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I'm at my wits end! Is it me? AIBU?

(23 Posts)
MrsBombastic Mon 22-Apr-13 17:28:45

Hi guys.

Need some advice, I would like to know if I am overreacting if so, what can I do? I need suggestions people one way or another!

I will try and keep it short (famous last words!)

I have 3 DD's. They are fantastically well behaved, excelling in school, no behavioural problems or concerns I'm aware of. I can take them anywhere or send them to others houses (family/friends in absolute trust).

I also have 3 DSD's. This is where the problem lies.

Their behaviour is not good. It wasn't too bad until recently but it's starting to slide, they are like jekyll and hyde. Fine inside our house naughty outside of it. They do not do as they are asked and basically do as they please.

I must also add that it's the 2 older DSD's the younger one is totally fine but she has lived with us longer.

The upshot is that their mother has quite severe long term mental health problems, she lets them do as they like as she finds it hard to cope with them and doesn't want to drive them away so she lets them do as they please, it doesn't help that my DH does not discipline them properly, by properly I mean he tells them off (not too sternly) that's it, no grounding or removal of phones or pocket money so they have no fear of consequences.

The children have admitted they know he favouritises them and that they have no fear of him or consequences. I feel it is his job to discipline his children? I am happy to do it but fear being the wicked step mum so what do I do?

There is a LOT more to this but I'm trying to keep it short. The final straw is that the ex has claimed the tax credits for the girls despite the fact they live with us and because hubby forgot to post a vital piece of required info they have now taken my tax credits away and I have to go to appeal so I now have no money to feed us all. I 've been warned this is a lengthy process 6-8 weeks.

Bearing in mind I have Bipolar 2, I work full time and I've got 6 kids to look after, irrespective of all the other day to day stuff....

I'm at breaking point. I feel like walking out. I'm just not coping.

persimmon Mon 22-Apr-13 17:50:36


Groovee Mon 22-Apr-13 18:14:10

What ages are the girls?

I don't blame you for feeling at breaking point with everything going on.

MrsBombastic Mon 22-Apr-13 18:26:25

Hi Groovee, they are 14&15 yrs x

MrsBombastic Mon 22-Apr-13 18:53:47

And now, my so called friend (who buggered off with her yummy mummy friends months ago) just told me to FB, text, email her why I'm upset... so you're not actually bothered luv eh? just want the gossip!!

MammaTJ Mon 22-Apr-13 18:58:21

Are your own girls younger?

MrsBombastic Mon 22-Apr-13 19:17:26

Yes mamma, but my eldest is 15. x

whattodoo Mon 22-Apr-13 19:22:06

Wow, i'm not surprised you're at the end of your tether!

No advice regarding the discipline (but huge sympathy), but what is DH doing to sort out the money situation?

MammaTJ Mon 22-Apr-13 19:22:56

OK, so these girls have a mum who cannot cope and a dad who refuses to cope with them. TBH, no wonder they act up a little.

As for the money, that is your DHs fault, not the fault of the girls.

He, not the CHILDREN in this sounds like he needs a kick up the bum and the children sound like they need love and understanding by the bucket load, rather than more discipline. I do believe where teenage girls are concerned that you need to pick your battles though. Lay the foundations while young with firmness an love, then loosen the reins a little and only pick battles where necessary, otherwise all you end up doing is battling. Maybe that is what he is doing.

MrsBombastic Mon 22-Apr-13 19:33:56

Thanks Mamma.

He has never been able to deal with the girls, he suffers from a lot of guilt, he admits he is cross but seems unable to deal with it.

Obviously I know it's not the girls fault but TBH I'm just generally under too much stress, my children behave, I'm working myself into the ground to pay for all these kids.

It wouldn't be so bad if it was one extra child Mamma but it's 3. I have SIX children in my house and the bottom line is that it is too much for me to cope with, I'm not superhuman and I HAVE been understanding, for 5 years (they've been back and forth).

