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How to ignore children's jibes about me versus OW(37 Posts)
Over a year ago DH left me for an older (but childless) OW. We have 4 children together (between reception age and year 7). Because I had to move to a different area all four children are in different schools as schools round here are oversubscribed. Life is complicated as a result. I am the primary carer, I've been a SAHM for 9 years. I know I will have to go back to work but haven't quite got round the logistics of school pick ups/drop offs and holidays. OW is very affluent and has a high flying career. DH (divorce has started but is going slowly) sees the kids EOW (with OW).
Currently finding it hard to deal with the jibes from my children, (particularly the elder two, the 12 year old is worse) about how they like OW more, she buys them magazines and gives them money to spend at Starbucks/New Look/cinema or wherever. ETC . How she 'has a career' and I 'do nothing all day' (this is my 12 year old speaking).
OW is kind and 'doesn't shout', she doesn't tell them off etc (I know I shout sometimes but it's hard when I'm trying to get them all to school/feed the four of them/help with homework/read with them etc etc).
I feel like I'm always the bad guy, and god don't my kids let me know it!
Deep down I probably know that they will make their minds up over time over who was their mum, and who they could really rely on, but I do find it hard sometimes. Perhaps I'm just having a bad few days.
Anyone got any sage words or advice, a voice of experience or just want to give give me a kick up the bum.
That sounds really hard om sorry. I'd be tempted to tell the older ones how much they're hurting you
That is tough for you
Could you have the chat about how you have four children who are very different but you love them the same and it's like that with the adults in their life. Ask them how they would feel if they were always being conpared unfavourably to a sibling. Then maybe ask how they expect you to manage the things you do for them and working.
I know they love you more than ow but it might get them thinking an it is done in a non- critical way of her.
Sorry its your 12 year old who needs the kick up the bum!
Sit the ungrateful little sods down and run through the move, the logistics of getting them settled then to school. Be honest in an age appropriate way.
Your preteens arent stupid, they can see how hard you work, but they are trying it on (as they do). I'm afraid I would roar at them never to speak so disrespectfully to me again. End of.
How does your 12 year old think you "do nothing all day" and that the OW "has a career"...? Tbh I suspect they're being fed this by your STBXH and/or OW
Having a sit down and confronting it in an age appropriate way seems excellent advice. Good luck - this sounds horrid.
I wouldn't be that gracious with a 12 yo. Frankly saying I wouldn't be that gracious with a 4 year old. If you DC starts again, tell them what's what. You brought them up, their father left you. My friend who doesnt have DC isakways extremely patient with my 4yo. Cause he knows he's not keeping her!
I'm always nice and polite to other people's kids! They have less time to annoy mez
That must feel crappy. I can't speak from experience but what sort of terms are you on with your ex and the OW? Are they likely to be deliberately being extravagant with the kids or just not thinking? If either or both of them are reasonable people who wouldn't be trying to make things worse for you, you could talk to them about this and say that while you understand they want to do nice things for the kids, to bear in mind how difficult it makes life for you when the DC start making comparisons. Maybe they would be a little more careful with the spending then.
As for 'you do nothing all day', that is major disrespect and I would be very cross. If they are 12 yrs and up, I would say 'in that case, you won't notice if I stop doing it, will you?' and tell them that they can now get themselves to school, do their own washing, make their own tea (taking away easy options like pizza in the freezer or crisps in the cupboard) and let them see how much they take for granted.
My mum used to get this with my brother when our parents divorced.
She told him he could go and live there if he wanted and that she'd bet the house on DF GF not being as nice if he was under her feet 24/7. He went to stay for a few weeks in the summer holidays and soon changed his opinion on her.
I agree with Handywoman I would go batshit at them for being so unkind and hurtful. You don't have to run the OW down or do a whole I'm a better person than she is speech you just tell them in no uncertain terms that they are being disrespectful and unkind and if they want to carry on they will see what a bad guy really looks like.
