This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Straight in the deep end with step kids HELP(27 Posts)
I've been with my boyfriend for about 7 months now. I am 25, no kids etc. Very complicated but we moved in together before I met his kids (no judgement pls, lots of factors). He has 2 kids (3 and 4) I met them for one day in March which was great. Plan was to gradually spend more time with them.
He has them every other weekend and half of school hols.
Since lockdown we've had them staying for two (separate) full weeks- this wasn't planned but could happen as we are both not working. I am feeling totally overwhelmed and I am half way through the second week. I would not have chosen to be here for the entire 2 weeks if I could, I would've gone to stay with my family. But due to Corona that hasn't been possible. It feels totally out of my control- perhaps why I am struggling.
I know the kids need to come first and he needs to see them, but I feel like I've been dropped totally in the deep end. I'm not suggesting that he should've done anything differently, I'm just wanting some advice on how to cope.
I've had numerous crying meltdowns and I'm trying my hardest not to make it into a negative experience.
One of the hardest things is that the 2 kids still come into our bed every night and wake us up- I then get so worked up and can't sleep. I'm sleep deprived and not able to relax but desperately want my other half to have a good time with his kids. He's great with them but he's struggling with the fact that I'm finding it difficult.
What do I do?
POSITIVE advice please.
I'm not meaning to be negative, truly, but as a 25 year old with no children of your own, you might need to admit to yourself that being a step-mother is not something you are ready for, and no one would blame you for that. You very well may have to rethink this relationship. Don't waste years of your life in a situation that makes you so unhappy and overwhelmed.
I also find it alarming that your boyfriend can't understand why you're finding this so difficult. You've been made an instant mum to a 3 and 4 year old. I can't imagine anything worse in terms of a strain on a relationship, honestly.
Think of the children and go to your parents' home. It's so unfair on the children to expect them to cope with someone new, especially someone sleeping in their dad's bed when they want him in the night. For you, too, god, you're 25, you should be having the time of your life, not tying yourself down to a ready made family.
Is he in your home or are you in his?
So it’s been 2 separate weeks that they have stayed with you?
And you have had numerous crying meltdowns?
I think you need to consider if you are ready for a relationship with a man with young children.
Parenting is hard. Parenting in lockdown is really hard. I’ve got 3 kids who are 8,5 and 3 and at 2.30 the other morning all 3 of them were awake and in our room.
They have lost all sense of normality. Your step kids, on top of that, have also got to live with a woman who, to all intents and purposes, they have never met before. I’m not sure I would be sleeping very well either.
If you can’t change anything then the only positive advice is get on with it. Just like the rest of us. Eat more chocolate, drink more wine, count down the days.
The thing is, you have absolutely no emotional attachment to those kids. I love mine to bits and I’m finding it hard. So you have to decide. Would you rather have your partner and the kids or a different relationship?
Whatever happened for force you to move in together it needs to be changed. His children need him, they are so very young he can't do anything but put their needs first. You hardly know them, there is no way on earth they should be in a bed with you, but at their ages and with all the disruption they probably need their dad in the night.
Whoever moved in needs to move back out.
He has them every other weekend and half of school hols.
Why doesn't he have them 50% of the time? Because he needs a break more than their mother? Just that would have me questioning him as a father.
If you stay with this man, this is your life now op. And it’ll get harder and messier if you eventually decide to add your own children into the mix
You actually sound very nice and I do feel for you. They are pretty young and you have been thrown into the deep end here.
I have a daughter and have been separated for 8 years, in that time I have had one seriously live in relationship, then a few years were it was just me and DD, and am currently in a relationship with DP for about 18 months.
Here are some things that I have learnt watching someone else fit in to my life with DD ( I must say, my previous partner and current one have done a fantastic job and were/are great with DD).
- don't try to be a parent. I once read that with "step-parenting" you should be aiming at a fun aunt/uncle type relationship.
