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Would you struggle if your step kids lived with you full time? I feel guilty

(25 Posts)
LittleMissneedshelp Thu 27-Dec-18 18:06:35

I have known my partner for a long time, so known his dd too, though we lived far apart so it wasn't regular meet ups.

Sadly he was widowed so has his dd full time.

I have 2 ds's too and we all live together.

I'm feeling guilty about how hard I am finding it. I do speak to him but struggle to articulate sometimes or get him to understand.

My 2 are far from easy and I am well aware of that, both are more than likely autistic but I can manage as I've always had to deal with it.

She has a lot of sensory needs which most of the time I can manage but I do get frustrated like I do with my own children, but I do find it overwhelming.

I try to be understanding and I do feel for her with everything that's happened but I find it bloody hard and feel guilty for feeling like I do.

Would you struggle if you had your step kids full time?

I've name changed for this as it could be identifying!

I would appreciate any advice as well on how to manage these feelings of guilt, and how to cope in general.

OP’s posts: |
thebaronetofcockburn Thu 27-Dec-18 18:07:45

Yes, which is why I never got involved with someone who had kids.

EggysMom Thu 27-Dec-18 18:11:40

He probably finds it equally hard parenting your two DS.

LittleMissneedshelp Thu 27-Dec-18 18:13:47

He will find it hard I'm under no illusion there!

OP’s posts: |
Bananasinpyjamas11 Thu 27-Dec-18 18:19:20

Yes I did struggle with full time DSD. I think that there has to be some kind of a bedrock of a relationship first, before there can be harmony, and that is quite difficult if there are barriers like loyalty to her mum, or being perhaps cosseted by her father.

As you’ve two other children, you are the mum of the house. That would be good and beneficial if you and DSD can accept this. Disaster if either of you can’t. You can’t have a divided house.

I found it very hard as my DSD was very loyal to her mum, but who didn’t want her living with her. She was quite a mixed up angry kid, and I was the easiest one to take it out on. I tried building up slowly, giving her lots of time just what her Dad, respecting her previous routines and not altering very much. I did the bulk of adjusting. However ultimately she saw herself as equal or above me in the household and was mean to my son. So it became very tense. It didn’t work.

You can only try and keep talking to your partner too.

jessstan2 Thu 27-Dec-18 18:32:43

Kids are hard work, even if they were all your own.

Can you not employ a nanny/housekeeper part time to give you a break? You have three lots of child allowance coming in. Speak to your partner about it, I'm sure he'll agree. It's a lot for him too and he must see how tiring it is for you.

TheBarone, I agree, it beats me why people get involved with someone who has young children, at least so far as living with them, also blending their own children. Far better to be single but have a boyfriend to have fun with.

AndNoneForGretchenWieners Thu 27-Dec-18 18:44:32

DH had his kids living with him full time when i met him, and i moved in very quickly for practical reasons (left in load of debt by abusive ex and got pregnant a couple of months into our relationship). It was certainly an experience to go from no children to two teenage stepchildren and a baby in under a year, but the boys were great and were actually pleased that their dad had a serious partner after more than 10 years on his own. They saw their mum occasionally but she wasn't allowed to have them overnight or at her house, this changed over time to one overnight a month.

It was intense and a learning curve, especially the dynamic of them having a new baby brother, and in particular my younger DSS had high expectations, like I would go to parents evenings, help him with his homework, and basically parent him. At 21, I was unprepared for that, but we made it work. It would have been easier if he had no children, or didn't have them 100%, but equally being a single dad was instrumental in turning him into who he is... and when I got pregnant unexpectedly I knew exactly how he would be as a dad.

Fairylea Thu 27-Dec-18 18:50:18

I would never want step kids. I’d never get involved with someone who already had kids.

I do realise that makes me sound like a complete idiot as I already had a dd aged 6 when I met now dh and we’ve been together nearly 10 years now and he treats her as his own - and we have a child together too. But that was his choice to get involved, I couldn’t have dealt with the whole “another ex / alternate weekends / rules / step kids” thing if he had a child when I met him so I purposefully didn’t date people who already had children.

I appreciate that your situation is a difficult one though as you’re already in there....!

GreenEggsHamandChips Thu 27-Dec-18 18:53:16

Any household with kids anywhere near the spectrum struggles.

