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At a dead end with me, my stepchildr and my OCD

(91 Posts)
OCD6stepmom888 Tue 07-Feb-17 21:12:33

Dear all, after browsing this site I've finally decided to join as I now need a different perspective on my situation.

A bit of background to give some sort of a picture. I was friends with my OH for 4 months before we decided to make it official. We have been in a serious relationship since winter 2014 and 3 months after making it official I moved into his house where he lived with his 2 adult dc, DS and DD. They are very quiet and days can go by without us physically seeing each other in the house because of the size, (5+ bedrooms) and 2 storey. I know whenever they've been in or still in the house because they leave traces behind, i.e. used stove then left it dirty, dirty dishes, dirty kitchen counter, dirty microwave, used bathroom left it messy, etc.
Before I moved in with my boyfriend, we discussed about my cleaning OCD and house proud qualities. I like things being clean, tidy and organised, I just can't help it - it's in my DNA. smile
Given, that he was fully aware of my OCD we have worked together in different ways since 2015 to get his children (the 2 adults who live here from the begining and 3 younger ones who recently moved in with us July 2016 due to changes to parental custody) to be more clean and tidy around the house. Few months after the younger ones (dsd 17yrs, dss 14 yrs & dss12 yrs) moved in I found out I was pregnant and am now 20 weeks along. I managed to get dss 1 and dss 2 into a routine of doing house chores after school for 1hr, home work for 2hrs and then they can go on the PS4. There dad supported this fully. However, I noticed it was not fully supported by the two adult sc ( 22 sd & 20 ss). If they are around they'll leave the house messy and not instruct the dss1 & dss 2 to do the chores they are assigned. Instead they'll let dss 1 and dss 2 entertain themselves on the PS4/PlayStation until their bed time. Due to this they have never been able to maintain any sort of structured routine after school. I know the sc resent me for trying to create some sort of productive structure but I saw it as something that will benefit them for the future and plan to do the same for me own child. The adult dss is very lazy and hardly helps around the house. I suppose the younger dss 1 and dss 2, want to follow in his footsteps. hmm

Things eventually reached the point where I am tired of appearing as the nagging/strict stepmom so eventually backed off completely. When I get home after a tiring day at work, I am greeted by a dirty kitchen, dirty bathroom (sometimes toilet not flushed and I see nasty surprise floating or urine on toilet seat) and messy living room, I flip to the extent I don't want to live there anymore. I am tired of coming across as a nagging stepmom and for sometime have withdrawn from that role. I told OH that I don't want any involvement in any aspect of SC lives and that they are entirely his responsibility (cooking, cleaning, discipline, etc...).

If I don't clean the fridge and cupboards no one does it so they've been dirty for some time. SC will spill coke, and other stuff in the fridge but never think to clean it up. I will buy grocery on Monday and by Wednesday when I have cravings a whole tube of cheese has disappeared and no one knows what happened to it. Because of this, I used to worry about the state of the fridge and germs getting into my food. Also, food going missing when I have cravings late at night.

Last weekend, I thought enough was enough, so off I went cleaning and cleared out some cupboards and another fridge in the kitchen for storing my own grocery separate from everyone else's. OH has told sc not to use my fridge or cupboard. OH is responsible for the cooking of his dc and I cook only for myself using kitchen stuff I bought recently for my personal use. When I cook in the kitchen, I navigate around all the mess they leave but clean everything that I use and store it away nicely. I might clean some of there mess up but not everything. So in the end the kitchen is left the same as they left it.

This is not the kind of person that I want to be but sadly, I think I have tried a lot of things with the support of their father to get sc to maintain a tidy house and raise their standards but to no avail.

Everyday, the house is in a messy state and in the past when I used to clean frequently tidying up the mess, within hours it gets messy again. SC do not immediately tidy up after themselves, instead leave the mess until 24hrs or 48hrs later or until there dad eventually clean it up.

SC are not happy about the pregnancy. The relationship between me and SC have deteriorated badly. I feel I have no other option but to live a separate life amongst them otherwise I will be constantly nagging and worrying if things I am using to put my food on has germs. I think SC do not like that I have my own set of things in the kitchen they are not allowed to use. This has only been going on since Sunday. On Monday after I finished making food and tidy everything away, then started tucking into my meal. To my delight one of the SC put dirt mixed with wood chippings in my mashed veg and couscous. confused I did wonder why the mashed veg had so many little hard rocky bits in it but took those out and carried on eating. Then when I went back for more couscous, I took a spoon from the bottom and it was then I saw what looked like dirt (it had different colour and texture). I almost had a massive panic attack!confused Half-way into eating, I had to throw the entire lot away. They know that I am 20 weeks pregnant, so need to eat but I guess also deserve to be punished for wanting a tidy house. grin

I don't know if it was the adult SC or younger ones who did it, so have not said anything about it to them. I did let there dad know what happened and that I am not happy about it. Today after cooking I locked my food away in my room which I have a key for so it will be safe. I can't deal with having dirt in my food again.