- your DP needs to do his best to encourage them to stay in there own rooms at night. Might not happen straight away at their age- but it is for him to deal with and IMO it is not appropriate for them to be sleeping in your bed. It's not good for you or then. Coming in for a cuddle or something in the morning, fine, but ultimately he should be putting them back in to bed if it's the middle of the night and have methods in place to encourage them to stay there.
- find one thing you like doing with them- cooking, painting nails (sorry didn't read if they are boys or girls) kicking a football around in the garden, drawing, pavement chalk etc, etc.
- you don't have to be involved all day....I sure if you are working at the moment- but if not, have a bath/nap/pamper time to yourself for a couple of hours. They are not your kids and you don't have to parent all day.
- some evenings feed the kids and then plonk them in front of a Kids Netflix and have dinner with your DP
-at their age they are not to long to learn to pick up there toys and put them in a box/container. Have DP instal it and you join in as long as it is fun, your home still needs to resemble an adults home at times.
-don't get stressed if you plan an activity or something and it doesn't work out. It's hard but try not to try to hard.
I don't think you necessarily need to decide if you want to be with DP or not right now....I think you sound like you could work on it a bit more as you seem reasonable . But your DP has got to do the bulk of the parenting and disciplining so that you can do the nice stuff, other wise it just breeds resentment. Most 3/4 year olds enjoy cupcake/biscuit decorating- pick something like that that you can do that is nice and fun, and then go away and have some time to yourself.
Welcome to parenthood. It's exhausting. You don't sound like it's something you can deal with at the moment and need to discuss with your partner
Before you commit to that man you need to be able to cope if for any reason he had his kids 100% of the time, for example in case something happens to their mom.
You've had numerous threads where you've been told why this relationship is doomed.
He does nothing round the house and wants to be a stay at home dad while you provide for you all financially, including having a baby together. (Although in one of those, he already had three kids, not two). All despite being 4K in debt.
And he's clearly incapable of putting his existing kids first.
Doesn't matter how many times you ask for "positive only please".
There isn't any.
Have you been thrown in to the deep in or have you jumped?
So this is the delightful man who stays in bed while you do the housework, pays £200 for his 3 children, lets you spend all your money on bills and wants you to have a baby so that he can be a sahd?
Hopefully this is the wake up call you need
I remember your other threads. Sorry to say, this is real life with children. The waking up in the night can go on for years.
What do I do?
POSITIVE advice please.
Move back out.
It will be the best decision you’ll ever make.
OP. I feel for you as it’s clear from all of your posts that you’re desperate for a silver lining so that you can stay with your OH. I think for your sake, for his sake, and for his dc’s sake, you need to end this relationship. Do not get pregnant, do not commit to this any further. It’s hard, I get that, but this really is a case of short term pain for long term gain
You are only with him 7 months
You’re a young woman
Your life should not be this complicated
Sorry, you said positive. Well night times do get better but there are still illnesses and nightmares, spiders and drinks. My dc are much older and we still have night wakenings and occasionally still want to get in with me.
You've summarised it yourself, you're in the deep end although you were not then, you jumped there. You now have to swim back up.
Kids are very complex, exhausting, demanding creatures. they appear like fun toys from the outside, the reality is very different. You need to let your oh be a dad and interfere as little as possible as it's way too soon to become a parenting figure. You need to adapt to them as much or really more then they need to learn to adapt to you.
All this whilst getting to know your partner because you don't get to know them really until you live together.
It's going to be tough, whatever the circumstances it was very wrong and selfish to move in together before the kids got to know you that's not even considering how long it's been since they had to adapt to dad not being with their mum. Add to this the changes to their routine they are already facing with the lockdown, their dad has made really poor decisions.
Saying that, it doesn't mean it can't work, but it is going to be very hard work before it gets to be even remotely enjoyable.
Its totally unfair for such young dc to be living with a stranger who is sleeping in their daddies bed. Their routine at the moment is all over the place with lockdown of course they are going to get emotional. I would move back our far too soon.