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stepdaughter now living with us and I’m struggling 😢(59 Posts)
Hi all I’m new here. I am really struggling with how I’m feeling and just want some advice on how to deal with how I feel and how to change it. My husbands daughter has been placed with us by social services, due to accusations made by dsd of assault and neglect, she is 7 and all in all apart from some behavioural issues is a good kid. I have 3 kids of my own varying in age from 2 to 15 and I am really struggling. She’s been with us a month and as I only work part time and my partner works long hours the lions share of the care has fallen to me- school runs, after school care, tea time etc. She doesn’t see her mum so we have her 24/7 even when my children go to their biological dad, or she sees her grandparents and I’m feeling so resentful. I feel sorry for her but we’ve never been close as she’s had to hear her mother bad mouth me and her father for the last 3 years, I am feeling so selfish for how I feel and want to change my negative outlook which is why I’ve come on here. I feel miserable and tired out and fed up, I miss my family as it was and want it back- I know that sounds so selfish. I didn’t sign up for this and we chose not to have any more children for many reason financial, time constraints and the children we already had under our roof and now I feel like I’ve been given another child I didn’t ask for to bring up. I had so many plans with my own kids and can’t help but feel her living with us is spoiling those. She’s very full on, up at the catch of dawn and always full of energy and getting stuff out and leaving a mess, wanting attention and bickering with my younger two and telling tales even though they’re much younger. I am exhausted by it all and feel like my children are missing out as my time is now split between them and her. I am worried I won’t financsilly be able to do all I wanted for my children and they’ll miss out and I feel angry that I’m now bringing up someone else’s child because she’s incapable. I resent my husband and the fact we don’t have any time together, and I am absolutely dreading the summer holidays when normally I look forward to them. Has anyone been in this situation before? What do I do? How do I change how I feel? I honestly feel like taking the kids and leaving, being in my own without all the stress. We haven’t had the easiest of relationships from the start due to her mother and outside influences such as money snd court battles etc and thus just feels like yet another drama and more hassle. I am beginning to think we are cursed and worry the effect this and my mood is having on my own children 😢 please advise
You need to leave. You aren’t going to change how you feel, and this poor child has had a horrid start in life from what you’ve said, and deserves to be in a loving, caring home environment. She’s not going to get that while you resent her so much.
When you start a relationship with someone with children, you have to think of all the likely possibilities. Her moving in was always one of them. She has done absolutely nothing wrong. Her parents have failed her massively and now she needs support and care.
Your husband has accepted living with your children, why shouldn't you accept living with his?
When you marry someone with kids, you should be signing up for having them live with you at some point. Anything can happen over years!
And can I ask how you have a two year old with someone else, yet the ex has been bad mouthing you and your husband for 3 years?
This is so sad to read as I can pick up you aren’t blaming the child and that’s really lovely as it isn’t her fault.
This is a hard situation because there’s no easy answer. At the moment she’s only been with you a month and I’m wondering whether it all might settle over the next few months?
Have you spoken to your partner at all about how you’re feeling?
She sounds like a typical 7 year old who has had a lot of up heavel. Why is it ok for you're dh to live with you're DC and you not his?
You say you didn't sign up for this, I'm afraid you did when you got married!
Why expect a man to take on your three children, but you can't take on his one?
Poor dsd. She's been probably pulled from pillar to post, and is feeling upset and confused about loosing her mum and moving in with you. Seeing her dad play happy families with your kids must be hard for her too.
It sounds as if your relationship with your dh isn't great and you are using his daughter as an excuse to get out.
You need to sit down and speak with him, but if you say it's all her fault be prepared for him to turn on you. It's his daughter for heavens sake. She should come first.
I think your resentment stems from her useless father not doing anything to rearrange his life to care for his daughter more. Why should he be able to dump his DD on you without his life changing. I’d be pissed off too
You are finding out that step moms don’t get an awful lot of sympathy on here! Sorry. It sounds like you’re looking for some support and advice on how to deal with this, not just to moan about her, so I don’t know why you’ve got such shitty responses so far!
It’s totally natural to feel resentful that your life has been turned upside down by this massive change in your home life. It’s up to her dad to step up here and have more input into her care, if that means cutting his hours or paying for some holiday clubs etc then that’s what he has to do, it’s not up to you to facilitate this entirely.
People saying “leave, the DSD deserves better” are missing the point that your Dcs have also been through a family split, through having your DP come into their lives and now this - why don’t they also deserve better?!
If it were me, I’d have a proper talk with your DP about him pulling his weight and about you both getting time with your own DCs separately.
If he won’t make that happen I’d move out and make sure I got the time with my own DCs and let him work out childcare himself. If you still want the relationship then you can do that from separate homes as many of us do. You’ll soon see if he’s just interested in having someone to look after his DD for free.
My stepsons moved in with us when they were young teens. I had a baby and a toddler and my husband was away many nights of the year. Yes it was hard, yes I had to deal with an ex who basically said I ‘stole’ her kids. But that’s what married life and family is about. The good, the bad and the ugly. You DID sign up for this when you got married to someone who had a child. It’s a struggle I appreciate that. Get your 15 year old to help out more. But you need to change your attitude. Think that being with you is the best thing for this little girl and you need to give her as much love and care as you can. Do not think of her as an extra burden, but as a rightful member of the family with her own special qualities to bring into the mix.
The OP only works part time. Pretty sure the husband is the one doing the lions share of supporting her kids financially.
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As a pp said, he is ok with three of your children living with him, he has only one coming to join the pack.
He probably does need to step up more with his dd, but that's hard to do if he's working long hours.
