wetting was deliberate, and added this- 'And its exactly the response to being told no. She is fully aware age is doing it and dare I say proud of it.'

This little girl is being made the focus of adult anger and frustration.

I absolutely refuse to believe that any NT 8 year old girl would be 'proud' of wetting herself like that.

And there is obviously a lot more going on here than just a step mum at the end of her rope if her partner is subject to some vague prohibitions on caring for his children after an 'incident'.

FrauMoose Sun 02-Jun-13 19:20:43

Some of it's about language I think.

I can remember feeling tired as pregnancy went on, tired by aspects of step-parenting and by poor communication between my partner and my step-children's mother, tired of dealing with wet bed linen.

And I think there is a lot of understanding here - especially from other step-parents - of the hard juggling/balancing act that we try to do.

So most people would quite understand somebody saying. 'I am knackered. Towards the end of half-term both my stepchildren were quite challenging and unfortunately one of them - who had been doing much better about remembering about going to the toilet- unfortunately began wetting herself again. It's been a tough week and now I'm really looking forward to a break.'

However phrases like 'deliberately wetting herself' and 'obstinate little sod' and 'I would have smacked the pair of them; and 'they are quite frankly being little shits' will inevitably get some of us wondering about the well-being of the children, not just the poster.....

Kaluki Sun 02-Jun-13 19:51:59

OP I have had weeks just like you describe with my DSC.
My DSS used to deliberately poo himself and hide his dirty clothes and DSD still wets the bed so I know how frustrating it can be - especially while you are pregnant. In our case it seemed to be all about attention seeking.
Vent away all you like on here. Believe me I know that 8 and 10 year olds can be little shits and I have an obstinate little sod of my own at times!
Have a brew and enjoy your DSC free time! grin

Petal02 Sun 02-Jun-13 20:42:07

OP, just wanted to send you some moral support. Dealing with step children is the most soul destroying and frustrating issue i've ever dealt with. I regularly felt jubilant when DSS went back to his mothers, and am counting the days til he starts Uni in September.

Please don't stop posting.

BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 20:44:49

Thanks kaluki and petal.

Have asked for thread to be deleted as apparently I am not entitled to be frustrated or vent without being accused of alsorts.

EvilEdna2909 Sun 02-Jun-13 21:06:54

Dont worry BabyHMummy..your just worn out and stressed so obviously your going to say things u don't mean and out of anger but people can it differently on here

Spero Sun 02-Jun-13 21:12:26

So what you said about an 'incident' involving your partner was just said out of anger as you wanted to vent?

No one blames you for venting. No one denies children can be difficult and the step parent dynamic can be really hard.

But if all you want is virtual hand holding then you know this is the wrong place. People will read what you have read and ask questions.

allnewtaketwo Sun 02-Jun-13 21:19:42

It's not the wrong place FFS. Who made you god of mumsnet.
OP you are extremely welcome to have a vent on here in my book. Fwiw I heave a bloody massive sigh of relief and a silent cheer when DSSs leave on a Sunday eve. So shoot me

Spero Sun 02-Jun-13 21:40:25

Venting is good. But there is clearly much much more going on here and you are doing the op no favours by brushing it under carpet.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 02-Jun-13 21:43:09

But if all you want is virtual hand holding then you know this is the wrong place.

WTF!

MN is different things to different people - and there are clear guidelines in place which certain posters on this thread have disregarded, IMO.

Asking questions is one thing - expressing disgust at the OP is totally different and well over the line.

allnewtaketwo Sun 02-Jun-13 21:46:59

I'm not brushing anything anywhere, I've joined the thread late and the OP has been given excellent advice by some posters. I maintain though that regardless of all this, she can ignore your post and feel welcome to vent on here all she likes, this is absolutely a good place to do that. You don't get to make the rules.

Spero Sun 02-Jun-13 21:50:46

Of course op can ignore my contribution. I don't make any rules here. All I do is abide by the existing rules. If you think I have not, report me.

I have not used any derogatory language. I have pointed out some things which in my view are important.

It is one thing to vent, another to call two little children 'shits' and talk about hitting them, with a social services investigation in the background.

If you don't like hearing that - tough.

allnewtaketwo Sun 02-Jun-13 21:52:16

Oh go and find your high horse to sit on FFS. Or trot of to another parenting board to scold naughty parents at the end of their tether.

needaholidaynow Sun 02-Jun-13 21:55:45

All children can be little shits at times though Spero But damn the SM for thinking this about her DSC at times!

BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 22:02:32

There is a big difference between hitting and smacking for disciplines sake.

The ss investigation was long.time ago and there is.no.further involvement and it had nothing to do.with me, was while.dp and ex were still together.

And it isn't like I.called them names to their faces ffs. I came on here to vent and possibly get support from similar thinking ppl. Pardon my naivety that this was the point of a forum.

I don't see the parents or step parents who have commented similar getting the same level of attack.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 02-Jun-13 22:03:16

I have not used any derogatory language. I have pointed out some things which in my view are important.

Others have been personally insulting though, Spero - perhaps it's them who have upset the OP?

Spero Sun 02-Jun-13 22:05:31

You don't seem to be reading what I am reading. There is more going on than just a step mum at the end of her tether. What is this investigation by social services? Why can't her partner look after his own children?

