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My mum doesn't do it like that!

(19 Posts)
heidiwine Mon 08-Jul-13 07:22:23

My DP's children did this all the time when we first met (went on for about 6 months). Everything I did was compared to their mum (from the way I cut peppers for salad to how I dressed). Like someone up thread said - they were probably finding it weird having me around and were a bit unsettled by me and comparing me to the central female figure in their lives was natural.
It did drive me a bit crazy - I often used the line 'well I do it this way cause that's the way my mum did it and I probably learnt from her'.
Now that they're used to me they don't make these comparisons (or maybe they just don't verbalise them ). We do get lots of 'mum let's me stay up till xyz time' and 'at mums I don't have to wash my hair unless I want to' and 'mum doesn't make me go swimming on a Saturday'. We know that they're playing us off against their mum (and that all the statements above are false!).
It is annoying when you're constantly being compared to your DP's ex (especially if you know she's not the saint she's being portrayed as) but it will pass and if that's the most annoying thing they're doing you're getting something right!

Feelingbetterbyfar Mon 08-Jul-13 06:29:52

Agree with the idea that living with a stepparent should not require special treatment of dc, but being offered different perspectives is special.

My ds has always liked sleepovers at friends and then tells me about something he likes there, food,... Whatever. Regarding his time spent at dad's place, we have always deliberately tried to do some things differently just so that it is obvious dad and sm have a home with some advantages and mum and sf have a home with other advantages. By stressing 'different is good' ds has never tried to play us off against each other. Getting his own way at either place is of course a different story and known to all parents... bio or step.
Unfortunately, my dh always cow towed to his dc and we would constantly hear how much better things are at mum's!
Luckily our couple counseling is starting to have a good effect (after over 6 months...) and dh is finally beginning to parent (2 very spoiled kids who have great difficulty making/keeping friends, as guess what? Life isn't all about 'ME!' and what I want.

MirandaWest Sun 07-Jul-13 22:26:50

I hope my DC don't say that when they're with their dad. Hopefully he would treat it the way I do if they say done thing similar about how things are different when they're with him - I just say that different people do things differently. Which is true.

PrettyPaperweight Sun 07-Jul-13 21:58:12

Of course you, as the child, are going to have opinions on which household does which particular thing best.

....just as a DC whose parents are living as a family says "grandma lets me" or "friend x is allowed to" wink Just because grandma, or friends parents do things in a way that a DC prefers doesn't mean that parents accept that way is best. Why should a blended family be any different?

I get that different routines in different households can be challenging for DCs to adapt to but yet again, it seems that it's different when step-parents are involved. There are thousands of children who split their time between homes - either because they board for school, or they are cared for by relatives several nights a week, or their families have two are any of these situations different from a DC spending regular time between their two parents homes?

theredhen Sun 07-Jul-13 21:47:37

I get this from dsd4. grin

She only seems to mention how things are done at mums when it's to her advantage. So she will conveniently forget to mention that she gets pudding here if she doesn't eat all her dinner whereas at mums, she doesn't or how she has to walk to school at mums whereas she gets chauffeured at ours or how mum doesn't have a shower but we do.

She will mention that at mums she can stay up later or at mums she doesn't have to tidy her room or how she's allowed crisps for lunch.

She's just playing the system. Not her fault but as long as she doesn't get her own way, all is good. I've just taken to repeating that I'm not her mum, I'm redhen and I do things my way. grin

OrangeLily Sun 07-Jul-13 21:16:10

Well not for me actually because step-mother was OW. She was why my parents split.

Surely they would say that if it was just then visiting Dad too.

It's really quite difficult sometimes to be shuttled between houses. Of course you, as the child, are going to have opinions on which household does which particular thing best.

IneedAyoniNickname Sun 07-Jul-13 21:12:42

I agree with paper weight. I didn't get step parents until I was an adult, but still had different houses with different rules/smells etc.

I definitely used the "but mum/dad says..." To play my parents off against each other, and hope I'd get my own way (it never worked)

AmberLeaf Sun 07-Jul-13 21:12:27


Children who have experienced parental splits are part of the step family experience though aren't they? and having a step parent tends to bring more new and different things than just spending time with the parent you don't live with.

It can be difficult as a child going between houses with different 'rules' about basic every day stuff.

I can also see how this is difficult from the adults side [whichever adult you are talking about]

PrettyPaperweight Sun 07-Jul-13 20:52:11

Having been a step-kid I found this really stressful. Even small things like when you're tired and want to curl up in your bed but it smells different, the bed is different, etc. Poor kids are just trying to process it.

But, it was the separation of your parents that created that situation, not being a step kid, surely?
The bed, smell and routines would have been different regardless of whether you had a step-parent?

IneedAyoniNickname Sun 07-Jul-13 20:50:52

I know, its vile! I told them it was a nasty thing to say, and that we don't use that word in our house!

I agree its just a way of playing mum and dad off against each other. I remember doing exactly the same.

OrangeLily Sun 07-Jul-13 20:47:01

It's part and parcel of kids processing what the hell is going on around them.

We all know that we like things done our own way but imagine constantly being between places and the most basic routines being totally different.

Having been a step-kid I found this really stressful. Even small things like when you're tired and want to curl up in your bed but it smells different, the bed is different, etc. Poor kids are just trying to process it.

Dejected Sun 07-Jul-13 20:38:56

Ewwww IneedAyoniNickname that's disgusting!!!! I guess it's just the way kids work - playing people off against eachother hmm

IneedAyoniNickname Sun 07-Jul-13 19:22:08

We get the opposite here, eg "dad and step mum said..." Or "but dad lets us"
It's infuriating. Especially when the thing dad has taught them is to say "i need a Piss" hmm

Kaluki Sun 07-Jul-13 16:49:34

I just say "really?"
Raise an eyebrow then shrug!

Dejected Sun 07-Jul-13 14:12:29

You are all so right, just needed to get it out without giving out to them.

Non-committal smile on, suggested responses in my head, ready to ignore and carry on!

Thank you grin

MaBumble Sun 07-Jul-13 13:56:38

Annoying, yes! Deep breaths!

Suggested responses:
'My Mum didn't do it like this either'
'Yes dear, you've mentioned that'
'Yes dear, wouldn't it be boring if we where all the same'
'Thats nice dear'
'Really? That's unusual'

Alll with a non committal smile. And a pat on the shoulder.
Then ignore and carry on with what you were doing smile

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 07-Jul-13 13:53:33

Or mum's getting "But <insert teacher's name> says..." Annoying, isn't it?

MrsMangoBiscuit Sun 07-Jul-13 13:51:58

If it makes you feel any better, they're probably doing exactly the same with their mum.

"Dejected doesn't do it like that!"

Dejected Sun 07-Jul-13 13:50:05

Grrrrr I hate that phrase and "my mum says"

It's my house and I DON'T CARE!!!!!!!!

and breathe wink

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