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
Does anyone else feel invisible?(22 Posts)
My SS, 13 comes once a week and every other weekend to stay. He's just came in now. Said hello, I asked him what he's been doing he asked me...then goes in and sits beside his Dad who's working and chats and laughs.
I think the key is to build my relationship with him. I've tried suggesting me and him go on a bike ride together, because he has a bike. He said it was a great idea but he found an excuse not to bring his bike. I ask if he wants to come with me when I am going a walk with DS, but he wants to stay with his Dad.
I often feel very left out. Does it ever change where SC wants to spend time with the step parent? Or maybe this is normal and I just have to accept that he's not that bothered about a relationship with me.
Isn’t contact for him to specifically spend time with his dad?
@GrumpyHoonMain Yes it is, but it would be nice to have a relationship with him too.
My advice would be let him come to you. 13 years is an awkward age anyway. You’re right about building a relationship with him but when I was in a similar position to you I found that over time he started to want to be with me more naturally on his own terms and that meant so much more because I knew he was ready.
The first time he offered to help me in the garden was his first move towards spending time with just me and we bonded over gardening. It was an emotional moment for me. Things gradually progressed to ‘can I walk up the shops with you’ and ‘can I help you make dessert’. It was lovely.
Its normal. He is missing his dad and wants to be with him. They have a healthy relationship.
You have your DS.
@MellowMelly That sounds lovely. I think I'd shed a tear if he on his own wanted to do something with me. Did you struggle with feeling left out when he came round (if he doesn't live with you).
How long have you been in his life? I don’t find it unusual to be honest, it could be his age or that he feels disloyalty to his mum. I would just back off and let him build the relationship on his terms.
@bloodyhellsbellsx for 6 years now. He has been like this the whole time. He is really quiet too so its hard to get to know him.
I did feel left out until I really thought about it and realised that it was more awkward for him to come into our home and spend time with essentially a new person in his life.
I worked out that he was sticking close to the one thing he found comfort and familiarity with, his Dad, whilst sussing me out. Once he realised I was no threat to the relationship with his Dad, he relaxed.
@MellowMelly yes you are right. It's more difficult for him. I was thinking that after 6 years he'd feel more comfortable with me..but I've just realised, my Aunt has been married to her husband for 20 years now, and I still don't feel very comfortable round him. Given the choice I'd rather talk to her...but I guess that's because we have more in common and I feel comfortable round her.
Well I will say that 6 years is a long time and it may well be his character. Is there anything else you can find to bond with him over? I used computer games as another way into his life. He liked Call of Duty so I learnt to play it on the sly and one day I said I’ll give you a game. He was so pleased.
He was also a quiet boy and if we met up with my family he would totally clam up! Could barely get a mumble out of him!
Ah six years is a long time so I can see why you feel like that, I would just keep it nice and breezy, ask him to do things now and again but in a casual don’t mind if you do, don’t mind if you don’t kind of way.
Maybe try getting more involved with things you can do as a family, so rather than focus on him having a relationship with you, do things all together that you all enjoy, bike ride with you all, not just you and him, board games, family game of nerf war. If you're focusing on wanting him to want to spend time with just you, you're making him have a toss up between doing something with dad or something with you, so naturally he'd want to just stick with dad, but if you get more involved with things you can all do together, you can bond with him whilst he is also spending time with dad. Of course some father and dad time for themselves is important too.
Careful what you wish for OP. One of my step sons wanted to do everything with me at one point (when he was much younger than yours though). I couldn't go to the shop or leave the house for anything without him wanting to come and getting upset if he couldn't, if I was upstairs he was upstairs, if I was downstairs he was downstairs. Very sweet... for a while
But seriously though, it's probably to do with his age as well. My step son is much older now and doing things with me just stopped being cool eventually, now he barely does anything but grunts at me and his dad when he wants food and spends most of his time with his mates instead
Agree though, try doing more stuff all together. Have game night, get twister out, nerf gun war like suggested, whatever.
Does his dad give him enough quality time?
Maybe he isn't rejecting you but would like to do these things with his dad for a start.
Yes his Dad takes an interest in when he’s playing fortnite and playing games on his phone. I go to bed and let them stay up playing games.
We do have game nights sometimes and it is great. I do feel included then, even though he usually will side with his Dad if there’s any tactics going on.
He does really idolise his Dad. Whatever my DH orders from takeaway DSS will get the same. He’s always cuddling him and play fighting with him at any opportunity.
My son has been living with my DP for over 4 years and still barely talks to him. Sometimes it's just like that.
My SD (13) who used to be very affectionate with me, is sometimes very neutral/cold when she comes over. And I've done activities with her.
My oldest SS (20) knows me for 6 years, but he's reserved and mostly just answers my questions. With my DP's second ex (his ex step mother), he chats a lot, until now. He has known her longer and I guess he likes her personality better. I stopped being bothered. I know he has nothing against me, he always smiles when he sees me, congratulates me on my bday and that's enough. When I want to ask something, I do. When I want to invite him, I just send a text and communicate. I wish it was different, but better concentrate on more interesting things than why a teenager isn't interested in us. I would guess also that if he senses that you want him to be more into you, it could have an opposite effect. Just be friendly and move on to other activites.
I am 26 years old and I have been a stepmum for 4 years now. I was really young when I became a step mum and SD has taught me a lot. I met SD when she was 4 and we have an amazing relationship. She comes to me for everything over her dad. She calls for me all the time and always come to me when she is upset. Recently me and her dad got engaged. SD’s mum is nasty on purpose. She told SD I will be like the evil step mums in the Disney movies. She says a lot of horrible things about me to SD. This last Christmas SD got an iPad. Her mum gave her her number to add on to it. Since then her mum constantly FaceTimes or messages asking ‘what am I doing’ ‘is there any gossip’ ‘have me and SDs dad been arguing’ ‘what am I wearing’ ‘can she have a tour of our home’ I’m really trying hard to suppress my anger and I feel my privacy is being completely invaded. I want to block her number off the iPad but she is SDs mum and it wouldn’t be fair. I don’t know what to do. SD’s dad won’t stick up for me because if he upsets her mum she will ban him from seeing her for a while. I speak to her dad about my frustrations and just get shouted at because he doesn’t want to confront her. I feel I have to suppress a lot and be upset a lot. I get all the crap off her dad and SD’s mum gets nothing. Help. What can I do?
Hi @ChabbaChoo my relationship with my SC is a bit like yours.. when they come we say hello, but then all the conversation etc is with their dad. This doesn't bother me, they come to engage with him. I don't really have anything in common with them. For me as long as we respected each other , were kind and polite etc that would be enough. It is like this about 60% of the time but then every so often because we don't have a lot in common, they tell their mum I don't talk to them and I don't like them. If I ask them to tidy up (their own stuff / mess) im always having a go at them. They say I don't talk to them like my own. I don't know what to do. If they didn't tell their mum all this stuff and were happy with the pleasantries, then that would be OK with me too, I'd respect their wishes but why do they do this.
My son is that age.
He'll happily see his Dad for a couple of hours or go out with his siblings but would rather clean his room than leave the house with me. I am literally the person who pays the bills and cooks his meals.
He will chat to me sometimes but he spends a lot of time with its earphones in so I've got to grab the opportunity when I can.
I disagree and think he should have a relationship with you too, he's coming to your home.
Yes he will probably favour being with his dad but you are apart of his dads life and have a child together so you come as a package and that isn't going to change.
Maybe speak to your husband and mention you'd like to build a more solid relationship with him and he may be able to help and suggest some things you can do together as a family