She is about to have a baby so this situation is going to get worse. I just don't see how the o hunz you just vent away approach is going to help.

But fine, ignore away. I can't stop you. But you are not going to convince me about how wrong I am and how right you are with these kind of responses.

Spero Sun 02-Jun-13 22:07:21

Notadisneymum - those who have been insulting are just twats. You don't get anyone listening to you if ounare rude and insulting. Pity so many on both sides of the argument are ignorant of this simple point.

I hope the op gets more help and support before her baby comes. And I hope the children do as well.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 02-Jun-13 22:09:00

Oh but Spero, I'm reading posts on this thread that do challenge the OP, that do ask questions, that do advise her to change her approach?
Have you seen those, too? wink

NotaDisneyMum Sun 02-Jun-13 22:10:11

Notadisneymum - those who have been insulting are just twats. You don't get anyone listening to you if ounare rude and insulting.

Oh, the irony grin

Spero Sun 02-Jun-13 22:11:22

Yup, given that I wrote some of them. And when I point out this is a consequence of posting on an open forum that is NOT called 'letz all hug and call our step kids shit' I get an, er, 'interesting' response.

It is hard being a step parent. It can be a thankless task with seemingly few rewards for large sacrifices.

I would implore you to examine your attitude to your dsc. I know you don't want to hear it, but I can sense animosity towards them through your posts. For example, the way you dismiss your dsd's promise to teach the baby how to tie shoelaces ( "something she has yet to master, I might add..").

Asking for the thread to be deleted is OTT. In my view, nobody has been unkind or abusive.
You are entitled to disagree with me, just as I with you.
Such is the nature of 'venting' on a public parenting forum.

Spero Sun 02-Jun-13 22:12:11

So where have I been rude and insulting? Baffled now.

needaholidaynow Sun 02-Jun-13 22:13:06

Sometimes it's good to get it out though. It's either vent away somewhere like here where there are people to offer advice and identify with your situation, or to people in real life such as family and friends who if they haven't been in that situation before might not be so supportive and have no advice to give. Plus if anything I say gets over to my in laws I will be eaten alive.

Spero Sun 02-Jun-13 22:16:11

For possibly the fourth time, of course it is good to vent. But it is also good to think about the reality of your situation and especially about two young children who didn't ask to be born.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 02-Jun-13 22:17:19

harlem I disagree.

Your condemnation of the OPs disgusting attitude was very unkind and totally uncalled for, given the self awareness that the OP expressed in her initial post.

Your comment gave no constructive advice - it was merely intended to hurt.

Spero Sun 02-Jun-13 22:20:28

Yes but sadly for the op she went on to be a lot less self aware in subsequent posts. Her attitude is worrying. These children are 8 and 10, not teenagers. They are very vulnerable.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 02-Jun-13 22:22:31

So where have I been rude and insulting? Baffled now.

The irony of insulting people who are rude and insulting in their posts! grin

I don't disagree with your questions and advice to the OP, Spero - but I can't get my knickers in a twist about the hand-holders like you seem to have done; there's room on MN for both smile

Spero Sun 02-Jun-13 22:25:28

Sorry, I thought you meant I was being rude to op. d'oh.

I don't mind being rude to rude people as frankly nothing you say will impact on them. But being rude to op in this situation is obviously counter productive as she will just get defensive.

I am not getting my knickers in a twist about anything. Just pointing out that op can't be surprised she gets views she doesn't like and asking for thread to be deleted on that basis is a bit OTT.

But apparently this makes me a god of mumsnet and proud owner of a lovely horse. How exciting.

Perhaps 'disgusting attitude' was too strong.
And yes, the OP did express regret in her opening post.

However, she then spent the rest of the thread defending her attitude towards the children, spurred on, perhaps, by the avalanche of posters who assured her that her feelings were natural and understandable.

I stand by this: I would implore you to examine your attitude to your dsc. I know you don't want to hear it, but I can sense animosity towards them through your posts. For example, the way you dismiss your dsd's promise to teach the baby how to tie shoelaces ( "something she has yet to master, I might add..").

BabyHMummy Sun 02-Jun-13 22:36:43

I have not defended anything I.have explained why I am.frustrated.

And wasn't dismissing anything, I thought it was cute that she was trying to think of.things she could.teach the baby once.she masters doing them herself.

You seem to.be intent on thinking the worst of me so.stop.posting as I requested earlier

Spero Sun 02-Jun-13 22:37:52

Bottom line for me is, I know it's hard being a step parent. Not because I am one, but because I have some imagination and compassion.

But step parents are adults. They can look out for themselves and get help if they need to. Children cannot. Especially 8 year olds. So vent if it helps but don't expect to get 100% support for your justifications on an open forum.

suckmabigtoe Sun 02-Jun-13 22:39:58

i agree with spero and harlem.

unfortunately the step-parenting forum seems to have a fence around it where anything other than "i totally understand- feel free to vent" is deemed unnacceptable. this is different from the rest of MN.

if i 'vented' in parenting about my dcs in the same way as OP then i would be rightly called on my language regarding children. i have seen 'little shits' being used many times on MN and not once have i seen it go unchallenged. i would certainly not expect to post anywhere on MN in the manner of OP and hope to receive hugs and a free pass to 'vent away'.

whilst i understand we all need to vent- we also must accept that when we vent on a public forum people will offer the advice they think you need to solve the situation. if you're venting- that in itself indicates there IS a problem and people will point that out to you, especially if there are children involved. children who have no choice about being in the situation they are in and who are trying the only way they know to cope with it. children who dont have the emotional tools or experience to understand or process the complex emotions surrounding separated and blended families.

