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What am I?(49 Posts)
I’m a step parent (although not married to the dad) so I don’t even know what to call myself, I feel like a bit of a ghost, I do everything without feeling loved, sometimes I don’t even get a goodbye or a thanks, I feel like if I died they wouldn’t even care, they’d probably be pleased.
I do my best for them both (2 little boys aged 8 and 5) and want the best for them, we have them exactly half the week.
I make them breakfast each morning, tea each night, homework, reading, suggest fun film nights with sweets, fun activities at the weekend, watch them play rugby, sometimes take them to and from school, let them pick their clothes that I buy, try and comfort them when their sad, for what? I don’t expect a thank you, I am not their real mum they absolutely worship the ground she walks on which is fine, but at night when I’m sat on the couch and they’d rather sit on the one seater with dad rather than have space on the couch with me? Or when I tuck them in at night they still need daddy to do it, they won’t even let me brush their teeth, when daddy’s upstairs they both come upstairs too because god forbid they stay on the same floor/room as me.
I’ve been doing this for 3 and a half years now and it isn’t getting any easier.
The ‘just wait until their older they’ll appreciate you’ doesn’t help me.
Does anyone else get this down about it? Can anyone offer any words of advice please?
I don’t have any children of my own, maybe that doesn’t help. I have also spoken to my partner who just suggests none of us can do anything ‘it’s just their age’.
I love the kids and their dad, I just find it all so terribly hard at times.
Wow, you’re doing way too much! Where is your DP in all this? Why isn’t he cooking and cleaning, conforming, taxiing, disciplining, doing homework, supervising weekend activities and PARENTING them?
I’m not blaming you at all but you’ve sleepwalked into unappreciated mum figure doing all the crap with none of the reward. Why isn’t your DP making sure they respect you and are at least polite to you? Not because you cook and clean but because you’re the other adult in the house. They don’t have to love you but they do have to be respectful for you. That’s a bare bloody minimum. It’s not up to children that young to appreciate you exactly but your partner, whose life you are making easier every single day, should be bending over backwards in bloody gratitude.
It’s hard, but it does get better. I have 2 DSC, now 9 & 12, i’ve known them for over 3 years, their dad and I have lived together for 18 months. I felt the same as you for a while, only difference being they have good manners and always said please or thank you (although at times it felt a bit forced). When their dad and I got engaged, after they’d discussed it with their mum they told me ‘mummy and I have discussed it and we’ve agreed it won’t last’. I was pretty upset at that comment.
My advice would be, let their dad do the discipline. They should respect you and be using manners. Keep your powder dry, it does get better.
Why are you doing so much op? And I mean that in a nice, supportive way?
I’m a mum & a sm & realistically they will never feel about you the way they feel s it their dm & df so don’t try so hard.
That’s not to say they don’t or won’t love you in a really nice way, they just won’t love you like a parent - at least not for a few years.
My kids worship me too - my scs are very nice to me but treat me like a total irrelevance - they only really want their dad. Maybe as they get to know me more they’ll like me for me - but at the moment I just am a nice lady who’s engaged to their dad.
For your own sake step back a little, leave them & their df to it & do some nice stuff for yourself so that you’re whole life isn’t revolving around your dp & his kids.
Fwiw your dp needs to be doing a lot more of the day to day parenting here.
What am I?
How long have you been with this man?
They sound very bad mannered and their DF lets them get away with it.
Does your partner appreciate everything you do? As harsh as it sounds, right now he is the only one that owes you gratitude.
The children just want their dad, and that's okay. Are they kind to you when you are with them?
If you are not happy with your role then you need to change it, especially if he's taking you for granted.
When you only get each parent half the time they are bound to want to have heir needs met by their dad.
If it makes you feel any better, one of my oldest friends has been a SM for approx 10 yrs now and it wasn’t until the eldest (DSS) left home and also read the court records from his parents divorce that he suddenly realised that his SM had been there for him, gently, quietly, with great care and attention, for all those years. Their relationship has suddenly blossomed and has also led to the DSS telling his sister to treat her better too.
I think it’s pretty standard, I would recommend you leave them with their dad regularly too so that he does his share. FWIW eventually they do ‘get it’. DSD is 30 (been in her life since she was 10 when her parents had been divorced 3 years) and we had an ace afternoon in a gin bar together at Christmas
Thanks for all your replies!
Sorry I made my partner sound really bad lol he isn’t, he does a lot of things too and spends the weekends with us. I’d say we do things definitely half and half!
