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To want to know what is happening in my own home

(78 Posts)
sunnyday3 Tue 18-Apr-17 11:15:54

I live with my DP. He has 3 girls, I have 1 son.

Eldest girl (21) lives with her boyfriend and has done for 2 years. She never lived with us full time, but stayed with us 2 or 3 nights a week.

Middle girl (19) is away at uni but home at the moment for the last 6 weeks. She has always lived with us full time and saw her Mum 1 night a week. Her boyfriends parents live nearby.

Youngest is only 14.

My son is 19 and home at the moment from uni for 3 weeks.

Am i unreasonable to want to know what is happening in my own home? Eldest girls come and go with no warning with boyfriends in tow. They arrive anytime, including after we have gone to bed. Obviously the food issue is relevant and I need to know who needs feeding and when especially as one boyfriend is vegetarian and the rest of the family isn't. I have laid down the law with regards to dinners and they do let me know (albeit last minute) who will be around for dinner and who won't.

But really, I just feel like I can never relax. My own son, will always let me know where he's going and when he's likely to be back. I can rely on him to help around the house because I know what is occurring with him. I am constantly putting in the boundaries on what I expect but they just seem oblivious. I am studying, as well as working full time at the moment and I have to keep asking them to leave the room (we are lucky enough to live in a big house and I have a study), because they just come and sit next to me and kissing and cuddling. And I just never feel I get any space or time for myself. They are all nice people, but as one leaves, another arrives and I am constantly plastering a happy, smily face on whilst just wanting to put my PJ's on and not have to make conversation after a hard day at work.

Dp thinks I am "making a fuss over nothing".

LineysRun Tue 18-Apr-17 11:24:16

Sympathies. My OH's house is very busy like this, which is one of the reasons we don't live together. I was there for most of the Easter weekend and I came away exhausted.

I don't think it's a fuss over nothing - I think it's a very serious consideration.

stolemyusername Tue 18-Apr-17 11:28:08

Having similar issues with my 18 yo dd. She's always out with her BF, never know if she's home for dinner meaning I'm either wasting food or she's cooking separate meals when she eventually rolls in, I don't see why it's so hard to let me know what's going on and DH is getting fed up with her treating the place like a hotel where she gets free run of the house, all her washing done and no responsibility.

Astro55 Tue 18-Apr-17 11:30:53

Well stop doing her washing!

Not quite at that stage yet - but why don't you start going out for tea and leave them too it?

sunnyday3 Tue 18-Apr-17 11:41:34

Astro - I don't do their washing. The only washing I do is for the 14 year old, which is fine.

Even that causes issues though because they won't consider anyone else. DSD who lives in her own place, will just help herself to my washing machine, DSD who does live with us, will put a load on oblivious to whether there is anywhere to dry it because I or DS have done a load of washing, so she manages to cause issues over her washing because she has decided hers needs doing NOW and others are expected to accommodate it.

I have had other people suggest I go out, but I can't go out every night can I? That's just not practical and ultimately, why should I have to?

TwitterQueen1 Tue 18-Apr-17 11:51:38

Sounds like normal family life to me. I can see exactly why you are annoyed at the lack of consideration, space, etc but short of becoming very rule-oriented I don't know that you - or should - do anything.

Eeryone seems happy, going about their business. No arguments. You could maybe have sone or two non-personal house rules in place about use of the washing machine, your study hours etc, but short of moving out I think you'll just have to lump it. Presumably your DH is happy having his girls around and involved in his day-to-day-life, so he probably won't want to change things - and why should he?

I don't mean to sound unsympathetic but it is what it is. Better than having horrible stepchildren!

drivingmisspotty Tue 18-Apr-17 11:54:09

No, don't go out. You want to relax in your PJs. So can't you carve out a space to do so? You don't have to be unkind but just tell them, 'wow, I've had a hard day at work I'm really exhausted, I'm just goin to sit here and watch game of thrones no noise!' or go off to your bedroom to do it. You can turn it into a joke-mum's me time, just let them know they need to respect it.

When you say they come in after you are in bed. Do you mean the one who doesn't live with you comes to visit then? That's pretty weird and i would bolt the door. If they are coming back from a party that's okay surely? Or do you mean they come in and chat to you when you are already in bed? Again that is out of order and i would lock your bedroom door.

