Is my step mum keeping my dad away *long one*

(12 Posts)
AprilShowers15 Sat 02-May-15 00:45:42

My dad knew I was due on April 30th. He left for a 2 week holiday to visit my SMs family on the 29th. I haven't had much contact with my dad through my entire pregnancy and asked if he would like to do stuff with me, but I can always hear my SM in the background telling him to say they're busy.
It's been like this with me and my two sisters(17 and 12). They have two children together aged (4 and 5) and it's almost as if they're constantly put before us.
My mum gets no help with school fees, uniforms, travel to and from school and college, new clothes for either of my siblings or previously myself and my 17 year old sister and I were no longer allowed to stay overnight after the two littles were born.

It almost seems like as we got older we got boring and all our issues started when my SM came along 7 years ago. Things got a lot stricter and obviously her kids came before his and then he grew that opinion. My youngest sister has a drama group on a Saturday morning and the two young ones have swimming about a 5 minute drive away. He refused to drive her there when he had her on a Friday night instead of Saturday and I had to leave my work and drive to pick her up where she was in tears after SM started shouting at her for complaining she was going to be late for drama saying that her children's swimming was a real life lesson and that my mum should be more organised for switching nights.
I just don't see why her children are more important, we came as a package with my dad when she got with him mum explained this when she met her before we did.
Am i wrong for feeling this way?

PeruvianFoodLover Sat 02-May-15 08:14:31

It's really sad when adult disagreements and resentments affect DCs - and it's obvious from your post that it can continue into adulthood and on to the next generation.

I'm sure each of the adults involved; your dad, your mum, your stepmum - will all have different perspectives on the situation and it's important to remember that no one is right or wrong - but when their actions cause so much unhappiness for DCs, then it's time they all stopped to think about how they are behaving.

Im sorry.

lunar1 Sat 02-May-15 08:42:57

April, I've been where you are and its horrible. My dad remarried when I was 13 and I've not seen him since I was 17. The woman he married hated us from the word go, he chose her over us. I think it's appalling that some people can just discard their first children and go on to have another family. I'm really sorry you are going through this.

fedupbutfine Sat 02-May-15 09:43:02

It's really sad when adult disagreements and resentments affect DCs....I'm sure each of the adults involved; your dad, your mum, your stepmum - will all have different perspectives on the situation and it's important to remember that no one is right or wrong

what in the original post do you perceive to be an 'adult disagreement'? What is 'right' about pushing children out of the life of one of their parents (either on purpose or accidentally)? What is right about one parent not contributing towards the cost of 3 of his children but going on to have 2 more and supporting them? (although I note it's not clear if he's paying maintenance and paying extras or just not paying at all).

OP - unfortunately, this is a common complaint and I struggle to understand why there are so so many women out there happy to be with men like this. It is, however, a fact of the world we live in. Your mum should be encouraged to go through the CSA for maintenance if he is not paying anything towards your sibling's upbringing (it's not clear if he is or not from your post) and I would suggest your choose an appropriate time to calmly explain to your dad how this is making you feel. Other than that, there is nothing you can do except withdraw from their behaviour and realise that this is everything to do with your dad and dynamics of his relationship with your stepmum, and nothing at all to do with you. Your father undoubtedly loves you but for whatever reason, isn't able to show that in the way that you would like at the current time. Whether you keep the door open to him indefinitely is something you probably need to consider - but I would work hard to limit the impact of his behaviour on you because he may never realise the damage he is doing/has done and to be able to get on with your own life without bitterness and upset, you need to come to terms with it.

Reginafalangie Sat 02-May-15 19:34:15

No you are not wrong for feeling that way.

I have seen many many many posts from SM saying they hate DC's especially once they have had their own children.

The only person you can blame is your father. He has failed in his responsibilities and any good dad would never allow a new wife/partner to dictate to him when he sees his children and how much he is financially responsible.

Your mum needs to pursue financial support. I am sorry your dad is shit.

FenellaFellorick Sat 02-May-15 19:37:43

Unless she's chained him to a radiator then it's his fault. His choice. He could have made it clear to her from the start that you were part of the deal. He has failed you.

OneEyedWilly Sat 02-May-15 20:43:00

I don't understand how people can behave like this. He's abandoned his responsibility as your dad and she's probably done everything she could to make her kids his only priority. You're not wrong to feel the way you do. It really is a shame he's let your relationship become like this, he's totally let you down. Women who want men who can treat their children this way completely baffle me.