And the complications of blended families you be decidedly abnormal if you breezed through it.

Livelovebehappy Thu 27-Dec-18 19:34:11

As has been said a zillion times on these threads; they come as a package so you either accept that and be a parent to all three, or you walk away. The title of your post could as easily have been written by your Dp.

AnneLovesGilbert Thu 27-Dec-18 20:21:41

I often think it would be much easier. The longer they’re with us the calmer and easier they are. It’s the transition between houses which, though easier with time, has always been tricky. DH does pick up and drop off and can gauge how they are and what they’ve been up to on the way back while I’m at home waiting to see what will come barrelling through the door!

If they were with us all the time there’d be different challenges but I miss them the days they’re not here and at least there wouldn’t be part of their lives we only find out from them, usually some time after stuff has happened.

redtulip19 Thu 27-Dec-18 20:33:50

How old are all the children please ? Thanks

thebaronetofcockburn Thu 27-Dec-18 20:37:29

Can you not employ a nanny/housekeeper part time to give you a break? You have three lots of child allowance coming in.

That has to be one of the funniest things I've read on here! 'Child allowance' - the 90s, called, they want you back! A) Child benefit is no longer universal and it's not a lot and decreases for each child B) What is this other 'allowance'? It's Universal Credit these days.

You really think you can get a PT special needs nanny or housekeeper for £300/month? Hahaahaa!!!

funinthesun18 Thu 27-Dec-18 20:47:13

I would prefer my dsc to live here full time. There is something I have never liked about dsc being here part of the time and elsewhere part of the time. I just can’t put my finger on why.

AnneLovesGilbert Thu 27-Dec-18 21:09:37

It’s not knowing where they are, what they’re up to, if they’re okay fun. Especially as they’re at an age where they claim to never remember anything about what they did at school or when they last ate! grin It’s the same for their mum as DH and she parallel parent rather than coparent and never speak outside of contact arrangements. It sucks. But it is what it is and the DC are easy going and settled.

user1493413286 Thu 27-Dec-18 21:32:26

I love DSD and if she lived with us full time it would be great in lots of ways but I would also definitely struggle. My own DD drives me up the wall but I have the innate patience for her that isn’t always present for my DSD although I don’t let that show.

LittleMissneedshelp Thu 27-Dec-18 22:28:04

Don't get me wrong she is not a bad kid, and she does respect me, and my partner knows that because he is out the house a lot with work then I do get to make decisions and discipline etc, it's just a difficult adjustment.

I know there are some things that are easier too, but I do feel guilty for finding it hard sometimes, but I think when they are in school it's easier with the routine.

We are still finding our way and I accept and knew from the start it was both or neither of them, that's without question!

We have to find a way that works for us all and I think if I know other people would struggle I feel less guilty when I find it hard if that makes any sense confused

OP’s posts: |
AnneLovesGilbert Thu 27-Dec-18 22:50:58

Well first off, all parenting is bloody hard work and there are days when they drive you to the brink whomever their parents are. Stop feeling guilty, it’s corrosive and unhelpful. I adore my DSC, I’d lay down my life for them and miss them every day I don’t see them. Today, I could have wrung their necks. DH and I were both exhausted, they were driving each other mad, constant bickering and whining and moaning and either hanging off one or both of us or telling tales on each other. They’re amazing brilliant kids and it’s rare they’re hard work but by any standards today they’ve been horrendous pains in the arse. I don’t feel bad for loathing them temporarily. By bedtime all was well, we had cuddles and stories and love yous, no harm done and tomorrow’s another day.

You don’t have to replace her mum. You can’t. She needs your kindness and care, a happy home and a good family. You have to balance out the needs and wants of all your children and both of you as parents. It’s not easy but it sounds like you’re doing fine.

Honestly, ditch the self flagellation, it’s counter productive. Keep being the best mum and step mum you can and don’t forget to look after yourself while juggling everything else.

Firefliess Thu 27-Dec-18 23:03:33

You've got 3 kids all with some sort of special needs, one of them isn't yours and has lost her mum at some point in the past. Why on earth do you expect not to find that hard? Of course it's bloody hard!!! So you just need to be a bit kinder on yourself and allow yourself to find it hard sometimes and not feel guilty about that.

