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Maybe becoming full time Step mum, please comfort me...

(11 Posts)
bonnymiffy Tue 06-Sep-11 13:51:30

DSS (aged9) had told us, and his Mum, that he'd like to live with us and visit his Mum at weekends, instead of what is approximately the other way round at the moment. DH is delighted - he feels that boys need their fathers, and we will provide a more stable environment for him. I am not! I like him (DSS that is, obviously I like DH hee hee) but as others have said, am happy to see him, and happy to see him go! We have a 4 month old DD, and I would rather be spending my time on her. We are planning to move house so that we can have a bigger garden and an extra bedroom, as we only have 2 at the momant and the baby is in with us, so DSS would need to move schools, find new friends etc etc.
Does anyone have any positive tales to tell? I'm sure I'm being irrational but I really don't want this to happen. Actually, just some on-line moral support would be great....

Petal02 Tue 06-Sep-11 14:01:56

Oh dear. Pour yourself a stiff drink (if you haven't already). It's often crossed my mind that SS might want to come and live with us (DH creates Teenage Heaven for him, so he thinks our house is like Cloud Nine ......), and I would be mortified. Thankfully, we live too far from his school (and the bus route) for this to be on the cards.

Is your DSS likely to move in, or was he just expressing wishful thinking? And what does his mother think about this? Does she realise she'd wouldn't get child benefit, and that she'd probably have to payment maintennace rather than receive it? (Many exes seem very motiviated by money, so this could be your saving grace). And even if really did want to move in, is it possible on a practical/logistical basis? You mentioned changing schools, so it would be a massive upheaval.

Practicalities aside, you've then got the issue of your DH wanting this to happen, and you don't, and I really don't know how you'd compromise. Of course no one wants to deprive a parent of time with their child, but you're a stakeholder in this too. Is your DH likely to discuss this with you, and involve you in the decision, or does he fail to consult you with this sort of thing?

bonnymiffy Tue 06-Sep-11 14:16:02

Hi Petal, thanks for such a speedy reply. DH is pretty good, and a very hands-on Dad, and yes, Ex will almost certainly put up a good defence of the status quo. Thing is, when DSS went back to his mum on Sunday night he said he'd like to live with her, so we all (Ex included) will need to impress upon him that once he's moved, there's no moving back, so he needs to be 100% certain. Yes, she will lose out on Child benefit, and maintenance (she wouldn't be able to pay us any as she lives mainly on benefits), but I really doubt that would be her main motivation for wanting to keep him with her. However, we would be able to provide him with a more stable family life, and we do more encouraging and cajoling with homework, so he would do better with us, and yes, it is currently practical, although I think we'd state that it can't happen until after we'd moved. My head says it's better for him, but my heart says no... tough one isn't it.

Petal02 Tue 06-Sep-11 14:41:35

What a diffiicult situation. I'm sure people will be screaming at their computer screens, saying that you should base your decision on what's best for the child ....... but you (and your daughter) have to live with the consequences of that decision. Is it a complete non-starter for you, or do you think you could deal with it if you had to?

However given your SS appeared to change his mind again, then perhaps he's only being fanciful, and probably isn't old enough to understand the implications of what he's saying.

Fooso Tue 06-Sep-11 16:51:15

For quite sad reasons my two SD's now live with us (and my ds)... it was very difficult to adjust - but in some cases you have to - for your relationship and for the children. I can only say my life has changed but it's not as bad as a I thought it would be - there are certainly more advantages than disadvantages anyway ! good luck x

Petal02 Tue 06-Sep-11 17:02:30

I think the survival (or otherwise) of the step mother under these circumstances is more dependent on the attitudes of the father than the child - if the father is prepared to allow his wife/partner some sensible parental authority, and consults her on decisions that effect her and/or the household, then you stand a reasonable chance of getting through it.

But the trouble seems to start when you've got a Disney Dad who elevates the child to a position above the wife/partner, and allows them/their wishes to dominate the family.

Bonny - does your DH have Disney tendancies, or is he quite sensible about parenting?

