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To expect the dsc to help out?

(63 Posts)
wontyoupleasepleasehelpme Sat 28-Nov-15 22:03:58

NC for this cus I think dh knows my usual name.
Basically since I had my ds 9 months ago, my dsd and dss haven't been to stay with us. They come every second Sunday for the day, but they also used to stay occasionally on a Saturday.
My dh works every fri and sat night so it was me that looked after them, they are teens so don't need looking after as such, but obviously just to supervise as my dh often doesn't arrive home til 2/3am from work.
I suppose my issue is this- before I had ds, I loved the dsc coming to stay, I used to often suggest it, I had a brilliant laugh with them, and I genuinely didn't mind tidying up after them, even after a long day at work. But now I do. I resent the extra dishes that no one offers to even take through to the kitchen. I resent all the cups and plates and spoons that get used and then just ditched in the sink for me to wash. I resent the clothes that get left lying around the house, rather than being put in the machine. Sweet wrappers stay on the couch/floor til I ask them to put them in the bin.
It's partly my fault, I used to run about after them because I didn't mind but now I find it too stressful on top of looking after ds. They stayed a couple of times after ds was born but I have now told dh that until they start helping out they are not staying. Now they never ask
to stay but I am not being a skivvy while dh is at work. How do I get things to change?

MammaTJ Sat 28-Nov-15 22:07:09

They should not 'help out' as in do housework and cleaning up after the whole family, as they are not there enough, but they should certainly clear up after themselves, as in not make extra work for you due to them being there!

BanningTheWordNaice Sat 28-Nov-15 22:11:57

How old are they? I think you've identified that they are simply behaving how you've shown them is acceptable unless we're talking 16 plus I don't think they'll automatically change their behaviour after noticing unless they're particularly messy. I can only say tread carefully, their dad has just had a new child and they will be feeling particularly vulnerable to being shut out.

wontyoupleasepleasehelpme Sat 28-Nov-15 22:18:28

The great thing is that they both dote on their new baby brother, even the older dss. I thought unless the baby came with an Xbox game attached to his bum dss wouldn't be interested. But they have both been brilliant.
I do love my step kids to bits and I feel awful to admit I just don't enjoy them staying over anymore. I think because I am now effectively a sahm until my maternity finishes, I feel like housework etc is my role in the family, so it makes me feel sort of taken for granted iyswim..? I sometimes wait and see if anybody will offer to take plates through, start doing dishes etc, but they don't. It always gets left for me to do after dh goes to work. (He sometimes works a Sunday aswell).

wontyoupleasepleasehelpme Sat 28-Nov-15 22:18:35

Sorry Banning they are 13 and 16.

wontyoupleasepleasehelpme Sat 28-Nov-15 22:20:34

Luckily I get on very well with dh's ex wife, well as well as you can get on in these situations! And she always tells me "remember make the most of them staying, you get in a warm bath while they watch ds" etc etc and she tells them to make sure they help out.. But it never happens lol. Obviously I always tell her they do, I'm not gonna grass on them to their mum. I would feel guilty. blush

AyeAmarok Sat 28-Nov-15 22:22:35

I think there's nothing wrong with wanting, prompting, then telling them to clear up after themselves.

I think not letting them stay is a bit mean, bit just sit them down and explain that you need them to make a tiny bit of effort to make things easier for you.

wontyoupleasepleasehelpme Sat 28-Nov-15 22:27:29

Aye you are right. Tbh I have never said they can't stay, just that until they start taking plates through, not leaving rubbish lying about etc then I am not keen on them staying. Especially since he's at work, I just end up stressed.
I feel so guilty, cus any time they have came, we end up having a brilliant time, and if I just ignore these things then it's all loads of fun, his 13yo dd is my wee pal and she and I get on particularly well- it is genuinely just the tidying up thing!
I admit I am a bit of a neat freak and I am working on that, but maybe we could meet half way and then I would be 100x happier.

lunar1 Sat 28-Nov-15 22:31:07

They are just behaving how they have been taught to behave. You are being bloody nasty putting conditions on them staying in their dads home. If you want them to do something just ask each time.

