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Would you do it if you had your time again?

(81 Posts)
lampshady Mon 13-Jun-16 18:25:47

This question may have been asked before but I'd still appreciate input from current step parents.

I've very recently met someone - he had two children (3 and 5) antis very, very newly out of a long marriage. I have one DS who's 6. Never had a relationship with someone with children, and at the moment it's still at the seeing each other a couple of times a week stage, but I am keen.

Would you carry on if you knew then what you know now? I'm trying not to over think things but am concerned I'd struggle, especially as he has 50:50 residency.

Thank you for your wisdom!

ArmfulOfRoses Mon 13-Jun-16 18:37:07


I met dh when dss was 1 and he'll be 14 soon, he really is an awesome kid (which helps) kind and funny.

I don't love him like I do my own, but I do love him.
I always hear all sides to an argument and tell him off or back him up as I would mine, he's always thought of by me during the weekly shop, clothes buying, days out.

His mum has been an arse occasionally (as have we from her perspective I imagine grin ) but has mellowed hugely and of course now we are able to contact him directly.

Would I do it now with someone new?
No thank you.

lampshady Mon 13-Jun-16 18:42:06

Thanks for your reply. Do you think the age of your Dss helped?

I'm not in a situation where I'd meet new boyfriend's children yet as it's too early but I know their mum has made noises about wanting to meet me if/when it gets to that stage. More daunting than meeting the kids!

Thymewarp Mon 13-Jun-16 18:48:18

In your situation I wouldn't. My step kids were 3/7 when I met them and I had dated their dad for a year previously. I didn't have nor did I plan on having any children. I know have in addition to my stepkids a 4 year old and another on the way. It's HARD to blend families and even harder of the kids are close in age. If anything happened to DH I wouldn't consider dating a man with children close in age to my own. It's just too hard.

ArmfulOfRoses Mon 13-Jun-16 18:49:21

Probably, he never knew any different BUT more than that, it is him .
He is just lovely.

lampshady Mon 13-Jun-16 18:51:25

Thank you for your honest reply. I'm only early 30s so I could potentially meet someone without children, but I don't want any more so it'd be a big ask for someone else!

If you're able, please may you elaborate on what's specifically hard? Is it something that can be worked on or just innate?

VimFuego101 Mon 13-Jun-16 18:53:19

No, I would not. There was a very long thread on this board a year or so ago in which the verdict was pretty much unanimous, most posters were in the 'no' camp.

Fourormore Mon 13-Jun-16 18:53:47

I think this is so hard to answer.
I can't imagine my life without my DH.
I would give almost anything to have his ex wife out of my life. She has caused so much damage it's unbelievable.

I'd rather be with someone who had a 50/50 arrangement and a somewhat amicable ex than a bitter ex.

I'd be cautious about the fact that he's only recently out of his marriage. It takes at least a year for things to settle properly, IMO.

ArmfulOfRoses Mon 13-Jun-16 19:00:45

For me it's been hard in that his DM wouldn't let us know he wasn't coming until dh was practically pulling out of the drive, despite him coming (almost) every weekend on the same day at the same time and then citing reasons such as a wedding.
I mean you usually get a bit of notice for those.

Repeatedly sending him in outgrown clothes, he'd go home in something new from here and repeat until we had nothing left that fit him.

Signing him up to all sorts then insisting we pay.

Honestly though, compared to some of the stories on here we really have had it easy.

ArmfulOfRoses Mon 13-Jun-16 19:02:02

It really helps that dh and I have always been on the same page regarding things like house rules/expected behaviour etc.

rodneydel Mon 13-Jun-16 19:07:50

I'm a year in and we are still blending. It's hard work. I love my oh a lot but, with children involved it is harder. I think if just one of us had children it would be much easier. There are a lot of compromises and considering an ex in the mix is confusing!

