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Being honest...I’m struggling with DSS(45 Posts)
I’m going to be brutally honest and no doubt I’ll be flamed for it but I need advice.
Been with DH for 5 yrs. he has got a 10yr old DS and we have got a 3 month old DS together.
We have DSS EOW and I’ve always struggled when he comes to ours but since I’ve had my own child I’m struggling even more.
I dread the weekends when he’s coming and spend the whole weekend counting down to him going home 🙁
I hate feeling like this but don’t know what to do. Anyone any advice?
Why? Is he badly behaved? Or do you just struggle with the idea your DH loves him?
You need to provide some more information. If it's DSS behaviour then DP needs to step up and ensure he is parenting him properly.
If it's resentment towards DSS then perhaps you could speak to a counsellor to help process these feelings. I imagine your hormones are still very high after giving birth so don't be too hard on yourself.
It might help you to consider how you would feel if your son had to spend EOW with another family and how you would want him to be treated.
Are there any specific issues?
Have you always felt like this? If so, why did you get married?
I think that you need to accept that it's natural to feel a bit more territorial/protective now that you have your own child. Your baby is young and you're still adjusting, it could be that your feelings mellow over the coming months.
If I were you, I'd encourage your DP to take SS out for a few hours on the weekends he's with you, so that you still have some space. Also I'd take the opportunity to let your DP have time with the baby and SS together while you take some time for yourself, either going out or just taking a nice bath.
Don't be too hard on yourself, what you're feeling is pretty normal, you're just getting used to the new dynamic and it's a period of adjustment.
To answer a few questions.
He has his moments and has got a stinking attitude which my DH does his best to deal with, considering he’s only here EOW it’s hard for him to have much influence on him.
No I’ve not always felt like this. It started when I got pregnant and has got worse since my DS arrived.
I don’t treat him badly and never ever would. I just really don’t enjoy having him here
@Bibidy I probably should encourage DH and DSS to go out alone.
I daren’t leave DS with DSS & DH as DSS has hurt him twice since he was born, he reckons both times were accidents but I think they were on purpose. I think if I wasn’t there then DH would cover to protect DSS if that makes sense? I have a quick shower or whatever but at the minute I won’t do longer than that. They will be alone when I return to work though as I’ll be working one day a weekend when DSS is here
He's hurt a newborn baby twice? What has he done to him?
What are you going to do when you go back to work? If you think your dss is going to hurt your baby and your DH won't do anything about it, that's a serious issue.
The first time he scraped his head with a big Lego building board, DS was about 8wks old and had a massive long red mark on his head for a few hours.
The second time he threw a water filled teether at him from the other side of the room. He reckoned he was just ‘passing it’ to him!
@Noodlenosefraggle I’ve not a clue at the minute. I just don’t trust that DH will keep an eye on them like I do. He might just pop to the loo and something could happen or whatever.
I don’t know but I don’t trust DSS near him.
Not good A 10 year old (assuming no special needs) knows that throwing things at a baby is a bad idea.
His did you handle the incidents when they happened? Is your husband aware of the fact that this isn't okay?
He’s probably picking up on the fact that your feelings have changed since the new baby arrived, and feeling a bit put out and jealous. Do you include him in caring for the baby and helping with him?
10 is way too old to be throwing things at a baby even if he is sensing OP's feelings have changed.
OP I really think this warrants a serious chat with your dh regarding how dss's attitude to his brother is handled & how his time with you guys is handled. You've a big age gap there & once you've a toddler you'll also have a teenager & they are not going to want to spend weekends doing the same things.
As evidenced many a time on here this is the age where entitlement & manipulation seems to set in with a lot of kids unless discipline is handled consisted & firmly (& fairly of course).
@Clymene no there’s no special needs. The first incident I was in the shower, just heard DS let out a piercing scream so I went downstairs. DH had already spoken to DSS about it and told him what he’d done wrong even though DSS tried denying it.
The second incident was yesterday. He tried saying he was only ‘passing it’ and it didn’t hurt DS. We told him that wasn’t the point as it could easily have hurt him and things shouldn’t be thrown.
@Costacoffeeplease we try and include him but he’s not interested. We ask him to help with bath time, choose an outfit etc but he doesn’t want to and hasn’t wanted to since day 1.
@Magda72 that’s my worry as I only see things getting worse as DSS gets older. He has no discipline or boundaries at home which doesn’t help as he just does what he wants!