Jerseyknit Sat 02-May-15 20:53:32

Sadly,very common place. Personally I couldn't imagine being attracted to a man who rejects his own flesh and blood but there are all too many women who are. It's only the parent in my opinion to blame. My father rejected us for his new wife and her two children. He's never met his grandchildren, by all accounts she's dying and wants to get in touch so that my father will be left with someone. Too little too late. There are no winners in my case. Sadly I think there is very little you can do. Your mother should definitely pursue financial support through CSA.

PeruvianFoodLover Sat 02-May-15 23:08:52

Who knows who has said what over the years, how that has been interpreted and the bitterness and resentment it has fuelled? It's clear from posts on MN that disputes over money, weekend activities, overnight stays etc are all to common, with each party blaming the other. Unless the OP has sat in a room with all three adults at the same time she will undoubtedly have been told varying versions of the same scenario by each. A NRP may claim contact is being withheld unreasonably while the RP says the NRP is refusing to provide suitable accommodation. A RP is disappointed that a DC cannot continue with a weekend class while the NRP claims it was booked to deliberately disrupt contact. The reality is usually somewhere in between.

But you have been hurt, OP and it is the adults actions that should be judged - a stepmother who you have heard discouraging your dad from seeing you, your dad who doesn't make the effort to do so and your mum who has shared with you details of financial arrangements and of her early conversations with your stepmum.

Are any of these things right? No, of course not - and each of the adults are undoubtedly guilty of hurting you and your siblings in some way or another through their actions.

But try not to judge your parents based on their opinions, views and stories about each other. Look at the behaviour of each of your parents and decide for yourself.

Reginafalangie Sun 03-May-15 08:48:59

Peruvian The OP clearly states she has heard her SM blocking contact she also states her father refused to take/collect her sister for an activity meaning she herself had to do it. Let alone the shouting from SM at the OP's sister because she was complaining of being late. I think that is evidence that SM and father are at fault. The OP is an adult and sounds fully aware how little her father has done over the years, her mother hasn't even pursued financial support so I do not think she is the cause of this.

I don't think 3 adults are to blame at all and only 2 have caused the upset and it is unfair to say that her mother has had a hand in hurting the children. By the sounds of it mum has brought up 3 children virtually alone and has a good honest relationship with them. The OP is judging dad and SM on their actions that she has witnessed and frankly she is right to do so.

Sanityseeker75 Tue 05-May-15 14:43:14

I just don't see why her children are more important, we came as a package with my dad when she got with him mum explained this when she met her before we did. to your dad maybe but why should her children come first to the SM?

FWIW I agree that that your dad has treated you badly and it sounds like your SM is not great in her handling either.

Can you not sit down with your dad and explain how you feel? Try to rebuild bridges - I am not saying this is on you btw but it sounds like this is your best chance as your dad is not likely to do this.

CandyLane Tue 05-May-15 17:43:03

I can see this from all angles.
My dad was similar, he got married and had 2 other kids and I was almost forgotten about, especially as I got older. I used to have to ask if I could visit, often told no because they were busy or my sister had a friend staying etc. but tbh I don't remember ever blaming my SM for it or even blaming him, I just thought he was a bit shit and useless and I just loved my mum even more.
He's now on wife number 3 and he's still not changed much. He'd rather spend his weekends having a nice time with his wife than visiting his children and grandchildren.
He loves us all but he's just very selfish.
Perfect example...we got married last year, probably about a month after we booked the wedding he booked an expensive cruise, departing about 3 months after our wedding, so the balance was due around the time of our wedding.
I knew what was going to happen : "Sorry I can't afford to contribute as much as I would like to because we're going on a cruise". Typical!

I think you need to focus the blame on your dad, not your SM.

The example you gave about them not being able to give your sister a lift. Sorry but if my DCs had a swimming lesson which they go to every week (and are probably quite expensive) and then DSC just announced out of the blue that they need a lift, which would result in my kids missing swimming...I'd be pissed off too! Why didn't your mum mention it when plans were changed?

I think you need to have a good talk with your dad and explain that you don't feel that he's making enough effort.

I also wonder how much of your thoughts are your own and how much has been planted there by your mum?
Sorry but your mum shouldn't be discussing things about your dad with you, she needs to just leave you to have your own relationship with him.

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