All this is coming at a price and I fear that price is too high... I mean my sanity and my marriage is at breaking point.

Because of my Bipolar I need things a certain way and it's not happening.

He has had many kicks up the backside... it's not working. He's not doing anything about the loss of money, there's nothing he can do.

I've had 14 years of stress and aggravation where his ex and children are concerned and I've hit a wall.

MrsBombastic Mon 22-Apr-13 19:34:53

Thanks Whatadoo.. absolutely nothing, I am appealing the decision, we just have to wait and see. x

MammaTJ Mon 22-Apr-13 19:46:44

Right, now, he needs to step up, he needs to understand the possible consquences.

They are

1) You are unable to feed all the children, pay the bills etc, due to his incompetance in sorting that out.

2) You become ill and your bipolar poorly managed because of his lack of support. All 6 children will then suffer, his three especially having been through it all once before.

3) He and his three girls end up having to leave, the whole family breaks down because of his lack of support.

Spell t out to him in simple words!! He either does not understand fully, which this will put right, or he doesn't actually care, in which case, go straight to option 3.

MrsBombastic Mon 22-Apr-13 20:06:13

TBH Mumma, number 3 is the point I'm at.

The problem is as follows; If I stay in the house and he leaves (which he has previously told me will NEVER happen) I can't afford the mortgage.

If I leave the house I have nowhere to go, my parents live in a 1 bedroom flat and my sister lives in a 1 bedroom house so I can't share.

I'm not entitled to HB as I have a mortgage in my name so I can't privately rent nor am I entitled to social housing.

I literally have no where to go. Not only that but now I've stopped feeling sorry for myself I think; why should I leave? This is my house too and my childrens, why should we leave our family home and be homeless because of this? It's the principle, you know?

I have explained the Bipolar issue, he say's he understands but he's not doing anything still.

He has admitted, he doesn't want to lose his marriage nor does he want to send his eldest children home and as a result is not prepared to make that choice. So again, he's just doing nothing about it.

Originally he told ME to make the choice as to whether his kids stay or go but I said; that's not fair, you are making me make an awful choice so you are absolved of any and all responsibility for the fall out!

I know aswell that if I sent his children home he would resent me forever and throw it in my face at a later date.

I'm starting to think I need to just cut my losses, ask him for a divorce and sell the house. It's sad, I love my DH but I can't continue like this.

borninastorm Mon 22-Apr-13 20:08:07

Could you sit your older two dsd's down and have a frank and honest chat with them?

Explain that their behaviour is not acceptable and as their stepmum you are finding it hard to cope with. Talk to them about how you would likgozo see them behave, your expectations for them and seriously consult them on what they think is acceptable behaviour and why they think that. If their idea of what's right and what's wrong varies very differently to yours perhaps you could suggest some scenarios featuring their friends behaving the same way to help them gain some perspective.

Quite often we have expectations of our teenagers but we don't tell them what these expectations are. While they have totally opposing ideas on how their lives should be. Sometimes being honest about it and laying it out there is a good way to begin the dialogue that might make all your lives easier.

You could also, after discussion with them, agree to a contract. I now it sounds harsh but it's just an agreement from both them and you that states how you've agreed to live, what's acceptable and what's not and what the consequences are if they break the rules. If you have a contract with them then you don't have to rely on their father to enforce the consequences cos you can say you broke the rules, here are the consequences.

It might seem extreme but it might be a way for you to emotionally survive your dsd's teenage years and give them the boundaries they haven't received anywhere else.

You can do this, you can be the person who really helps these girls. It sounds like you've done a great job with your own children, don't give up on your dsd's althought I understand they must be pushing you to your limit.

borninastorm Mon 22-Apr-13 20:16:19

You can leave your dh or you can take back control of this situation by taking these girls in hand.

I know it shouldn't be your job, it should be his. But he's not stepping up to the plate and sadly as he is own person you cannot make him be the type of person who will.

If you continue like this you will get angrier and angrier, your emotional health will suffer, your dcs will suffer and your dsd's will suffer.