OP i think you know whether how you feel and speak about the children is fair or not.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 02-Jun-13 22:41:35

baby you can't choose who posts on your threads wink

You've had a tough week, you're pregnant, you're looking for support at home that is not forthcoming - it's no wonder you are desperate for some emotional support and sympathy.

But, please, please consider how your own DC is being affected by this. You are so desperate not to fail at being a SM, that you're not giving the job of Mum the priority it deserves.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 02-Jun-13 22:43:59

unfortunately the step-parenting forum seems to have a fence around it where anything other than "i totally understand- feel free to vent" is deemed unnacceptable. this is different from the rest of MN.

Have you visited the Lone Parents board? It makes the venting here in step-parenting look like puffs of hot air wink

Bloody hell. That's me told then grin
Must remember to agree with OP in future and keep my pesky opinions to myself.

NotADisneyMum- I have enjoyed reading your thoughtful and measured posts, even if we disagree on some points.

I perhaps find the subject matter emotive because of my family background. I always felt my step mother would have preferred her life had I not been in it. I sensed a similar attitude from the OP.

I do not like anybody referring to children as little shits, be they parents or otherwise. And I despise physical aggression, particularly towards children.

suckmabigtoe Sun 02-Jun-13 22:46:21

yes i have- i am a lone parent. i still wouldn't expect to be supported in calling my dcs little shits . i would still expect to be given advice (and have been whether i wanted it or not) and to be told if i'm out of line.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 02-Jun-13 22:57:57

i am a lone parent. i still wouldn't expect to be supported in calling my dcs little shits

Maybe not, but I've seen LP's refer to their DCs step and half siblings by similarly derogatory names and there has been no lack of support for Mums opinion in those threads.

I personally don't think there's any point to a forum unless there is a mix of hand holders and challengers. MN has a balance on all boards - there's certainly no lack if challenge here on the SParenting page smile

Spero Sun 02-Jun-13 23:00:58

I wouldn't support anyone calling a child under 10 a 'shit'.

There is a reason the age of criminal responsibility is 10 - and that's the lowest age in Europe I think.

So we are all agreed then? If op wanted just hand holding, this is not the place?

suckmabigtoe Sun 02-Jun-13 23:06:24

"but I've seen LP's refer to their DCs step and half siblings by similarly derogatory names and there has been no lack of support for Mums opinion in those threads."

as i said upthread. i have seen 'little shits' being used many times on MN but nit once have i seen it go unchallenged. i have called posters on it in the past and dont see why this thread should be treated differently. step-parents are people and responsible for their words just like any other parent or non-parent.

suckmabigtoe Sun 02-Jun-13 23:09:18

"I personally don't think there's any point to a forum unless there is a mix of hand holders and challengers. MN has a balance on all boards -"

i agree with the first part of that comment- however it is very clear that in step-parenting challengers are not welcome.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 02-Jun-13 23:09:56

So we are all agreed then? If op wanted just hand holding, this is not the place?

I think it depends whose online and what's on TV as to whether its 'the right place' or not wink Nothing in life is guaranteed smile

<I never know when I'm going to need my hand held, but when I do, I come here first!>

NotaDisneyMum Sun 02-Jun-13 23:12:30

i agree with the first part of that comment- however it is very clear that in step-parenting challengers are not welcome.

I've never felt unwelcome, yet I've challenged the OP several times on this thread alone, and have a bit of a reputation for asking difficult questions wink

suckmabigtoe Sun 02-Jun-13 23:14:54

i'm glad you havent ever felt unwelcome. i certainly have.

Let's say a teacher posts about a child.
They have been soiling themselves in class.
They can't tie their own laces.
They are obstinate.

Would we allow that teacher to call the child a little shit without challenging them about their language?
I certainly wouldn't.

This board, particularly, does always strike me as being blindly defensive when challenged.

"She just decides she can't be bothered to stop playing so does it and then denies it, lies, hides her clothes etc. And its exactly the response to being told no. She is fully aware age is doing it and dare I say proud of it."

I post this quote as I suppose it's the part of the thread that I felt most uncomfortable with, and the point at which I became emotionally motivated to post. It reminded me of my own childhood, and the SM who believed I was very naughty and disobedient when I soiled myself. My own Mother was, fortunately, more sympathetic.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 02-Jun-13 23:17:15

i have called posters on it in the past and dont see why this thread should be treated differently

And it hasn't been! Just like threads elsewhere on MN, there have been people sympathising with the OP, people who disagree and people who are openly insulting In this case, just like in some threads elsewhere, the OP isn't in the right place to deal with the disagreement and has argued back.

Why should it be different here?

Spero Sun 02-Jun-13 23:19:31

And people who have challenged, who are not you, have been made to feel quite unwelcome.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 02-Jun-13 23:21:50

harlem just because that particular quote wasn't challenged by others doesn't mean that your challenge was unwelcome or inappropriate though.
Of course the OP is going to defend it, and others may agree with her right to do so - but there's no conspiracy to stamp out anything but supportive posts; it just means that not everyone who disagrees is as strongly motivated to oust about it as you were!

