Pants and socks- what's your view(26 Posts)
Dsd is 12 nearly 13, dss is 10 nearly 11. I've been with dh for 4 years, married for 2 and last year we had our own baby. Dsd and dss have always found it hard to accept me even though I am an innocent party. Now things are coming to a head with dh's xw. She says they hate coming to our house because of me. Apparently I make them "put their own socks and pants away". This is a reason they have given to both her and dh to explain why they don't want to come round. I wash and iron their clothes and put them in their rooms but usually I leave them on their bed/just inside their room. I do this as Ive never felt particularly welcome in their rooms and don't want to invade their privacy plus I believe that at their age they should be putting their own pants and socks away. Pardon the pun but sock it to me - what do you think???
whatsfortea, please, please tell me, you're joking!
Two years ago, I told my SD (17) to sort her room out, or I would sort it out with a bin bag and a charity shop bag. A little harsh, maybe? I had, for 2 years, put up with her tip of a bedroom, complete with dirty undies, overpowering body odour, vomit stained clothing rolled in a ball and shoved under the bed. We (her dad, my DH and I) had, in that period of time tried asking nicely; joking about the mess; gently reminders to put her soiled knickers into the linen basket, in her room; to use the waste basket in her room rather than throwing dirty tissues/makeup wipes/coke can on the floor. Nothing. No response. My final "do something, or I must" came about when we had a male care worker coming into our home to help with my disabled son.
We haven't seen her since because..... I am unmotherly/cruel/sly. She's now 19 years old. It makes it difficult when we have her sister (24) and brother (22) visit. I get on fine with them. Particularly, eldest SD.
SD never wanted me in her dad's life. I walked on egg shells with her for years. The first time I put my foot down, in all that time, she left. I'm convinced she was waiting for a confrontation, any confrontation as an excuse to state her grievance that dad had a new wife. I was not the OW. Dh's first marriage ended after his wife's affair and her refusal to give up her lover.
OP, you have been entirely reasonable. You are NOT at fault. And there are posters on this thread who have no idea what they're talking about.
LOL, my 7 year-old DSD puts not only her socks and pants away, but also the rest of her folded clothes. Neatly. It is one of her few responsibilities in the house, as having her every other week isn't really conducive to setting up a regular chores rota.
Getting DSD to put her clothes away was initially my idea, but it is her father that first communicated the expectation to her, and continues to do so. There are some tasks I can get away with introducing her to, but as far as enforcing responsibilities, most of them get more mileage if it's DH leading the way with communication, with me supporting him (even if it was really my idea), IYSWIM.
I suspect this has nothing whatsoever to do with the rights and wrongs of DC being expected to put their own clothes away, and everything to do with seizing on something emblematic that will strike a chord with their mother in order to complain about the care/attention they receive in their father's home. Don't fall for the trap.
Oh dear that certainly wins the pathetic excuse award!
Dad needs to 'man up' and tell his ex that is is not unreasonable to ask the children to put their clothes away. He also needs to tell his children that it is a house rule for them to put their clothes away and that you are respecting their privacy by not lingering in their rooms or going into their drawers/wardrobe.
Of course there's nothing wrong with your request. How ridiculous.
I expect the problem here is dad. What is the message from him? So often dad is too soft (read: Disney) and then step mum is seen as the evil one who is trying to "change" dad. What child is going to be happy with that?
The message needs to come from both of you. And any silly comments from mum just need to be met with a small chuckle and an explanation of how all homes have different rules and that is that.
wotsforteaare you deliberately trying to be a bitch or does it just come naturally to you?? The OP states she doesn't feel welcome to enter rooms in her own home and you read that as not making her dsc's feel welcome...even though she states she doesn't want to invade their space...get a flaming grip for heaven sake.
OP - its a power game, do not let them win. My dsc's are 7 & 9 nd I damn well expect them to put their clean washing away, put dirty in the wash, clear their dirty plates after food and if my kitchen was bigger they would be helping with dishes too. I think exw and ur dh need to point out strongly that they grow up and deal with the fact u r in their life esp if u r nothing to do with marriage break up
My 5 yr old puts clothes in the washing machine and the laundry basket.
Putting clothes away is being attempted but usually involves pushing anything anywhere. Sorry 12+!!!