I've had DSC living with me various configurations including every weekend, alternate weeks and full time. TBH the alternate weeks was probably the least successful arrangement which resulted in a lack of parenting of two of them. Full time was better once I got used to it, and I've developed the strongest bond with the DSC who lived with us full time (now a student) But when he first moved in full time I did miss the times I'd previously had a couple of nights a week with just my own DC. I missed being able to cook the food they liked best and relax just slightly more in our nice little threesome of me and my kids. (DH I was often back late from work). It was a different dynamic with DSS there too, even though he's lovely.

Can you arrange to do things just with your own DC sometimes? I used to try and find excuses to do so - a shopping trip or a walk that they'd enjoy but DSC wouldn't to get a bit of time with just me and them. DH was fine about that and would take the opportunity to do likewise, usually watching action movies that he and his kids like but I and mine don't.

I think the thing I've really learned is that a blended family is different from a nuclear family but that's ok. It has different needs including doing things in various combinations of people not all together. And I don't find I have quite the same depth of understanding and love for my DSC as I do for my own. But that's ok. I'm fond of them, try to be kind and fair to them, and don't beat myself up about finding them bloody hard work sometimes.

LittleMissneedshelp Thu 27-Dec-18 23:42:27

I will never replace her mum and me and her both accept she has a mum but I can be like a mum for her as in someone to look after and care for her every day, which I hope I do.

I think I overthink it sometimes, I feel guilty that while I still care deeply and do my best it is a different relationship to my own kids and I do put too much pressure on myself. I have seen it described in some threads as more of a relationship like a niece etc and that's how I feel, but as it's new territory wondered if that was usual!

I was under no illusions and knew it wouldn't be easy, but we all care about each other and my boys also adore her most of the time but they do have their sibling disagreements which is normal.

I know it's not easy for my partner with my kids, I find them frustrating but I'm used to their ways and don't feel bad for pulling them up on things as they know my rules, so it's finding our own way I guess and understanding it's about finding compromise.

OP’s posts: |
swingofthings Fri 28-Dec-18 08:05:10

Being hard is different to being wrong. Kids are hard work, end of, ut that doesn't make them wrong.

The best thing you can do is to be gentlier with yourself so that you can be gentlier with her. Don't expe ct perfection from yourself so that all she gets is someone trying to be perfect despite her not expecting you to be and then someone grumpy because she feels guilty for not being perfect.

Be up front and honest about how you feel. Let her know how you feel age appropriately and selectively of course, and encourage her to open up too.

Guilt is a very destructive feeling and totally pointless. Get rid of it and focus on what you do well and the little changes you can make that will help everyone.

Laloup1 Fri 28-Dec-18 09:05:12

My DSD doesn’t live with us full time. I’ve known her for over three years since she was around one. I love her dearly and adore our family life but I see that her dad loves her differently. Eg when she is at her mum’s he misses her constantly whereas I’m more happy to enjoy child-free living. I’ve learned to accept that difference.
I’ve worked with two colleagues who adopted unsuccessfully - one gave up and put the child back in the system (a baby/toddler). Another regretted deeply adopting three siblings, one of which had seemingly unresolvable behaviour challenges. I knew neither colleague well enough to discuss in detail but knowing that even adoption can fail when it is entered into in a much more considered/carefully controlled way (compared to us falling in love ;-)) allows me to be easier on myself when being a step mum requires a little effort.

SandyY2K Fri 28-Dec-18 16:19:50

There is something I have never liked about dsc being here part of the time and elsewhere part of the time.
What a strange comment.

funinthesun18 Fri 28-Dec-18 18:06:16

Sandy What’s strange about it? I actually would prefer my dsc to be here full time. Everything would be so much better.

snowman72 Fri 28-Dec-18 19:19:26

Mine live with us 50% of the time, sometimes more, I find it hard even with that but I am a sensitive soul and found step parenting hard. They come with all sorts of issues and it's not their fault they have complicated lives and mine are teenagers their mum has been quite jealous at times which hasn't helped! You'll have other issues and it is very hard no one realises till they are doing it. I wouldn't cope having them full time but then things would be different, as we would have to be more rules I guess especially with having 2 of my own too.

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