NotaDisneyMum Sun 02-Jun-13 23:22:07

harlem just because that particular quote wasn't challenged by others doesn't mean that your challenge was unwelcome or inappropriate though.
Of course the OP is going to defend it, and others may agree with her right to do so - but there's no conspiracy to stamp out anything but supportive posts; it just means that not everyone who disagrees is as strongly motivated to oust about it as you were!

brdgrl Mon 03-Jun-13 00:51:24

I don't agree that the OP has gotten blind support. I think though that some empathy is a good thing and is in short supply for stepmums.

In my own response, which I don't think was exceptional, I think I tried to say clearly that she needed help and wasn't presently able to handle the situation well. I don't think that amounts to a defense of the OP, inthe slightest. On the other hand, I didn't attack her for the feelings she's expressed here, because I don't think that is helpful, and because it is very hard to know when someone is just venting.

Mums say terrible things about their own kids on MN sometimes. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Xalla Mon 03-Jun-13 12:14:00

OP - sorry I've just seen this and wanted to show you a bit of support. The "thank God it's Sunday" is a sentiment I'm very familiar with and I empathize fully.

This isn't the best place to vent. There's an American site called steptalk.org. I can't honestly say it's a great place for measured advice as it's mainly frequented by disgruntled step-parents but it is a great place to have a whine wink

Enjoy your week off.

FrauMoose Mon 03-Jun-13 15:14:03

Was somewhat puzzled by this reply (to a question of mine about whether the OP intended hit her own baby):-

"if my baby requires discipline and I deem a smack is appropriate then yes"

Petal02 Mon 03-Jun-13 15:25:33

Fraumoose, I don't think the OP is planning to batter her child, FFS! I think she just means that if necessary, the child will get his/her legs slapped !!!

Kaluki Mon 03-Jun-13 17:59:52

Why are step mums always compared to teachers?
It is totally different !!!

Xalla Mon 03-Jun-13 19:25:59

Erm yeah. Teachers get paid for starters. Oh and it's their chosen vocation...

Ridic.

I wasn't making a comparison, simply pointing out that there are no circumstances under which I would find it acceptable to call a child a 'little shit'.
I suppose the comparison is often made because it's a similar situation, in that both teachers and step parents look after other people's children for extended periods.

"Fraumoose, I don't think the OP is planning to batter her child, FFS! I think she just means that if necessary, the child will get his/her legs slapped !!!"

Hitting a child is never necessary.

Kaluki Mon 03-Jun-13 21:16:35

No teacher would have to put up with the crap that step parents do.
Teachers usually have the full support if the school and the parents behind them. They go home at the end of the day and leave the children to their parents to deal with.
And yes - they get paid. And appreciated. And thanked!!!

NotaDisneyMum Mon 03-Jun-13 21:26:19

I suppose the comparison is often made because it's a similar situation, in that both teachers and step parents look after other people's children for extended periods.

..and that illustrates exactly why many people who are not step-parents cannot possibly relate to the situation - "teachers and parents look after other peoples children for extended periods of time, so ergo, they are similar".

you.have.no.idea

Teachers are not emotionally invested in their students.
DC's don't feel as if they are being disloyal to a parent if they interact with their teacher.
Teachers don't sacrifice their own health/wellbeing/career/happiness for the benefit of their pupils.
DC's don't resent the time that their teacher spends with other DC's or even other adults.
Teachers are trained, and qualified to care for their pupils.
DC's with significant emotional, behavioural or other needs are provided with specialist support alongside their teacher.
Teachers rarely spend more than a few hours at a time with their pupils.

Should I go on?

Being a step-parent is nothing like being a teacher, and frankly, I think it is insulting to both the teaching profession and step-parents to suggest that they are even remotely similar.

FrauMoose Mon 03-Jun-13 21:31:26

Teachers have classes of 30 children many of who will be from troubled backgrounds and/or have special needs and/or who exhibit challenging behaviour. The parents of these - or other problems - may display challenging and aggressive behaviour. Or they may simply have too many difficulties to support the school in helping their children. While they are on duty, teachers have to remain calm and professional. They have admin far beyond any paperwork parents have to do. While other staff members, the Head, the Governors etc may be supportive that is not necessarily the case. (A member of my family is currently training as a primary school teacher and I would say that - with the preparation - it is more strenuous than looking after toddlers.) I would rather be a stepmother.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 03-Jun-13 21:37:14

While they are on duty, teachers have to remain calm and professional.

There is the same expectation of SM's - but we're never off duty as far as I can see - even losing it occasionally on an anonymous online forum is considered "unprofessional" in stepmum terms - yet, even teachers are allowed to vent in the staffroom!

While other staff members, the Head, the Governors etc may be supportive that is not necessarily the case.

No different to a stepmums partners, inlaws, siblings, parents and friends, then?

I agree with you - step-parenting and teaching are both very hard - but are in no way comparable.

FrauMoose Mon 03-Jun-13 22:17:33

I actually think it might be slightly easier to opt out of stepmothering. Unless the child is resident in your household, typically there is quite a lot of time off when you can recharge. At times of difficulty it may be possible either to vary your stepchildren's times in your home or the amount of input you have during those visits. And you can - though it's not easy - decide if the stepmothering really isn't working because you are not getting the support from your own partner, it is not a job that you want to have. (You might get congratulated for walking away from a situation where you were being dumped on.) Whereas a teacher who walked away from teaching because the demands and expectations were just too huge and the back-up too little, might feel/be made to feel they had failed - particularly if they hadn't planned a good exit strategy.

