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When DSS comes over

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
First off, let me start by saying I'm 29 weeks pregnant, so sometimes I don't know if I'm being rational or hormonal

DSS will be 10 @ the end of the month, and he is a good kid. There are things about him (and the way DH is when DSS is here) that drive me NUTS. (Suddenly I don't know where to start . . .).

DH and I have been living together almost a year and married almost 3 months. He is supposed to get every other weekend and up to 2 months in the summer with his son, but b/c of his job (he works 6 days a week, and 4 of those days around 12+ hours/day) he doesn't actually get him that often. When he asked if DSS could spend August with us, I said it was okay - I wasn't really thrilled about that much time alone w/ him (I'm pg! I want my last months to be me, alone, doing nothing!!!), but of course I understand he wants to be with him. DH was supposed to get 2 weeks off, but instead he only got 1, so now I am going to spend 4 weeks with DSS, at least 70 hours a week. And I'll get no time with DH whatsoever. Oh - and I forgot to mention I spent the 6 weeks prior to this alone b/c DH was out of town and I don't have family or friends in the area.

(Have to continue this later - BBS - thanks: )
post #2 of 45
I don't know how others would feel, but I would not be ok with that. I have a dd of my own, and fiance has 2 dd's. While I dearly love his dd's, it is his responsibility to be responslible for the girls when they visit. I, of course, am willing to watch them for him for periods of time, but it were for that period of time fiance knows he would have to arrange someone else to watch them or day camp of some sort and I would watch them until he got home from work. His work is 80 hour work weeks sometimes days sometimes evenings. It is difficult but he is their father and I help out willingly when I can. To be pregnant and have that responsibilty would not sit well with me. We have discussed this for the future and agreed that if the kids come from the summer then there will be some time of help. Either nanny of day camp. That's what they would be doing if I wasn't in the picture and that is what happens while at moms. Of course, I have no problem watching them for a couple hours each day if I get off work before him. JMHO
post #3 of 45
I think every step-family operates a little bit differently. Ideally, the two of you would have worked some of this out before your marriage. You should defenitely talk about what your expectations are and what your individual responsibilities are going to be. In my situation, I have always embraced my dss as if he were my own. My husband was a package deal. I got a two for one!! He would not have married someone who didn't feel that way. I have been a SAHM since my husband became custodial parent, so I have always assumed the responsibility of primary caretaker while he was in our house. That doesn't mean I "pretend" to be his bio-mom or that husband doesn't assume the responsibility of bio-dad. It's just the way things work out and I don't think it's a big deal. Sometimes step-parenting takes a while before you get into a "comfort zone". Things will fall into place as long as their is communication between you and your husband.

Good luck,
post #4 of 45
Thread Starter 
thanks you guys!

it was mostly the hormones, i do feel better today, but it is very reassuring to hear your experiences and opinions.

camp was sort of a late afterthought b/c at first DSS was only going to come for 2 weeks and DH would have those 2 weeks off, but then DH got him for Aug (and the first week of Sept). then DSS was telling DH how he'd been to camp before and how horrible it was (DH's mission is to find out what DSS hated about it) and DH is so willing to do whatever to make DSS as happy as possible that he doesn't want to force him into anything. he managed to get over that in regards to camp a bit and has agreed that DSS will definitely go to camp next year, but i think now he feels like the kid was promised non-camp time this year and he doesn't mind sending him for a few days a week , but we'd have to pay for full weeks. (this has all been a confusing PITA)

jenna, i wish my mindset was more like yours, and i am hoping perhaps i just need more time to adapt, but right now i completely feel like what teagan is saying and i'm wishing this summer could be more like that. i think also that part of my problem is that i'm 29, an only child and have always been rather independent. having my own baby gives me more time to adapt, but being thrust into having a 10 year old all at once is a bit scary and different.
post #5 of 45

definitely different!

For ten years it was just me and my daughter. Than I got married - he has 3 ds and boy has it been frustrating and different! I got married when I was 29 - I am 31 now and I feel like I had to grow up overnight! I too felt too young for all of this even though I already had a daughter. DH has 3 teenage sons! All I can say for me is it takes a lot of LOVE to blend a family. My husband works very hard - I am a SAHM, and he loves his boys sooo much. Well that love for them didnt come as natural for me. I had to work at it. I feel like I am still working at it. But it does get easier (2 yrs later and that is fulltime parenting) . You will have good days and bad days. You just have to remember this is your mission now - to make this family work, to love his son and take care of him. You will get the rewards - it make take a lot of time and frustration and you may even feel like you want to quit at times. But it always gets better!

hang in there!!!!!!!
post #6 of 45
Thread Starter 
thx 777
post #7 of 45
I just wanted to agree with everyone on here. First, the hubby with kid(s) is a package deal, even if it is only part time. Second, You have to communicate on this one. Third, I promise, it really does get better.

