Building resentment(6 Posts)
I am a mother to a 15yr old son and step mum to a 11 yr old daughter. I have massive guilt issues over building a relationship with my partners daughter and wanted to see if anyone else is in a similar circumstance or can offer an outsiders view on my dilemma...
My son is a moody teenager and I'm having to get used to him becoming more independent and wanting to spend less family time due to him doing his own thing. This puts me in a very guilty position because my partners daughter is more than happy to watch movies with me/us, go shopping, do her hair and have nice random chats. My ex has advised me that our son has expressed that I spend more time with my partners daughter than my son and that I pay her more attention.
I always ask my son if he'd like to watch a movie, have mum and son time, cook with me (he loves cooking) and all I get is a grunt or a no. I don't know what I am doing wrong or can change as I feel I am a catch 22 position. If my son wants to do his own thing I thought it ok that I do things with my partners daughter, especially when I've asked my son if he minds and he says no. I continually encourage my son to come and spend time with me and us.
Could it be that he is wanting this independence etc but also not wanting me to spend time with my partners daughters?
This is starting to cause a bit of resentment on my part to my partners daughter now too as she is pretty happy go lucky and will spend time with my partner and myself and I wish my son was the same.
PS. I can not for the life of me work out now to change my username!
Stop giving him a choice. Book cinema tickets for the 2 of you and get a pizza afterwards somewhere. Even if he sulks all the way through, you're showing him you want his time. Maybe by the 100th time you've done this he might thaw
It's a teenage thing, your DSD will be the same at 15. Your DS can't really help his moody hormones. I think you have to make sure you set aside time just for him and plow ahead with it, to ensure his sulky teenage feelings don't become justified.
Can't post from the SM perspective, but a mum of teenagers and I find it really hard to know how much time I should spend with them. I too constantly battle this guilt that maybe I don't do enough with them, but I'm not too sure what to do about it. It's hard because they are naturally very independent children. They've grown up with a mum working FT so time has always been more about quality than quantity. Unfortunately, I don't share many of their interests, so that makes it even harder.
What I've found is that they are not interested so much in quantity time, but do like individual times and indeed, that is when I get the best of them. I therefore try to arrange such times. With my son, it involves taking him to sporting events (but despite no interest in football, I have found I enjoy the live games with him, besides spending the entire time praying that they won't lose so the way back is not dealing with an upset boy!), with my DD, it involves shopping. Still both are expensive, so not something I can do regularly.
Is there any event your son would like to go to which he might actually like to do with you just the two of you?
Have you talked to him about what his Dad has said? Maybe instead of trying to work out what might help, ask him what would improve things for him.
How new is your relationship with your dsd and her Dad? Does she live with you?
I know I've had to be quite careful around my son too, he's aged 14. In the past, to build up a relationship with my step daughters I've taken them on special trips away with just me, and I had to spend a lot of time with my son just explaining why I was doing it, and being very plain that he was my number one, because he is. No matter how much I was trying to be nice to my DSCs I was never going to be their mum. So don't stop doing stuff for your step kid but maybe rein it in a little, so it's not so 'in his face'. Just because he's not wanting to go to the cinema with you, doesn't mean he doesn't want or need you any less.
So I'd be straight with him. Keep telling him that you love him. That he is your number one. Tell him he's fantastic. Laugh with him. Ask him how it makes him feel you spending time with your step daughter, and listen to what he says back carefully. He's probably more vulnerable than you know at this age. Treat him. Set some limits on his computer games one day so he has no distractions and then tell him he's coming out with you and then treat him to a meal etc. Sorry hope I'm not preaching, but it's great you've recognised this, it shows you are an aware and considerate parent. In fact you sound lovely!
I agree with you Selfimproved and I do try not to give him a choice but I get "you can't force me, it my life"... I usually have to bargain or wait until he's in a super good mood. I will persevere with getting him to do something. Thank you for your words of encouragement.
My son (thinks he) is a "gamer" swingofthings, which is far from what I like to do. With the separation he has become to idolise his father. Don't know why as his father does nothing with him and allows him to sit in front of a computer all day, while he buggers off out!!! grr sorry went off on a bit of a tangent... I do try and play the games but he gets frustrated that I am a "noob". I'm going to try and focus less on the quantity of time and pick my moments better based on his mood. It doesn't help that he is clearly wanting more of his fathers attention either.
Debrathezebra every time I try and talk to him about his father he tells me it's none of my business and pushes me away so I avoid having any conversations with him about his father. I think you have a good point with asking him what would improve things for him. I have known my partners daughter before we got together about 4/5 years. We only moved in together a year ago and it has been very bumpy. Before moving in we used to do things as a 4 on weekends and had sleep over etc, things were really good. Then we moved in and his ex caused a lot of stress which put pressure on our relationship and no doubt the children picked up on it - in fact I know for a fact they saw our tension. We've been trying hard to not let these stressed get to us that maybe we're trying too hard. My partners daughter lives with us 5 nights a fortnight and my son 7 nights. This is a very recent change before he was with me 11 nights out of fortnight.
I agree Bananasinpyjamas1, I know I tend to try to hard and go over the top with both of them. I tell him I love him everyday and 40% of the time I get a response. I am so not use to this "part time" parenting, it's a tough adjustment to get the right balance of being a mum to one child and not a mother to other child you consider your family. Not preaching at all.
I take all your posts as such great advice and think it's great to have an outside pov. Thanks for all your advise.
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