I think I had quite a lot of support from friends when I was stepmothering. Online forums are a bit different I think. There is just a wider range of reactions, so what you often get is a spectrum of opinion - some of which will 'speak to your condition', and some which definitely doesn't.

My sense is that a lot of people who post here are those who are in particularly difficult stepmothering situations. I felt that my own situation was certainly less than ideal. My partner's split from his ex was acrimonious and there was no communication or cooperation about some very important matters to do with education, emotional health etc. My stepchildren squabbled a great deal and the bedwetting went on for a long time. On the other hand I had a supportive partner, my stepchildren were absolutely brilliant when I/we had a baby - and for a good part of the time my stepchildren were just very interesting - fun even - to be with and look after. They gave me some genuine affection and regard me as a stable and significant presence in their lives.

allnewtaketwo Mon 03-Jun-13 22:24:41

"it may be possible either to vary your stepchildren's times in your home"

Really, you think a SM has much input over the time spent by a DSC in the house hmm

suckmabigtoe Mon 03-Jun-13 22:37:40

from some of the posts here and in other threads it almost seems as if some people think SM have no choices available to them.

allnewtaketwo Mon 03-Jun-13 22:40:42

Do you seriously think most SMs have a choice in when DSCs visit? Really? Most people I know have the access defined in a court order, for a start, and none of the SMs were the judges who wrote the terms of those documents

suckmabigtoe Mon 03-Jun-13 22:48:23

you have a choice not to live in that house. you have a choice not to be a step mother. you have a choice not to be in a relationship with the father of the children in question. there are always choices- although those who lean towards playing the victim card will deny it.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 03-Jun-13 22:51:00

from some of the posts here and in other threads it almost seems as if some people think SM have no choices available to them.

Yes, SM have choices. I considered carefully my choice as to whether to continue in my role as SM when I was faced with a very difficult family situation only recently.

But comparing the choice to leave a profession (which I have also done) with the choice to end a marriage, split a family and cause emotional distress to everyone involved is really not comparable.

CouthyMow Mon 03-Jun-13 22:52:09

I'm not about to say that you should sit back whilst your DSC are being horrors - but IME, 10 is the age at which 'gobbiness' starts in some boys DS1 I'm looking at you, and your DSD is going from being her Dad's 'baby' to being the 'middle child'.

So there could be an element of regression because of that - but equally, my own DD had issues with wetting, up until 9yo in the day and 12 and a half at night, and would come out of school wet. She would tell me that she just couldn't be bothered, that she was too busy playing, etc.

It wasn't until years later, that she was able to articulate to me that she had been saying that because she didn't want to have to admit that she had an issue there. And if she told me that she was 'too busy playing', then she would have chosen that, whereas if it was just 'happening', and she couldn't control it, then SHE wasn't the one making the decisions IYSWIM.

But you do need to bear in mind that she is, in her mind at least, 'losing' her place as her Dad's baby. Going back to wetting may be a sign that she is not doing so well emotionally with that.

There are far better ways to discipline a child without resorting to physical abuse, though. Sanctions of things that that DC (or DSC) likes to watch, have or do, for starters.

suckmabigtoe Mon 03-Jun-13 22:53:05

did i compare it to leaving a profession? confused

CouthyMow Mon 03-Jun-13 22:56:04

And I DO think that anyone saying that they wanted to snack their own DC's would be shot down on the main boards too - especially if they combined that with phrases like the OP used in her first post.

I may not always like my DC's, but I certainly don't want to smack them...

Spero Mon 03-Jun-13 22:56:09

Sorry, this didn't leap out at me at the time but on revisiting the thread it jumped out loud and clear. I am really sad that the op said if her 'baby' requires 'discipline' she will smack her.

Why on earth would anyone think smacking a baby is a good idea? What does a 'baby' have to do to warrant a smack?

Or is this simply more acceptable venting?

My worry is that it does reveal something quite telling about the op's attitudes that have nothing to do with being tired and fed up step mother.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 03-Jun-13 22:57:04

Whereas a teacher who walked away from teaching because the demands and expectations were just too huge and the back-up too little, might feel/be made to feel they had failed - particularly if they hadn't planned a good exit strategy.

You didn't toe - but others did wink

allnewtaketwo Mon 03-Jun-13 22:59:24

Suck, do you spend a lot of time on the relationship boards preaching to posters with issues about their "choices", or to that point the many many other boards on mumsnet about the "choices" they have, in the manner of well you have other choices so stop moaning? Or do you contain that attitude just to the SP board?

CouthyMow Mon 03-Jun-13 23:00:49

Also - a look on the ERIC website.

