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Raising kids together or seprately?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
I know the title is confusing, let me explain a bit, and see what others say...

I have a DD, and SO has a DS. We all live together. SO and I are trying to raise both of the children together, however, SO cannot let go and allow me to help parent his DS. He does though, want to raise my DD, and has been wonderful in helping me raise her. I feel we effectively raise her together.

His DS, on the other hand, I feel SO raises him alone, and will not allow me to help raise him. I feel constantly 'out of the loop'. I do not feel that he is letting me be very involved in the raising of him.

I told him last night that I can no longer raise one child together and one child seperately.

I don't know what to do. My heart is broken over this. I do not want to steop trying to help parent my dss, or be involved, but at the same time, I do not like how it seems SO will not allow me to parent, but expects the ability to parent my DD.

The angry and hurt part of me wants to just say 'fine' and parent them seperately. But the part of me that's been working hard on our family hurts so badly just thinking about that. Also, I know that would just make SO angrier.

How do I deal with this? How is it fair that he literally expects the ability to parent my DD as if she were his own, but I cannot have ANY parenting ability with his DS? I feel like he's just pushing me away when it comes to dss. That I'm not his 'real mother', so I don't need to know what's going on with him...

(this all stemmed from something so tiny and stupid, but I have felt this way for a long time. It just took this tiny thing to make me SAY something to SO about it)
post #2 of 33
Thread Starter 
I should've added this too, this really really hurt my feelings.

When I brought up that I would like to be more involved, and that I think SO could tell me about things regarding his DS more, his response (OVER AND OVER) was that I want him to read my mind, and I will never be as involved as I want, cause that would mean he'd have to read my mind.

He then went on (in front of the children, mind you) to say things like 'I'm standing up, is that enough information for you?', 'I'm going to the kitchen', 'I'm opening the dishwasher now, what ELSE should I be telling you??'...

He got SO nasty over it... It really hurt my feelings.

I don't want him to read my mind, I just want him to talk to me about what's going on with the kids I'm trying to help him raise.

I talk to him about the things that come up with BOTH children, and he generally seems grateful and happy that I'm keeping him up to speed... Why can't I get the same?
post #3 of 33
Wow, that sounds like my conversation I had with DP about his kids. I told him I wanted to know about things in advance, and to talk them over with me instead of just TELLING me. (He once told me the kids were coming at 7am the next morning as I was going to sleep! HELLO! You could have told me, I have plans for tomorrow that I could have changed had I known! Mind you it wasn't his weekend or I would have known not to make other plans.) Except he said. "Do you care if I go to the bathroom?" "Do you care if I eat?" Blah, Blah Blah. UGH!
I don't really have any advice to offer, we haven't fixed that problem yet, among many others, so I don't live there anymore, but we are still together. And he still parents my daughter and has a say in things, but not me with his kids.
I hope someone has great advice on how to handle this, I'd LOVE to hear it!
post #4 of 33
I have a friend who is in the exact same boat as you are. She has been in this relationship for 6 years. They've been living together for 5 and married for one.

He will not allow her to parent his children, but he will allow her to drive them around, buy things for them with "her money" (he has a separate account with "his money", cook & clean for them, etc. He is very hard on her child and a pushover on his own.

They have her daughter full time and his sons 50%. He says he doesn't want to do anything to upset them because he's only with them 1/2 of the time. His ex hates his wife & that doesn't help either.

Eventhough this is all happening, my friend went ahead and let her husband legally adopt her daughter. Now he is legally her father.

I thought that was a mistake because long before adoption process started, my friend wanted to leave her husband due to this conflict.

The only thing I could suggest is that they take a parenting class that would help both understand the roles of a custodial parent and a stepparent. It helped my husband and I, I thought it would help them. A family therapist is good too. But don't rely on one to "fix" your situation. They can only give you the tools (advise) to fix it yourselves.

Good luck!!

My husband's ex wishes with all heart that my husband had the same idea as yours. I know if he did, I wouldn't be married to him.
post #5 of 33
. Would spelling out clearly your rules (i.e. no belittling in front of the children, EVER) and counselling help, do you think?
post #6 of 33
Quote:
He says he doesn't want to do anything to upset them because he's only with them 1/2 of the time.
Thats what DP has said before. He wants them to have fun and enjoy themselves. I understand that, but their is a line between having a good time and letting them run the show. Not to mention there is another child who see's all of this.
post #7 of 33
Exactly, children should not be treated as guests in their homes, even if they only go to that home every other weekend. They should feel like they are at home and all homes have house rules, etc.

I was a child of divorced parents and I think I would have felt very uncomfortable if I were treated as a guest in my father's home. He made me follow the same rules as everyone else in his home. Heck, he even made his flavor of the month's children follow certain rules if they were in his car or home.

I think that's where I learned, "If you are in my home, you will follow my house rules regardless of who you are. If I'm in your home, I'll do the same."
post #8 of 33
Wow, I think you need to disengage from his child and ask him to do the same with yours. I think that perhaps a short period of time of him experiencing what it is like to be "cut out" might help him to better understand your situation.

