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I dont want to be a wicked step mum............but

(25 Posts)
claw3 Thu 03-Sep-09 13:31:47

My step son who is 16 stays most weekends and usually for a few weeks or longer during school holidays, i have no problem with that, he is a lovely kid (looked after him since he was 5)

But he often turns up in just the clothes he is wearing and nothing else. Now he has to get 2 buses to get here (about 40 minutes - to an hour travel) and i can appreciate he might like to travel light. I have suggested, he just bring a few things and i can wash them, and got his dad to have a word with him,but he rarely does.

Instead he wears my 16 year old son's clothes, pants, socks, shoes etc. I have asked my son does he mind, he says he doesnt and that step son doesnt ask anyway, he just wears them.

My son often does some Saturday work or a few days work during holidays with his step dad (step son has been offered to, but he doesnt want to) and he does buy some of his own clothes, shoes etc,especially the more expensive designer clothes.

They are big boys now, should i just leave them to it?

Lovesdogsandcats Thu 03-Sep-09 13:38:08

No, i think you should step in, on your sons behalf. Why should he work to provide for his step brother, who could also work but chooses not to?

this boy needs to bring his own clothes. How is that difficult, throw a few in a rucksack, leave them at yours if need be?

Either way, i would make it clear that if he wants a change of clothes, bring his own!Or maybe go out and buy him some?

TotallyAndUtterlyPaninied Thu 03-Sep-09 13:40:23

Buy him some of those cheapo t-shirts from primark, and some 'easy jeans' from Matalan. He will DEFINATELY bring his own clothes in future.

CantThinkofFunnyName Thu 03-Sep-09 13:40:58

Absolutely not being unreasonable. You really should insist he brings clothes with him - or travel back home to get them when he arrives empty handed. I'd be furious if I were you. Then again, I've had years of 3 step children arriving for several weeks hols from Ireland (where they live with their mum and not a pair of pants between them)!! Humph just thinking about it.

madameDefarge Thu 03-Sep-09 13:43:06

I think there are a couple of things going on here which are nothing to do with the clothes.

It seems to me as if your ds is unconsciously using the clothes as a way to make himself feel part of his dad's family (families share) and also to take back part of his dad from his stepbrother.

I would take him out and buy him some gear, which he can leave at yours so he feels more rooted in your home.

Its quite common.

troutpout Thu 03-Sep-09 13:48:28

I think madame d is right.
I would take him out and buy him clothes that he keeps at yours.

TotallyAndUtterlyPaninied Thu 03-Sep-09 13:49:59

Actually yes, I agree with Madame M and TroutPout.

claw3 Thu 03-Sep-09 13:55:10

I have suggested he leave some things here on the rare occasion he does bring some clothes, but again he doesnt.

I also sorted out some of my son's 'older' clothes for him and told him he could wear thoses, but again he doesnt.

We are always buying him clothes etc, on the understanding that he leaves them here, but they eventually end up finding their way home with him.

This weekend i was tempted to tell him to go home and get some clothes, when i saw he was wearing my son's pants as well, but was worried about how this would make him feel.

madameDefarge Thu 03-Sep-09 13:59:45

Does he have his own room?

hand me downs wouldn't rock my boat either, at 16. It would make me feel very cinderella.

I just think there is something deeper here, about how much of a cuckoo he feels in your home, about how much your ds gets of his dad's attention (hanging out, doing jobs together etc).

Does your DH do stuff just with his son? Or is yours always part of the activity package?

At 16 he is just a child still. With needs and wants he cant/won't/isn't able to articulate or acknowledge. So rational conversation about the clothes won't work, and will make him feel bad about himself and his position in your home.

CantThinkofFunnyName Thu 03-Sep-09 14:00:29

You've been raising him as a ss since the age of 5, I wouldn't worry too much about how your words might make him feel. We too, have ended up buying so many clothes for skids which always end up going home and nothing ever comes back. He is 16 and needs to take a bit of responsibility for himself now.

claw3 Thu 03-Sep-09 14:00:50

I would add that he and my son are the best of friends and share everything. I know the sharing might be a bit one sided, but if my son is happy to do this, should i really mind?

