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Step children

(37 Posts)
Offmyheadat40 Sun 29-Jan-17 10:19:33

Please help me. I was single 35 no responsibility. Fell in love head over heels and woke up at 40 with three stepchildren winding me up with he said she said stuff and our own gorgeous baby. I'm going slightly mad and wondered if anyone had any advice. Not the stuff about bonding with them we've done that bit but I have no patience with them and it's getting worse. I'm sick of it and feel like I'm being played all the time. Boyfriend keeps his mouth shut as he thinks saying nothing is better than saying the wrong thing. I need him to back me up but all I end up being is a dogsbody screaming at people to stop using me as a taxi, a chef and having nothing of my own or just not being me. I'm on here because talking to anyone I know is just trouble

Newbrummie Sun 29-Jan-17 10:27:31

Your a mum you're allowed to have melt down moments, everyone does. It's just best not to do them in front of people.
Give the kids to your husband every Saturday afternoon and go food shopping on your own and get a coffee and just sit in silence.... stopped me murdering them all for years

PatriciaHolm Sun 29-Jan-17 10:30:09

You need to have a long conversation with him about him stepping up to take on more responsibility for them. If you carry on like this, the relationship isn't going to survive, is it?

Ilovecaindingle Sun 29-Jan-17 10:39:36

Family meeting.
Rules.
Rota.
Respect.
And tell your bf to make sure the adults are on the same side.

JanuaryMoods Sun 29-Jan-17 10:50:09

Stop being a taxi for a start. If they take you for granted and are ungrateful stop helping them out.

PaterPower Sun 29-Jan-17 10:56:47

I'm a stepparent (male) and I totally get the "played" feeling. Partner's kids are older and live with us FT, mine less often. Yes, my kids will bicker between themselves but I feel much more able to intervene and sort that out (and I do - my partner rarely gets involved in that side) than I do when it's partner's kids doing something I'd prefer they weren't.

Not sure what to suggest, really, because I know I haven't cracked it either (whatever "it" is supposed to be)

Offmyheadat40 Sun 29-Jan-17 11:19:00

Lol its crazy. The ex wife isn't helpful and I can't really confront her. She is on her 6th boyfriend and sets an example of how to use people. One boyfriend did the conservatory, one did the tiling one sorted Christmas and one took her to Greece. She split up with them almost immediately after each had been completed. So the kids want everything and it's got to be the best or its useless Christmas broke my spirit really. Especially as I try to put so much into it and they are still not happy. It's the ex wife that seems to think I can be told when to take people here there and everywhere because she's ad a drink is seeing her new boyfriend is working but she owns her own business so she could pop up the road to take responsibility for her own children. I feel like I'm doing her job cos usually see had an opaire. The kids then get the impression that's what people are for but they didn't have me before. I've kicked off about being told when to take somebody somewhere instead of actually being asked at least. The problem really is that nobody really confronts me they confront my boyfriend or tell him off. I think they know I would give her a mouthful. The only people who suffer for this whole thing is me and my boyfriend. I'll be in the papers for mass murder

Offmyheadat40 Sun 29-Jan-17 11:19:54

How du have a family meeting and they take it seriously

Offmyheadat40 Sun 29-Jan-17 11:23:23

I also feel inadequate because we are not rich and can't spoil them. I was brought up in a well off family but I was never made to feel better than anyone else because of it. Their materialism and vanity gets me to the stomach being made to feel underclass makes me evil

Offmyheadat40 Sun 29-Jan-17 11:24:51

I wouldn't mind so much if they had a detached house withat grounds and 3 mercy but they have a golf and semi lol

Offmyheadat40 Sun 29-Jan-17 11:25:28

Sorry mercy smile

Offmyheadat40 Sun 29-Jan-17 11:25:48

Mercs...God smile

Mumandsome78 Sun 29-Jan-17 11:31:04

I was a stepmum - in ex marriage - still attached and love the skids even though the marriage failed. Early years were just as you described - tough work, massive feelings of being taken for granted and being second place, and with one, there are still some issues of emotional mess...that said, i hosted my stepson recently and took a step back and realised what a wonderful, lovely boy he's grown into and it struck me, finally, how deeply I cared for him. He helped me out massively with my own son during this trip and was just in general a good person to be around. So it does get easier, but not instantly or quickly. Asserting needs, accepting that this is not just 'expected' from you, but a gift you've given to your man - is all what had to happen in my world...good luck

SandyY2K Sun 29-Jan-17 11:46:32

If they are ungrateful for what you do, I'd stop doing it. If they argue and bicker, tell them to go to their room and keep the noise down.

They need to know you aren't their servant and learn to be grateful.

Unfortunately, it seems neither of their parents have set boundaries and taught them what's acceptable behaviour and followed through with consequences for inappropriate behaviour.