He’s in a very hard situation because at their mums house they stay up until 11/12pm having sleepovers, and eat whatever they want when they want, get spoilt rotten because moneys just there to be spent, she doesn’t discipline them so when they come to ours they’ve cried numerous nights for mummy because why wouldn’t you want to be somewhere you can ruin riot and have McDonald’s twice a week?
I will take a take step back as you said and try to concentrate on myself more, my life does revolve around them when I have them and maybe it shouldn’t all the time.
I am not yet engaged, my partner was getting married to his ex (mum of the kids) but she got arrested and sent down for stealing A LOT of money to fund her gambling addiction, I guess you could say once bitten twice shy?
I think it hurts more because i was there for them when their own mum wasn’t, I have brought the youngest up just as long as his own Mum and as I said I am just a ghost to them.
They are not bad mannered simply for wanting their dad.
I was coming to say the same OP, sorry.
Goodness, where is your DP in all this?
And why has it taken you, what is it, three and a half years to wonder whether DP is using you for childcare? Whatever you do, please don't blame this on the children, they have no power in this situation. Any child would prefer to be living with, and cared for, both their parents. Why is 5gier father being let off any parenting responsibilities?
He is here all the time, we do most things together, I just always do the meals and homework etc. The kids associate some things with me and some with him.
We both work full time and the kids are at school so I don’t feel ‘used’ when it comes to childcare.
On the Days we have them including weekends we ensure we are at home with the kids and don’t plan to do anything with our own friends, we see our own friends and have our social lives on the days and weekends we don’t have the kids
Why don’t you make plans with your own friends and give them some space with their dad?
Yes I want a child of my own, maybe not now but in the next year or two, we have already discussed this, this gives me a little bit of hope and might help the situation?
I will try that, maybe they need time alone with him?
We just both like to be a ‘family unit’ and do things together but maybe this isn’t helping
I’d say it makes them resentful of you tbh (and from my own experience) that you’re always around when they just want some dad time. Have a life outside of them all and I bet you’ll all enjoy each other more!
Even saying he does 50/50 means you are perhaps too involved! I'm saying that in a kind way, as you don't seem to be appreciated, or enjoy it. Maybe take a step back and reevaluate all of this. My stepson is very kind and loving, which is kind of the payoff for the extra 'work' (for want of a better description) I put in when he's here. But it's my partner's role as a Dad to do the majority of it all - that way I'm doing it because I want to, and there's no resentment from anyone.
The rudeness needs to get nipped in the bud. They are old enough to thank anyone who does something for them, no matter what their name or 'status' is. Your DP also needs to lead on this. Not to be hard on the SC, but to be consistent and start setting them up for life in the real world....
Try not to worry what happens at their mother's house. Unless social services would be involved, there's nothing you can do. Just work at what happens at your house. It's a long game, and you must always remember that your needs aren't less than anyone else's.
this gives me a little bit of hope and might help the situation?
Help whose situation? Not these children's, I assume. Your DP has managed to pass off all the boring and discipline-y bits of parenting his own children to you, I can't see how this is going to improve by bringing another child into the situation.
We just both like to be a ‘family unit’
I can see why he likes that - you're doing most of the heavy lifting.
I have also spoken to my partner who just suggests none of us can do anything
I suggest you stop doing all the things you are doing, and then tell him 'none of us can do anything'. Why on earth are you the one doing all the meals and homework?
You've been at this for 3 and a half years. The younger one can't remember a time when you weren't around, and the older one barely can. So how on earth can this be their ages? Leave their dad to it for a while.
Thanks Lemonsqueezy that’s very helpful x
I didn’t realise I did more than what is expected of me
I chose to take on this situation, I chose to have two ‘step children’ so feel I should do just as much work as though they were my own? Am I wrong?
I was having issues with my DP and his children and things honestly did improve when I took a step back. As tempting as it is to try and be a family you have to become someone they like first - and that means letting their dad do all the shit and you just get involved in the fun stuff. It sounds like it's all back to front and he gets the fun and you get the shit...
No, but lots of the time your birth children will also be inconsiderate and favour the parent who has just had a day out instead of the one who made them clean their teeth and do their homework
As an aside children often do seem to cope quite well with different expectations in different households, provided those expectations are consistent at that house, so I wouldn’t worry about that- you can correct them kindly with a non-judgemental ‘we do x like this in this house’