I personally am not a huge fan of "co-raising" skids becuase I think that often this kind of thing happens. One parent seems eager to set the other parent's kids strait but wants no such help with thier own kids.

I think you can do this lovingly and with great care but still firmly. If you post some specific examples I could offer some specific advice.
post #9 of 33
I am sorry but I don't believe the step parent should be raising the child. you can help guide them and be a friend but otherwise stay out of it, the child already has 2 parents. if the child doesn't (have 2 parents) and you and the child like each other than go from there. But realize the child is going through alot as it is with his parents not being together and all that brings. think of the child first!!
post #10 of 33

Stepparents should be treated like any other authority figure

This reply is not directed at any post. I know some posts were for stepparent involvement and some were against. I'm not refering to those against in this reply. This is just my opinion in general.

Parents usually expect their children to obey their babysitters, grandparents, teachers, day care providers, aunts, uncles, church members, etc. Parents usually back these people up 100%. If their child disobeys these people the parents jump on it and usually tell the children to obey them when they are in their care and show them respect.

For some reason, lots of parents don't want to put stepparents in that catagory.

I don't have a problem with it. I expect my son to obey his stepmother just as much has he obeys every other authority figure in his life, if not more so, since she is a parental figure of their home. She deserves the same respect from my son as she does her own children and her nieces and nephews who visit her home.

If your child disrespected your babysitter or your mother, or their friend's mother, etc., would you be on him any more or less than if it was his stepparent?

My home is my child's home, but again it is my home. I will not be disrespected in my home by anyone. This is my safehaven from the real world. I treat other members in my home with the same respect I expect. My son knows that as do my stepchildren.

I can't expect the woman in my ex's home to be treated any differently than I would want to be treated in my home. She deserves the same in her home, just as a teacher deserves it in her classroom, or a sunday school teacher deserves it in church, etc.

A day care provider does not have one set of rules for some children and another set of rules for your child. If your child cannot follow the rules in the day care, he/she will be disciplined as the provider sees fit. If you have a problem with it, you get another provider or deal with it. You cannot get another stepparent for your child, so you have to deal with it or go to court.

I know some sounds harsh in this reply. It's not meant to be. Sorry it it sounds that way.
post #11 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for the replies.

Things have gotten a bit better. I would like to talk a bit about WHY we do some things the way we do though, so confusion is little.

My DD's father is 100% out of her life, he is terminating parental rights, and when we are legally allowed, SO will be adopting DD. So, it's not all about her 'step-parent' raising her, he IS her parent, honestly. He's all she knows as a parent, and I'm happy to encourage their father/daughter relationship.

With my DSS, the main thing is, I'm the one who remembers things (guitar lessons, half-days at school, his school spelling bee, parties he's invited to), so I'm the one who schedules days etc. SO remembers nothing unless it's taped to his forehead. Before I came along, it wasn't odd for DSS to honestly be forgotten at school, cause noone set up someone to get him on a half-day etc..

Because of this, I feel the need (yes, it's MY need), to be part of things, since I'm the one who knows what's going on in his and our lives... SO thinks he 'did well before I came along', so no NEED for my help now.

Honestly, no he didn't do all that great before I came along. Not to toot my own horn, but it hurts to hear stories of him forgetting to have DSS do homeowrk so DSS was in constant trouble at school, forgetting to set up someone to pick him up, so DSS sat crying at school cause he was forgotten, forgetting to send him with lunch or lunch money etc.... And then for him to think pretty much that I don't better the life of him and DSS by being around and helping with the raising... It hurts.


Part of me, the angry and hurt part, DOES want to 'cut off' SO's parenting ability with DD. But I realize that's petty. My DD needs her father (and yes he IS her father, in every word but biological and legel SO FAR), to be her father, and it'd be silly to throw my weight around as 'HER MOTHER'. One parent doesn't trump the other, IMO. Which, I suppose is why it hurts that I can't 'parent' DSS. I do all the hard work of parenting, and get no credit.

Guess I'm just jealous
post #12 of 33
Actually, I think step-parents should be actively parenting: and I thought that was the whole point of having a blended/stepfamily forum. Some children have a mummy and a daddy, some children have two daddies or two mummies, and some children have two daddies and two mummies. One sperm may make a man a father, but it doesn't make him a dad. A HECK of a lot of hard work goes into being a good stepparent, and I get mad at people who don't respect that.
Mom/BM/SM, don't take this the wrong way but are you sure about letting this man adopt your dd? It sounds like you've made an awful lot of changes in your life to commit to him: has he done the same thing? Could you, maybe, give things a little more time? I worry for you that you're going to get burned by him.
post #13 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by flapjack
Mom/BM/SM, don't take this the wrong way but are you sure about letting this man adopt your dd? It sounds like you've made an awful lot of changes in your life to commit to him: has he done the same thing? Could you, maybe, give things a little more time? I worry for you that you're going to get burned by him.
No offense taken. Honestly, adoption won't be able to happen for at least a year and a half to 2 years. I do think it's plenty of time to work on things, and to know if it's for the best etc. So, I'm not overly concerned with that. Things are still legally going on concerning her father and myself, so it will be a while, and we're all aware of that

Also, honestly, by that point, DSS will be older, and in more control of things for himself (like his scheduling etc. Right now, he's like his dad, would forget his head if it wasn't attached), so, I guess I'm hoping and believing that will make things easier as well...
post #14 of 33
Given that your dh will be her father soon I think you should not cut off his parenting of his daugther (or future daughter) but I do think you ought to disengage from his daughter.

