What we can do for our own DC....(37 Posts)
....we maybe don't find so easy to do for DSC!
This thought has come up on quite a few different threads lately. Mostly, posters are talking about small children...toilet training, nappie changing, clearing up etc! I have done all of this for DSGC, and felt no different to when doing it for my own DGC! But, I would say there are things I gladly do for/give to my own adult DC, which I don't find so easy to do for/give willingly to my adult DSC...be it physical, emotional or financial.
Anyone else experience this!
I suppose I can't give them unconditional love, I like my dsc enormously and have been part of their lives for last 4 years, there has been struggles etc. but now everything has settled, my dp assumes I love them and maybe in time I will but right now I just like them enormously.
Also I find I have a lot more patients with my ds (2) than my dsc, and I don't know whether it's because he's little and still learning, but my dsc 10 and 14, I tend to be less patient with.
I hate having to hesitate giving financially, emotionally or whatever to my DSCs, and ideally I would love to have given as much. However being an SM for 6 years now, there are SO many more complications! I used to include them in everything. Bought the same cost presents for them as my DCs. Tried to bond. But there is just no bond at all, and they are very distant with me. So I just had to step back, I get personal cards for them now but no presents. When they come here they just about manage to say hello but otherwise I could be invisible. I've given up trying to engage, but I do still find I'll pass on useful things, articles, bus pass forms whatever.
I find the hardest thing is moderating myself- I can't simply decide about whether a 12 cert film is ok for a ten year old, or how to answer a query about tampons or homosexuality, because I worry about what DSDs mum would want me to say.
Bananas how old are your dsc? You sound more charitable than me- two of mine are now adults who barely acknowledge me (luckily don't live here), so I wouldn't dream of passing on anything to them. I've had years of trying- we're now all adults so on equal footing. If they're rude to me I can't see why they should expect any different.
The thing I find hardest to give is discipline. Being nice to them is easy, just as easy as with my own DC. But being strict - confiscating a mobile phone that's being used under the duvet, telling a sleepy teenager that they're not really sick, and they have to go to school, etc - that's much harder for the DSC. I don't feel as secure in my relationship with them. With my own ones I don't care if they hate me, as I'm the only mum they have and they're going to have to put up with me The DSC I feel our relationship is much more fragile, and I find it hard to do things that will make them not like me.
The other thing I guess is when any of them are doing something that's really annoying. They all have their own unique issues to throw at us. But with my own DC I'm quicker to always understand why they're behaving as they are, even if they're being difficult. I guess I can still see the younger child they once were in them. It takes a little longer with the DSC. My first reaction is sometimes just to be frustrated at the behaviour. I do think that gets gradually easier the longer you've known them.
Hormonal they are now 15, 17, 19 and 25.
Blue - yes discipline is the hardest! Parenting of cleaning, washing, cooking for, providing for yes. Discipline no!
No cleaning i hope Banana for them at their ages! I agree with the discipline thing- when they lived with us I simply found it impossible. I'm wondering why though, my dh is able to discipline my children. Is it easier for step dads? Bluelillies my dh is the opposite to you; he's terrified of disciplining his own kids but not mine! I guess it's because he cares more about his.
Wdigin it's interesting that you feel the same for your dh's grandchildren that you do for your own- that's lovely.
I do think it's easier for step Dads on the whole. There seems to be a particular resentment aimed at step mums! My DP can discpline my kids fine, I back him up (unless he's out of line!) and it's pretty harmonious. Yet if I have even hinted at disciplining his kids, there were explosions all round! Exhausting.
That's interesting. My DH doesn't seem to find it too hard to discipline mine either. Though I don't think he needs to so much as he's not so often on his own with them. I think that's what makes it harder for a lot of step mums, that you're left as the main carer quite a bit
I think my DP finds it easier because I make sure my kids aren't rude to him. He just couldn't see his kids faults, so did nothing about them.
I do think a lot of women are the core of a home, not in a 1950s put your pinny on way, but we do seem to take on a primary role, step kids or our own. My DP is amazing in the home, does the bulk of housework, but I'm still the one who notices most and manages more with the kids. I think my step kids resented anyone other than their mum in that role.
I agree that SM's are more in the managerial role within the home. My DH is the 'get on the floor and play all day' type of grandad, whereas I'm the one who sees danger/problems, and I see when their overtired etc. Hormonal, when I say that I felt the same about all the grandchildren, I suppose I meant in the sense of doing all the usual stuff you have to do with babies/young children.....if I'm honest, I have to say, emotionally I don't feel the same!