I cannot imagine going through this stuff pregnant! I did it all early in our marriage, but without a baby on the way. It really is rough. There is so much you are getting used to and the marriage really does change things from the way they were before the marriage. My husband used to have me watch his kid all the time and I ended up having to bring her to work, miss workouts (I'm training for an ironman), sacrifice time I should have been studying (I'm a full time student) not to mention any semblance of a social life. Things are a lot better now. I refuse to take her to work with me, When I want to do something, I just let him know ahead of time that he will have to pick her up from school or that I won't be around Sunday until lunch. Sometimes I adjust my plans for him and sometimes he adjusts his plans for me. Its all a compromise. Sure, I feel like I get the short end of the stick a lot, after all, she's not my kid. But I love her, and we are a family.
post #8 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by appifanie
First off, let me start by saying I'm 29 weeks pregnant, so sometimes I don't know if I'm being rational or hormonal
I totally relate to being pregnant and dealing with a stepson at the same time. I met my stepson June of 2004. My husband and I were married December 2004 (his ex-wife wouldn't allow his son to attend our wedding). It's been a huge adjustment for me because my husband works weekends. That means I'm left to be caretaker (feed, discipline, guide, clean up after... blah, blah, blah) to his 9 yr old son, when dh is at work.

[/quote=appifanie]SS will be 10 at the end of the month, and he is a good kid. There are things about him (and the way DH is when SS is here) that drive me NUTS. (Suddenly I don't know where to start . . .)[/quote]

I'm sorry you are going through all this while pregnant.

My stepson "J" is 9 years old. He is generally a good kid, but so many habits of his (much of which he's learned from his mother) just drive me nuts. She treats him like he's 4 years old, so he doesn't know much about taking care of himself. I've had to teach him the basics because his mother didn't.

1) J has poor hygeine. I don't know if this is normal for a boy his age, but I think it's ridiculous that he can't remember how to keep himself clean. I have a list on the bathroom door, which we review daily to remind him, a "good morning routine" and a "bedtime routine" to remind him how to take care of himself.

2) J lies, about anything and everything and emotionally manipulates his mother.
Once again, I don't know if this is normal for a child his age.
I don't believe a word that comes out of his mouth.
J tries to suck me into conversations about what his mom said & what I think of it, but I just ignore his attempts to manipulate.

3) J is a little drama queen.
He still throws 2 year old style temper tantrums whenever he doesn't get what he wants.
J also likes to scream things such as: "I hate myself because I'm so bad!", "I wish I was dead!", "I wish I could be with "Jn".
I end up having to explain to him that when he misbehaves, he's not a bad person, he's just done something inapproriate and needs to correct his behavior, that he has to make the choice to behave differently next time.
(Clearly his mother tells him he's bad when he misbehaves, and I'm constantly cleaning up the emotional/mental damage she causes.)

4) J has been diagnosed by one of his mom's "psychiatrists" as having PTSD, depression, & ADHD.
I think all the labeling has lowered his self-esteem.
I've done a lot of research on these diagnoses.
IMO, the 'symptoms' J has may just be discipline issues.
J's mom has him on medication for everything.

5) J takes over an hour to eat any meal, whining & complaining the whole time.
He is such a picky eater and hates so many foods.
He has even forced himself to throw up in an attempt to get out of eating what is served.

6) When caught in a misbehavior, and confronted about it, when apologizing, J goes throuhg his rehearsed ingenuine routine: He drops his head, frowns, slumps his shoulders, stares at his feet, and sighs deeply.
He has learned this performance because his mom buys his little act and he gets off scott-free when playing this role.
But I don't buy his performance and he knows he can't get away with being conniving and manipulating with me.

7) J lashes out violently, breaking things, etc. He has even deliberately injured A (a baby) when he is mad.

J is treated like a little baby by his mother and stepdad.
In our house, he has rules and responsibilities, which he constantly rebels against.
J seems to enjoy the structure and routine he has when he's with us.
He even likes having more responsibility because it allows him to take pride in his accomplishments.

J's mother has been talking to him about trying to get pregnant, adopting another child, or fostering kids, for over a year a year now.

J is not happy about that, but his mom has always wanted a girl (her daugher "Jn" was stillborn at fullterm).