Their mother really has no right to expect anything of you, apart from being kind to them. That doesn't include being taken for granted.

Offmyheadat40 Sun 29-Jan-17 12:15:59

I think it's their mom that gets me the most the values she has set are just unbelievable and it's luke they're too old to be any different. Dad does not tell them off or make them tidy up after themselves so my Monday is spent rearranging the house. I have come home today from work and said he needs to tell them to attack the kitchen since every possible article gets used and is piled up things don't even get to the bin if they actually make it out of the room. I am not a neat fear I am laid back and very tolerant if nearly everything but I've been tolerating this for 5 years now and I think I've finally cracked. Our little one is 2 and a half so I think that's made me see things differently. I can't even send her to nursery and as a result she is like the mighty atom albeit I live her daft personality. I can't let these values be passed on though and I won't let anyone else in the family look after her cos I'm sure as hell not pass her about like the others. If I'm going on and moaning it's because I haven't spoken to anyone about it and if I dare express anything negative I'm made to feel like I need medication and counselling. Although the counselling isn't a bad Idea I shouldn't be made to feel nuts for feeling something. The one thing that's positively changed is the older daughter has become a teenager and I'd have been scared of her at school let alone living with her. She was sent to live with us because mommy couldn't handle her. So I was to take her to school and pick her up like a princess. Sick of it is not the word

Hermonie2016 Sun 29-Jan-17 12:43:28

I think you need to step back and look at the issues on a one by one basis and see if you can get any progress.

If you feel you can get a more balanced life you will start to feel happier.If nothing changes then you have a choice to stay or leave.

I was a step mum (still am as even with divorcing stbxh I will be step mum to dsd) for 15 years.I gave everything and got little back from stbxh.We are now divorcing and I can't help but feel I was useful to raise his daughter and then dropped when she had grown.
Don't take on stuff if you feel resentful.Either give willingly or don't do it.It's not your role unless you agree to take dsd to school.

If the children are teenagers you might be in the eye of the storm.Dsd was horrendously spoilt which is common where both separated parents overindulge due to guilt.
A few years a Uni has helped open her eyes and she realises how badly she behaved.Previously housework was for others but she is now in a house share with untidy students and she finally gets it!

Your step children's values come from their mum and dad and the only person you can possible influence is your partner.If you can't, because he won't talk with you, you can make anything different.
That's hard to hear but it's true.You will drive yourself crazy trying to influence teens when mum & dad are not modelling the behaviour you would like to see.
If you recognise the issue is with your partner not the children you might feel lmore tolerant towards them.

Offmyheadat40 Sun 29-Jan-17 12:55:42

Maybe I deny that there could be anything wrong between us. I don't want to annoy him. He works very hard because he is trying to do the right thing and working hard can't be wrong. The ex was a bit hard on him because she arranged it so thatvhe did all the housework for 5 years as it was more economical than him going to work. He agreed with it admittedly and I agree, where I used to give willingly their ungrateful behaviour has taken the joy out of it. I work for the health system and nobody does that to be rich. I am pretty much incapable of doing things to pretend. Right now the only control I can possibly have is over the taxi thing because they all need it. But saying no makes it so inconvenient for him it actually doesn't affect the people who need to understand I'm not a because and call person. I'm generous but I can't take the assumption that I'll do things to make everyone's life easier.

PaterPower Sun 29-Jan-17 12:59:56

God, messy teens angry

Try a 20 yo lad who thinks personal hygiene happens to other people and that the only place for clothes is the floordrobe.

I get what you're saying about not passing on behaviours to your own child too. I've very different ("stricter") ideas on parenting than my partner but have had to choose where to put my foot down and where to let things slide a bit. Life's so much easier when dss is off visiting friends for the weekend though.

SandyY2K Sun 29-Jan-17 13:09:29

She was sent to live with us because mommy couldn't handle her. So I was to take her to school and pick her up like a princess

You see that wouldn't fly with me. Her mother can't cope with her and so she's been passed on to you. It would be different if her dad was taking her to school.

Why can't she get herself to school?

I'm not surprised you feel like this. I think you should consider getting away for a bit and letting them see how much you do and think about stepping up.

You really do need to try and get your husband to understand how all this is making you feel.

Can I ask if you've actually told them to clear up after themselves or asked them to do anything else? What happens? Do they refuse?

My brother is remarried, so my nieces/nephew have a stepmum. Their mum has a different, very lax parenting style unlike my brother. They have to abide by the rules of the house their in and my SIL (their stepmum), is quite a tidy person. I've heard her telling them to wash the dishes /clear up etc and they listen to her and do it. She's very nice to them and they like and respect her.

Your stepchildren are behaving this way because they get away with it. If they've never been taught any different, it's not wholly their fault TBH.

