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All advice appreciated. Kids are causing the break up of my relationship

(18 Posts)
SeriouslyStressedmum123 Sun 19-Jun-11 00:59:50

Hi all,

I am new to this so I really appreciate any advice. I am the mum to a 2 year old daughter and one year old son, however I am also step mum to a 6 year old son. At the start of my relationship neither myself or my partner knew of his sons existence, we only found out about him when he was aged 2 and we were just over a year into our relationship having gotten engaged and bought our home. Although it was a shock I loved him and decided to try work at this new relationship and I grew to love his son who gave me the confidence to believe I could be a mum. However, everything changed when I gave birth to our daughter, I felt the need to protect her all the time and although I still made an effort with my partners son full focus was no longer on him. Our son arrived shortly after and further tensions arose. I try everything in my power to include/involve and show love to my stepson when he stays (every weekend) but as he is an only child Monday to Friday he doesn't seem to understand the concept of sharing or that I have to give attention to my other children ie if I praise my son for taking a step, he will stand in front of me jumping up and down shouting that he can run really fast.

Also, when he stays over my normally well behaved daughter turns into a nightmare lashing out, temper tantrums and defying me which she never does.

My partner escapes to the shops/ on the phone/ work or any other reason he can think of at every available opportunity leaving me with the three of them on my own the majority of the time of his son stay. Also he agrees with his sons mother for him to stay over no matter what including when he has to work knowing I will pick up the slack.

I'm probably a horrible person for saying this and I understand it's not my partners sons fault but I no longer want to be a part of his life, I can't handle the effect his visits have on my family. I am seriously considering walking away from this relationship with my children but then I wonder how this will effect them. I have not been happy in this relationship since the birth of my daughter 2 and a half years ago and it is mainly due to the impact my partners son has on our family unit. I am now desperate for a solution and I don't know what to do or where to turn :-( if you have any advice please help

piprabbit Sun 19-Jun-11 01:25:37

Well your partner's son is part of your family and you can't just drop him.

It sounds like fairly classic sibling rivalry to me, so nothing abnormal, but hard to cope with and a complete PITA.

I would suggest getting your DP to pull his weight and do some of the child care, especially while his son is with you. I'm not surprised his son gets so desperate for attention that he doesn't care if it is for being good or not. The poor boy doesn't see his dad all week, and then when he comes round dad buggers off out and stepmum only has eyes for her own children. I think if the poor lad got some proper quality attention and time from his dad, then you'd have much less of the sibling rivalry.

Try watching this video clip and this clip for some ideas.

And try and think of a few things that your stepson does that you can genuinely praise/compliment him on. There must be something nice about the lad.

SeriouslyStressedmum123 Sun 19-Jun-11 01:42:24

Aw piprabbit there are loads of good things about him, he is a great kid, it's just with the other two being so young they take up the majority of my time whether it be nappy cahnging/ bottle feeding or stopping them from injury, when I put them both down for a nap I spend the the time with him doing stuff we did together before they came along.

As for dp I have tried getting him involved/ talking to him and explaining the importance of his role in his sons life but it appears to fall on deafears which is part of my reasoning in considering to walk away.

Thanks for taking the time to comment

SeriouslyStressedmum123 Sun 19-Jun-11 01:55:08

Thank you for taking the time to post the clips piprabbit, definitely got some good advice from them which I will try implement. I just fear that as dp's son only stays with us at weekends it may take some time if ever that he will take on board what I am trying to do but useful knowledge to have regardless especially with my daughter who at 2 is not grasping the concept of sharing

piprabbit Sun 19-Jun-11 02:06:46

No problem Seriouslystressedmum123.
My two are 7yo and 3yo and spend a lot of time literally fighting for my attention. I'm doing what I can and things are getting better, but some days I really do have to remind myself why I love them as much as I do.
It's shame your DP isn't a bit more interested, it does make my life easier having my DH to help share the load. Would he watch the clips do your think? SO that you are both on a similar wave-length?

SeriouslyStressedmum123 Sun 19-Jun-11 02:18:26

There's not a hope of him watching the clips unfortunately piprabbit, he'd probably have a right laugh if he knew I'd even posted here at all.

It's good to know there are other people in similar circumstances. I just felt like a useless mother and crap person tonight after I put them all to bed as I had just spent the entire day fighting with them. I really just want my stepson to enjoy the time he spends with us but I suppose I'm really just making a mountain out of ordinary sibling rivalry, it's just so hard to be the mother, cleaner, cook, launderette etc some days. I work Monday to Friday so the weekends are the only time I have to catch up on all the housework too, with three kids itcan be a nightmare, I often wonder how full time parents of 4+ children cope!

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Sun 19-Jun-11 02:18:54

Hi Seriouslystressedmum123 - piprabbit has gave far better advice than I could offer, dad definitely needs to give the lad some more attention - a kick up the arse reminder that his son needs some paternal input needs to be whacked across his head!

As an aside, you sound like you need a little 'me' time - do you have family around who could lend you a hand?