Your dss is likely to be feeling very jealous and insecure at the moment and no doubt worried that the baby will replace him
What he needs is love and reassurance yet whether you realise or not are essentially not making him welcome. What does his dad do when he is there at weekends ?
I feel for you and your concern for your baby's safety.
As PP asked, does he get time alone with his father EOW? Perhaps your DH should plan a few hours of activities with him alone so he feels special and can have his dad's full attention?
And could you spend some one-on-one time with him yourself doing something he enjoys? Where you give him your full and undivided attention for 15-30 minutes or so? Hard with an infant, I know. Perhaps you will see a side of him that you genuinely like and feel affection for.
You don't want him to be (any more) resentful of the baby. You don't want him to pick up on your antipathy towards him.
He is going to be with you until he is at least 18, so better to foster genuinely fond feelings for each other.
@millymollymoomoo where in my posts have I given any indication he’s not welcome?! We give him lots of love, affection and time! We sit and play with him, read with him and chat about whether he likes. We plan activities that we know he’ll enjoy. The whole weekend he’s here is about him!
@Wereallsquare I don’t go with DH to pick him up or take him home so they get that time together (hour journey). They also have boys time for an hour or two on one of the days he’s here. In summer they’ll do more as they’ll be out playing football etc. I’ll speak to DH to encourage they do more alone together though.
I’m usually the one that sits and plays board games etc with him so he does get time with me (where possible with a small BF baby!)
Sounds like you really are doing your best and that DSS feels very welcome in your home. (Your initial posts made it seem like things were not very pleasant, but that is clearly not the case.)
Still, I think you are right to keep an eye on DSS with DS, especially as DH may want to cover for DSS.
Don't be too hard on yourself. Trust your maternal instincts.
It's no wonder you're struggling with him if you feel you need to protect your son from him and your partner isn't backing you up. It must be exhausting and stressful when he's there to feel like you need to watch him all the time and there's no other responsible adult to do it. You need to explain that to your OH and he needs to step up and be reliable upon to stop any violence in its tracks for your sake, even if he doesn't take the issue seriously. Otherwise it's unreasonable to expect you to shoulder the burden of protecting your son while he's there.
It seems that many kids of that age feel that need to do stupid things with the baby and because they are generally nice kids, their fathers do not want to see it.
I remember feeling like that with SD, who would not purposely hurt my baby, but would do things that could be dangerous, like falling backwards on the sofa with the baby in her arms (so that the baby's head hit my son's legs) or or trying to make my son who was holding the baby fall or making the baby jump pretty roughly..... As mothers of a small baby, we obviously have the need to protect them, but the fathers feel the need to protect their older child, so they put their heads in the sand.
I've been there, it was very unpleasant, but in my case, as the baby became a toddler, he started being assertive, well, sort of, so if I heard him screaming "No", I could come and intervene when she was doing something he didn't like.
Hopefully, your partner is more mature than mine and he could watch them closer....Best of luck
Agree with others 10 is way too old to be throwing things at a baby. I have a 10 year old SC and I can honestly say he would never do this and his dad would certainly tell him off if be did. I wouldn't expect this from the younger DC in our house either. 10 is plenty old enough to know this is wrong and not have that sort of behaviour excused as I see often on MN.
However, I do agree if this has started when you were pregnant, has your DH spoken to him about his feelings around the new baby? He does sound like he's jealous and insecure and taking it out (wrongly) on your DS/you/DH.
I'd get your DH to have a chat with him about it but also don't let bad behaviour slide when it does happen.
Your actions and feelings don't seem to match. If you so badly that you can't wait for him to go back to his mum, it's odd that you are able to manage to play a board game with him without showing any signs that you don't enjoy it and wish instead that he wasn't there.
Are you really sure he doesn't pick up on how you feel?
The incidents you describe could indeed be accidents. Why are you so sure they were not and he intended to hurt your baby?
I think you need to cut the kid some slack - he is still only a kid and has had a lot of change- and does not have the emotional maturity
babies are boring for many people and even more so for DC 'attention suckers' for other kids... he's gone from being an only child for 10 years - its all he's ever known....and the focus of all the adults attention when he visits to not......
sibling rivalry can be fierce especially when lives are split as well .... I think your idea of getting him and his dad to do more stuff togeter just them is right..
make the baby a minimum impact on him as much as possible - if your dh is looking after both he needs to think about exactly what it is he is going to do with the babe whilst DS is there that is focused on DS needs....
look at love bombing DSS for you so he knows he's not been replaced... sounds liek you used to do lovely things with him .....