Presumably his full time income is enabling you to be part time and also supports you and your children. Does he have the option to cut back hours? Might it work better if you worked more to let him do more of the childcare?
Also, your dsd sounds really traumatised, does she have access to extra support that might help with her behaviour, or is there support for you as a family? Does she (or you) have loving extended family who could take a child or two occasionally to let you and your dp give the relevant kids some 1 on 1 time?
I didn’t expect such an onslaught if I’m honest, I have changed some of the details of the set up in case it was familiar to anyone that’s why the ages and years don’t add up. I don’t resent her as in I mistreat her I can assure you, she is in a loving family I’m not a bad person these feelings are internalised and I just wanted to get some advice on how to address things, I’ve repeatedly asked for advice not justification for how I’m feeling. Mh husband has 4 other children as well as dsd, it’s not like I am saying take on my children but I won’t take on yours. I have played a huge role in their lives, and they all love coming to stay. I have health issues and struggle on a daily basis and I feel my feelings are affecting my own children. I’m trying to be a good mum yo them as well, and putting their needs first. You wouldn’t believe it if I told you the amount of crap I’ve taken since getting with my husband, literally weekly and maybe that’s why this feels like such a big deal. For the record although my children live with us I am the main care giver due to his work situation, and you’re right I am resentful to him because nothing has changed for him but I’m expected to change my entire life. I am not a bad person, I aren’t justifying my feelings at all. I just was hoping to hear from someone who’s been in my position and could do help me that’s all 😢 my daughter also has ASD and doesn’t do well with change and I am feeling very sorry for her too. I appreciate that I may come across as being horrible but I thought this would be a good place for some
I work part time but I have two jobs. I contribute hugely to our finances so we are lucky in that respect
how long have you been married/together OP - has childcare changed recently?
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Is it possible that the other children will come and live with you too, do they have the same mum? 8 children between you, that is a lot
I certainly think your DH should be stepping up re care of his daughter
Leave him and his daughter to be happy.
I don't think you should be around them.
You feel his daughter has ruined your family which include your (not his) children.
In this instance he should ltb (and I don't mean bastard)
It’s up to her dad to step up here and have more input into her care, if that means cutting his hours or paying for some holiday clubs etc then that’s what he has to do, it’s not up to you to facilitate this entirely.
Fine in theory, if OP wasn't already resentful of the financial implications of the DSD just being there, never mind the dad cutting hours or paying for childcare as a result.
How has your life changed massively op? Surely if she's amongst the ages of your kids it's not like you suddenly can't go out clubbing every weekend or the year of hiking in Nepal has been put on hold.
It's good you're acknowledging your feelings and recognise they're unfair on your step daughter.
Talk to DH, ask for more help around the house etc., Maybe look into some talking therapy so you can dully explore what's going in emotionally.
Or leave. Take your kids and leave him to raise his daughter alone.
Thanks @ragingwhorebag for the support, and the other few who seem to understand the point of this post. I probably should have put more detail into the post so you all understood the fsmily dynamic instead of thinking I’m expecting my kids to be taken on and resentful when he only is asking for one to be taken on. I hate the term taken on but can’t think of a better description, so please don’t slate me for that 😔 I am thinking of my own children too that’s the point, and I’ll say again I’m not saying how I feel is right. The last thing I wanted was an onslaught of nastiness I thought this forum was to offer support, I can’t explain every last detail so you get the full picture but I would assume I deserve the benefit of the doubt that I’m not an evil stepmom mistreating her?! I WANT to deal with things better, I want how I feel to change, I am aware she needs a loving stable home for the long term not just in the interim as do my children which is why I’m looking for advice from people who’ve been in similar situations to Help improve things. Trust me from the outside looking in no one would know how I’m feeling despite what some of you seem to think you know about me I am good to all of the children and love and care for them all and want us all to be happy. What’s so wrong with that?
You need to leave.
Eh? That's ridiculous, the OP is adjusting to a tricky new situation and she's come on here to vent, that's all.
OP, a month is nothing really and the entire household is adjusting to the new dynamic. If your DSD has been neglected, she's probably desperate for love and attention so she's making her presence felt.
Just treat her like the other three and as a PP suggested, perhaps ask your teen to help out more - he/she might be a good role model for your DSD as younger children often love it when an older child makes time to play with them.
I honestly think it'll get better. Hang in there and focus on making the summer holidays as good as you can for all four kids. It WILL get better.
Myrtlewilson if that’s what you believe then so be it. Thanks for the advice for the ladies that have been helpful, I think ill delete this thread so you’ll have to go and find someone else to “support” your the reason I hate the whole mum cliqueZ thanks again to the ladies who’ve acrually offfered advice. Mumsnet is clearly only a place to seek advice on pre approved situations
OP you need to speak to social care about some support.
It sounds like you don’t have that bond with dsd yet and (understandably) miss how much easier things were before you she lived with you.
It’s really positive that you recognise your feelings and are trying to change this as no matter how well you think you are concealing it the likelihood is that dsd will pick up on your feelings and this will impact on your relationship and her behaviour.
It would be helpful to have some support around how childhood trauma affects children’s behaviour too as you’ve described her behaviour as being quite challenging at times and it may be that she’s processing the abuse at mums, no longer having contact with mum and also being thrust into living with her dad and step family. It’s such a lot for a child to take in and children often express emotion through behaviour so the tale telling and needing attention may be her showing her emotional needs.
It’s really important that she experiences praise and feels loved and wanted in your care. The social worker could help identify where support could come from to help you all settle into your new living arrangements