Although I love my OH and want us to be together, I am not comfortable living with his DC and they have told him explicitly they do not want me in the house living with them as I am an outsider.hmm I am considering to move out the house at some point after the baby has been born and into my own house that I want OH to help me to buy, whilst maintaining my relationship with OH. Has anyone done this before and it worked? Am I being unreasonable?
Is moving out the only option?

Also, my OH is okay with disciplining his kids but I find that it wears off and he is not consistent. when he is not around they behave slightly worse and are more confrontational towards me, telling me outright that I should live their house and not come back. In front of OH they are better behaved. OH also doesn't want to come across as strict all the time and can be soft because he has some guilt that his children had to go through the divorce and brought up in a split home.

I love OH but am not happy living in the house with his kids. Confused???

RacoonBandit Tue 07-Feb-17 21:22:34

I think somebody needs to move out.

Are you getting any medical support for your OCD?

lucyjordon Tue 07-Feb-17 21:30:54

This sounds awful for everyone. I think anyone with a cleaning ocd would struggle in a house with several adults in it. I sympathise with you but you are being very unfair on them - this is their home and they are being expected to change their lifestyle to accommodate someone else's ocd. I think you need to be realistic about whether you should continue to live there unless you get help with your ocd. A bit of give and take us one thing but the children are never going to live up to your current expectations. To be blunt, it's your problem, not theirs.

tribpot Tue 07-Feb-17 21:31:57

I agree, I think the main thing is to ensure you are being properly supported for your OCD. I think you may find the inevitable mess of a newborn and especially a toddler quite challenging.

Realistically I don't think teens are ever going to keep a house clean enough for someone with your issues, although nothing excuses what they've been doing recently. As ever, the main issue seems to be your DP and his refusal to step up.

I would suggest you would be happier, certainly for the duration of your pregnancy and whilst you have a newborn. Get or continue treatment for your OCD, and be clear with your DP that things will not change until he steps up.

You moved in awfully quickly after starting a new relationship - was that his suggestion, or yours?

Boobiebalfie Tue 07-Feb-17 21:34:38

One hour every day seems like a lot of house work for children when they come home from school.
How much mess could they possibly of made that warrants that amount of time each day when they have been in school all day.
Apart from making their bed clearing breakfast dishes I can't see that this would take that long.
It doesn't seem like you are ready to live as part of a family.That many people in one house regardless of size there are always going to be signs that the house is lived in things being used.
Honestly I think you need to seek help for your OCD as you seem like a hard person to live with.Hope I haven't offended you.

RacoonBandit Tue 07-Feb-17 21:39:12

1 hour a day is alot for the younger ones to do.
They are children not the hired help OP.

mnpeasantry Tue 07-Feb-17 21:41:36

Sorry OP but you don't sound equipped to deal with this situation. The kids will have homework too. One hour is far too much and x3 (or x5) seems more than enough to maintain a house. Why does everyone have to revolve around your condition?

PurpleDaisies Tue 07-Feb-17 21:43:30

Before I moved in with my boyfriend, we discussed about my cleaning OCD and house proud qualities. I like things being clean, tidy and organised, I just can't help it - it's in my DNA.

Have you had a formal diagnosis? It sounds like you might need a little help if you're expecting children to do an hour of cleaning a day.

It sounds like things are really difficult at home. Have you talked to your boyfriend about how things are going?

TimidLividyetagain Tue 07-Feb-17 21:44:27

I think for your stress levels you should move out. Your anxiety sounds sky high. I don't think the kids could live up to what you need to feel secure. I mean that kindly. It sounds like you are suffering and the atmosphere in the house is getting antagonistic. If they are messing with your food it's not a good sign. And you need to feel rested and focus on your new baby. I think you need help and support over your ocd, I appreciate it's an illness and you can't help it. But the children should feel comfortable in they're home. Making them clean every day for an hour because you have an anxiety disorder is getting things the wrong way around. Even if they weren't children and you lived with the same amount of adults this would no one will be as clean and tidy as you as they aren't worried by left over food dishes drips in the sink. You will see they aren't unwell from it. But this doesn't matter. You sound so stressed band under siege in your own home. It would be better if you had your own space. And then you could preserve the relationship with your partner and not damage the relationship with the kids who are your baby's brothers and sisters.

PlayingGrownUp Tue 07-Feb-17 21:46:51

I think that it's very mean that they do this as you have OCD - I would point out that in their own rooms let them live as they will but this sounds mean.

The younger kids sound fine tbh - no kid wants to do chores but the adults come across as very childish.

I do think you should consider moving out and discuss it with you OH.

ChaChaChaCh4nges Tue 07-Feb-17 21:56:16

Seriously, this is wrong on so many levels. You need to move out, for everyone's sake.

OCD6stepmom888 Tue 07-Feb-17 22:04:24

I've never seeked out any medical support, as I never thought my OCD was that extreme. For instance, when I was at university, I lived in a flatshare with other people who were not the cleaness bunch but they did try to follow the cleaning schedule. This meant the house wasn't very messy but it wasn't spotless either and I coped well living there with others. I can play football in the rain, fall over and get my attire moody and not be worried about germs. After graduating I lived in a few flatshares. During that time, I had a very busy lifestyle, but still managed to cope pretty well. I didn't really cook as spent a lot of time eating out and the messy kitchen didn't really bother me. Didn't spend much time in the communial area so the fact it wasn't spotless didn't bother me either.