That aside, I just don't know how I'd cope with someone else's child living with me 24/7, so I would never judge someone else who is worried about how things would pan out if it happened to them.

brdgrl Tue 06-Sep-11 23:21:16

Hi, think Petal02 is right - so much depends on your DH and how well he supports you. Does your DH know your feelings about teh situation, and how does he respond to your concerns?

Also, I agree that there is more to consider here than the needs/wishes of just one child, as you also have to weigh up what is best for your DD, and indeed for the family unit.

You may find that it is a relief to have weekends free - after all, if DSS is going to his mum's for two days every weekend (if I have got that right), then that is a big shift still (with you 5 days instead of 2), but perhaps a silver lining in this is that you will have weekends 'off'.

I have two steps - DSD and DSS - who live with us fulltime and with no 'breaks' (their mother is deceased). I also have a baby DD.

The bad days - I do grieve sometimes for the loss of the idea I had about being a mum (our counsellor helped me to see that was exactly what it was - a loss, and something I needed to grieve myself). I would like sometimes to be able to make decisions based solely on what is best for DD, but I can't, because I am partly responsible now for the other kids' well-being, too. I would like to have more time with DD and DH, but we have two other kids in the house needing help and attention and affection. I've found I have had to compromise on parenting ideas and values, to fit in with the way things have "always been done" with the older kids. So, I won't lie to you, it is tough having two other voices and personalities to cope with 24/7, and it gets a lot tougher when there is a clash of interests! And as anyone here will tell you, it gets very tough indeed when DH plays Disney Dad or 'checks out' of the hard bits of parenting.

On the other hand, there are rewards. I have two new family members, and I get to be involved in their lives in real, substantive ways - which can be very satisfying. I feel proud of the kids and of myself for learning how to do this! And we have good times together, on days out or at meals or just watching telly - and then I think that I wouldn't want to miss out on any of that. The kids are growing up into nicer and stronger individuals all the time, and I get to be a part of that.

I'd still love to have an occasional weekend to myself, though. wink

theredhen Wed 07-Sep-11 08:21:34

I really admire anyone who takes on step kids full time, it must be very, very hard but I agree wholeheartedly that a lot rests on how the father behaves. If he has disney tendencies, it's going to be difficult, if he's willing to work with you and be fair, then it could be good for everyone.

Also, I'd be inclined to think that every weekend without step children is easier than every weekend with the step children. Weekday evenings are fairly routine and "easy" in my opinion. It's the weekends, that are the hard part of bringing up kids and the bit the step parents usually end up with, although I admit, it's also a time for fun and relaxation. hmm

bonnymiffy Thu 08-Sep-11 08:58:22

Hi All, thanks for your encouraging words. Luckily, DH isn't a "Disney Dad" - DSS certainly doesn't get everything his way, and as DD is so small, if this change does go ahead, then she will grow up with it and for her the situation will be normal. I know that I'd be looking forward to the "time off" though.
We are trying to arrange meeting with DSS's Mum, we have times arranged to do so but then on the day she calls it off. It wouldn't be "full time" as he would go back to his Mum's for a couple of nights a week, but I'm also concerned he might want to go back to the old routine - he can't chop and change if he moves school!
I've always found these forums hugely supportive just by lurking and knowing that others have the same issues, so thanks for your posts. I'll keep you up to date with progress!

vimtolover Sat 24-Sep-11 17:52:34

I totally understand your concern. I have 2 ss and we have them 50percent of the time, alternative weekends. It's tiring as I have a new 9 week old baby boy. The ss particularly the 14 year old can be very time demanding and his mother is pretty useless, we do all the homework stuff with both of them and she does almost zero. This leads dh to obviously want them with us all the time, she doesn't seem to care so it's on the cards.
I have to be honest and say it's not what I signed up for, my baby needs and deserves time too and it would not happen if we all lived under one roof all the time. Oh yes plus I work full time usually and the ex wife does bugger all and still lives in the huge house. You have to put your foot down if you don't want things to change as it won't get easier, it will build resentment and would definitely damage your relationship.

supergreenuk Sat 24-Sep-11 18:00:58

I am very sad that you feel the way you do. Having been a step daughter and kind of knew that I wasn't wanted I would urge you to try to put your feelings fully out of the way. No kid wants the situation they are in.

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