Dh and I have a 14 month old daughter, "A", and we are expecting our 2nd in August.
When A was born, J fell in love with her immediately.
J has had difficulty learning how to share, as he had been an only child for 8 years.
J was not accustomed to sharing anything.
Sometimes J is helpful and I try to encourage his pride in being an older brother.
I tell him how much A loves and admires him.
post #9 of 45
Quote:
Although I do, I totally resent having him forced on me.
His son is treated like a baby by his mother and stepdad. In our house, he has rules and responsibilities, which he constantly rebels against. He is now 9 years old and was 8 when our daughter was born. He is very jealous and sometimes hurtful toward our daughter. We are expecting another daughter around August 14th.
His mother has been talking to him about trying to get pregnant or adopting another child. I think perhaps Johnathan is feeling replaced. Sometimes he is helpful and I try to encourage his pride in being an older brother. I point out to him how much my daughter admires and adores him. He seems to like that
Poor Jonathan.

I think I would feel like I wasn't worth shit and being replaced too. I can see why he feel jealous. His mom is wanting another baby...his step mom and Dad are having another baby. His dad doesn't spend much time with him and you resent him. What a horrible feeling for that kid. If you are feeling you resent him even if you think you are not showing it or saying it around him...he is feeling it. He doesn't feel he fits in anywhere I'm sure. He didn't ask to be raised between 2 different families. He has no choice in the matter. It sucks for Jonathan. This is pretty common with kids from step families. My parents divorced when I was an adult and married. My sis was still a kid and had to go through my parents boyfriends and girlfriends. Now we have both encountered our new stepmom. She does not treat us the same as her daughter. In fact I can tell she resents my relationship with my Dad and anytime I had called him. I go to their house and I feel uncomfortable like I can't help myself to the fridge or let my hair down. Not around her or in her house. I couldn't imagine how it is for being a child.

Try to put yourself in the child's perspective. Please.

I'd point out MORE how much you ADORE him and LOVE him. Give him big HUGS and SMILES...interact with him and TALK with him...get to really know him. By doing that I would bet all the bad behavior will eventually go away. He is acting out because he is wanting attention and he is only getting attention by acting bad.
post #10 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by momof3sweeties
Poor J. He didn't ask to be raised between 2 different families. He has no choice in the matter. It sucks for J. This is pretty common with kids from step families. Try to put yourself in the child's perspective. Please.
I am a stepchild. My mother divorced my father when I was 2 and remarried when I was 3. They had my half-sister 6 months later. My stepdad adopted my older brother and I, but I always knew he wasn't my bio father. I had infrequent, rare, supervised contact with my father only on occassion. He is no longer in my life, my choice. Although my dad (stepdad) wasn't able to show a lot of physical affection toward me (just not his style), I know he loves me. My dad (stepdad) is very much a wonderful part of my life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by momof3sweeties
I'd point out MORE how much you ADORE him and LOVE him.
I was very young when my stepdad moved in with us (I was under the age of 3).
I know it is easier to bond with children whom you are involved with from when they are 5 and under.
I didn't even meet J until he was 8 years old.
A lot had happened in his life in that time (not going into details here).

J's stepdad has lived with his mother since J was 4 years old.
His Mom has him call his stepdad 'daddy' when he's at his mom's house.
I do care about J's well-being and I take good care of him because he is my responsibility when he is under my care.
I do not adore him (yet), I do not love him (yet), and I don't believe faking it is beneficial to him.
I treat him with kindness, respect and I am calm and gentle when interacting with him.
I don't feel step-parents are obligated to love their stepchildren.
J has told me countless times he thinks I am a great stepmom, that I'm fun to be around, a good friend, & that he likes that I expect certain things from him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by momof3sweeties
Give him big HUGS and SMILES....
I don't hug very many people at all. It's not comfortable for me. We have mutually agreed that shaking hands is best. This is what works for us. My parents and J's parents are very affectionate with him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by momof3sweeties
interact with him and TALK with him...get to really know him.
I do. I treat him with respect. I praise him when he does well. He talks quite a bit with me about his thoughts, opinions and feelings. We interact quite frequently, probably more than he does with either of his bio parents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by momof3sweeties
He is acting out because he is wanting attention and he is only getting attention by acting bad.
Yes, he wants attention, ALL THE TIME. He is accustomed to being a spoiled, babied only child. He is adjusting to learning to share attention. It's not easy for a child who has been so spolied and undisciplined.
He does not get attention by being bad. He is put in timeout. If and when he throws fits, I walk away until he has calmed down. When he behaves, he is rewarded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by momof3sweeties
By doing that I would bet all the bad behavior will eventually go away.
I strongly disagree.
I believe a lot of his bad behavior is caused by how his mother treats him like a little baby.
She treats him like he is a 3 yr old.
She has never taught him any life skills.
I had to teach him how to use the toaster, how to fold his clothes, how to make his bed, etc.
J's mom, stepdad, and maternal grandparents shower him with gifts and 'surprises' when he returns home after our visitations and drill him with questions about me and his dad.
They spoil him and give him anything he wants and clean up after him all the time.
He's not expected to do anything.