Maybe that's part of the difficulty in bonding wdigin. Our male partners seem to stand back from any problems, bury their head in the sand and just try to have fun. I could see problems in my step kids and couldn't seem to turn off that managing mode. Even if I kept quiet about it most of the time! As much as I'd like to ignore I feel it keenly a lack of interest or care in me from my step kids, therefore I don't feel for them either. Maybe ignorance is bliss!
I was in a situation where I could never win. My DHs kids were made to call their stepdad Dad. And when they asked if they could call me mum I was subjected to abuse. Then when I had my own DC they were told that 'she doesn't see you as her children now she has X'
Sometimes it really is like smacking your head against a brick wall. Although I do agree with PP that step dads seem to get a much easier ride than step mums
Venus - tough situation! Just shows that our relationship with our step kids can be helped or hindered to a large degree by their parents/significant adults.
Definitely. My DH never ever tried to intervene where step dad was concerned because they lived with him. But the ex wife's obsession with getting one over on my DH eventually turned him bitter as well and now one of the DSC hates him
Just goes to show that some parents really don't think about how their behaviour affects their kids
My DH knows full well that he indulged one of his (grown) DC to the point where she became selfish, self interested and very thoughtless! He knows it but...seemingly, he still cannot refuse her anything! Sadly, I know and so does he, that she is what he made her!
I so empathise Bananas with the feeling of lack of care or interest from the dsc. I care about them in as much as in how what happens to them would affect my husband, but beyond that? Nope. How do you care for other adults, whoever they are, who so obviously wouldn't care if they never saw you again, or worse, wished you ill? Especially when you can say with a clear conscience that you have tried so hard. I now take the easier option of enjoying my natural easy relationship with my own children.
HormonalHeap I agree.
I've 3 steps. Two (25 and 27) are ok with me. I know however, that if anything happened to DH I would likely never see them again. Then there is the youngest at 21. Haven't seen her in years. She made my life a total misery and I HAD to disengage and stop trying.
Hormonal and Eliza totally agree. Sometimes I have a hard time being distant with my DSCs, I'm mother to their half brother, and step sibling, partner to their dad, it feels weird and sad to have such a lack of care between us. Especially as I have had all of them every weekend for years. None of them remember how old their half brother is and he's only 3! They have no relationship with him at all. The stirred up ill feeling from their mum has had a lasting effect. And although there's no animosity, it's like any shared times and nuture mean nothing to them. They are all totally into their own lives and their Dad is only contacted if they need something. I mostly just get on with the great relationship I have with my own kids, but I think I am disappointed with them.
Bananas even though I don't have any kids with dh, so no half siblings with dsc, I SO understand how it feels sad and weird not to have any relationship with them. I know only too well that had dh and I had one together, his children wouldn't have wanted anything to do with him/her. (Whereas their their mother had another with their stepdad who they of course treat as a full sibling).
My kids aren't perfect in any way, but all I've ever wanted to see from dh's kids is that they consider him and his life too. The fact that they don't doesn't seem to diminish his love for them- but I just find it impossible. Mine too only contact their dad when they need something. I've never met anyone as kind as my dh, and I guess I've always been looking for a small degree of kindness in them too.
I feel exactly the same way, Hormonal. I have 3 steps and my own DS from my first marriage. Before I married their dad, my dh's 3 did so much to encourage the "step-sibling" relationship. Much was made of it and my son, who has Aspergers, was thrilled to be getting siblings. Following the problems with the youngest sd they made it obvious that they would not be able to consider my son as a sibling. DH and I were both disgusted by this.
DH has always supported me in this situation as he saw that I couldn't have done any more to welcome/get on with his 3. Had we had a child I know it would have caused massive problems. It's a good job we were too old!
Hormonal and Eliza it is a shame isn't it. Sounds like over time your step kids have grown more selfish and distant, like my step kids. In the first year or so I really thought that there would be some relationship between all of us down the line. When our child was born it did seem to bring people closer, but it wasn't for long. Shame!
Eliza at least it sounds as if you are fortunate enough to have an extremely supportive dh. Mine will never admit when his children behave badly and it's so frustrating.
Bananas there's only so much you can do. To be honest their behaviour, like that of my step children, doesn't make them seem much of a loss anyway, It helps that mine don't live with me now, and I've made a decision to not mope over what could have been, but to enjoy my family.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.