Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Blending Families(18 Posts)
Please could you tell me about your experiences in blending families.
I have a 5 yr old DS, DP has 2 children; 13 and 4 both are DSs.
The two little ones squabble and fall out and then make up and can play nicely for a few hours. They aren't constantly arguing, they do like each other.
There is one upmanship from my DS to his youngest DS. It winds DP up a lot and he makes it clear that he is annoyed by it by not really warming to my DS.
Conversely his DS is very loud, which my DS has told me he doesn't like so he feels frustrated at times. I feel as though they both equally bring there less than desirable traits to the party but I figure they are small children trying to get on and find their way with each other.
Obviously kids bickering isn't pleasant for anyone but I have got to know his children so I can let these things go over my head but he is always on pins when we are all together. Which makes me feel uptight so generally the time when we're all together is fairly stressful for both of us.
I feel as though my DS gets the shitty end of the stick when it comes to being blamed for the agro. Don't get me wrong, he can be a little shit, I'm not saying he's perfect by any means but I feel a resentment that this is happening.
When it is just DP and me it's amazing and things feel so wonderful. But I'm not sure that's enough. DP is loving and open most of the time but he is closed off and distant when the small children are around.
I only have my DS for half the week and he has his all the time so I have been able to get to know his children more than DP has mine.
Do you think we can move forward or does the kids bickering in the early stages (met DP last Dec and kids met in April) mean it is doomed if DP can't lose his negative opinion of my DS.
I can’t see that you live with your partner? If you don’t then I would strongly recommend that you never, ever move in together. My husband has known my DS since he was three years old. He’s now 13. Over the last twelve months my husband has started picking on my son. He jumps all over him for every tiny thing that my DS does. Most of the time he can’t even be bothered to speak to him. I’m saving up to move out and get divorced. If he doesn’t like your DS now then this will not change. Get rid of him.
I’d say it’s a no go. I wouldn’t have him around my dc with a negative attitude towards them, your ds will pick up on it and feel miserable.
You cannot blend families with this person and his family. Please put your son first. Your boyfriend doesn't like him, and this won't get better.
And the fact that you're already wanting to 'blend families' with someone who haven't even known a year is alarming.
Thank you for your replies.
Maybe blending families was the wrong phrase because we don't live together and although we've talked about it potentially being on the cards at some point down the line, I wouldn't dream of making that a reality unless I was 100% sure for DS and me. The 'blending' at this stage is mostly hanging out every other weekend for a night or two.
My DS comes first that's for sure. It didn't feel like this a few months ago. He was a lot more tolerant. Lately he has been hugely preoccupied with his own personal issues so seems as though he is overloaded and can't handle a small amount of stress.
I don't think this is necessarily a deal breaker. You dp has a huge age gap between his sons so is probably just not used to or aware that this is what two little boys of that age are like when together, whether they are prospective step brothers or friends come round to play.
If anything I would say you all need to spend a lot more time together, families squabble, bicker, fight, play nicely, have great times have rubbish times. Your dp has to get used to having two little boys about.
If he can't see that both boys need to be treated equally and the 'agro' as you call it is just usual kids/family life then yes you have a hard decision to make.
His son maybe a loud extrovert to your sons quieter personality but you could get that in any family, and you and dp could work together to help each child find their place in a blended family, the same as you would if you were biological parents of both boys.
Can you talk to dp about this without it becoming a row or issue where both of you feel their child is being criticised?
@Elasticatedjeans. Has he always been that way towards your son? Why has he only started to behave like that in the last 12 months?
'My DS comes first that's for sure. It didn't feel like this a few months ago. He was a lot more tolerant. Lately he has been hugely preoccupied with his own personal issues so seems as though he is overloaded and can't handle a small amount of stress.'
Yep, he's left the honeymoon period. When people show you who they are, LISTEN TO THEM!
@theredjellybean. I feel like we could talk about it without feeling like our children are being criticised. Like I say I can see how my DSs one upmanship is annoying and I do talk to him about it. Not only because I don't want him to be like that with his friends either. Which I haven't ever witnessed, it's in this situation where I think my son has to try and find his pecking order so to speak. His two are very close to each other.
DP openly admits that he would never have chosen to have two children so close in age because he doesn't like squabbles.
It sounds like your son is not comfortable with the situation.
I think if you dont live together and he doesnt see your kids alot and he is negative towards your son then it wont work, At this stage of the relationship he should be putting lots of effort in to getting to know your children and building a relationship with them. You come as a package. Hes not treating the whole package well enough I would dump him.
Is 'oneupmanship' showing off and teasing the other about everything? Do you think it's a cute personality trait whereas dp thinks it could be nipped in the bud a bit more? Does he actively dislike your DS or is he just keeping out of it because your parenting styles are different? Of course you are going to be over protective about your own kids, that's par for the course - it depends whether you can actually get round to treating them equally (and they know they will get equal treatment consistently) or not.
OP. I don’t know. DS is growing up and my husband seems almost... jealous? I’ve got a photo of my DS on my phone as a screen saver. My H said it was inappropriate and looked like I had a boyfriend??? He also says things like “there’s only one lion in my house”. It’s ridiculous
I regularly ask my son how he feels when we've all been together. What he thinks of DP - he said DP is "good". He has cried when we have left their house before saying he doesn't want to leave and asked "why can't we live here". I told my DP and he said it was nice that he liked hanging out with them.
@niceupthedance - I don't think it's necessarily showing off. I think it's because he is really trying to know where he fits in. He is 9 months older than DS's son so I think he assumes he should be next in line if you see what I mean. DS's son is very confident and outspoken so will stand up for himself. Which I think then makes my DS try and find a way to be 'top dog'. It's things like correcting the way he pronounces something or if DP's son is singing the wrong words to a song, my son will say 'that's not right'. I tell him he doesn't need to keep correcting him.
DP's children's mother isn't around so DP's youngest has really taken to me and I believe this is a big factor in my DS wanting to assert his authority in that I'm his mum and not DP's son.
DP get really irritated with the usual whinges for example if one has got something or sat in a particular seat then the other will say they want to and so a battle ensues. This is both of them though so he does get cheesed off with his DS for this behaviour.
This is the thing - it's the consistent treatment for the both of them. We definitely are at logger heads on this issue.
@Elasticated - certainly seems like jealousy. Can you work things out do you think?
No. I’ve been trying but it seems to be getting worse.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.