Wdigin2this Mon 13-Jun-16 19:12:51

I met my DH when all of our DC were grown, so none of them lived with us. We now both have DGC, whom we see every week and are, in most senses of the word, both grandparents to them all. I treat his (similar age) in the same way I do mine, but....I don't feel the same way about them as I do mine, and I know I never will!
If you set up home together and had a child/children, there is a distinct possibility that you too would feel this, whether you'd cope with it well...who knows? But, I have to work hard at not letting it show! I think it's more a woman thing, because my DH, doesn't show any indication of feeling differently in the way I do!

Choccybadger Mon 13-Jun-16 19:20:38

If you love this man, and it sounds like you do to be considering changing the shape of your family so much, then most of the obstacles we step-parents talk about can be overcome.
I didn't have any children when I fell head over heels for a man with 1 child. We now have beautiful, wonderful children together but I always consider my step to be my own. Not in a horrible "I can replace your mum or be a better mum than yours" it is simply a fact - she is one of our kids and by that I mean mine too. I think about her in every plan we make, all shopping, holiday time, where she would like to vacation. She has been a bridesmaid for two of my female relatives.
The difficult bit is dealing with the ex and, her petty jealousies and schemes to make our life difficult. Also, now DSD is a bit older, she can see the difference between her life and ours - I do a LOT more with mine, in terms of interaction. This also benefits me as when I take them all out, I include her and she gets to choose exactly as much as the others in terms of clothes, treats, make up, Lush whatever.
I hope she will always feel she can come to me with any problem or question but I know this may be naive. I will be there for her.
Not just because I love her dad. I love her.

newname99 Mon 13-Jun-16 21:37:00

I know this question has been asked before so you might be able search on old posts.

From my perspective I doubt I would but mostly due to the ex.She has been extremely difficult as her now 2nd husband and her friend (who's husband she had an affair with) will testify.

It's meant dc's have been impacted, causing poor behaviour which I have found very difficult.

I do think my situation might be on the extreme (very toxic ex) but I would not have been able to forecast it or doubt understood it had I not had to live through it.

Parenting approaches need to be synch as well.Its hard if you have an approach to discipline and your partner is more relaxed.The children can benefit but there can also be jealousy which causes resentment.

Think of finances if you lived together, would you be able to harmonise finances.There can be conflict if your step children have a different (better or worse) financial position with the other parent.Dsd resents that both dh & I have well paying jobs which means we can afford a larger house than with her mum.DH contributed very significantly to his ex but it didn't match our income.

On balance I wish I knew what would lie ahead as a relationship doesn't exist in a bubble and outside influences do impact in your life.

wheresthel1ght Mon 13-Jun-16 22:11:30

Honestly, No I wouldn't.

My Dsc are generally lovely however their mum is a bloody nightmare and dp is a spineless knob when it comes to taking her to task over her crap. I disagree with the entire way they have been raised and it makes life very hard. That isn't their fault but it is hard to cope with.

However without dp I wouldn't have my dd who I adore

sidewindersleepstonight Mon 13-Jun-16 22:18:04

No, without a shadow of a doubt- but it's not because of dsd, it's because of her mother. Dsd was 3 when I met DH, she's 14 now.

OutToGetYou Tue 14-Jun-16 00:41:25

"I think if just one of us had children it would be much easier. " - I can understand why you would think that, but I am in that situation and I think it's just different, not easier. The fact is, for me, I consider myself a childless adult who can do as she wishes, so to be suddenly tied down by another person's kid is a bit of a shock. Those of you who have your own dc are used to being tied down - not able to just buy tickets for something, not able to just go out for a drink, having to check plans before agreeing to a meal with friends etc.

To be fair, dp doesn't expect me to stand in and parent (though it took a LONG time to get him to this point - there were a few times he just expected it without checking with me, but it was the time he did it and I had to be at work that I think he realised it's not so easy) so my checking now is more about just being with another person than specifically him having dss.

But it is also hard because dss isn't always pleasant to be with. Firstly he is a teen. He has a highly developed sarcastic attitude and it's not very nice. Add to the usual teen stuff (what, why should I, it's so unfair, door slamming etc) and it's hard going at times.

