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Opinions on ss coming to live with us- kinda long

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi all - I am looking for some mamas to see things from a clearer perspective than perhaps I have so here goes..

Quick family background..
Dh and I have been married 10 years, 3 kids and one more edd 4/07. DH iin law school FT (career change) and I am a SAHM and odd is going to start unschooling after winter break. Our ODD has a handful of issues, SID and an anxiety disorder, which while not huge, take a lot out of me somedays. Dh has 2 kids from a previous very short marriage- dsd 14 and dss almost 12. We all get along very well (dh, me XW and her dh) XW and I communicatand cooperate with the kids issues etc.. They live in AZ we live in MN, we have the kids in smmer and breaks. Kids do not really like their step-dad (he's been around for 8 years and while IMO punative and harsh, by no means a bad parent) they have 2 more sibs in AZ.

The only issue we've really ever had is DSS has a HUGE temper, exacerbated by his SD. he ahs gotten out of control with us, but rarely as we parent differently. Apparantly though things have escalated at their house, dss has been hitting the little ones, grabbing knives and threatening them, threatening to call the cops and tell the SD is beating him and telling them he wants to live with us : (we have always said the kids could choose who to live with, but mom always wanted them with her- understandably)

So tonight, she called and asked if the offer was still open for dss to come live with us like soon- after Christmas. It must be really bad! I am so at a loss here- I know it would be better for dss, but given our family situation at this time it does not seem like a good idea

Some things I thought (in no particular order of importance) about were:

DH is gone ALL the time,
I am having another baby- and having him with all the needs he will bring, beginning unschooling and a new baby seem really overwhelming and honestly, unfair to OUR family
I am not sure I can handle having a new baby, have odd start homeschooling and have an added child who has some serious special needs at the same time
DH will not be here much so really what is being asked is- can I be handle my dss and my 4 kids
DSS will probably need more attention that I can give
I will want to be a mommy to the new baby, this is my last baby I will want to be able to focus on her
Learning to handle 4 kids may be enough for me
It may not be good for DSS to put him here with so many new changes going on here
Getting him the help he needs would be on me and with a new baby I am not sure I can / or want get him places
I would be constantly worried he would harm one of the kids (and YES if he is threatening the ones at her house it IS a possibility) so I could not leave the kids alone with him
Our house IS NOT big enough, I am not willing to have him sleep in the LR or basement- we will be too crowded and may go insane
Money??? CS would have to change for sure

In all honesty, having him come here after Christmas feels like too soon, too quick and very scary to me. I think I would rather wait until summer and see how WE are doing before a decision is made. Dh really wants him here but will not force the issue

Am I being unreasonable? Is there anything I am missing- any ideas anyone can offer?
TIA!
post #2 of 9
Wow, sounds like you have a lot going on in the next month or so. At the same time, your SS was in the picture when you married your DH, so IMO it would be wrong to refuse to take him into your home by family choices made by both of you after the fact. The SS really ought to be the first priority...not the last priority who must fit into all the others. Sounds like y'all are going to have to make some tough choices and life changes to make this work.

The fact of the matter is that teenage boys need a strong male figure, and if you SS is having behavioural issues already DH should do what is possible to make his schedule more available to his son. If work takes him out of town often, then he may need to cut back on leisure activities to make this time. Put DH in charge of taking the son to appointments.

Unschooling/homeschooling: Can you postpone THIS until the summer? It would lessen the total number of transitions all your kids will undergo when SS comes to live with you.

If he does come to live with you, I'd make sure DH and the ex immediately adjust CS to reflect the change. I'd also have a serious talk with SS about what his role and responsibilities will be around the house and the consequences of misbehaviour.

I know all this probably isn't the answer you want to hear and my heart goes out to you.
post #3 of 9
While it is probably do-able to take SS after Christmas, it is disruptive to his schooling and MAY cause him to fail courses and have to repeat them next year. If it were my kid, unless the situation was truly DIRE, I would leave him where he is until the end of school and move him when he is finished the year. I'm guessing here, of course, that his mother has him in public school.... If he had to move in Jan because things are just that bad at mom's house, then I would put him in public school hear your home until the end of the year and THEN decide if you are homeschooling him or what other options might be best for him.