ERIC

Some very useful info on here.

suckmabigtoe Mon 03-Jun-13 23:03:53

of course i point out that peope have other choices available to them on other boards! as do many other posters. when someone posts about her idle DH i'll offer advice that includes the choices she has available to her. if someone posts about trouble their dcs is having in school i'll offer up what i consider to be the choices availabe to them. what an odd question.

suckmabigtoe Mon 03-Jun-13 23:06:06

ah nota, i was confused by you quoting my post wink

CouthyMow Mon 03-Jun-13 23:14:15

Apols for my random typo of 'snack' instead of smack. Rather changes the tone of the post... hmm

I just don't think smacking is necessary in any situation, and for a baby?! The mind boggles.

needaholidaynow Mon 03-Jun-13 23:26:06

you have a choice not to live in that house. you have a choice not to be a step mother. you have a choice not to be in a relationship with the father of the children in question. there are always choices- although those who lean towards playing the victim card will deny it.

There have been days/weeks/months where those choices have seemed so desirable to me. My choice not to be a stepmother? Don't think I haven't considered it. But then choice 3 would Inevitably be forced upon me and I love my DP too much so that wouldn't be good. Plus if I made a choice not to be stepmother to my DSD then as me and my DP wouldn't be together anymore my children would have to experience their mum and dad splitting up and their whole world being torn apart. If they weren't here then it would be different and that decision would be far easier.

"you.have.no.idea"

Why? Because I disagree with you?
Well, as both a step mother and a Learning Mentor, my views are shaped by my experience.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 03-Jun-13 23:34:13

Unless the child is resident in your household, typically there is quite a lot of time off when you can recharge

In my case, a great deal of my 'child free time' over the years has been spent supporting my DP through family court, mediation and grief, and participating in professional assessments, counselling and parenting courses/workshops.
My DSC have definitely taken up a great deal of headspace and time - I wouldn't consider that time off from being a SM.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 03-Jun-13 23:38:21

Well, as both a step mother and a Learning Mentor, my views are shaped by my experience

if you consider that your time with your students is comparable to your time with your DSC, then IMO, you are giving neither what they have a right to expect from you in your respective role.

suckmabigtoe Mon 03-Jun-13 23:46:02

needaholiday i didn't promise you or anyone here that those choices would be lovely, easy choices where nobody got hurt.

i have made the decision to split up my family so my children are no longer living with their father. it wasn't easy for me either, or for my dcs or my EX. it's still not easy but it's a choice that was available to me and i made it. i didn't make it lightly and it didn't happen overnight. it was a long time coming and even after i'd done it i doubted myself. i am certainly not saying anyone here should be ending their relationships. i am saying there ARE choices in response to some posters implying there were none for SMs. everyone has to make their own decision based on their own individual circumstances but to deny there are choices isn't doing anyone any favours. least of all yourself (not you specifically holiday)

"I suppose the comparison is often made because it's a similar situation, in that both teachers and step parents look after other people's children for extended periods."

This is what I actually said.
That I could see why the comparison is made.
And actually, I find that the skills required in both roles are extremely transferable- empathy, diplomacy, safeguarding/cp, building relationships with children and their carers... I could go on.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 03-Jun-13 23:59:31

toe the thing about Stepparenting is that the choices available are pretty limited though. It's not like there is the same range of choices that are available to parents, for instance - often the choice is between putting up with a situation you have no influence over or ending a marriage; there's no middle ground.

My DP and his ex have recently agreed to drastically alter DSS's contact schedule. Their decision has changed my home and work life, and that of my DD, due to the practicalities of the new arrangements. Access to the family car, support in the family business, even the time I wake up on my day off have all changed because of a decision I had no influence over.

My choices are limited. I can put up with it, accept that DP and his ex believe it is best for DSS or....I can leave. I can't negotiate, or compromise, or agree to a trial - those were choices available to DP and his ex, not me.

It's understandable that so many stepparents feel powerless - the choices they have available to them are often the two extremes; there is no middle ground available for them to select.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 04-Jun-13 00:07:55

harlem What about the impact on you as a person?

Do your DSC and your students elicite the same emotional response when they are unhappy, or disrespectful, or aggressive?
Do you have access to the same resources and expertise as a stepparent as you do as a teacher?

The qualities you mention are transferable to a range of professions - nursing & policing immediately spring to mind - why does no one compare stepparents to other paid professionals?

suckmabigtoe Tue 04-Jun-13 00:10:38

with respect nota my choices were stay or go. there was no middle ground for me either. in the same way you can't force your DP to involve you with the decisions regarding his children i couldn't force my EXp to talk through our problems, be faithful to me, stop gas-lighting me, stop being verbally abusive. if i had chosen to stay it would also have been a choice i made, just like you choosing to be in a relationship where you partner doesn't consult you about things that affect you is a choice you have made. you are choosing for now at least to be in that relationship and so that situation. that's not to say i dont know what it's like being between a rock and a hard place- i do, but doing nothing and just accepting it- is still a choice.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 04-Jun-13 00:20:42

toe Wouldn't you have preferred to have a wider range of choices? I would have preferred more options when my own marriage ended - counselling, meaningful mediation, negotiation - but those choices were denied me and left me feeling powerless.

Just to assure you my DP does consult me - but what are his choices in that situation? Do what us best for his DC, or inconvenience me? Despite my supporting and agreeing with his choice, it doesn't mean I have any greater influence over it or a wider range of choices available to me!

suckmabigtoe Tue 04-Jun-13 00:28:30

"toe Wouldn't you have preferred to have a wider range of choices?"

wouldn't we all? i'm not sure i understand the point of that question. if we are wishing for stuff i would just wish not to be in the situation having to make a choice in the first place. but as that's not how life works i was and so i had to make a choice.

feeling powerless is understandable, we all do at some point in our lives about various things but it shouldn't become your default mode. we always have choices, they're rarely the ones that will make everyone (or even anyone sometimes) happy and one might be no better than another but they exist. to deny this just reinforces the idea that you are powerless as opposed to feeling powerless.

brdgrl Tue 04-Jun-13 02:52:35

Am intrigued (or maybe I mean disgusted) by the view that step-mothering is a position I can siply choose to walk away from.