MrsBombastic Mon 22-Apr-13 20:20:01

Thanks borninastorm,

I like the contract idea grin

I think I'm overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of children. I had 3 children because that's what I know I can cope with so to end up with six is a shock.

Also, because I work and my own Bipolar is an issue I just feel out of my depth.

I have had the discussion where expectations are concerned. We had a frightening incident with one of them in the easter hols and I took the opportunity to lay the law down and explain my expectations and why. At the time it went well and I was under the impression I had made myself clear. Hubby was there and we made it clear it was a united front.

But it is becoming clear it has made no difference.

I will give that contract idea some real consideration, I am going to talk to them I'm just not sure what to say. I need them to understand that I mean buisness without scaring them.

Nanny0gg Mon 22-Apr-13 20:21:27

As far as the money is concerned, is there any way your DH can work - extra hours or second job, to make up the missing money, until you can get it sorted?

MrsBombastic Mon 22-Apr-13 22:28:05

This is my update of this evenings events;


I just spoke to the girls. I was firm but kind.

I explained that I am stressed out and I outlined the reasons why. I started by explaining I was upset about XYZ and the reasons why I was upset. I kept my eldest DD in the conversation as I think it helps to talk to them as a group so no one feels picked on.

I found out that the reason the girls were doing things I asked them not to was because DH sanctioned it
This is something I will be taking up with him when I get in from work tommorrow (it's a bit late now).

I laid down my ground rules again and outlined punishments but we also agreed boundries between us so it wasn't a one way street. We also discussed worries that may be impacting on behaviour. I'm hoping that now the children have been heard but also reminded of where we all stand things will improve. I also made it clear I will be in charge of discipline from now on so at least they know who they are answering to in future

I think it went well and I feel better for it.

I'm cross with DH that he has been undermining me/us behind my back and that he hasn't been honest. I'm upset about that TBH.

I've also arranged for a day out weds to London with my sister and I've arranged to meet a friend for lunch next week. I think I need to get out of the house a bit more.

Thank you all very much for your input, it really is most appreciated. Thanks ladies. xxxx

MrsBombastic Mon 22-Apr-13 22:29:09

Hi Nannyogg,

Maybe... I will be discussing this with him tomorrow... he cocked it, he can find a way to fix it! x

MyNameIsInigoMontoya Mon 22-Apr-13 22:46:10

Oh MrsB, it sounds as though you have done really really well to deal with a very difficult situation not of your making. Your talk with the girls sounds just what was needed.

Now for the talk with DH tomorrow, sounds like that's even more necessary... hope that one goes well too!

borninastorm Tue 23-Apr-13 10:15:46

Well done MrsB!! Don't be disheartened if it takes a few more talks like that to get thru to them. Teenagers are often just like giant toddlers who feel the need to push the boundaries.

But if you continue to reiterate your expectations, consequences and listen to them then you'll get there.

I don't think I could cope with 6 dc's, you're doing an amazing job!

Hope you kicked dh's arse when you spoke to him?! He may not be disciplining them and not backing you up cos he wants them to like him, see him as he cool dad and want to live with him not their mum. Doesn't make it right I know, but we all have insecurities about parenting perhaps that's his?

quoteunquote Tue 23-Apr-13 10:36:51

Please have lots of gold stars and well done certificate, you deserve it,

Teens are so hard, their concepts and anguish is really so difficult to get them through, be kind to yourself you have a real challenge there, you will come out with a black belt in parenting, I hope you get some support and breaks,

keep having conversations when everyone is calm it really helps, the more they practice communicating with you, the easier they access that solution,

someone gave me one of these postcards to put on the fridge when our eldest was becoming an opinionated teen,(22 now and lovely) and I have always found having a few around at eye hight helps, not just them, but your own sanity, I always give friends one when they are embarking on this stage.

redexpat Tue 23-Apr-13 11:11:03

You sound incredible.

I have no advice or suggestions. But wow. Incredible.

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