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Step mum at a loss!!

(8 Posts)
OTaboutOT Tue 03-Nov-20 18:21:16

Hi,

I’m new to mumsnet but follow this website for lots of advice! I really can’t find any answers for my situation as I think it’s an unusual situation!

I’m a married bio mum of 1 DD & step mum to 2 lovely DSD’s. I’ve been with my now husband since the girls were 1 & 5 that was 6 years ago!

I’m very very concerned about my DSD’s & feel no one is listening. My husband & ex do not get on so I liaise in the middle I have a good relationship with the mum she has lots of mental health problems & with my health care background I feel I am both supportive & understanding ... I help out as much, I do dentist visits & opticians alongside my husband as unfortunately she had not registered them with either... mum has many different relationships which are usually short & volatile... the girls adore their mum & we do our best to support her & have the girls 3/4 nights a week on top of this we sort out school trips & uniform & meals & pay maintenance my husband is fantastic.

My concerns are escalating however around the 11 year old, the 8 year old spends the majority of her time at her grandmas so I’m not fully concerned about her. The 12 year old appears very unkempt in appearance greasy hair sweaty & unclean clothes ... she states her mum does not buy her deodorant so I bought some for home & have started doing her washing whilst she is here & sending her home clean however this has made little difference .. she didn’t even have a tooth brush at home so I sent her home with that too...she seems to be out of control with school & I feel mum cannot/will not address these issues... she had no parental locks on her phone and had been accessing porn & other inappropriate content therefore I put locks on it her mum seemed unbothered by this .. I had a chat with her about love & relationships & how porn is not a representation of this ... she’s skipping a lot of school since starting secondary school we are getting calls from the school saying no one has called to say why she isn’t in ... mum doesn’t tell us if she is ill & ignores our phone calls or lies & says she’s ill when she isn’t ... she also encourages 11 year old to lie ... she is very behind at school & has hardly any friends she’s very secretive when here & we’ve had many chats with bio mum who says all the right things about keeping us informed of any issues & doing more but never does... I’m keen to keep a good relationship with her but I can’t continue to turn a blind eye to the bigger picture. 11 year old also been swearing on social media told by us to stop & has continued to do so... she stays up past midnight at home & has to go to bed by 10 here so is starting not to want to come as we have boundaries & rules... both girls are very keen to stay with mum & not live here.

I’m at a loss what to do???! I feel I’ve done everything I can to support & engage mum but now I feel my DSD Is suffering with her education & in a way she is neglecting them .. I do not believe she is doing this on purpose but either way the children are suffering.

OP’s posts: |
OTaboutOT Tue 03-Nov-20 18:23:50

Sorry typo I meant 11 year old she is nearly 12

OP’s posts: |
nimbuscloud Tue 03-Nov-20 18:25:01

That’s difficult
Could they live with you full time? They sound a bit neglected

Bollss Tue 03-Nov-20 18:27:05

I think you and your husband need to have them full time. It does not sound as if their mum is capable right now at all.

What does your other half think?

AintOverUntilTheCatLadySings Tue 03-Nov-20 18:55:54

They probably feel a bit responsible for and protective over their mum, which is why they want to stay there. That and the no rules thing.

Do you have any youth counselling services in your area? I wonder if giving her another adult to talk to could help her get things clearer in her own mind.

OTaboutOT Tue 03-Nov-20 19:34:01

Thank you for your replies.

Me & husband would love to have the girls they have a room at our house & our daughter also adores them... we ensue they have routine here & already do their homework & day to day stuff it would really just be a formality & more days. I fear they will not thank us for it & be rather upset & resentful towards us, however, I do also agree it is in their best interest. I agree I feel they are defensive over mum as they know somehow that she has problems ... the no rules is definitely a big drive for the 11 year old!! We have sort advice from social services in the past a few years ago when mum got involved with a man who had a history of domestic violence ... we were basically made out to be a jealous ex & a jealous new wife ... I really want to find a way to support mum & keep the kids with mum at least some days as cutting off completely I think is not in her or their best interest.. but I really don’t see how this is possible... I do not think mum would give the children up to us to have full time I don’t mean to sound judgmental but she’s very money driven & at times has treat the children like income ...if they were to come to us she would fear losing benefits maintenance etc.. & with our previous history with social services I fear we will be a losing case ... I feel if this was a man doing this to their children it would be totally different... I have kept a record of events & evidence over the last few years which may have more impact than before?

OP’s posts: |
pinkyredrose Tue 03-Nov-20 19:40:56

Could they live with you? Their mum isn't providing a safe environment for them. Why do you pay her maintenance when you have them half the time and buy all their stuff?

OTaboutOT Tue 03-Nov-20 19:49:31

As we have them 3/4 days & she is classed as the residential parent my husband still has to pay £20 for each child a week ... it isn’t much in the grand scheme of things ..he pays in accordance to the CSA calculator based on the days we have them & his wage . he understands CSA does not cover everything so does not mind paying for uniforms, trips & school meals he’s very decent & wants the girls to not be without

OP’s posts: |

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