His mom thinks it is necessary to bribe children in order to get the child to do anything that is asked of them.

J expects bribes and treats every single time he is asked to do anything.
J's mom and stepdad do not expect anything from him, so that is what they get.
I expect more and I get more.
post #11 of 45
Quote:
I do care about his well-being and I take good care of him because he is my responsibility when he is under my care. I do not adore him, I do not love him, and I don't believe faking it is beneficial to him. I don't feel step-parents are obligated to love their stepchildren.
That is SO sad. But I can see your truth in it. Just very sad for an innocent child.

Quote:
Yes, I can put myself in his shoes. My mother divorced my father when I was 2 and remarried when I was 3. They had my half-sister 6 months later. My stepdad adopted my older brother and I, but I always knew he wasn't my bio father. I had infrequent, rare, supervised contact with my father only on occassion. He is no longer in my life, my choice. As a child, my sister would tease me, saying, "I have a real daddy and you don't." It hurt. Although my dad
(stepdad) wasn't able to show affection toward me like he did toward my sister, I know he loves me. My dad(stepdad) is very much a wonderful part of my life.
That explains where you are coming from.
post #12 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by momof3sweeties
That is SO sad.
I guess I don't understand why you think it's sad that I don't love J. He has a mother that loves him, a stepdad he is living with full-time who loves him, a father who loves him, a grandmother, grandfather and uncles on his mother's side who love him, grandparents on his father's side who love him, aunts on his father's side who love him and my parents and sister adore him. IMO, he has more love than the average child.

I think my lack of attachment to my J is that he is not related to me and I didn't raise him. He was already 8 when I met him with all the issues he has to top it all off.
post #13 of 45
Quote:
I guess I don't understand why you think it's sad that I don't love my stepson.
It's sad for the little boy. All little kids want to feel loved. Your home is his second home and if you don't love him, he probably knows that and feels that in your home. I think that in itself is sad. I can understand why you don't have love for him...there is a difference between your own child and someone elses.

He is lucky there are so many other people that truly love him.

Quote:
I think my lack of attachment to my stepson is that he is not related to me and I didn't raise him. I think it's as simple as that.
He's only 10. He isn't done being raised yet.

It looks like you don't even consider him part of your family. He isn't even in your sig with your dh, baby, baby on the way and your pets.
post #14 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by momof3sweeties
He's only 10. He isn't done being raised yet.
He's 9. Raising him is his mother and father's job.
It's not my job.
He's not my child - I didn't create him.
I didn't even know him his first 3 years, or even the first 6 years, in fact I didn't know him until he was 8.
I play a role in his life, but I am not his primary caretaker and I am not in his life all the time.
He has a family already, a huge family.
I may be one of only a few who are at least being honest about their true feelings.
Yes, he's only 9, and he's "not done being raised yet", but that doesn't make it suddenly my job.
I do my part when he's here and I have taught him a lot.
J's mother has had a profound effect on him, and I seriously doubt the next 9 years will significantly improve any of the damage she's already done.

As far as I can tell, you don't have any stepchildren, so how can you possibly have a point of reference when you haven't even been there.

It sounds to me like you're just sitting back placing judgement on others although you've never had the experience.
post #15 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abi's Mom
He's 9. Raising him is his mother and father's job. It's not my job. He's not my kid and my husband doesn't have custody of him so he is not here full time. He has a family already. If you think I'm being harsh, just remember, I may be one of only a few who are at least being honest with you and myself about their true feelings. He is not in my sig, because he is not my family. I didn't create him and I didn't raise him. So, yes, he's only 9, and he's "not done being raised yet", but that doesn't make it suddenly my job. Besides, his mother has had a profound effect on him, and I seriously doubt the next 9 years will improve any of the damage she's already done.

As far as I can tell, you don't have any stepchildren, so how can you possibly have a point of reference when you haven't even been there.

It sounds to me like you're just sitting back placing judgement on others although you've never had the experience.
Damn, I wish I had never opened this thread.

