A Young Step Mum

Gosh, there's so much to say I really don't know where to start! Well firstly, I'm not a stepmother officially as we're not married and the children don't live with us all the time but I certainly know where everyone else on this website is coming from.

 

I met Jack about three years ago - there was an instant connection between us but we were both in relationships at the time so nothing happened. He left his parner of 15 years in January 2008 and he had to live away from his kids (a boy and a girl of 9 and 6), seeing them only at the weekends. We got together in the summer of that year and became instantly inseperable.

 

Now a big issue here (although its not really a problem) is that there is rather a large age gap between us - he's 42 and I'm 25. We were living together by November. The kids stay with us nearly every weekend.

 

One of the things I'm finding particularly hard is the kids' behaviour. They are great children - funny and clever - but they seem to have zero respect for me (which I suppose comes from me being young), and although I get on alright with both of them I feel like my life is completely taken over during days they are here. I can't get on with things I want to get on with (the girl is particularly demanding of may attention - I thought it was cute at first but now I find it very tiring) and I can't just be myself. They behave in ways I was taught not to behave in, such as having no table manners, shouting, screaming, climbing on furniture and being very cheeky and rude. I feel I can't say anything about it because a) if I get into their bad books it will make the situation even worse and b) I feel guilty because they have been through such a tough time and I don't want to become the wicked stepmother. This weekend, food ot dropped all over the floor and a chair got broken from one of them swinging on it - it makes steam come out of my ears, but I feel horrible at the same time. I try to have a sense of humour about it but its dwindling.

 

The other thing I find difficult is the fact they go to a very prestigious school, are in the company of well-to-do people quite a lot (including their mother) and I find particularly the boy to be quite boastful and a bit of a know-it-all. If these were my children I would have taught them to listen to and respect everyone and be open minded about things, but obviously I can't impose my values on them so i find myself feeling angry at my partner for not having instilled these values in them! I'm crazy, I know.

 

Another big thing is that whevever my parner and I talk of going on holiday or to festivals or just on an adventure to see something new, he always wants to bring the kids. I want to do these things with just him, yes, but the main thing is that I would end up babysitting, feeling stressed and resentful, wanting to come home, not doing what I wanted to do. I know I sound so selfish and I want my partner to see his children and do things with them, and like I said they are really great kids, but the thought of spending a whole week with them when I'm supposed to be enjoying myself - well, I'm just not ready for it I guess.

 

OK everyone call me a *****! (but please tell me I'm not the only one!)

 

:D x x x x

RayG RayG
22-25, F
4 Responses Mar 5, 2009

I just want to say I feel your pain. I'm not married and have no kids of my own, but the man I love has 2 kids, and actually we have them full-time because their mom has 3 other kids and has trouble taking care of them all. And, she's in another state. <br />
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I feel what you feel when they spill things on what used to be my couches, when they mysteriously ruin my electronics because they've got grubby hands, and sometimes I don't even look forward to weekends because I know I can't relax!<br />
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I also really do empathize with the girl- the girl I take care of (my pseudo-stepdaughter I guess), adores me, and she's cute, but when I need to be by myself, her feelings get hurt, and I just miss being alone but not enough to leave. I'm sure you know what I mean<br />
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I think part of it is that you didn't have these kids since they were babies- it's different when they're someone else's kids- So give yourself credit for the patience you do have, and try to see the bright side; you are certainly learning a lot about yourself, and if you ever decide to have kids of your own, you'll know exactly what you want to do because you see the results of different styles of parenting!<br />
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Oh, and I know EXACTLY what you mean about how you would do things differently if they were yours... I think that all the time; I am lucky, though, to have them full-time; I have lately got the courage up to explain to them honestly when I need them to leave me alone and play quietly somewhere else, and also the ex-wife is far, far away and I'm all they have. Sounds selfish but I prefer it that way. <br />
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Also, you have to really love your man; for me, he is worth it, and I know that if I ever choose to have kids, he will be a wonderful father. You have to look at the overall impact on your life; if you would be better off without the whole crew, then maybe that means you should be without them. But really think about it. <br />
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Also, funnily enough, my last boyfriend was 16 years my senior, and that brought a whole slew of issues, too! So, I know you're dealing with a lot, but if this guy is the one for you, you will find a way to deal, and just remember, your friends/family will always be there to offer advice but your situation is so unique, the best advice is going to be your own instincts!

Thanks Danetty. Its unfair of me to say my partner doesn't set boundaries because he does, but then they either ignore him or scream and cry. Its almost like they have no respect for him because they want to punish him for leaving, and he feels guilty and wants his time with them to be peaceful so doesn't want to over-rock the boat, which I can understand. So thats why I keep my mouth shut because I know they are all hurting so much :(

you should tell your man that he needs to set some rules when they are over. they are obviously allowed to do what they want and i'm sure theey act especially bratty with you to get a rise out of you. you are not a *****, and these are not your children and you shouldn't have to conform your life to please them. you guys should plan a vacation that may be children friendly so they can come too, but then plan something for just the two of you. its a tough situation, but they aren't the first or last kids whose parents get divorced and have to split the time with them. its no reason or excuse for their behaviour.

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