It will take them time to adjust to the changes that have been made. If you carry on banning them your precious ds will be seen as the reason they are not allowed to stay with their dad.

wontyoupleasepleasehelpme Sat 28-Nov-15 22:36:33

But I haven't said "they can't stay because I have my precious ds is here now".
I have said "I would rather they didn't stay until they start helping out with their dishes, dirty washing etc, and not just expecting me to do it while you are at work" and dh agrees. Tbh he would rather just get them on a Sunday most weekends because he leaves early afternoon on a Saturday then gets home about 3am so they get no quality time with him.
And tbh lunar, while I pay the rent and council tax, I will attach conditions as I see fit. It's asking them to tidy up a few plates, not climb up a chimney and clean it.
If dh was at home these nights I would say have at it and leave him to tidy it. But he's not..

lunar1 Sat 28-Nov-15 22:41:15

You can't just bring up children one way for years, then decide you don't like it any more and expect them to change when you click your fingers.

bluebolt Sat 28-Nov-15 22:47:06

if you change the rules now they will equate this to the new child, this will be the moment the rules changed when the golden child arrived no matter how justified you are.

wontyoupleasepleasehelpme Sat 28-Nov-15 22:48:08

Well I haven't brought them up, they have two capable parents.
When we stayed in their dads house, fine, but this is my house so nope, not happening.

wontyoupleasepleasehelpme Sat 28-Nov-15 22:50:04

bluebolt I see your point. I just refuse to be a skivvy in my own home to two older children.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Sat 28-Nov-15 22:49:44

No ynbu. In expecting them to tidy up after themselves but you shot yourself in the foot by running around after them, prior to having your baby. They've been used to having you wait on them and not having to lift a finger.
You say they're not allowed to stay. What's DHs stance on that. He can't be pleased. They're still his children. Just as precious to him as your baby.

someonestolemynick Sat 28-Nov-15 22:55:06

Have you actually spoken to them? You seem to expect them to telepathically work out that things have changed. They're teenagers: they really want.

Next time they come to stay give them a little speech before they make themselves comfy;
Look guys, I love having you around because of x,y and z. With DS to look after I have very little energy though so I need you all to help make your stays enjoyable.
From now on I expect you to put wrappers in bins, clean up after yourselves and put your laundry in the washing mashine.
We're also going to take it in turns to fi the washing up from now on.
Thank you so much. I love you staying here, but I can't do this o. My own.

Then remind them a few times when they forget. Don't wait for them to magically change. You're the adult.

Mordirig Sat 28-Nov-15 23:06:38

I don't know why there is such angst over this tbh, just tell them you would really appreciate it if they could be responsible about clearing up their own mess, they will be young adults soon, so long as you aren't using a bitchy demanding tone I think they will get the message.
Just tell them your days are a little bit busier now you've had their brother and you don't feel like picking up for everyone else, including their dad.

wontyoupleasepleasehelpme Sat 28-Nov-15 23:11:33

someone great advice. Thank you. You are right, I need to give them
a chance to show that they are capable, I'm maybe being a bit hasty in assuming they won't listen. They might surprise me.

Ilive dh agrees, mainly cus he knows if I stop tidying up after everyone the house will be a mess since he works so much.

I do love having them over, and I used to secretly enjoy looking after them, all the things a parent does for their kids, but it's too much for me now. In the first few months when I was bad with PND I found it all far too much. Dh would bring his mum and the dsc over late at night to see newborn ds and nobody offered to make a wee cuppa or anything. I felt like they all just wanted to come over and see ds, fawn over him, make a mess, then leave. I was probably a bit precious back then but I admit I wasn't myself. Then resentment just grew.
Their mums last dp left because of the fact they don't help out, take ages to do things etc, and he got so fed up of it (plus a few other things) that he lost his temper. Then decided to leave before he lost it again.
Just to say, they are both polite lovely kids. I've never once had any issues other than this helping out business. I actually think their mum would never let them be like this at hers, and she would probably kill me for running about after them lol.

jacks11 Sat 28-Nov-15 23:44:41

OP, the problem is- as you have identified- that this behaviour was accepted by you until now. You have made a rod for your own back, no point in blaming them for that.

