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two sets of non biological siblings

(2 Posts)
toxicwaste Fri 12-Aug-11 23:27:23

So, I have had a busy house for the past two weeks and my 2 sd's (6 and 10) are here for another week. Add that to my son and daughter (6 and 4 not my blokes kids) and it has been fun, tiring and stressful all at the same time. I am the main carer for all of them, SD's dad is doing a three day week whilst they are here but is also working quite a few weekend evenings in a different job. I absolutely don't mind looking after them, in fact I love it, but as the person who spends most time with them I see the relationships during the day develop and change and I see my SD's as well as my two having off moments. When they first arrive I deal with SD's off times a bit more gently than I would with my own two until they settle in and then it is the same rules all round.

It is fine when it is the children and me but as soon as my boyfriend is around (ok so not strictly steps but that is what we refer to all the different relationships as) the dynamics change completely. Now obviously I understand that this is going to happen in a 'normal' family but my two get pretty much left out of the equation whilst his two get all the love and attention. This is very difficult for my son, especially, to deal with and he therefore tries to get attention by being annoying (he is a boy and he is 6 - and is doing normal 6 year old boy stuff), it is obvious that he just wants his step dads attention - good or bad. I treat them all equally, to the point that my eldest step daughter requests that I tuck her in and tells me she loves me and the youngest looks to me for 'stuff' before her dad.

I am also finding it difficult that it feels like more of a 'family' when his girls are down but when it is just us he picks and chooses when he wants to be with us (at the moment he makes sure he is home for supper, he comes up and puts the smalls to bed and we all read a story together, we go out on family days etc. When it is just us 4 this does not happen). At the moment I am doing ALL of the shopping, cooking, majority of cleaning, majority of child care, majority of dishes. My boyfriend refuses to do dishes when it is just the four of us as he 'works' but managed to do them the other night. Why can't he pitch in when it is a smaller family.

My boyfriend also will not accept that his girls behaviour may be different in this house, where they only spend 5 or 6 weeks of the year, to their behaviour at their mums house. So there is a lot of comparison between my two (it is constantly being commented on by complete strangers how well behaved they are but I admit they can be a bit feral) and his two, softly spoken well behaved angels (remember he does not spend most days with them so does not see everything).

Is anyone else in a similar situation? Having two sets of non biological siblings around is tough, especially as it is only for holidays - they live too far away for weekend access (they could fly but their mum won't let them, that is a whole different kettle of fish)

Sorry to ramble, as a couple we have gone round and round and round with this and I just want another point of view, good or bad.

theredhen Tue 16-Aug-11 12:18:45

Hi. Was hoping someone with better experience might reply to you firstly.

I have one DS (not by my partner) and he has 4 DC. I totally get the helping out around the house, when his kids are here and much, much less when they are not here. I suppose he thinks there is less work, so he doesn't need to help and I would be resentful if he left it all to me when his kids are here (which I would!).

Kids behave differently when they are out of their normal environment. Boys and girls do behave differently anyway. I don't find girls any easier, I find their demands for attention by constant chattering and following me around quite irritating sometimes and difficult to "tell off" whereas boys noisiness and physical activity is straight forward to deal with.

To be honest, I would be grateful you don't see them very often because I think your situation would be very difficult if it was regular access. I know it must be hard that your partner refuses to do anything as a "family" without his kids being there but I think you just have to get on with doing things yourself with your own kids otherwise they will end up missing out.

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