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Not sure how to deal with this(21 Posts)
I’ve been with my partner for 9 months and he’s got a 4 year old. I met him quite quickly and always got on really well. I lived with partner at his house but we’ve now moved in together to a bigger home, mainly for his little lad.
Since we’ve lived here, his son won’t let me talk or spend anytime with his dad. Anytime I try talking to him, he’s “daddy daddy daddy” I always used to play with him, join in their games and activities, sit with them etc... and now when I try, he always says “not you, just me and daddy” He screams the house down if his dad asks me to get him ready.
The last few weeks I’ve taken a step back, but now it’s causing issues with my partner as he’s complaining I don’t spend anytime with them. It sounds silly but I feel like his little lad doesn’t want me there so I don’t want to upset him, hence me keeping away.
I’ve noticed now, that if his dad is busy, not even with me, he’s started pooping himself, even though he knows how to use the loo. So now that’s causing a fall out as it’s me that cleans it up and does all the washing etc...
I feel left out of his little lads life when he’s here and we have him a lot. I used to look forward to him coming but not so much anymore, as it ends in fall outs.
How long ago did your partner split with his son’s mother?
I would explain to your partner that the signs suggest this tiny boy needs as much 1:1 time as possible with his Dad during contact right now so you are stepping back for a while to allow him to give his son the support he needs.
I really feel for you here. It is quite quick for a child that age to acclimatise to having Dad entirely to himself all of the time, to being expected to accept you in a parental role when he may not feel comfortable with that yet.
Make a point of making a timetable for the next few days when he arrives. Sit down as a family and block out time for him and DP to do something together, then a block for the three of you to have a meal together, then maybe a block with the 3 of you doing an activity together like cooking or gardening or something.
Step back from washing his clothes in the case of purposeful toileting issues though - his dad should be responsible for that.
Don’t try to do any “mothering” and don’t let your partner leave anything like that to you. You’re best bet is to support your partner as a dad when asked but otherwise just be there to play.
9 months is quite quick for a young one to get used to you being in his dads house often, which is one thing, to then having a whole new and unfamiliar house for this new family dynamic to play out in, which is quite another. The more quality time he gets just with his daddy the more settled he will become, then hopefully ready again to accept you as part of the fun and games.
Thank you. I’m glad to hear you feel me leaving them to it is the right thing to do. I’ve always tried to be sympathetic to his needs, this is all new to me, I don’t have kids and never dated anyone with them before so I probably over worry and be over sensitive about things. Hopefully in time it’ll get back to normal
Why oh why are you cleaning him up after he spoke himself? It's for his dad to do, no reasons whatsoever why you should.
Let's hope he wasn't looking for another mum to take on the roles he doesn't want to take.
Wow. My ds was 4 when I met dh. For a whole year we saw each other whenever I had any rare child free time and gradually dh became part of his life but for many months only came round for dinner or joined us at the park etc
It was a very long time before I would have even contemplated him moving in, it's such a huge step and massively impactful on a young child. Dh always respected this, he was understanding and so so patient. This is partly why I knew he was the one for me (and ds!)
Your partner is the one causing an issue. It's understandable that his son would be struggling with these feelings, but he shouldn't be begrudging you stepping back given it's hardly fun for you being around his son, and as you say you're also doing it for the child's benefit. You shouldn't be doing all the cleaning up and washing, especially as it comes from a behavioural issue, you need to set the precedent that these things are his dad's responsibility or he will (knowingly or unknowingly) take advantage of you for as long as you are together. Things that bother you now will only bother you more as time goes on and it's easy to fall into the pattern of doing and putting up with more than you should have to in the early days and then ending up stuck in that role.
He screams the house down if his dad asks me to get him ready
Why is his dad asking you to get him ready? It's his son. His responsibility.
So now that’s causing a fall out as it’s me that cleans it up and does all the washing etc
Why are you the designated laundry person and washer upper.
Your boyfriend needs to parent his son.
It sounds like he wants to pass on the parental jobs to you and wriggle out of it.
You have moved in far too quickly, with no consideration for how his son would adjust.
His son needs to be fully secure with dad, before he can accept you or this will be a disaster and very damaging.
So now that’s causing a fall out as it’s me that cleans it up and does all the washing etc
Why? His parent is there. You aren’t the nanny.
Please don’t fall into the trap of doing all the donkey work for your partner’s child. For starters- is that what you really wanted to be doing 9 months into a new relationship? Cleaning up a 4 year olds poo? Doubtful. Don’t do it. He has a parent right there. And second of all- this is still a new relationship- don’t let this child get so attached to you that he will be hurt in the event of a break up.
