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Struggling with DSCs(56 Posts)
I know I am going to get blasted for what I am about to say but I want to know if what I am feeling is normal and what, if anything, I can do about it. DH and I have been together for 8 years and have a 14 month old son. My two DSs (11 and 9 years) live with us full time and have EOW with their dad. DSD and DSS live with us 50% of the time. DH and I met some time ago when DH was living in a 1 bed flat following breakdown of his marriage to his ex although still had DSD 50% on the time. They all moved in around 4 years ago as I have a much bigger house, big enough for each child to have their own rooms. Problem is that DSC (now 16 years and 14 years) drive me crazy when they are not really doing anything terrible. The main issue is that they constantly boast how wonderful/clever/amazing they are at everything and even blatantly lie, e.g. DSS told DS they had had been scouted for a well known football team, which turned out to be a pack of lies. DH seems to constantly indulge them, they never lift a finger to help around the house, make their beds etc but lay around on their phones constantly. It's not helped by the fact that I work full time and am always super stressed whereas DH has a way more relaxed (and much less well paid job) which only requires him to be in the office a few hours at the time. I pay nearly all the mortgage and basically feel like I am working like an idiot to support them. The house just feels taken over by them and it feels like they are constantly trying to put down my DSs which makes me super-protective. The only solution I can think of is for DH and I to live separately, i.e. he with DSCs and me with my DSs but now we have DS so this really isn't practical. Any advice?
Tell your DP you aren't happy with the current arrangement because you feel totally unsupported and his DCs have no manners.
Tell him to get his own place unless he is going to step up with respect to their behaviour and also financially.
As you work full time why does your ex get your DS EOW? Change the access arrangements to suit you. I think most of your issues with your DSS will go away if you can have a fun relaxed time with your DS too.
I can see why you feel the way you do.
I can’t really think of a solution, maybe your H living separately would be a good thing at least the fifty percent of the time he has his dc with him so he can parent them however he wants without it spilling out on you and causing you stress.
Thanks all. I was expecting a blasting! Good advice. The problem is that DH earns what he earns doing an interesting but badly paid job. I don't think i can ask/expect him to change job. Also, since we had DS, DH has started doing more of the childcare for DS (not my DSs) which is a financial help. The issue with DSCs is that it's hard to say anything without looking seeming really mean. I mentioned about chores several times as I know they do stuff at their mum's house and at least make their own breakfasts (which they don't do here!) but DH then turns it into an opportunity to say yes, your DSs should also be doing chores, which I agree with but my DSs are younger and his kids never did a thing age 9 and 11! We often run out of stuff like bread and milk and DSD never bother going to the shop to top up, just wait for me to do. DSC"s room ( the largest in the house) is a pig-sty until our cleaner comes; she has taken over the bathroom I use so that is now a mess, I can never get in there in the morning as she is there plus she uses all my stuff (tampax, razors, shampoo, conditioner etc). I'm glad she feels at home but she just sees my stuff as her stuff. DSS is also super competitive with DSs, talks to them in a patronizing way. Just infuriating. It's impossible to talk to DH about it without a massive row as he says I hate his children. I don't hate them but I just wish I didn't have to provide a house for them. I would be fine with them coming to stay EOW but it feels like they are here the whole time. They often stay over additional nights which I am never told about and they were here for a month in the summer. Urgghh!!
Sorry, that should say "DSD's room" as they have separate rooms.
You need to remind your DH that you are the breadwinner and don’t have any legal obligation to fund your DSC, as it seems he has gotten used to the easy life. Maybe hammer it home by making him pay for everything to do with them.
As for the eldest DSC - just remove your stuff from the bathroom and bring it in as required. Then make your DH fund things from his own money if she needs them.
Sounds like your DH saw you coming.
Nice big house for him and his kids, good income from you to spend on him and his kids, you to do the cooking, cleaning etc.
What exactly does he provide in this relationship?
If you lived separately and his DC only made a mess in his house and he had to pay for all their toiletries etc (as well as food & a roof over their heads) he could still do 50% of the childcare for your youngest.
Would you be financially (as well as physically & emotionally) better off?
Would he be worse off & need to consider taking a less fun job to support his family?
It sounds like your marriage is all upsides for your "D"H and all downsides for you.
No wonder you're fed up with it. I'd give him a (very small) amount of time to show he will change by committing more physically & financially to your shared home.
If he is unwilling then show him the door. It seems your life would only improve if he (& his kids) weren't in it.
I don't think you should live apart and remain with him for the sake of your joint child, it is unfair of him to check out of parenting because he is unwilling to step up and parent his older kids. Tell him it is perfectly normal for them to be expected to have some respect for the house but if he is totally unwilling to enforce it then he needs to be chasing after him to do it for them and ensure the rest of the household isn't suffering because of his bad parenting. He needs to take the burden.
Why are you accepting of anyone stealing your belongings?