But overall it is good that they feel at home and welcome. So many families are not like that. But it is your home too and you are entitled to your space and time within it!

SapphireStrange Tue 18-Apr-17 12:01:30

I have to keep asking them to leave the room (we are lucky enough to live in a big house and I have a study), because they just come and sit next to me and kissing and cuddling.

What? They come into your study? hmm Tell them it's your room and they should go somewhere else. Get a lock for the door if they won't listen.

If your DP Dp thinks it's a fuss over nothing, lock yourself in your study, don't enquire about who's in for dinner or cook for them; do your own washing, no one else's; let him see if he changes his mind then.

sunnyday3 Tue 18-Apr-17 12:05:26

There is no way they would leave the room if I told them I was going to watch my favourite TV programme. I do sometimes literally have to ask them to leave the room so I can have some space, but I feel horrible doing it and wish they would get the hint without me having to say it!

As for the late at night thing. DSD2 might stay at a friends, her boyfriends or her Mum's, but then she might change her mind and come home. I hear the front door slam, and it startles me out of sleep and I am then worried about who is home and what is going on. I then spend hours trying to get back to sleep. I understand teens go out to parties etc, and DS will do this but let me know if he's coming home or not. If I don't hear them come in at night and don't wake up, I literally don't know who will appear from what room whilst I am eating my breakfast!

SapphireStrange Tue 18-Apr-17 12:11:15

What I'm trying to clarify is, do you mean they come into your study to kiss and cuddle? That's what your post sounds like, but I do find it hard to credit.

In any case, I think you should remove yourself a bit; like a lot of the men I read about on here seem to! Stop worrying about who you need to cook for and let someone else deal with it. Do your own washing, no one else's.

As for your own space, get a telly in your study and a comfortable chair or sofa. Make it into your den.

Happyhippy45 Tue 18-Apr-17 12:18:32

Although it's lovely of you to be accommodating of young adult children its to the detriment of your own well being.
You don't need to cater for them (especially the boyfriend) as such. If your making a meal, have yours and portion up the rest (stick in freezer) so they can heat it up when they get in. It sounds like you're scheduling meal times to suit them.
Re: interrupting you when you are studying. You've already had to let them know it bothers you. Tell them you'll be locking the door.
Re: coming home after you've gone to bed. Not really sure there is anything you can do about this......if they are battering around making lots of noise and waking you up then yes you need to say something.

FanSpamTastic Tue 18-Apr-17 12:19:04

YANBU - they are making you uncomfortable in your home. But - they clearly feel comfortable and that it is their home too - so you are clearly doing something right on the step-mum front!

Sit them down individually and tell them how you feel - "love that you feel so comfortable here that you feel like it is home, but it freaks me out when I don't know who is going to be here. Please could you just drop me a text so that I don't wake up in a panic when I hear the front door go". Ask them how they would feel if you had a key to their place and just dropped in unannounced in the middle of the night!

sunnyday3 Tue 18-Apr-17 12:19:40

Sapphire - the study is a room where anyone in the family can study. But obviously, teenagers draped all over each other (because there are only 2 chairs in the room) whispering sweet nothings to each other isn't conducive to a quiet space. DSD2 may or may not get her laptop out and will be on her boyfriends lap (he isn't at uni or college). I think they are actually on social media but want to sit next to me rather than sit in another room. hmm

It's also a corridor room, so anyone doing their washing (see above post) will need to come through that room to get to the laundry room or to our garage. So it isn't brilliant as a "den".

FanSpamTastic Tue 18-Apr-17 12:23:14

Alternatively - start walking around starkers - they will never turn up unannounced again and will always knock loudly before entering a room!!!!

TinklyLittleLaugh Tue 18-Apr-17 12:29:39

It sounds like normal family life to me. Let them sort their own washing. if they do not tell yo they will be in for dinner, tough: they have to sort themselves out.

But if it is interfering with your studying you need to sort something out.
Take the spare chair out of your study? Or start studying in your bedroom?

SapphireStrange Tue 18-Apr-17 12:32:50

Well, turn it into your own study! Get a lock. Tell everyone the times the door will be open, when they should do their washing. Or (and yes, this goes against what I said above) do their washing, as long as it gets put in the washbasket where and when you request; then you can do laundry to your own timetable.