We are also in a tricky situation with the ex. dss is with us all the time but dp still pays £500pm child maintenance. She barely sees him. I'd be lying if I said this didn't piss me right off (even though it's not my money!). She is an unpleasant person - very into having everything designer, over made-up, self-centred, overly entitled, victim mentality. Nothing is ever good enough for her and she loves her life to be full of drama. dss has some of these traits and it's not very nice at times. He refuses to wear any clothes that are not designer, for example. We don't buy that sort of stuff, so he moans to her and she buys it for him (from the £500 CM presumably because she's not buying him food with it because he doesn't ever stay with her now).
Her requirements dictate my life.
A week ago we were going away, she decided at the last minute that dss couldn't stay in her house so she asked if she and him could both stay at our house. My answer was pretty much 'over my dead body', but this caused a lot of stress, having to work out where dss could go isntead that w/e. dp said he could stay here on his own but I wasn't happy with that either (he is 15) - see, bloody constant drama!

For example - dp had to rush away to his parents' this weekend as his dad was taken ill, they live 300 miles away. I would have gone with him but I couldn't because of dss. There is zero point asking his mother to have him. It's just lucky I'm not working right now - dp and ex both benefit from that, but I get my time restricted by having to run my life around dss and very little recognition of that.

So - no, I really wouldn't.

Well, maybe if the ex was dead and the step was young enough!

Everytimeref Tue 14-Jun-16 07:54:46

When I meet my DH, he was very newly separated. His wife had had an affair and they had two young children 7 and 4. I was extremely reluctant to meet up (OLD) because didnt want to get involved with this type of situation. We finally meet and honestly it was love at first sight! We have been together for 8 years now and it has been tough going.
Honestly neither my husband or his ex should have been parents! He had no experience of good parenting as a child and has a tendency to bd disney dad. She is self centred and is capable of beign neglect.
I do find myself looking forward to the EoW when we dont have SDC and the weekends we do can feel long and often tense.

Do I regret getting involved. No my relationship with dh is strong and loving. Do I look forward to the SDC growing up and visiting less definitely yes!

neonrainbow Tue 14-Jun-16 08:03:49

The step kid part is mostly fine. It is hard loving a child who isnt yours. The worst part is having the ex dictating what goes on in our house.

Jalapenos4me Tue 14-Jun-16 08:41:54

No I wouldn't!

JapanNextYear Tue 14-Jun-16 08:46:04

No. And the ex is fine and the kids are alright. But would I do it again, no.

pinkbraces Tue 14-Jun-16 08:58:58

I would do it again, we have blended well as a family (my DD, SD and SS) but my DH is not and has never been a Disney Dad, and all three DC get on well. Its now been 10 years and they are just like normal siblings (fighting, slamming doors but also lots of fun)

In my experience the best way to navigate a blended family is to ensure you and your OH are working together for the whole family. If your potential partner is a Disney dad or if you have very different ideas on how to bring up children then I think you are doomed to a lifetime of trouble.

My advice would be not to rush anything, see how he is with his kids and how you feel but take it very slowly.

Its a difficult life to navigate and I think if you and your partner have fundamental differences then it will be a lifelong battle.

WhoGivesAFlying Tue 14-Jun-16 13:46:08

Not if you paid my ds but had I know then what I know now I definitely would not get with a man with kids and an ex (and the ex's BF and his ex)

WhoGivesAFlying Tue 14-Jun-16 13:48:11

And I'm 8 years in,

Findingpeace Tue 14-Jun-16 18:25:41

Hmmm, DH and I are strong and I love him a lot. But if I could go back 6 years i would tell myself not to move in with them! DH and I were on the verge of living together when his DSD's had to come live with him. I should have stayed in my stress free little house and let them get on with it. But I don't think I would have listened to my older self. I was convinced I could do it. I had no clue how hard it would be!

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