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DSS is now 18 - surely things must change ......... ?

(513 Posts)
Petal02 Tue 04-Sep-12 16:16:25

So DSS has now celebrated (he didn’t have a party, he just wanted to go out for a meal with DH and I) his 18th birthday and starts back at 6th Form College (for his second year of A levels) next week. I’d like some honest opinions, especially from those of you who know the background details.

We’ve been operating flexible-ish visiting for the last few months, with some minor resistance from DSS, and on the whole it’s worked OK. DSS now works on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, just round the corner from where he lives with his mother. DH had (unsuccessfully) tried to ferry DSS to/from his workplace during his alternate weekend stays with us, but given the distances involved, it just meant DH spending Saturday and Sunday on the road, whereas if DSS had been based at his mothers, it’s literally a two minute walk. So DH has had to concede that it’s impractical to keep DSS with us beyond Saturday lunch time on access weekends.

DSS is very keen that he still has the same amount of time with his Dad, even though DH works Monday-Friday and DSS works Saturday and Sunday. Even DH had reluctantly agreed this is impractical. However as access weekends used to run from Thursday 4pm til Sunday 6pm, and now they’re shorter because they finish at lunch time on Saturday (before DSS starts his afternoon shift),DSS wants to shift his visits so that they run from Tuesday 4pm til Saturday lunch time. I understand that he’s losing two weekend days with his Dad, as he’s now working, and wants two extra week nights to compensate.

But having an “access weekend” that starts on Tuesday (!!!!!!!) even though it finishes on Saturday lunch time, seems ridiculous for an adult. And that’s what DSS is now, he’s an adult. It surely can’t be realistic to maintain the same amount of contact hours that he had when he was 11, not when he’s working at weekends, and it’s logistically very difficult for DH to bring him over to us on a Tuesday night, because that means he needs lifts to/from college on Weds/Thurs/Fri which impacts greatly on DH’s work. Not to mention that DH and I often do stuff on weeknights. Should we stop these things because DH has an adult son?

In my opinion, things surely have to change ………. I don’t see why (although tell me if I’m wrong) DSS can’t be OK with Thursday 4pm-Sat lunch time? Yes, it’s less time with his Dad but he’s 18 now. Of course they still want to see each other, but I’m amazed that an 18 yr old wants so much rostered time with a parent. I’m also worried that DSS may cease his weekend job if he can’t maintain the same amount of contact with DH.

DH hasn't given DSS an answer on his Tuesday-Saturday request yet. I want to talk to DH about it tonight or tomorrow. But before I do, I’d like some opinions from fellow SMs. I don’t want to spend four consecutive weekend nights hanging out with DH’s adult son, just so that “ x” amount of weekly hours can be achieved. I think it’s all insane but I suspect I’m too close to the situation to see it clearly.

DisabilEightiesChick Thu 06-Sep-12 22:21:24

CouthyMow. I agree with you. Sadly quite a few posters are not willing to accept anything less than complete endorsement of the OP's views.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Thu 06-Sep-12 22:15:50

Yes, most SM's like and care about their SDC's. It just doesn't seem like THIS SM likes and cares about her DSS (or her DSD either for that matter).

OhChristFENTON Thu 06-Sep-12 21:21:52

Riverboat speaks much sense smile

allnewtaketwo Thu 06-Sep-12 20:54:08

Yes SDT that's right obviously

DisabilEightiesChick Thu 06-Sep-12 20:28:04

Riverboat - thanks for that response. You have actually IMHO been reasonable here, unlike some posters who are determined to see Petal as some kind of saint, and I appreciate you engaging with what's being said on both sides. Your phrase just seemed to sum up what the extreme pro- Petal posts are saying. Please stick around and keep us civilised smile

eslteacher Thu 06-Sep-12 19:59:02

Yeah, I guess Perspective. But then part of the reason that people start to reject "honest opinions" is because they are presented in such an extreme way, with "OMG how can you be such a horrible bad person I am SO SHOCKED that people like you exist" if not explicitly stated, then certainly implied by the tone. And the OP (actually I'm not even just talking about this thread any more) half the time is obviously a less than perfect person but not the evil monster that some people would like to believe she is. And so of course they react against it, and then it all just flares up...

Maybe I am just too inclined to sitting on the fence, and need a MN break.

Yes, AllNew - people shouldn't throw unfounded accusations around, should they?

PerspectiveUrgentlyRequired Thu 06-Sep-12 19:48:12

river, I'm guessing that when someone suggests that petal's DSS knows how she feels, it's much the same as when RPs are accused of subconsciously influencing their kids on how they feel about an NRP etc. Posting the less than flattering details about the DSS the way petal has, it's hard to imagine that subconsciously petal has been able to avoid making the DSS aware of how she feels about him. Many people don't realise that their inner thoughts and feelings do surface, not always intentionally, and it takes a pretty unique person to be able to hold in the frustrations, thoughts and feelings petal has, at all times, and under all circumstances. Maybe she is unique in that respect. I don't know her well enough to comment.

allnewtaketwo Thu 06-Sep-12 19:46:35

Couthymow I haven't accused you of "bashing" but I have accused you of making unfounded assumptions about the OP, and also about myself and my DH on another thread. Youd do well to collate facts before hurling accusations

eslteacher Thu 06-Sep-12 19:35:11

DisabilEighties - I certainly didn't mean that all those who disagree with me are claiming to having absolute insight. I don't see how that could even be the case as I have already said that I think some parts of what Petal has said have been reasonable and other parts unreasonable. I just don't understand how people can make outright statements like (am paraphrasing) "you despise him and he undoutbedlty knows it " - that's what I don't like.