What a stupid complaint. My oldest dc are much younger and they put all their own clothes away.
hi Smh13 - this is madness. I have 2 DS and 2DSSs. All of them put all of their own clothes away. They are all aged between 12 & 7. They also all put their clothes in the wash. DP/I wash them. DSS1 often leaves piles on his bedroom floor. We do not move them. They do not get washed unless they go in the laundry basket. He knows that.
They also all strip their beds every other weekend so that I can wash it all while they are at their other parents' house. DSS1 used to hate doing this, but when he refused to do it, he just had to sleep in dirty sheets. The next time, he did it, and now just does it automatically without being asked.
We no longer iron the kids' clothes because they ram them in drawers and we said we would no longer do it because there is no point. If they could prove they put them away well, we'd iron. The 12, 10 and 9 yr old can iron anyway.
They also ALL have to clear away from the table, and clear away after playing etc. They ALL lose pocket money/electronic device time for rudeness etc.
The point is it doesn't matter whether they are step, or bio, they are all learning to be part of a family, and to live with other people. That means taking the responsibility along with the benefits.
I think your real issue is if your DP and his ex listen to this excuse. It is a pants excuse (hahahaha!!). Please tell me your DP isn't taking this excuse seriously..???
There may be different rules in your house and their mum's house. we have this issue from time to time, with DSs about their dad's, and DSS's about their mum's. My mantra is "his/her house, his/her rules. My and DP's house, our rules". And our rule is you all put away your own clothes.
There is absolutely no reason for them not to our their pants and socks away! If your dh has a problem with that, he can do their washing.
FGS. If I was their mother I would be ashamed that I had such bloody workshy lazy children that at their ages they didn't EXPECT to have to put their own stuff away!! DSD is 8 and tidies her own room, is expected to put away her own toys, and puts away the clothes that she can reach herself. She has her own wash bin and knows that if she does not put it in there, it will not get washed. I think it teaches children good values - in life there are things that need doing, such as putting away your clothes. You are hardly bloody locking them in a cupboard!! Definitely an excuse.
Oh lovely wotsfortea you've come up with a new twist to make it all the stepmother's fault. What in her posts makes you think she doesn't make them feel welcome?
I read it that she is respecting their private space. Is she wrong for that too? Perhaps she should charge in there and start hoovering while they read/play games - that's nice and welcoming. Or rent their rooms out during the week?
I make my 8 year old put his pants and socks away - lordy, they'd hate me.
I'm surprised the ExW is even entertaining this 'complaint' - does she not hear how stupid it sounds,
"Ex Husband, our children do not want to visit you again because your evil new wife makes them put their socks away"
<<fume, rage, fume>>
won't somebody think of the poor kids.
Obviously putting away the socks and pants isn't the real reason. But I think the real reason stands out in your post when you say you have never felt welcome in the children's rooms. Surely you, as the step parent, are the one that's supposed to make them feel welcome?
The real question here is why did you DH not just laugh when they gave that as the reason? Does he seriously need convincing that getting them to put their own laundry away is somehow unreasonable?
Thank you for all your comments - it's so nice to know that I'm not expecting too much or going mad! Just got to convince dh, dss and dsd now!
I thought my step kids got off lightly! Mine are expected to put their own clothes away. Put the dirty stuff in the wash and I've just instigated expecting them to clean their own rooms. They also take it in turns to wipe up with the exception of the youngest age 10. Although my own ds was drying up at that age.
Exactly what Stealthsquiggle said. If that's the worst they've got, they're clutching at straws.
Seriously? As stealthsquiggle says...if that is all they've got to complain about,then you're doing a grand job! I expect mine to put dishes into dishwasher, make their own beds, keep their room tidy and put dirty clothes into the laundry basket.
Dp has explained that while they don't have specific chores with us, the very least we expect is that they tidy up behind themselves and treat our home - which is also their home too - with respect. I have exactly the same expectations of my own ds's.
Dsds love the fact that I have someone to do all the ironing!
If that's the worst they can come up with, you must be looking after them very well indeed.
Bloody hell, sounds like they're grasping at straws to have a pop at you. I wouldn't back down, but maybe if it would be taken better coming from their dad get him to explain he thinks it would be good for them to be helpful and start doing things for themselves.
The cheek of it eh?! How very dare you clean their clothes? the evil part of me would be temped to just get them to bag up their dirty washing and send it back to their mother.
I would expect any child of that age step child or not to put their own clothes away.
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