Btw the fact the child is screaming when you are cleaning/dressing him tells you (and your partner!) all you need to know. He doesn’t want you doing it so you shouldn’t be doing it. Tell your partner you’re not doing any more parenting tasks because the child clearly isn’t happy with it.
The last few weeks I’ve taken a step back, but now it’s causing issues with my partner as he’s complaining I don’t spend anytime with them.
What he means, is you aren't helping him look after his child.
If he is so blind not to see how this is impacting his son, then he's clueless.
When you were living in his dad's house, the little one probably didn't see you as a threat or as a permanent fixture.
Now you've moved into a new place, which is a joint home and he is going through a lot of emotions.
When parents put their love lives over the wellbeing of their children, this is the result.
@SandyY2K you've summed it up! Their needs are being put way above a poor young boy who's world has been turned upside down.
I knew from day 1 that dh was 'the one' If we'd been child free, I think he would have come back to mine after our first date and never left BUT I had 2 young dc so as it turned out he never even set foot in our house until they were comfortable with it and they had no idea he was my partner until we'd been together for over a year (my dd actually suggested I needed a boyfriend and that dh would be a good choice!)
My point is my feelings and dhs came second, we put the dc first and like I said previously, that made me realise more than anything that he was the right man for us all!
Agree with everyone else. You’ve moved incredibly quickly, I wonder why. The cynic in me says the only reason he’s happy to have his son so much (how much?) is because he’s got you running around as nanny, launderette and probably chief cook and bottle washer and he fast tracked moving in together and then moving again to cement your place, his expectations and his son knowing you’re the one doing the grunt work and parenting.
He’s the parent, he should be willing and able to meet all his child’s needs, including entertainment, without you. If you split up tomorrow you’d never see his son again. Have you thought about that? You haven’t even been together a year, you’re not married, you can’t have lived together very long, you’re investing heavily in this new family unit and it could be gone in a flash so you need to protect yourself.
Being a step parent means you get the fun parts like an aunt or uncle. You support the parent and as much as possible leave them to the parenting.
Take a mental step back and think about why it’s moved as fast as it has, what your boyfriends motivation is, what you’re happy to do and not do and what the relationship will look like if you create some much needed boundaries and he has to step up. If he’s not willing to accept the skimmed down role you should be creating for yourself he’s not the one for you as he doesn’t respect you.
it’s me that cleans it up and does all the washing etc
yea....that's why he was keen on you moving in together - he can play disney dad whilst you do all the 'woman-work'.......
I think a lot of women do these things to sell themselves as a good fit for a relationship where a child is involved.
It's good to get on with the child, but let the father do the parenting. In many cases he never parented with the mother of the child and just gets a new woman to take over.
I am sure you are doing a great job but you sound like the nanny. Please stop dressing and cleaning the child, he is screaming because he does not want you to. It is his fathers job. It has been alot of change, I am sure he is still adjusting. Was your partner struggling to parent on his own before he met you?
Your BF must spend 1;1 time with his son and should not pressurise you to be around if that upsets his son.
The fact that he is trying to guilt trip you not parenting HIS son (when he is choosing to be busy with something else) is huge red flag. Are you sure its not leading you to be the unpaid childminder very soon? He don't seem to want 1;1 time with his on. He wants a girlfriend to look after his son so he can look like a dad who is doing co-parenting. In reality it's you who is expected to carry out all the work and ... yeah, also get a negative attitude from him.
Sounds like a bad omen to me.
I would stop doing chores for the child, right now.
Explain to DP that his son needs to feel secure with him first, and needs 1:1 time. Then take that time that you no longer have to spend cleaning up poo, and do something nice for yourself!
There is a book called "surviving and thriving in stepfamily relationships" (I think) that is very very clear on the importance of 1:1 time between parent and child, and also between the adults, and not forcing everyone together all the time. You don't want SS to see you as a rival. You also don't want to have to share every tender moment with your DP with a 4yo I'm guessing. So it's the same for him.
It is hard for the parent caught in the middle but to coin a phrase, that's what they got themselves into by wanting a girlfriend. Maybe your DP thought he was getting free nanny plus intimacy for himself. In fact he's going to need to give quite a lot of himself to be a present father AND partner.
Your partner needs to man up and look after his relationship as well as his child, otherwise he deserves to lose you.
Stop doing those things. He is the parent. The child is in dads house away grom his mum to have bond with his dad not with his partner. If you are doing allnthe parenting this little one is growning up having a mum and a step mum but still... a distance/detached dad.
Looks like your DP doesn't want to have his son. He also doesn't want to pay full CM. So his idea is: lets have a keen woman in the house who will clean my house, look after my child, pays half of my pills and i don't have to do anything.
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