Before I moved in with my OH, he was aware that I like things to be clean and tidy. I am not saying that I want the house to be perfect all the time but at least everyone can try to clean up after themselves as they go along. Is that hard to ask form my OH SC. hmm

balia Tue 07-Feb-17 22:05:00

Could it be that the pregnancy has made your OCD worse? That happens quite often. And is it also possible that the house isn't as filthy and disgusting as you feel it is? You've used the word dirt or dirty a lot, and I imagine you have communicated this to the DSC's.

OCD isn't in your DNA, it's not cute or productive or 'nice' or having high standards. It's a mental illness and incredibly draining to be around. Making other people, particularly children, fit round your mental health needs is damaging for them. I speak from personal experience. Most people/children/adults sometimes forget to flush the loo, or leave dirty plates out. They don't need to be made to feel like disgusting lazy filthy monsters who are so toxic that food has to be locked away from them.

Obviously the DSC shouldn't have put dirt in your food, but they are fairly young people who have had a lot of change in a relatively short space of time.

I think some real honesty and self-evaluation is needed here. Cut the sarcasm 'To my delight'? What's that about? and face up to the real issue.

RacoonBandit Tue 07-Feb-17 22:06:42

No its not hard to ask but do you really think making children clean for an hour everyday after school is ok?

You are locking away your food and cooking equipment OP this is not normal.
I think you should visit your GP

OCD6stepmom888 Tue 07-Feb-17 22:07:05

That was on his suggestion and I also wanted to be close to him as we were living in different cities.

OCD6stepmom888 Tue 07-Feb-17 22:13:21

I don't go into their bedrooms as that's their personal space. It's really up to them how they decide to look after it. The only part of the house I was more concerned about keeping tidy was the kitchen and bathroom.

OCD6stepmom888 Tue 07-Feb-17 22:22:53

The kids who are aged 14 and 12 do not have to clean the entire house. It's only restricted to the kitchen and some hovering for the upto 1hr. Sometimes there is nothing for them to hover, only a few dishes and wiping the counter which takes only 20-30mins. They clean their bedrooms whenever they want, and I do not enter it into their bedrooms as that is their personal space. They know very well that 1hr does not mean they have to spend 60mins cleaning, if they finish in 15mins then that's it. Sometimes, their dad or I may have already washed all dirty dishes the night before so only a few dishes they use in the morning for breakfast to wash up.

ChaChaChaCh4nges Tue 07-Feb-17 22:27:19

How can it possibly be necessary for a 14 year old and a 12 year old to clean for an hour each when it's just the kitchen and some hoovering? I'm all for children taking on chores, but that's beyond ridiculous and into detrimental to them. They need go study and relax.

And your own fridge and utensils? Really not normal.

MockTurtleSoup Tue 07-Feb-17 22:28:22

Whatever possessed you to move into a house with 6 kids if you've got ocd confused honestly, its their home. You're the one with the problem, you need help for that, however, sabotaging your food is completely out of order.

ph0ebe Tue 07-Feb-17 22:35:33

You need to move out now, before the baby is born

hesterton Tue 07-Feb-17 22:36:07

Perhaps it would be best to live separately in 2 units rather than as one, with your baby's father sharing the care in your home initially. It doesn't sound like a successful blend. A hard mix to bring another child into - you are more likely to find motherhood a happier thing in a home where you have more control.

Lunar1 Tue 07-Feb-17 22:44:23

You have no rights to expect children to clean for an hour a day, followed by two hours homework after a full day at school. Including travel that will be well over 10 hours work time a day!

If you have genuine OCD go to the drs and get help. It's a crippling mental health condition for sufferers and their families and completely destroys lives.

You can't continue to live together in these circumstances, it's unfair on everyone.

needsahalo Tue 07-Feb-17 22:45:34

You moved in with your partner very quickly so you couldn't have really known his standards and how he manages his household. I am struck by your assertion that you expect your stepchildren to wash up after school from the night before (at least sometimes) and as such struggle to see how you have OCD because surely to leave a mess for that long would be a major issue for you? How do you manage breakfast and lunch? If you have no medical support you have no diagnosis. So do you really have a diagnosable problem or is it just the step children you want nothing to do with other than to clean for you? I don't mean that to sound as mean as it does, it just feels like you can deal with some stuff and not other that consistent with OCD?

BastardGoDarkly Tue 07-Feb-17 22:51:01

So they get to work for 3 hours after school? With dinner and a bath, that's zero down time?!

I'm sure this is really hard on you, but you need to move out I think.

kittybiscuits Tue 07-Feb-17 22:53:15

I'm astonished that their father agreed to the children doing an hour of housework a day. It's absolutely crazy. I'm sorry that they contaminated your food. It sounds awful for everyone concerned. Please talk to your GP or midwife for professional help with your escalating OCD. Do you think your OCD is actually a problem that you would want to change?

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