At 12, children are plenty old enough to learn about respect. I would say calmly but firmly, " I am your mother. I put my life second to bring you up and you are living under my roof. Your comments are hurtful and disrespectful and it is inappropriate for you to make them. You are entitled to have your own opinions but no-one is entitled to say whatever they like, regardless of its impact on others. This is a house where we show respect for each other and that includes me and you need to do so by ensuring that what you say to me is polite and respectful."
Cheeky little buggers! Soulds like they are just parroting the ow/ex. Show them Home Alone 4 (where the kid goes to stay with dad and the new, very rich, ow). OK so the mom and dad get back together, but the spoiled brat realises that stuff does not = love/genuine affection.
No advice for you OP, just wanted to say you're doing incredibly well.
Children are very easily bought. Some spending money and no 'telling off' and they're anyone's...
It doesn't mean anything.
I wouldn't stand for that.
I would tell them in no uncertain terms that the reason why ow has money is because she doesn't have ungrateful children to look after.
They're pushing the boundaries because they can. But that doesn't mean you have to stand for it. I wouldn't.
How she 'has a career' and I 'do nothing all day' (this is my 12 year old speaking).
This doesn't sound like something a 12 yr old has come up with by themselves.
Suggest to the 12 year old that if he prefers her to you, why doesnt he go and live there?
Sorry, posted too soon....
then one of three things will happen.
He will back pedal because its easy to hurt the one you know loves you and will forgive you, he doesnt kick off at his dads because his dad left him and he isnt as secure in his dads love.
They will take him in and he will find that living there 24/7 will be a whole different thing to EOW and want to come home.
Dad will say no and he will get a glimpse of how it has been for you.
None are nice options, but its time he learned that life isnt always nice.
My 9 year old said exactly the same last year. I was lazy because I didnt work outside the home. I actually did see red mist. Later that year at court the judge said both parents mustn't say nasty things about each other. My jaw hit the ground - it was so obvious that crap had come from an adult in the earshot of or directly to my child. I had said nothing similar.
I agree that it's probably time to swallow any fears of upsetting the older kids (and I do know that fear - I took flak for years from my DC1 because I was the one who left his Dad and broke up the home; I just couldn't bring myself to tell him that actually his Dad had had an affair When I did, our relationship improved massively). Sit them down and spell out how tough things are for you, how hurtful their comments have been and how you all need to work as a team now, supporting each other.
That does sound awful for you, but I wouldn't be too harsh on the 12-yr-old/other kids. It may look very black and white to them. Just tell them the truth of how much you do and enjoy the fact that someone does have money and time for them when you get a weekend off, next time they're asking for something you can't afford remind them that they'll be seeing daddy and rich step-mum next week. I'm sure you can be very apologetic when she calls asking why you say they can afford everything...after she's bought them all new laptops/shoes etc to become ingratiated. Then you can hold the kids tight and say 'it was good while it lasted'. Big unmumsnetty hugs.
This feels awful for you after all you have had to cope with, because it is totally undeserved critism.
What they are doing is taking out their anger and frustration on you. It is because you are their nearest and dearest. It is their immaturity talking.
If you could take some deep breaths and repeat under the breath, ' they are young and they know nothing' then that might help you cope. Please don't go down the 'tit for tat' route as it is childish.
You cannot really take what they are saying seriously because they are still children and don't realise the enormonity of what their DF and the OW have done to you, and indeed THEM.
If you keep your cool and hold your tongue, everything will pass. As someone else said, they will soon realise the score. But they have got some growing up to do.
The important thing is for you to behave like an adult. They can't help what they are doing really, but you are a fully fledged thinking adult. ( to me you seem wonderful and caring and I am sending you lots of warmth and hopefully the courage you need to get through this very hard phase of your life)
You WILL get through this and eventually when they all sit around your table as adults and thank you for everything you have done, you will have come out the other side.
Meanwhile, a pox on your X and the OW with her presents. I am afraid I wish she would fall on them and they get stuffed up her backside. ( not very adult of me)
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