Surfermum Thu 03-Sep-09 14:01:24

We've always provided everything for dsd for her time with us. I looked on it that she wasn't a visitor who arrived with a suitcase, she was a member of the family so had everything she needed at ours.

It also meant that if we needed her to have clothes for running round the woods, or a smart outfit for a special occasion we didn't have to negotiate that with her mum. I felt it was fairer for dsd's mum too as she wasn't having to do all the packing or the nagging to get dsd to do it, and didn't get her daughter back with a load of dirty clothes.

It was just easier all round.

It's different now dsd is 13 because she's much more fashion conscious now <understatement> and wants to keep her clothes with her at whichever house she is at, so she arrives with a suitcase bursting at the seams, another bag for her straighteners etc and another bag of make up, hair curlers (figure that one out grin) etc etc.

But if I were in your shoes, I'd be taking him to buy a few bits and pieces of his own.

madameDefarge Thu 03-Sep-09 14:03:21

I don't think you should worry about it. After all, if they were girls there would be loads and loads more sharing, and you wouldn't probably think twice about it.

I would just say though not bringing clothes is a classic 'please look after me' signal, so it may be worth considering other ways in which he feels a bit unlooked after. Not necessarily by you, but maybe at home?

CantThinkofFunnyName Thu 03-Sep-09 14:03:42

Claw what happens to your sons clothes once SS goes home? Presumably he wears those clothes home - or does he wear home the clothes he turned up in? Basically does your son end up losing his clothes? I understand your question about should you really mind... difficult isn't it. I would mind but mainly because I would think the SS is being lazy and not taking responsibility. Really, all he needs to do is put a couple of pairs of pants, toothbrush, deodrant and a couple of spare t-shirts in a ruck sack (or carrier bag!) for a weekend....

claw3 Thu 03-Sep-09 14:07:46

He doesnt have his own room, he and ds share.

Not such much hand me downs, just a case of when he does take clothes, they are always the 'best designers' ones, he wont take any of the older clothes. (he has lots of designer clothes too, in fact he probably has more than ds, so its not a case of wanting something he hasnt got)

DP doesnt do stuff with either of the boys, they dont want to, usually ds and dss do everything together,without us!

The working thing, they are both offered every time any work comes up, ds always want to and dss never does.

madameDefarge Thu 03-Sep-09 14:12:11

hm, yes I see what you are saying, but your ds does have what your dss doesn't have, his dad all the time.

Only another couple of years though!

claw3 Thu 03-Sep-09 14:13:03

Cantthinkoffunny - A few bits do go missing from time to time, but these could have easily have been left at ds's dad house, so i wouldnt like to point the finger. Also ds is very, very laid back and doesnt even notice when things are missing.

He has toothbrush and i buy him deodrant etc, that does manage to stay here.

He is always here and it is very relaxed and i really dont want to rock the boat or make him feel unwelcome.

claw3 Thu 03-Sep-09 14:17:22

Madam, you might be onto something there, DP and i split up for a few months a while back (although the clothes thing has been going on since time began, so i dont think the 2 are related)

But when we were apart, DP hardly saw him. So perhaps it does have something to do with being part of a family and the sharing thing.

Thanks its just dawned on me!

stealthsquiggle Thu 03-Sep-09 14:19:19

If your DS really truly genuinely doesn't mind, then I would stay out of it - but possibly make it clear to your DS that it is OK to mind, IYSWIM, and that you will go into battle for him if he does want to take a stand?

madameDefarge Thu 03-Sep-09 14:22:34

Glad to be of service! wink

Btw, you sound like a lovely stepmum.

claw3 Thu 03-Sep-09 14:23:39

I should add that DP hardly saw him, because dss didnt want to, not the other way around.

madameDefarge Thu 03-Sep-09 14:27:37

You clearly have provided a loving environment for both boys, there was probably a bit of resentment of his dad when you split up - another home taken away from him - these are difficult emotions for any of us to handle. Well done you for keeping on an even keel about it all.

claw3 Thu 03-Sep-09 14:36:28

Thank you Madame and thanks to everyone for the advice.

I think i will leave it to the boys to sort out and if it ever becomes a problem for ds just support him.

Must dash off to Asda to pick up some last minute school things.

Thanks again

anniemac Thu 03-Sep-09 15:07:35

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anniemac Thu 03-Sep-09 15:13:58

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