Middle child syndrome?(6 Posts)
New to this but have stumbled on this site whilst looking for stepmum advice.
Bit of background, DH & I have been married 9 years, together 11. He has 2 DDs (17 & 15) and we have a DD together (6).
We have had the same routine with my DSDs for the last 9 years with a few tweaks here and there (EOW from Thurs night to Tues morn). We've never had any real major issues with the DSDs, they are both wonderful girls although with very different personalities (oldest an extrovert, middle an introvert). They are great with our DD, play with her, babysit etc even though she can be exhausting (lots of energy).
Anyway, trying to cut a long story short but not doing very well.. DSD2 has been acting a bit out of the ordinary since about Jan. Their mum meet and is getting married next week in a short amount of time (DSDs found out about him in Aug). He has a son who is 11. Everyone seems very excited about it all and DSDs are bridesmaids so are looking forward to the wedding. They have accepted new SD and SB with open arms and have done lots together as a new family already so am not sure it's related or not.
DSD2 rang DH yesterday to say she didn't want to come over tonight and wants to spend more time with Mum she will come on Saturday. DSD1 comes over as normal and we were chatting over dinner about it. DH says fair enough DSD2 probably wants some alone time before wedding and new step-dad moves in. DSD1 says that mum is going out on Fri night for her hens do and DSD2 will be at home with SD & SB. Now me & DH are a bit perplexed why she doesn't want to come to ours until Saturday. This is the second time it's happened in about a month. DSD1 had something to do with her mum on our wkend and they were both invited to a birthday party that night so DSD1 said it would be easier to stay at mums and come back on Sun morning. DSD2 said she was going to mums to study and will stay the night and come back with DSD1 in morning. We thought that it was odd at the time but let her get on with it. Turns out she spent that time at mums with SD & SB (who don't live there yet but will be after wedding).
She's had a few health issues since Jan with heart palpitations and feeling sick. DH took her for series of tests and all came back normal. Mum took her to different Dr and they discussed anxiety and stress. Gave her tools to use when she feels like an episode is coming on. DH had a big talk with her about anxiety and being true to yourself (mum & DSD1 big influence in her life and shes seems to be trying very hard to be like DSD1) and not putting so much pressure on herself regarding grades and school.
I guess I'm just wondering if it's us that's the problem or is it Mums new set up? If she is struggling with Mum getting married why then does she want to be at mums place when she's not home? Wouldn't our place be a sanctuary for her? She spends most of her time at ours in her bedroom anyway!
Sorry it's so long - I get lost in the details sometimes!
Could it be that she just really likes her new sd and sb and wants to get to know them better.
At 15 maybe she just likes to retreat to her room and be quiet (esp with the anxiety issues you mentioned), maybe she finds the 6yo a bit tiring. How old is the step brother? Maybe she likes/ fancies him? Maybe she doesn't feel like she 'fits' into your home now that you have another child who her dad lives with full time?
She's been fine for the last 6 years though and her and DD have a closer bond than DD & DSD1.
I know she likes to retreat to her bedroom and she does that a lot. We don't disturb her but give her the option to come join us if she wants. We've let her redecorate her room herself (she wasn't allowed to do it at her mums) and its the most I've seen her get excited. We try and be a relaxed household but maybe our DD is too draining for her.
Her SB is 11 - doubt it's a crush.
I wouldn't read too much into it or worry about the odd night they want to swap around at that age. Sometimes they do that just because going to a different house is a hassle, and they just fancy being in their own (main) room for a night. She may also be more inclined to feel she's missign out on her mum's family life when she's not there, now that there are more people there in that family. My DD sometimes objects or refuses to go to her dad's for the first night of the weekend just because she's enjoying relaxing at home and it's an upheaval she can't be bothered with. She says she's very happy there when she's there, it's just that she doesn't always feel like moving. Coming to yours on a school night may also be a bit of a hassle for her as she needs to sort out what she needs for school for two days at a time - my DC and DSC all struggle with that.
As long as she's still coming fairly often I wouldn't worry. It's healthy to start having a bit of autonomy over where you spend each night at her age at 15.
Just a suggestion, my DD has also been cutting down a bit on her visits to her dad recently and been telling him it is because she needs to revise for her GCSEs. However, she opened up to me a couple of weeks ago and said that although she adores her little sister (5yo), she is expected to look after her too much. Her sister adores her and can't wait to see her, but it means she is over all the time, won't let her sleep in the mornings and just exhausting. I told her to be honest with her dad and SM, but she said she tried and it made no difference as they don't want to upset her sister and she doesn't want to insist because she doesn't want them to think she doesn't love her.
Could be something totally different but your post reminded me of what my DD had said recently.
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