Postponing things until May/June seems like the best option, it will give you time to have your new baby and spend at least SOME quality bonding time. It will also allow you to re-configure your home environment to accomodate the extra two bodies.

Is there any way that mom and SD and SS can find a counsellor who can help them work through SS's anger issues and help SD be a little more flexible and a little more understanding of SS's feelings? There's obviously been a communication breakdown somewhere in that home.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
THank you for your thoughtful responses
I think after more thoughts and talking with DH, yes he does need to come live here, but not until after the baby arrives.
Yes bio mom cound take him to a councelor, she did 2X but they told her and her Dh that they had to work on things too- they didn't want to hear that, so they quit:

THank you again and if you think of anything else LMK - I appreciate all the honesty and candor I can get at this point.
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by McFeelings View Post
Wow, sounds like you have a lot going on in the next month or so. At the same time, your SS was in the picture when you married your DH, so IMO it would be wrong to refuse to take him into your home by family choices made by both of you after the fact. The SS really ought to be the first priority...not the last priority who must fit into all the others. Sounds like y'all are going to have to make some tough choices and life changes to make this work.

The fact of the matter is that teenage boys need a strong male figure, and if you SS is having behavioural issues already DH should do what is possible to make his schedule more available to his son. If work takes him out of town often, then he may need to cut back on leisure activities to make this time. Put DH in charge of taking the son to appointments.

Unschooling/homeschooling: Can you postpone THIS until the summer? It would lessen the total number of transitions all your kids will undergo when SS comes to live with you.

If he does come to live with you, I'd make sure DH and the ex immediately adjust CS to reflect the change. I'd also have a serious talk with SS about what his role and responsibilities will be around the house and the consequences of misbehaviour.

I know all this probably isn't the answer you want to hear and my heart goes out to you.

I agree with this response. My ex husband is getting ready to remarry and the thought of him not taking his own child because it doesn't fit in with the schedule of his "new family" would infuriate me. His kids should be his first priority and that means making sacrifices. If he wasn't sure if you (both of you) could handle the children that he had before you and the children that you currently have, then in all honestly, he shouldn't have had any more. I truly believe that regardless of custody arrangements, you should live your life as if you have your kids full time. Then, if something like this happens, you are already prepared (ie: by not having too many kids to think you can handle his other child). I mean what would happen if something were to happen to his mother and you HAD to take him? This should not even be a choice.... It is a necessity for his son's well being. This is going to devastate his son and may possibly even make things worse. I honestly think that the decision that you have made has been made selfishly for you and your own children with little or no concern/ consideration given to the children that he had prior to you. I am sorry if this comes across as harsh, I am just being blatantly honest. This hits very close to home for me...
post #6 of 9
i can relate to your post! my step son moved in with us two weeks after we had our second baby. it was unexpected and unplanned. he had lots of problems, had dropped out of school (he's in the 10th grade). he was out all night, not responding to his mother.

i was resentful at first because of the timing, even though i knew it was better for my step son. our house is small too and it's been expensive (dh won't ask mom for cs)

my dh works at night, so often it's just me, step son and the little kids. he's gotten so much better in just a couple of months! he's back in school and he understands our "rules." he still tests us a lot and about once every week or two he gets into some trouble, but he seems so much happier and more calm internally.

don't underestimate your ability to turn things around. for him to know that his father wants him will help 100%.

i feel your pain. you have more children than i do and you also have a step-son who seems more openly angry than mine is. i agree with a previous poster about putting off the homeschooling for now and getting this kid to your house soon. he's probably not doing well in school anyway.

it's tough but if you work to have a positive outlook, you can make it work and experience the rewards of helping this boy become a wonderful man.