I know that there are all sorts of kids in the world who are 'unfortunate' and don't have the things they need. I know this. To actually hear of it on this board is so sad to me.

I am so mad and sad and hurt right now. I swear I could hit something.

UGH. Just whatever. I can't even articulate what I'm feeling for this little child
post #16 of 45

To Abi's Mom

Dear Abi's mom:

I hope I dont upset you with my post - I really feel for you because i have a 10 yr old dd and 3 preteen and teenage dss - all fulltime and I am a SAHM, so I definitely have an idea of the frustrations of trying to bond with a child that I did not raise from the time they were very young - and who can just frustrate me so much. Sometimes I feel like for the last 2 yrs me and my dh have been married (and before), I have put time and energy and money into these 3 boys and I dont always get the return i would hope for which angers me, hurts me, frustrates me - you name it - i have gone thru all the phases. And when i feel they are mean to my dd - my mother bear claws - come out full force. I will say no matter what - I try to be the adult, remain calm, show respect and try to show love even if i dont feel the same intensity toward them as I do my bio daughter. 2 yrs later - things still seemed complicated with them. And I feel they too are generally good kids just as you said your dss is a good kid. Anyway, I do have to agree with a point that momof3sweeties made, that I have come to grips with. The children do "feel" our resentment and frustration even if we put on a "good face". So I decided to put a new foot forward - make a greater effort even if i feel my efforts have been "great", create compassion and love and selflessness inside of me for these children - these are the man i love children, young and innocent and influenced by everything. I am a mother to these children - even if it is a step mother. My misson may seem difficult, but in the end the rewards will be there! And I have to tell you - I have noticed changes - nothing ever seems to happen in my timetable or as quickly as I would like but I have noticed changes
post #17 of 45
Quote:
Damn, I wish I had never opened this thread.

I know that there are all sorts of kids in the world who are 'unfortunate' and don't have the things they need. I know this. To actually hear of it on this board is so sad to me.

I am so mad and sad and hurt right now. I swear I could hit something.

UGH. Just whatever. I can't even articulate what I'm feeling for this little child
I know poor Jonathan.

Abismom, you are right I don't have stepchildren. But I have had the experience of raising kids other than my own and even though I didn't love them like my own, I brought them into our home and treated them as my family.

I am shocked to read how cold you are. Even if it is the truth it is just so damn sad for this little boy. You don't consider him your family and he is your stepson. I know other blended families and they treat all the kids equally and with love. That is probably why their blended families work. They all had some adjusting and tough times but they made it work. You are bitter towards his mom and how she has parented him. It's not his fault. He's just a kid.
post #18 of 45
Quote:
I am a mother to these children - even if it is a step mother. My misson may seem difficult, but in the end the rewards will be there! And I have to tell you - I have noticed changes - nothing ever seems to happen in my timetable or as quickly as I would like but I have noticed changes
Good for you!! I have learned over the years when I want something to change, it HAS to start with ME first. I do believe there can be rewards in the end for you mamas with stepchildren....they will see and understand when they get older all the dynamics you had to face. They will appreciate it too if you showed them love and compassion as they grew up. They will also most likely be there for you when you need it later on down the road and give you more blessings than you can possibly imagine right now.
post #19 of 45
Quote:
You are bitter towards his mom and how she has parented him. It's not his fault. He's just a kid.
All I could think about were all the kids at the day cares I've worked at that I have loved.
No they weren't MY kids
and no, I didn't love them like I love my kids.

But I did love them--even the ones who I was so glad to see go home at night!

Granted, I would not include them in my "family" listings here
Nor would anyone expect me to

But I think it is important to not shut a child out of a relationship just because you don't want it
okay, that didn't make sense when I wrote it out--I mean to say he doesn't have a choice in this--and you do. Don't shut him out of your heart.
Obviously you shouldn't Pretend to have feelings you don't have.
But just because you don't have them now, don't assume you never will...

he could grow up to be a very cool person...and it sounds like you are a great influence in his life right now
post #20 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by momof3sweeties
Poor J.I think I would feel like I wasn't worth shit and being replaced, too. I can see why he feels jealous. His mom is wanting another baby...his step mom and Dad are having another baby.
J's jealousy has nothing to do with being a stepchild.
J is jealous because he has been a spoiled, babied only child for 8 years, never required to think of anyone but himself.
I've discussed with him his feelings of jealousy and how important it is to share.
J's mom has been telling him she wants another baby for 6 years, since she miscarried at full term.
J's mom regularly keeps the painful memory of "Jn's" death fresh in J's mind.
J is very excited about having another little sister, although he says he'd prefer it was a boy.
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