Offmyheadat40 Sun 29-Jan-17 13:12:56

All these little things don't usually get to me but when I can't have a sensible conversation with my bf without it ending up that I'm insane it feels very lonely being seen as the one with issues. My real issue is having no control. I'm not a control freak I like people to make decisions independently so that they actually want to do things and the desire is coming from the right place. The problem is having the strength to be unpopular within the group because I'm not going with the flow. I am allowing myself to be walked over but I think it's because he doesn't support me. He doesn't say anything to them so I feel like I'm going against his approach. I think he'd actually prefer me to. It comes across like he has no backbone with the ex as it's easier to agree. It's why she doesn't ask me for help the message comes via the children or is sprung on me in discussion. Things like one being sent to stay here suddenly happens out of nowhere. I've said over and over its unreasonable since we both work. I work shifts so the organisation doubles. I do wonder what they would do if I went on strike for a month. I may well do this. As it is the teenager tells me things which may or may not be true and somehow I need to ignore the things that wind me up as they are probably my issues. I'm attaching my views to a statement as I'm hypervigilant and annoyed in the first place. I am grateful for all your input and I may need to vent again. There seems to be nothing to actually read other than group dynamics to help with the impact of step children. So I wondered if my frustration was unusual

PenguinsandPebbles Sun 29-Jan-17 13:16:35

I bet it feels a lot better just getting it all out! The frustration is coming through loud and clear on your posts and you sounds utterly at the end of your rope. flowers

When you have calmed down a bit and got your head sorted, you need to talk to your partner. Step parenting is hard, I think its even harder when your a step-mum and your partner is the RP (that's the category I fall into, and even though DC don't see their actual "mother" very often, her choice she is very busy hmm I still feel like I'm sidelined when they do actually see her, once a year) if you have a child that has just been sent to you "to be sorted" it must be very hard for all of you.

I'd strongly suggest counselling, it's so helpful if nothing more than a place to just let it all out in a safe place for you. I know in the beginning I had some negative thoughts and I felt so ashamed for some of what I felt, worried DP wouldn't understand (he did, I'm very lucky) understanding through a therapist where these thoughts were coming from (fear based) has certainly contributed to us being a strong family and a strong couple.

But, my DP has always been very much on my side. He was always of the view that we are adults and children never dictate what happens in our home, and that no ones wants (NOT needs) would ever come before anyone else's needs.

That's what needs to happen IMO in a blended family, and you have got five years of learned behaviour to change but IF he supports you and you work together then there is no reason why this can't turn around. He does have to help you, and if he doesn't then I'd question why your continuing to stay and I really don't say that lightly.

Stepmonster is a good book to read, if you haven't already may give you some insight into why your feeling the way you do.

Offmyheadat40 Sun 29-Jan-17 13:23:58

I totally agree that the children are a product of their experiences with parenting. I had a very different style I grew up knowing exactly where u stood. I knew the consequences of my actions so I was pretty good at adhering to the whole scheme of things. They don't know where they are. They have had 5 different opairs 6 different males in and out of their lives and only feeling worth by how much money has been thrown their way. I am up against it which makes it very difficult to be consistent as I am predominantly trying to make them happy. It obviously works in that they want to live here but if that happens ever behaviours will not be acceptable on a day to day situation. To some degree I do think that this reflects the value of being empowered to make independent decisions and be praised for them. However this is not a consistent thing as I feel that I'm the only one who is trying to achieve it. To be fair my bf is very tired. I work but I can't do as much as he does.

Offmyheadat40 Sun 29-Jan-17 13:27:05

I'm getting the book. I stay because I love him I knew he had children I just didn't expect the ex wife to be just as dependent

PenguinsandPebbles Sun 29-Jan-17 13:55:24

Do you think he will work through it with you?

The book is really good IMO, DP also took the time to read it.

Your husband has to support you, otherwise your resentment is going to build up until you explode. It's not fair for you to be treated like a nanny by anybody.

CouldntMakeThisShitUp Sun 29-Jan-17 18:41:23

But saying no makes it so inconvenient for him it actually doesn't affect the people who need to understand I'm not a because and call person

Ffs! Stop riding to his rescue - he doesn't need it and you're enabling him.
It won't affect them until he's 'inconvenienced' to the point where he confronts them/does something about it.

STOP making excuses for your bf!
Big deal he 'works long/hard' etc - it's his responsibility to provide for his kids - why are you feeling guilty? hmm
They are HIS children and HE needs to parent them - not leave it all to you.
Does he have the same attitude towards your dc?

Of course you've reached your limit - you were given ALL the responsibility but none of the authority.
Neither were you shown any respect - by any of them.
i don't understand why you put up with it!

Stop being a martyr.
Hand ALL responsibility of dsc back to your bf.
Treat them like you would your own dd....if the dsc don't like it - tough!
if bf can't back you up then tell him to go play disney dad elsewhere.

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