On the one hand, we're told to love our stepkids like our own and keep them from harm. Then we're told that if we don't like how things are going in our own homes, we should end our relationship and leave.

Seriously? Is this how you guys view your own marriages and families?

My stepkids have already lost a parent. It's not in their best interest to lose me now.

And then, there's the child I share with my DH. I suppose it's a reasonable choice for her to lose her home and her family life with her dad and siblings, rather than for DH and I to do things that are best for our family as a whole.

Stepmums have choices, of course we do. We can choose to tolerate abuse and disrespect from our stepkids (and from anonymous dickheads on the internet), or we can refuse.

This is my family. I've a riight to build a family life in the way I see fit - just like you.

Xalla Tue 04-Jun-13 05:01:32

[you have a choice not to live in that house. you have a choice not to be a step mother. you have a choice not to be in a relationship with the father of the children in question. there are always choices- although those who lean towards playing the victim card will deny it.]

That is beyond naïve. Do you know who I reckon would suffer the most if I did that? My DSD. Tempting as it is....

My DH is working away quite a bit at the moment which means DSD is spending whole weeks away from our home. A couple of weeks ago I had 8 nights without DH and without DSD. It was utter bliss - I was appalled with myself for thinking it but it was honestly the most contented week I've had in ages. I'd be lying if I didn't say, towards the end of the 8 nights, I started dreading them both coming back but it was a sentiment I pushed to the back of my mind because it isn't a route I'll allow myself to go down. There would be far too much in the way of ensuing devastation.

It seems to me that 90% of the frustration on the step-parenting boards stems from one of 2 issues; a)BPs leaving SPs to parent their children and b) BPs disneying their non-resident children.

The OP's is living with both issues. The answers lie with her DP.

FrauMoose Tue 04-Jun-13 07:14:33

Just coming back on the point raised above that 'choice' for a stepmother doesn't exist if the terms of the stepchildren's visits have been decided by the family courts.

Obviously that's true and even in informal situations smaller children in particular will benefit from a routine which shouldn't be messed around with. However I looked up to see whether there was any information on the idea that 'typically' the courts were involved. A very high proportion of my children and stepchildren's friends have separated parents with new partners, but in most cases contact arrangements seem reasoably amicable with family life having settled into new patterns. (Even if there are stresses behind the scenes.) According to a recent academic study:-

"Decisions about whether there should be contact and how much are typically made informally by parents, either acting together or unilaterally. Very few (10% or less) involve the courts (Blackwell and Dawe, 2003; Peacey and Hunt, 2008), even if they are not necessarily happy with the arrangements or are experiencing problems over contact"

That's a 2008 study for the Ministry of Justice by Oxford researchers.

So I do think it is step-parents in especially challenging situations who may find venting on Mumsnet extra helpful.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 04-Jun-13 07:19:00

frau or, presumably, those SM in which contact has been agreed unilaterally by the RP wink

suckmabigtoe Tue 04-Jun-13 09:42:16

"Am intrigued (or maybe I mean disgusted) by the view that step-mothering is a position I can siply choose to walk away from."

you can- whether you're willing to admit that here or not. you can. no-one is forcing you to be a SM.

"Then we're told that if we don't like how things are going in our own homes, we should end our relationship and leave. "

who said you should? i said it was an option available to you. just like it was an option available to me.

Stepmums have choices, of course we do. We can choose to tolerate abuse and disrespect from our stepkids (and from anonymous dickheads on the internet), or we can refuse.

"This is my family. I've a riight to build a family life in the way I see fit - just like you."

exactly my point. they way you see fit- meaning you have made a choice.

i dont understand this refusal to accept that you have got and have made choices to be where you are.

allnewtaketwo Tue 04-Jun-13 11:35:04

"in most cases contact arrangements seem reasoably amicable"

Fraumouse you're surely not do naive to think that SMs in amicable situations are the ones "venting" on here

Kaluki Tue 04-Jun-13 11:53:12

I can't count the number of times I have dreamt about considered bailing out and not being a stepmum any more.
But the fallout from that would have been immense - for my own dc as well as the sdc. I would have been heartbroken to split from DP as would he, we would have had to move house, my dc love their stepsiblings so they would have been upset, not to mention putting all of them through another breakup.
At the end of the day we do have choices but when those choices mean hurting the very people we love the most, we make the unselfish choice to stay and face the problems for the good of the family as a whole.
For my part I am glad I stuck it out as things are improving and however bad things get DP and I are stronger together.

needaholidaynow Tue 04-Jun-13 12:36:22

I agree with Kaluki. There have been many times where I have thought about walking out on being a stepmum. Sometimes that option seems so wonderful and I often think how lovely it would be for it to be just me and my boys, but then again I would be destroying their life. I don't want them to have the same family set up as my DSD. I love them too much to break their family up for the sake of my DSD being here. And my poor DP, I love him so much, and I couldn't punish him like that for having a daughter before he met me. But I just have to suck it up! DSD has had two consistent figures in her life since her mum and dad split up, and that's me and her stepdad, so if one or both of us disappeared I think she would be affected and that is another thing to consider.