Incidentally- have you actually sat down and explained that you need a bit more help when they are there now DS is here? If not, and you are expecting them to work it out for themselves, you are being daft. They won't and may be quite bewildered over your change in attitude.

I think you need to tread carefully otherwise your "good relationship" with your step children may change and they may not be quite as doting on your DS- they may associate his arrival with less contact with their dad and a distancing of your relationship with them. If you haven't broached the fact that you need them to do more, then it is IMHO a very mean way to behave towards 2 children you apparently care deeply for.

If you have spoken to them about it, do so again. It can take time to change habits.

I'm not saying what you are asking for is wrong, merely pointing out that this behaviour was acceptable to you (if not encouraged) until your DS came along. So changing this now- and effectively banning them from staying over unless they magically realise they must comply with your new "conditions" which you "see fit" to impose- doesn't seem the wisest move to me.

Although I know you feel you haven't banned them from your staying over, it does appear that you have effectively done so.

wontyoupleasepleasehelpme Sat 28-Nov-15 23:50:09

jacks thank you for posting, I am gonna take everything you have said on board.
I will talk to them, but not this weekend it is dsd birthday and I really don't wanna ruin it by having a "nag". I think I'm a bit scared that they will think I am saying it's not their home or something, they are always welcome here, and I know if they phoned tomorrow and asked to stay I would say yes. They haven't asked to stay in ages, they like wing close to all their wee pals at home on a Saturday, but I do know if they asked I would say yes. I'm a nag but I'm not actually mean.
I will say to dh to ask them to stay a couple nights over Xmas hols when he is off and we can start discussing possible changes. I genuinely only want them to scrape plates into the bin etc I don't mind doing dishes I do them every night anyway, I just don't like feeling like everybody is sat on their bums after tea doing nothing while I clean up.

wontyoupleasepleasehelpme Sat 28-Nov-15 23:50:44

They like being close sorry

KeepOnMoving1 Sat 28-Nov-15 23:51:02

For someone who is so gushing about how lovely, polite and 'wee' friends they are to you, you speak about them so horridly.
What's the big issue, sit them down like the adult that you are supposed to be and ask them to clean up after themselves. It's really so simple, it's what most parents do anyway. You would rather not have them over than simply speak to them? Don't be so awful to those kids.

jacks11 Sat 28-Nov-15 23:58:41

I see from your last post that you haven't actually raised the problem with them. I'm glad to see that you will. It's a far more sensible approach than expecting them to work it out for themselves and then being irritated that they haven't.

I think you may have some bridges to mend though- you resented them for behaviour you had previously accepted/encouraged. Because of that resentment, and the fact that they had not telepathically picked up on the fact you had put new "conditions" on their staying overnight, you decided they couldn't stay over. They may (I stress may, depends on the children) be quite hurt and bewildered over the sudden change in their contact arrangements/welcomeness in your home.

I hope you bear in mind that these habits won't change overnight. They take time to change and you'll need to be consistent. Don't expect one chat to change everything and if it doesn't then write them off as "lazy" "not listening" etc- remember they have been encouraged by you to behave this way. They may also be testing boundaries as things have changed- you have a new DS, the fact they haven't been allowed to stay recently etc.

if you genuinely want them to be close to their father, you and your DSS then you may have to bend a little too, and not start "banning" overnight stays if things don't change overnight.

jacks11 Sun 29-Nov-15 00:03:20

I wonder if they may have picked up on your resentment and reluctance to have them overnight and that is why they have stopped asking? Although accept they may also genuinely want to spend more time with their friends- just seems striking that this change in them coincides with your change in attitude towards them. Maybe something to think about, OP.

MrsJayy Sun 29-Nov-15 00:03:17

Just say oiy bin,wash, pick up thank you will be practise for your own teens grin honestly just say to them teenagers would let you peel grapes and fan them if they got away with it.

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