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
I need help & happy stepmum stories!(15 Posts)
I've been 'step mum' for about 6 months now to 2 lovely kids, both under 6. We have them 50% of hols and 2 out of 3 weekends.
I am really really struggling (usually the first day they are here, breakdowns, crying, unhappy). I love the children- they're lovely and well behaved, they are not the problem, it's everything surrounding them that I struggle with
- One of them wakes up every 2 hours every night
- The 4hr return journey most weekends
- The expectation that I'm just stepmum
- The chaos the house is in (I work from home)
- The noise levels
- Their late bedtimes (after 9pm most nights)
- the expectation that I do lots of fun trips with them, no thought that I might need some time to myself
- no understanding from partner about why this could be hard
- the lack of attention from partner (I know this is a silly thing to say, obviously he needs to give them 100% of attention- it's just hard adjusting)
- he can't do anything with me over hols or weekends like visit my family or friends as he always has the kids.
I need some happy step mum stories to get me through. Please don't need people telling me to run. I'm giving it a good shot, and in another 6 months if I am still struggling then I will walk away.
I want advice and good stories- did anyone else really struggle at the beginning?
Yes! I been a step mum for 7 years now when I met them they were 11, 9 and 8,
I was an only child and never around children so at first I hated it I'm not going to lie. The noise the attention seeking from dad you name it I was annoyed.
However I soon learned that that's just kids and they were lovely kids I just hadn't ever been exposed to that sort of life and it also made me love how much of a good dad my partner was.
At first I would make sure I wasn't around to much for their sake and mind... they needed time with the dad.
However I then also had to give and take and lay some of my boundaries across... so birthday and Christmas I was all in I loved planning trips and surprises, I enjoyed cooking and shopping so clothes buying I happily took over (some partners and some mine) watching films together and board games was great. But I had my limits so My DP knew that I would go to a friends for coffee or spend time at at mums just for that element of space when needed.
I also made it clear I wold never watching the children over night alone (partner works nights) unless a emergency and it made me very uncomfortable being responsible for 3 children while having none at the time.
Luckily my DP understood all this and let me be involved but understood I had limits. You need to talk to your DP it sounds as if he's taking advantage a bit
You also need routine so you know when you're having kid time and time alone, if only to plan stuff. They are very young so obviously emergencies will crop up so you have to be flexible to a point but your partner needs to understand you need time together for your relationship they children aren't yours and of course you aren't going to be happy stepping into mum role all the time and no GF / wife time x
To be fair, the noise, the chaos, the night waking are par for the course for very small children. The relentlessness of it all.
As for only being a stepmum, this gives you the right to go out and leave your partner to it. That should help him with some understanding.
Also find a local nanny service, hand him the phone number and tell him to make suitable provision if he can't be arsed to look after them himself.
The children visit to see their dad. He needs to pull his socks up. They are not your problem..
Are you doing the 4 hour return journey with them most weekends? If so, why?
Why can't he do anything with you the 1/3 weekends and 50% of holidays he doesn't have the kids?
Why isn't he taking them out for a few hours while you are working from home?
If you are the poster I think you are, you should leave him, like you've been told on numerous threads. Harsh, but 100% true.
Why are you expected to do fun stuff with them and do the trip to pick them up? That's your husband's job. Seriously, go out and leave him to parent his own kids. Yet another man who has remarried to get another mother for his kids because he can't be arsed with them.
He can't drive so I have to go with him...
Oh dear god! Leave! I don't know why anyone would put themselves through this. He sounds absolutely useless.
In what sense are you their stepmum? As in ... were you previously dating their dad and now you two moved in together? Or is the relationship less well established than that? I'm wondering if you can just dial it back to being his girlfriend, move back out, regain your space (wfh must be a nightmare otherwise, during quarantine?) and see if that works better for you?
* he can't do anything with me over hols or weekends like visit my family or friends as he always has the kids. *
Why every weekend? You have then 2 out of every 3?
Wait. Hold up.
You have been with this man for 6 months?
Quite simply you need to leave.
I’m a step mum to a wonderful little girl, have been for 5 years. My husband is a fantastic father, and to begin with I pretty much just done fun stuff and we had a great time. I didn’t do any of the ‘responsible’ stuff like pickups (still don’t do those) or proper parenting. He was the responsible one, did bath times, planned days out etc.
I do now, however, as we have more children together so they are all just lumped together now as ‘our children’ and I parent them all in the same way and do the same ‘mum’ things for them all. I don’t resent her at all, and I love her deeply. But that has build up over time, as we have grown with each other and grown into each other’s lives. That can’t be rushed. I’m not her mum, she has a fabulous mum. But I am definitely her step mum, and get the same joy from mothering her as I do my own (and she drives me mad the same as my own do!!).
It is not an easy job. You will always be second best - because children always come first.
How did he collect them before you ?
I do some fun stuff with my DH and DSS but not all the time. DH knows I need time to myself on my days off work.
I try and compromise but the weekends we have him is also my only weekend off work. So I make plans with my friends etc.
How long were you with your partner before you took on the role of stepmum?
How did he collect them before you were involved?