Why do they get the biggest rooms when they contribute the least and make the most mess?
Stop allowing your H to dictate to your children and tell him to parent his own. Why’s he nodding your dc around and demanding they do chores when his grown up children are being served hand and foot?
I’d kick them all out. You’ll find you have more than enough money for childcare from the money you save that is currently spent on your H and SC!
You need to separate out the issues here. It's not really reasonable to expect teenagers to be topping up your bread and milk. It is reasonable for them to keep their living space in a decent condition and not put down your DS. It's also totally reasonable want the children treated equally. There is also a DH issues and I would accept him simply not wanting to talk about it. That isnt acceptable in a partnership. I have a 1 year old DD and 15yr old DSS. I dont expect him to particularly cook, clean or shop but he might run the odd errand if he's going out. I do expect him to get himself breakfast and snacks and keep his room in a decent condition but he may need prompting. As for the bigging themselves up this usually comes from a place of insecurity so something is clearly going wrong for those girls (I say that as a qualified youth worker. To be it's a red flag).
Blackcat, I would think it is reasonable for a 16 year old to walk to the shop 2 minutes away to buy milk or loo roll if we run out. I was definitely doing those things at 16. And this happens only occasionally. The issue with being treated equally is that DSC go back to their mum's and have the run of the place there too whereas my DCs share a room at their dad's and certainly don't get treated like royalty there. It just seems hugely unnecessary to have a room each in each of their parent's house, especially in London when space/rooms are so expensive.
The upside for me is that I love DH and we have DS together. DH is a great dad but he massively mollycoddles the older two. I wish I could have more time/attention for my two DSs rather than running around like an idiot. I actually think that moving house to a smaller place would be an option so that DSC can't have room and there is less pressure on me financially.
Also, DH makes dinner 2 or 3 times a week but only when DSC are here. On the other days, DSs basically eat when I get home from work at 7 and have to make dinner, wash-up, put baby to bed etc. We have a nanny for the 9 year old who leaves at 6.30.
I wouldn’t accept this arrangement. He either cooks and cares for all the kids or he has his DSC less if he can’t cope. He can’t expect you to do everything for everyone.
I would be more vocal in the presence of the step kids of the standards you expect in your house. And also tell your husband you will be prioritising your children on the weekends they spend with you and not the step children as he has shown he is just putting his own children first.
And if their rooms aren't tidy or whatever else you want (not stealing your stuff) then don't get involved in their domestic needs. Let him do it
Problem is that I hate confrontation. Really stresses me out to have to call them up on it. It just pisses me off that DH indulges and mollycoddles them to the extent he does. That is never going to change, no matter what I say. If I do say anything, it will be construed as I don't like his kids which, I am afraid to say, is true in part. I just find that they show off about everything and are real social climbers, e.g. my friend has a massive house, the school I go to is so amazing, everyone is really rich. It's a constant dialogue of how amazing they are. I just want DSs to grow up without that pressure.
If he was pitching in with all the children it would be different but he's clearly only bothering with his own re the dinners so why should you subsidise pretty much every aspect of his life. The whole thing sounds very unbalanced and unfair to your DC.
Maybe time for a serious grown up chat about what changes you expect to see so you can feel at home in your own home along with your DC or he will have to look for elsewhere with his DC. There doesn't seem to be much respect being shown and this would piss me off the most.
The DSC sound extremely insecure tbh with all the bragging. It's deeply unhealthy for your smaller DC to have this targeted at them and coming from older kids must be particularly unpleasant. No wonder you feel protective and don't like them very much right now.
Your dh is the problem here. You’re providing for both your family and his. But he’ll only cook dinner for his children, your children have to wait until night time when you come home?? What a prick. Im disliking him more and more the more you info you give about him
Your a doormat! What the hell are you doing? You don’t like confrontation but your not happy being mugged off. You need to prioritise. What is really important to you. What is a deal breaker. Your H sounds like baggage.
Get a back bone babe! You got to do it. I really don’t think you have a choice, it’s not going away. It will get worse, you will feel more unhappy. Where will you be then.
Op would disengaging work?
Sir down as everyone and say its not working. Agree a list of house rules eg all washing in washing basket, make on breakfast and put in dishwasher, beds made and rooms tidied once a week for everyone including adults.
Agree a cooking schedule eg 3 night youcook4 dp coomsfor everyone. Or 3 for each of you and one night kids cook-they might enjoy it!
State my personal toiletries are in a bag o. X shelf in bathroom please do not use them from now on as they are expensive. If you want your own then maybe get a paper round etc or ask for them For birthdays.
Then set out consequences for breaches and agree this eg no WiFi etc or no clean pants, no treats etc.
It will take time and be painful to start but should force change, for everyone as what your doing isn't working.
Your dp will need to buy into. This and work with you. If he doesn't then you have your answer. I'd also set aside 1 day or whatever for just you and you kids and dp can spend same time with his and 1:1 is important