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Who is being unreasonable regarding Dc?

(63 Posts)
Jiggerypoke Tue 18-Mar-14 07:41:52

I've name changed for this, am a regular poster.

Me and my Dp keep arguing over pretty much the same subject, my Dc.

He is constantly moaning about what they do or don't do and it's getting on my nerves. I'll phone him on the way home from work and he has to tell me Ds left some dishes on the coffee table.

Last night he was going on for ages about what he would do if he had Dc, how they wouldn't watch tv and would come home from school and do some reading and writing. I asked if he would like to come home from work everyday then do some more work before he was aloud to rest.

I ended up telling him how funny it was the idealist views people with children have before they have the reality of it. It ended up with him saying he was going to ignore my Dc in future and leave me to it. He hasn't spoken to me since.

I'm just so fed up with it, it's not as if my Dc are feral beasts or anything.

Jiggerypoke Tue 18-Mar-14 08:07:01

If I agreed with his parenting ideas maybe I would want him more involved.

It's not like my Dc are really naughty, the eldest is a messy teen granted who could do a lot more. The youngest is pretty good, will whinge and moan a bit but that's the extent of it. He does as he's told.

Could you as a family draw up a set of house rules so everyone knows where they stand. e.g.
All dishes back to the kitchen
1 hour chill out after school then homework

That way he has an input into the rules and is on solid ground enforcing them.

Jiggerypoke Tue 18-Mar-14 08:08:35

House rules and a chat sounds like a good idea.

TheBody Tue 18-Mar-14 08:23:44

you definatly need a chat.

do your children like him/respect him/trust him?

do you think he loves/likes them or does he just want a littie perfect family with you?

that's the main issue isn't it really though not house rules and job allocators.

Jiggerypoke Tue 18-Mar-14 08:34:53

My Dc do like him, especially the youngest who he spends more time with.

I do think Dp does like them.

Neither of us want any more children.

TheBody Tue 18-Mar-14 08:39:21

well then definatly try the family chat. agree ground rules.

what's to loose.

bit confused as he doesn't want children but in your op he says what he would do if he had dc was he just venting?

Jiggerypoke Tue 18-Mar-14 08:41:29

Yes the what I would do with the children I'm not even going to have rant.

No idea why he does it, think it's a dig at me.

TheBody Tue 18-Mar-14 08:41:39

also not to be a picky arse but i do think dp likes them

surely he should love them to bits even if they drive him crackers?

TheBody Tue 18-Mar-14 08:43:15

you don't sound overly sure of his feelings op to any of you.

of course may be totally of beam here but you and the kids do need to really know where you stand regarding his feelings.

FederationPresidentBarryFife Tue 18-Mar-14 08:43:34

I read something interesting about step parenting once. It said that the step parent should think of the kids as treasured guests (when it comes to housework matters) So, you wouldn't tell a guest what they were allowed to do after school, you wouldn't dream of ranting at them if they left a plate on the coffee table but you WOULD politely tell them to put it in the dishwasher. Or firmly say what is expected about leaving mess about. So, not doing parenting stuff but creating firm boundaries for him in his space and so your DC know what's up to him and what most certainly isn't.

Jiggerypoke Tue 18-Mar-14 08:50:24

I will try and talk to him tonight about all this. I will ask him to clarify his feelings.

Federation that sounds good.

The thing is I don't have a problem about him telling them off if he needs to. He prefers to moan at me though.

TheBody Tue 18-Mar-14 08:55:31

good luck op. hope you work it out.

pinkdelight Tue 18-Mar-14 09:03:12

He doesn't phone her at work to gras thebody. She calls him on the way home and during the call he mentions that the DS hasn't tidied up. Read the OP. I think some have gone off on one assuming he doesn't like the kids. That's not what she's said. Sounds much more like a blurred boundaries issue and not especially the fault of the DP. If the OP is constantly telling the DS to tidy and he doesn't, and the DP isn't meant to say anything about that because it's criticising the OP's parenting, then there's bound to be tensions brewing.

I get what you mean, OP, but to be fair it IS impossible to know how it feels to have kids if you haven't had them. You are understandably sensitive about DP telling them off or criticising you, but if he can't say anything then I can also see his frustration. Maybe the step-parenting board is the place to discuss this. Here you are BU, but over there they're bound to have strategies for dealing with this. Must happen all the time and really has to be worked out.

stepmooster Tue 18-Mar-14 09:05:16

Hi Jiggerypoke, I think step-parenting is a bit of a minefield. I have been a stepmother for 3 years and I am also a mother. It is very difficult to know what you are allowed to do in terms of discipline etc. It is also very hard when you do not have children of your own. I have 2 small children now, and it's certainly helped now I am a mother.

There is a lot of fear, at least there was in my case of not over-stepping boundaries, of being acutely aware that I was not DSS mother. Is there a father your children see regularly? If so, your partner may not want to be seen to be trying to be the father when he clearly isn't.

I have to remind my DH that DSS has a mum and a dad, and that he cannot defer difficult parenting decisions and disciplining to me. Sure i ask DSS to clear the table etc, but if he doesn't do it, it's up to my DH as the parent to ensure he respects me and does clear the table. If he remains silent on the matter, then DSS will see that he can ignore me and treat me with no respect. I would probably get, "you are not my mum, you can't tell me what to do."