best wishes,
j
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3sunz&I View Post
I agree with this response. My ex husband is getting ready to remarry and the thought of him not taking his own child because it doesn't fit in with the schedule of his "new family" would infuriate me. His kids should be his first priority and that means making sacrifices. If he wasn't sure if you (both of you) could handle the children that he had before you and the children that you currently have, then in all honestly, he shouldn't have had any more. I truly believe that regardless of custody arrangements, you should live your life as if you have your kids full time. Then, if something like this happens, you are already prepared (ie: by not having too many kids to think you can handle his other child). I mean what would happen if something were to happen to his mother and you HAD to take him? This should not even be a choice.... It is a necessity for his son's well being. This is going to devastate his son and may possibly even make things worse. I honestly think that the decision that you have made has been made selfishly for you and your own children with little or no concern/ consideration given to the children that he had prior to you. I am sorry if this comes across as harsh, I am just being blatantly honest. This hits very close to home for me...
It is a little harsh and we don't know the whole story obviously. In some cases it is next to impossible to
Quote:
live your life as if you have your kids full time
because either you don't see them very much and/or the other parent is doing all they can to drive a wedge between you and your children and files motion after motion in court to try to remove any visitation. At what point do you move on with your life and accept things as they are? And once you move on, there ARE other people to take into account besides yourself and any kids that you have a very minimal relationship with.

Also, there is a difference between outright saying NO and what they are doing, which is trying to formulate a plan to do what is best for ALL the kids involved in both "new" families. The child in question has some issues which should have been dealt with long ago and obviously the parents who are currently raising him feel that it's better to ship him off than to deal with the problems. That doesn't make the DAD and SMOM the selfish ones.

Augustgirl - any chance your DH and his ex can jointly agree to put SS in a boarding school? There are some fabulous ones out there, that may buy the time needed to reorganize things and might be a welcome relief for all involved.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3sunz&I View Post
I agree with this response. My ex husband is getting ready to remarry and the thought of him not taking his own child because it doesn't fit in with the schedule of his "new family" would infuriate me. His kids should be his first priority and that means making sacrifices. If he wasn't sure if you (both of you) could handle the children that he had before you and the children that you currently have, then in all honestly, he shouldn't have had any more. I truly believe that regardless of custody arrangements, you should live your life as if you have your kids full time. Then, if something like this happens, you are already prepared (ie: by not having too many kids to think you can handle his other child). I mean what would happen if something were to happen to his mother and you HAD to take him? This should not even be a choice.... It is a necessity for his son's well being. This is going to devastate his son and may possibly even make things worse. I honestly think that the decision that you have made has been made selfishly for you and your own children with little or no concern/ consideration given to the children that he had prior to you. I am sorry if this comes across as harsh, I am just being blatantly honest. This hits very close to home for me...
Thanks for your opinion honest , it really helps to see all sides. We haven't made any decision yet, we still need to talk to ds's therapist to see if she feels it would be in his best interst to move and REALLY talk to ds too- kids can say a lot of things when they are angry and he may have not thought through all of the consequences of moving across the country, not being on his baseball team, far from friends, leaving his mom and sister... etc. However, you are correct that should his mom die, we would be taking him regardless, but since we have options here it may be best to stand back to see what's best with out jumping in using emotions asour guide.

I don;t think having 5 kids is too much, it's just the timing for me.

However I do not agree that Dh's kids should be his first priority. His first priority is to me, his wife, then the children. In our family everyone is viewed as equally important. I love all of my kids equally, as does he, and we do not place a value on them based on order in which they were born. However the situation with DS impacts ALL of us (his other family too) and while this maybe a necessity for DS, we feel everyones needs need to be taken into condsideration. We really are trying to give a lot of consideration to everyone, that's why I posted. Having an angry, physically agressive pre-teen in a household with a new baby may NOT be in his best interest and may be harmful to some. That is of course our opinion- doesn't have to be yours and I'm glad you gave your opinion as it made me think harder about the whole things and that's EXACTLY why I love MDC
Thanks
Blessings
post #9 of 9
Augustgirl69,

WOW hun you sure have your plate full. I can say I agree with you to a point. I however feel that MY KIDS come before my spouse or in this position it would. I am divorced now, but have a partner and if he had a son who was in the same situation, I would give my thoughts about it but would accept whatever decision he made. It is HIS SON and IT IS HIS responsibility and his sons needs should come first.

In your shoes, I would get the son, bring him home and immediately place him in counseling and lay out the rules and expectations you have of him with the counselor. Keep close tabs on him till YOU YOUR DH feel comfortable.

Hugs to you MAMA!! I hope it works out for you, regardless of what it is. What may be right for you and your family may not be for someone else.
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