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Sun 19-Jun-11 02:23:05

Gah don't worry I've had to tell off ds1 fecking shedloads more than once today! You have alot on your plate - no wonder you're stressed!

SeriouslyStressedmum123 Sun 19-Jun-11 02:48:19

Hi thatwouldbeanenucumincalmatter, lol at your suggestion of dad getting a grip on reality :-) totally agree with you but sort of blame myself as I've always been hands on before so he's never really needed to be but now there's three it's a different story which he hasn't seemed to realize yet.

As for 'me time' forget it only time I get is like now when everyone is asleep but end up paying for it tomorrow by being exhausted. Have family close by but my parents are enjoying their well earned retirement jet setting and my Sis has a full time job and brood of her own to worry about as for dp's family, they're not really around since his mother passed so it's really just left to the two of us.

Nice to know I'm not the only one spending the day arguing, we were trotting along ok till last weekend and this weekend, my stepson and daughter have seemed to formed a bond of hatred overnight!!!!!!

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Sun 19-Jun-11 02:59:26

Yes 'me time' is post witching hour too! grin

Atwaroverscrabble Sun 19-Jun-11 17:56:21

Hi, I would suggest you post on the step parenting board too, lots of people who have been similar on there....

Bonsoir Sun 19-Jun-11 18:00:35

The problem is not your DSS but the fact that your DP leaves you to deal with the three children on your own most of the time when his son stays. He is taking the piss, big time. The three children are all his children and they are all very little and leaving you to deal with them single-handedly when one of the children is not yours is just not on.

Trifle Sun 19-Jun-11 18:03:19

Why do you allow your dp to 'bugger off out'. Where does he go, for how long, why cant he take your stepson with him. Why doesnt he take him somewhere nice on his own, give them time to catch up. Why do you allow him to have his son overnight if he's going to work and you've got to do all the hard work.

mummyosaurus Sun 19-Jun-11 20:13:54

I think you have to treat DSS as you would want your biological children to be treated in his situation. That is easy to say and hard to do, but you have to aim for it.

I agree it sounds like sibling rivalry and I recommend the book Siblings without rivalry. I imagine you don't have any time for reading but it is designed to be read in quick short bursts, it's really insightful and I'm sure it would help you.

Your DP needs to seriously step up to the task in hand. You need to law down the law to him. I think it would be fair to say DSS does not visit when your DP has to work, until you feel happy to have him there.

This will be great practice for when your own two get tot he sibling rivalry stage - you'll take that in your stride if you can master this.

Good luck.

mathanxiety Mon 20-Jun-11 01:16:50

Sit the boy down and have a talk. He is not too young to be told off by you or told he is being annoying. It is better to hear this at 'home' at age 6 than to hear it later in another setting. And give him chores to do. This is not mean or cruel. It is a way for you to make the situation manageable for you.

But you really have to sit your DP down first and read him the riot act in no uncertain terms. He really does realise how things are and he has a firm grip on reality. He has just decided to deal with it completely differently from your approach, because he knows you are trapped.

Fold your arms and say NO WAY next time the DSS is to come over when he's at work. Keep on saying it. Call the mother if you have her number and tell her too. Get a life for yourself. Announce to him that you are going out one day when the three children are there with your DP, and that you will be back in four hours. Then get your coat and go. Turn off your phone. Just leave, even if you have nowhere to go and no-one to meet. Sit on a bench in a park reading a magazine if you must.

AmberLeaf Mon 20-Jun-11 01:32:03

Sounds like classic attention seeking behavior.

He is not the problem...you DH is.

matana Mon 20-Jun-11 10:28:48

What others have said, the problem isn't your stepson, it's your partner. Your stepson is 6 ffs, he's going to try to gain attention as he probably feels he isn't part of your family unit. I have two stepdaughters, 11 and 14, and an 8 month old baby. Luckily i've known the girls for years and they absolutely adore their baby brother. They too come to stay most weekends and at times (especially when he was a newborn) it's been hard to accommodate all three of our children. I know they're much older but, being that bit older there is more chance of them turning awkward because they feel left out etc. The difference is my DH has never just left me to look after them while he looks for excuses not to. Of course there have been times when he's nipped out for things - to the shops or to sort something urgent out - and i've looked after them. But he enjoys spending time with them and consequently has never looked to offload them. We do everything together.

Sorry to sound self righteous - we've got a lot wrong too over the years. But if he ever just left me to entertain and care for all three 'most of the time' regularly on my own i'd bloody well tell him it's not on and things needed to change.

First you need to decide whether you still love your partner. Imo, if you still love each other it's worth fighting for. Secondly you need to tell him to wake up. The little boy is probably desperate for some attention from his daddy and to feel as important as your other LOs - that is the root of all the problems.

AnyFucker Mon 20-Jun-11 10:33:47

The kids behaviour all sounds like classic sibling rivalry, no surprises there at all

Your big problem is your partner, I am afraid

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