This is my home, I owned it before I met my DH so perhaps it is easier for me to have an input on the house rules. But if I had moved in with DH and he had let the children be a little messy and I didnt like it, i would feel very out of place and uncomfortable changing the status quo, to make sure DSS was more tidy. I would expect my DH to lay out the new ground rules to DSS, and present a united front.

I don't know how long you 2 have been together but the early days are really hard. Your DP isn't going to love your children as you do. It's impossible, especially if there is already a father in place, and your DP has not been active in your children's lives from a very young age.

I don't think you should treat step children as treasured guests, especially if there are other children in the house, but I think that you definitely have to have a united front. If your DP wants your child to be more tidy, perhaps you should honour this wish, it may not be what you would do, but if you were with the child's father you would still need to come to some kind of compromise on parenting matters. I think your DP is looking for you to agree this new rule, because it is important to him, and as it's not really a big thing to get the children to take their dishes to the kitchen, he wants you to enforce the rule. I think once the children see that you agree with DP over this and not backing them up all the time, he may find it easier to ask his stepchildren to do things instead of running to you.

In a nutshell, if your DP would like his stepchildren to do something, and you aren't fussed or in agreement, the children are not going to listen to him, he will be undermined and he will feel resentment at the situation. Small things then get blown out of proportion and your relationship suffers and everyone is unhappy.

Jiggerypoke Tue 18-Mar-14 09:20:19

Thanks that does make sense. I will try and talk to him tonight.

I need to talk to him about money also tonight. The situation is complicated so I don't know if I'm expecting too much with that too.

whois Tue 18-Mar-14 09:33:50

Huzzah, another woman putting her need for 'a man' over the well being of her children. <slow clap>

Sort it out, get rid. How horrible for your children to have someone who clearly doesn't like them in their lives.

Jiggerypoke Tue 18-Mar-14 09:36:45

I've already clarified that he doesn't dislike them. I'm not putting my need for a man over the well being of my children at all.

TheBody Tue 18-Mar-14 09:36:52

Pink thanks did read the op.

you don't need to be the one phoning to raise the issue of leaving a mess? can't imagine any adult actually feeling stuff like that was important to mention in a phone call. big news the teenager left a plate in the sink!!! really!

also the op actually says I think he likes the kids

not overwhelming is it.

read the other posts.

not demonising the oh, must be hard as I posted.

they need to talk.

Birdsgottafly Tue 18-Mar-14 09:36:54

It sounds as though you moved him in to quickly and without making sure of a few important deal breakers, beforehand.

"I think he likes them".

Unless someone loves your kids, they don't live with you, wether a partner or family member.

"I expect to much",

Sounds as though you don't expect enough, for you, or your children.

Birdsgottafly Tue 18-Mar-14 09:40:23

"I've already clarified that he doesn't dislike them. I'm not putting my need for a man over the well being of my children at all"

"He doesn't dislike them", isn't enough. You have given him the honour of becoming a Step parent. Your Carers should love you and want to care for you.

Unless you want them to think of him as your latest bed partner, of course.

In which case, he doesn't have a say, or a complaint, but gets cheap accommodation and sex.

It looks like you haven't both decided what it is you are doing. Which is dangerous for the children.

Jiggerypoke Tue 18-Mar-14 09:43:09

He does like them I'm sure he does.

His tolerance for mess is a lot lower than mine. Up until a few weeks ago he was doing the majority of the housework, now i am.

Jiggerypoke Tue 18-Mar-14 09:46:16

Well as far as I'm concerned it's a serious relationship. He wouldn't have moved in otherwise.

As for latest bed partner, he's the second man in 11 years! I don't make a habit of moving men in with my children.

TheBody Tue 18-Mar-14 09:50:37

op I think birds is saying, look he's either fully in the family and fully engaged or he's not.

you can't be half hearted in a relationship.

he either loves you and the kids and wants to be fully in the family, fully committed and adoring or he needs to go.

MerryMarigold Tue 18-Mar-14 09:51:52

If you are never wrong, then you need to think that maybe YABU.

Maybe he is BU to expect them to come in from school and do some work straightaway, but not to a 20-30 mins at some point in the evening (depending on age). Maybe you are defensive because you have never done this, but imo it is a good thing past Y2.

Maybe he is BU that the kids need to be super tidy, but being trained to take your dishes to the kitchen when finished is fine. He is not BU.

I think he's had enough of having zero input so he gets more and more bloody minded about it. I do this with my dh sometimes. If you won't listen to me, then I need to go to an extreme [note: it doesn't work!]. But it is human nature when you are not being listened to.

Have a good chat and implement some of the ideas he has which are reasonable. And don't let your own insecurities dictate. You are not a perfect parent, nobody is. He has some ideas, let him go with the better ones.

Jiggerypoke Tue 18-Mar-14 09:53:03

I think he does but we are both struggling with how to go about it. We both have different ideas. Any thing he complains about I take as an insult. Any thing I say to argue against him he takes as an insult.

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