I'm not going to deny it though, to give up being a stepmum sounds lovely at times.

brdgrl Tue 04-Jun-13 21:48:35

suck, I could just as easily say that you could give up being a mum to your own children. See, when things get tough, you could just put them into care and abandon your responsibilities. We all have the choice!

VBisme Tue 04-Jun-13 21:53:20

In fact there's been a thread today about a mum wanting to give up.

Funnily enough no-one has yet suggested that she has an option to walk away.

suckmabigtoe Tue 04-Jun-13 22:00:20

i agree- that is an option available to me if i think my dcs are more than i can cope with. what is your point?

brdgrl Tue 04-Jun-13 22:08:22

You see walking away from your family as an option. You think we should do the same.

It seems to me that you're the one suffering from a moral deficit.

You're behaving appallingly on this board, suck. Why?

suckmabigtoe Tue 04-Jun-13 22:11:47

"You see walking away from your family as an option"

it is an option

"You think we should do the same."

quote where i said you should.

"It seems to me that you're the one suffering from a moral deficit. "

in what way am i morally deficient?

"You're behaving appallingly on this board, suck. "

quote my appalling behaviour.

VBisme Tue 04-Jun-13 22:20:26

It's a ridiculous argument, any course of action is an option that doesn't make it socially or morally acceptable.

brdgrl Tue 04-Jun-13 22:23:03

You're nasty, you're clearly here with an agenda, and you have been offensive and insulting.

quote where i said you should.
Um, you have said repeatedly that we should see leaving as an option. Are you backing down from that now?

in what way am i morally deficient?
Was I unclear? You see abandoning your family as an 'option'. You have suggested that stepmums who find themselves struggling, should leave, despite the damage it will cause to their families. You have the nerve to give out to stepmothers here about how they treat their stepchildren - and yet your solution is that they abandon the family. Yep, seems morally deficient to me.

And I think I've already addressed your third point.

suckmabigtoe Tue 04-Jun-13 22:24:29

hmm, well you see if i was living with a person who had thoughts about smacking my children i'd feel it was my moral duty to end their contact with them and my relationship with them. i dont think that would make me morally deficient at all. ending a relationship and breaking up a family isn't always the worst option. or morally/socially unacceptable. so i disagree that it's a ridiculous argument.

brdgrl Tue 04-Jun-13 22:26:42

That was not your argument at all, suck. Revisit your own posts, please.

VBisme Tue 04-Jun-13 22:28:37

Oh, I think I'm getting the back story here.

Suck you can't assume that the Op was actually planning on physically assaulting her step children.

Getting out of an abusive relationship is totally different from walking away from your family because you find them difficult to cope with sometimes.

suckmabigtoe Tue 04-Jun-13 22:28:40

i have no agenda here- i answer posts how i feel is right. like all other posters.

"you have said repeatedly that we should see leaving as an option. "

yep- that's different from saying you should leave your family.

i havent said anyone should abandon their families. please dont put words in my mouth.

suckmabigtoe Tue 04-Jun-13 22:31:39

brdgrl i'm completely aware of my own posts. i was pointing out that sometimes it is acceptable to split a family up for example if my children's step parent wanted to hit them. as opposed to the argument thrown at me that leaving was morally unacceptable.

i dont assume that OP was actually planning on hitting her stepchildren- i assume from her posts that she would like to.

brdgrl Tue 04-Jun-13 22:32:21

I didn't say that. I said -
You see walking away from your family as an option. You think we should do the same.

the same = see walking away as an option.

brdgrl Tue 04-Jun-13 22:33:08

You were not posting about being a parent who leaves a partner who "had thoughts" about smacking his/her children.

You were directing your comments at the stepmums who have chosen to be in a relationship with a man with children.

VBisme Tue 04-Jun-13 22:40:06

Ha! I've wanted to lash out at most of my family members at some point, but I never have, because I have self control (as do most people). I am not about to walk out on them because they irritate me sometimes.

The op was venting, give her a break.

allnewtaketwo Wed 05-Jun-13 08:16:49

Suck your posts about SMs having choice to leave we're most certainly not restricted to DV households (adult or child). You're heavily backtracking there

needaholidaynow Wed 05-Jun-13 11:01:18

I am however tired and ready for them to go home

I know exactly how you feel OP. When DSD went back to her mum's yesterday you will probably understand how great that feeling was, knowing I can have a break and get my house tidy!

tigerrose Tue 11-Jun-13 10:24:21

I know how you feel, sometimes I think the dad expects you to be their mum and to step in to her shoes but though you try, its a lot more effort to look after his children than your own, in part because they do not respect you as much and you have to maintain a boundry in regard to the disciplin and there is not that natural bond that you have with your own where you would go to the end of the world and back. Just hold on to the fact that you will have your own bundle of joy soon and he will have to step up and look after his children more when yours arrives. They may be slightly jealous and start trying to impress you as your attention will be elsewhere and start to be better behaved for you. If you are feeling that angry though perhaps it is the hormones? I hope that will subside does sound like the kids need some councelling.

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