Perspective - I might agree with you up to a point about what this OP and/or others are truly looking for when they ask for honest opinions, but I think you could say the same about a lot of people who post in reply. I think a lot of people will take a stance and then defend it to the death, regardless of whether they might actually see arguments or points made later on that cause them to think twice.

AmberLeaf Thu 06-Sep-12 19:25:01

She also said I’d like some honest opinions, especially from those of you who know the background details

Ive been reading Petals posts for yonks. I know the background details which I assume to mean what she has posted on here?

I gave an honest, fair and not in any way abusive opinion.

Her replies to me showed a side to her that makes me understand this situation even more.

Nasty, insulting and spiteful.

She only wants people to agree with her and ignore her poor behavior.

PerspectiveUrgentlyRequired Thu 06-Sep-12 19:22:13

Oh right, is this where non step parents are told to feck off and not post?

Bonsoir Thu 06-Sep-12 19:20:24

I am a fellow stepmother, and, indeed, have a DSS1 who is at the same age/stage as Petal02's DSS.

OhChristFENTON Thu 06-Sep-12 19:15:43

She asked for honest opinions from fellow stepmums, - she's had a fair bit of that, - but also a huge heap of character assassination from a bunch of others who don't have an ounce of understanding on the subject.

PerspectiveUrgentlyRequired Thu 06-Sep-12 19:10:34

I think when the op asked for 'honest opinions' and 'if she was wrong' she was being disingenuous in stating that was her reason for posting this thread. She's not looking for 'honest opinions' just those that agree with her. Not an entirely unique stance to take when faced with many posters who don't agree with her views.

DisabilEightiesChick Thu 06-Sep-12 18:59:19

Remarkable that a position that "doesn't need defending" has generated 20 pages of discussion and differences of opinion. And that someone whose position doesn't need defending started the thread at all, and asked 'tell me if I'm wrong' in their OP . And that posters defending Petal make statements like the above, then criticise those who disagree for 'claiming to have absolute insight into the situation'. There's the double standard for you.

LapsedPacifist Thu 06-Sep-12 18:30:53

^I’ve never witnessed any spark or any fight, or any attitude or any spirit or any initiative or anything which indicates that a flicker of life may be present. Even DH’s relatives despair. I just think he’s incredibly lazy. Growing up is too much of a hassle, takes him away from his X-Box too often, and therefore he avoids it like the plague.^

I actually felt physically sick reading this. I would find it extremely hard to write such judgemental comments about an ADULT that I actively disliked - far less my husband's adolescent child. We are a step-family so I'm not talking from a smug nuclear-family perspective either.

eslteacher Thu 06-Sep-12 17:57:15

Well, maybe she doesn't like him. You can't force yourself to like somebody if you just don't. It would be nicer if she did like him, but if she doesn't, she doesn't.

What matters is how Petal is when she is with her DSS and DH. We can say "her dislike shines through her posts" or whatever, but this is a space for her to post about how she feels, and is completely apart from the way she is with her family. None of us know how she actually acts in that setting. Maybe she dislikes DSS but is still respectful and pleasant to him. Or not. I don't know, I'm amazed at the extent to which some people claim to have absolute insight into a situation based on bit of information posted here.

I don't think that Petal has come across as a wicked stepmother, or a put-upon innocent. I think she falls somewhere in between. As, probably, do all the other players in this scenario. In a situation this complicated, I doubt there are easy answers and easy doorsteps to park blame at.

PropositionJoe Thu 06-Sep-12 17:37:25

"I don't dislike him at all". Ouch. Not the same as caring for him at all, is it?

glasscompletelybroken Thu 06-Sep-12 16:59:28

lurking you last post is very telling - imagine stating on any forum that "you have nothing at all against mothers" and yet because we are "merely" step-mothers we are fair target for that kind of comment.

You also state that "it's very admirable to me when they love their stepchildren as their own." That's not admirable - it's a f*****g miracle and very rare.

It's easy not to view step-cousins and their children as "step" because you don't have to live with them.

Try living with someone for whom you are expected to cook, clean up after, ferry around the countryside to various activities, nurse when they are sick, clean up their vomit, financially support and change your plans for at the last minute because their mother has let them down, when you have absolutely no say in how that person runs their own life and how that impacts on you. It's all the responsibility with none of the authority or ability to change anything and it's beyond frustrating.

Can you actually be any more patronising?

AmberLeaf Thu 06-Sep-12 16:53:19

normally when SP threads run this long then end up getting deleted

Ironically the only thing thats been deleted is Petals vile post to me.

AmberLeaf Thu 06-Sep-12 16:52:32

The obscure nature of that statement illustrates that the writer has not actually read half the posts or taken in what Petal is saying

Ive read and taken in, I just don't agree with them-thats not the same thing.

Its not obscure. its true!

The realitly is that Petals position doesn't need defending

Her behavior seems to be being defended or just not challenged.

Can you honestly say that Petal has behaved impeccably? can you honestly say that she hasn't added to this sorry mess with some of her actions?

OhChristFENTON Thu 06-Sep-12 16:51:09


normally when SP threads run this long then end up getting deleted


PrideOfChanur Thu 06-Sep-12 16:46:35

I don't know what it is like to be a stepparent,but I do sometimes want more of a life with my DH. Our DCs are here all the time though.

I don't think Petals DH should change his job,I think DSS's suggestion was impractical,I don't see why DSS being there in the week should stop Petal and her DH doing things on weeknights - but I still feel sorry for DSS just from the whole tone of how he has been talked about.

OhChristFENTON Thu 06-Sep-12 16:44:01

I wonder if there's any Limoncello (sp) knocking about...

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