As a PP suggests, cook and eat when YOU want to. Either tell them they can cater for themselves, or make batches and leave some for them.

You need to be more assertive, basically, and take some steps towards organising the household how YOU want it, rather than running around after/worrying about everyone else.

sunnyday3 Tue 18-Apr-17 12:47:58

To be honest, I don't actually think what they are doing is particularly odd or abnormal. Teens are a bit selfish, but I don't think they are any worse than any others. I think it is just being that one person removed. My own son, I can communicate with so much better, so I feel more in control.

It's just the emotional side that I am struggling with. I don't do their washing or clean their rooms or cook for them if they haven't told me what's happening. The practicalities I am not too bad with.

I just hate sitting in work and not knowing who I will be having a 10 minute conversation with the moment I walk in the door of my home. Not knowing who I will be having breakfast with, not knowing if I will get space to study or if I will have to ask for it, likewise with the TV etc.

DP does all the washing up and this morning there were 25 mugs and glasses (all since yesterday lunchtime, left on the side). I just leave it to him and he does it without complaint. It does offend me that they don't really help but I have accepted that DP will pick up the slack and he doesn't expect me to. It really is the emotional drain of just not knowing who is about that I find difficult.

Jaxhog Tue 18-Apr-17 12:48:25

Alternatively - start walking around starkers - they will never turn up unannounced again and will always knock loudly before entering a room!!!!"
This would do it.

Otherwise it sounds pretty comfy and relaxed. But you need to assert yourself a bit, so YOU have some 'me' time. There needs to be mutual respect.

TheReefer Tue 18-Apr-17 12:49:57

I think you do need to take control as you are basically being expected to go along with everyone elses life here

it would make me very anxious indeed to live like this

SapphireStrange Tue 18-Apr-17 12:53:58

not knowing who I will be having a 10 minute conversation with the moment I walk in the door of my home. Not knowing who I will be having breakfast with, not knowing if I will get space to study or if I will have to ask for it, likewise with the TV etc.

OK, well let's say you have to let the first two go. They're hard to take control of.

The second two are easier. If you knew you had a guaranteed space to study (and BTW, it's YOUR HOUSE; you should not/do not need to 'ask for it'!), and knew you could retreat to a woman-cave with a TV, comfy chair etc, then the other unknowns might not seem so

Whatthefucknameisntalreadytake Tue 18-Apr-17 12:58:24

Could you get in the mindset of always assuming that everyone will be there? Not in terms of food shopping obviously, but when gearing up to go home or have breakfast or whatever could you just assume that you will have a houseful of step daughters to speak to?
Then if you find they aren't there it's a pleasant surprise but if they are then you will always feel ready for it.
Could you carve out some quiet time for yourself somewhere else...studying in the library or coffee shop, or create a separate study area in the house that you can close off?

Zaphodsotherhead Tue 18-Apr-17 13:04:36

Surely your bedroom is private? Can you not take your laptop in there to work/watch TV on? I had five kids, so I sympathise with the coming and going and never knowing who is in, but I used to shut myself in my room to work - they knew I was there if they needed me, but got on by themselves otherwise. And the washing up left around the place is just one of those things, at least they put them on the side and not left in bedrooms!

Penhacked Tue 18-Apr-17 13:04:45

I would hate this. It sounds stressful because they are not your kids. Must be really odd.

MrsJayy Tue 18-Apr-17 13:04:56

Who is in when is basic manners imo it takes 2 seconds to text that would drive me mad yanbu sounds a very stressful house.

JaneEyre70 Tue 18-Apr-17 13:05:31

I completely get where you're coming from, especially about the washing and meals. But one thing that shines from your post is that all of the children feel very comfortable around you and that says a lot about you as a person. We've got 3 DDs and at one stage, 2 had moved out and only 1 was left.....and for a week it was bliss, then I hated it! It was so quiet, and I really did feel completely redundant. Now 1 has moved back in and there is much more muddle and noise.....but I feel much happier for it. We had such a chaotic Easter that yesterday I felt ill all day and exhausted but today the house is so quiet again I feel a bit lost. There's not much of a happy medium! I think you need to claim a bit of personal space somewhere in the house but enjoy that your family love you and want to be around you smile.

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