Clearly he wants that and you are in pain becuse you are beating your head against a wall. Well stop. I know it breaks your heart to see him fail at things you know you could do (btdt!) but he is her father and that is the kind of relationship he is choosing to have with his daughter (the forget her at school kind apparently!) well he gets to choose that and you are discovering as I have that trying to help him do better will only make him mad and cause resentment with the skid. So stop. For your sanity and his. Once I stopped my DH eventually asked me back (he could see what good I was offering) But also I realized that I could stop, that they could do it, that I didn't need to be in charge of it all. They do have a different relationship than *I* would choose but it is thiers and they seem to like it.
post #15 of 33
Thread Starter 
Honeslty though, I love my step-son too much to just sit back and let someone forget him at school, or forget to give him lunch.

I don't need 'control', nor do I really want it, I just want to be included while building our family is all.
post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by MomBirthmomStepmom
Honeslty though, I love my step-son too much to just sit back and let someone forget him at school, or forget to give him lunch.
See but (and I learned this the hard way) you are putting your parenting values on your dh that he may not share. For example, your ss is nine I see. A nine year old should remember his OWN lunch and if he forgets he will go hungry one lunch (it won't kill him) but I bet he won't forget it again. And isn't that a good life lesson? In life as an adult do people remind you to remember to eat or do you have to think ahead and plan to eat yourself? Isn't what we are doing as parents is preparing our kids to be adults?

Look you can keep on keeping on this way but if you are saying to me " I try to help and my DH doesn't let me and we fight constantly and I resent it" well you can keep doing that and see how good that is in the long run for your ss and you to keep doing something that keeps making you resent your dh...OR you can see that honestly your dh is doing things his way and while his way isn't your way it is his way and he is his SS's dad. It may not be the WORST way. Letting your dh do it his way would end your frusteration and everyone's resentment. Just a thought.

what is it they say about lunacy being trying the same thing again and again and expecting a different result?
post #17 of 33
Thread Starter 
So what you're saying is I either 'resent' my SO for not allowing me to help, or I 'resent' myself for plain out not helping? Gee, I like to think there are other options.

Also, I make DSS his lunch and put it in the fridge, it IS up to him to remember to take it, and 9 times out of 10, he does. However, he is from a family that if he forgets it and calls grandma or dad crying about it, they will drop their lives to go 'fix' it. Seriously, THAT pisses me off more than the other issues, but that's a whole other post. If I stop doing what I do, he WON'T learn any of those lovely life lessons you pointed out, he will only learn to be MORE dependant on others. I know this, I DO help raise the child (or try my hardest), and live with him, no offense, but you do not, and you don't know this child or his personality at all.

See, I was raised by a grandmother who did EVERYTHING for me as well, and well when I became an adult, life SUCKED because of that, but honestly, I think you're replying to something else I said, and not necessarily what the thread is about. (the fact that I want to be told what's going on in my dss's life that I do not know about)...

I'm tired of this CRAP about SO doing it 'his way' and me not liking it. I could give a rats butt about that, what I WANT to know is things that are GOING ON IN OUR LIVES, and not feel like I'm being left out. Get it? And again, WON'T end resentment, cause I'll only resent myself for not treating my step-son as my own child...
post #18 of 33
Thread Starter 
To be honest, MommyMine, I don't think you're really understanding where I'm coming from, and while I do appreciate you taking your time to reply to my thread, and do honestly appreciate your suggestions, I do not think they are right for me or my family.

Let's agree to disagree. I'm not saying your advice is 'bad', but I'm just saying that a single solution won't fit all families. We're our own unique family, and your suggestions regarding this just won't work for us.
post #19 of 33
Thread Starter 
I also want to add that I did say things have gotten a bit better regarding this issue in my main post (slowly, but progress is progress)
post #20 of 33
MomBirthmomStepmom

After reading some of your last posts, I've got to say I can relate to you on some level. Although my husband backs me 100% in helping with this blended family, he has a nasty habit of standing back and letting me deal with all the parenting, custody & legal issues. I do get just as frustrated as you do when I see myself doing all the labor and geting shit on when rewards come out. It's very difficult to take the advise of others when their situation is not exactly like yours. I can say I can relate on some level with you and other's can probably relate on an alltogether different level with you.

I can say that a nice cold Zima now and then can really do the trick.

I love my husband and stepchildren dearly. If I had to do it all over, I would. Sometimes though, I feel used. I feel like dad wants me to do all the dirty work of lunches, homework, clean clothes, discipline, shopping, etc, and he gets the job of enjoying the kids after work.

I think my case is like most marriages and doesn't have too much to do with blended families.

Good luck!!
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