I thought DSS was a good kid until - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 35 Old 01-27-2010, 01:29 PM
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You mentioned having to parent him if he moves in. IMO I don't think that's your job. He's 18 and you're his stepmother with two kids of your own who need you. Your role (if you allow him to live in your house, that's between you and your DH) is to set (reasonable) ground rules and let him be. If he breaks the rules, he's out. If he keeps them, he can live there without you interfering overly in his life.

Just my opinion.

ETA: It's hardly any of your business if he swears. It IS your business if he swears in front of your kids. It's not your business if he has friends over. It IS your business if they are being loud when your kids (or you) need rest. It's really not your business if he skips work to spend the day with his girlfriend. It IS your business if he loses his job and has no income to help with your expenses that you agreed on him paying, or if he asks you to cover for him. You see what I'm saying, right?

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#32 of 35 Old 01-27-2010, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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I am making the assumption that he wasn't allowed to have friends over because I know that his mom doesn't like friends in the house when she is gone and because his post stated that he got away with having a large number of friends over. I guess she could have changed her rules but I doubt it.
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#33 of 35 Old 01-27-2010, 02:10 PM
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Okay, I just went and read the other thread and wow. I understand a little better your concerns, but I would say please, please don't make this about your stepson. It sounds like he's a basically decent kid who has not been taught some important life skills and whose mom doesn't have much interest in him and whose dad hasn't been able to develop a full relationship with him. It sounds like he could thrive on some unconditional love.
It sounds like the big issue here is the total lack of partnership and communication between you and your husband and your feeling of disempowerment in your own home. It sounds like your family is broken into you and your daughters on the one side and your husband and stepson on the other; that is not healthy for anyone. You're both making big priority decisions on your own and expecting the other to deal. You deciding on Montessori for your daughters (I assume that's a big expense; it is here); him buying a car for his son when there was no money in the budgetlp. It seems like you need to say to your husband that you need to come together as a family and make collective decisions that best meet the needs of all of the children (including daughters and stepson) and that counseling might help you do that.

I would let him move in but with guidelines. Sounds like he has a job; I'd ask him to contribute to the family budget. I'd also ask him to do work around the house and perhaps babysit the girls as "rent". I'd also ask him to set goals (like college application) and work toward that. I'd be willing to spend some of the former cs money on college funding but not on gas, social needs, etc. Other former cs money should go to other family needs - like the girls.

Other moves I'd make. I'd ask the parents to chip in and help. Not sure why they live there but if you are paying the rent/mortgage then they can help with the kids or dss. Perhaps if there is "parenting" of dss that needs to be done then that should be grandparents job in dh's absence. Finally, I'd look into at least a part-time job for yourself - both to add to the family income and to give you some financial independence and leverage in the household. Having so many family members under one roof can be a major drag, but it is also more hands to help and potentially more resources to pool. But for you guys it sounds like you just taking on responsibility for everyone - hence why your hands are so full and you are rightfully resentful (or at least I would be). You need to demand a real partnership and outline steps that could make this work. You sound seriously oppressed to me. I think in response you are retreating to just worrying about you and your daughters, but that then in turn furthers the lack of partnership and alienation. You need to find a way to stop the cycle and find a new path. Counseling sounds like a really, really good idea.
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#34 of 35 Old 01-27-2010, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
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kaleanani - I see what you are saying. Swearing outside of my home is none of my business. Neither is breaking his moms house rules, although it does concern me how respectful he would be of my rules. I wouldn't feel him skipping work to spend the day with his girlfriend is my business, but making up a story to go home early during our visitation time seems like my business. I don't think he had to work at all, I think he lied to DH so DH would take him home early. I have no idea why he told us that crazy story. We live an hour away and would have never known he didn't actually go to work.

bronxmom - you made a lot of good points. Our situation is really complex. I've asked DH to go to counseling. He thinks it's all me and when I go and get myself straightened out, he will go if I still think we need to go . I'm am currently trying to find a counselor for my own sanity. DH really has issues about DSS being treated the same. I'm not saying he should be treated differently, but my life can't revolve around DSS's time at our house. For example DH gets upset if I have pictures of the girls taken without DSS. DSS isn't alway here and what's wrong with having a picture of the girls by themselves once in a while. When our patio was poured, I wanted to put the girls handprints in the concrete but DSS wasn't here, so DH didn't want to. I insisted on doing the girls handprints so DH places his own hand in the concrete and writes DSS's name by the handprint. I don't know where this comes from - I have always made his son and stepdaughter feel like part of the family, and I think the time his stepdaughter lived with us is fueling my anxiety.
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#35 of 35 Old 01-27-2010, 05:08 PM
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JL'sMom... oh the picture and handprint thing... my DH totally would have had the same issue with that (and has with pics) nine months ago...

Counseling has brought so much to light and has really helped.

DH was dealing with a lot of guilt of not being a part of his DD's life everyday and wasn't accepting the whole aspect of blended, and the whole idea of fair doesn't always mean equal.

I was able to point out that DSD's Mom does a lot of fun things with DSD and takes DSD to get pics done every year as well, etc... that DSD isn't really missing out on things if she misses doing them with us... but if we plain don't do something because we didn't have DSD during that time, then our DD together would totally miss out on the experience as she only has us/our home... not two homes doing things for/with her.

DH did not see that at first, but after counseling has come around on a lot of things, this being one of them, thank goodness, as it has lifted some resentment/strain for me as I felt I wasn't able to have a full Mom life with my DD always trying to plan our whole worlds around EOW and it was driving me insane.

I am sorry that your DH feels that counseling should fall just to your shoulders. But I do say you should still go on your own... it does help. I went on my own for awhile before DH came around to it and I think it did help strengthen my own communication skills to better tell DH what I was feeling and going through in a less accusatory way, which helped him not be defensive and actually listen to me...

As for your DSS... he does sound a little immature to me... but not bad in anyway. As for the party/having people over thing... I would say that is pretty normal, especially at his age. At 18 I know I certainly fought against any rules my parents had for me as I felt I was an adult and knew it all. I wasn't trying to be disrespectful, but just to live my own life. I did end up moving out when I was 18 due to this.

As for the lying about work thing... he may have done it to spare your feelings. You are right you wouldn't have known for sure if he had work or not... but he may not have thought that far. He may have just thought, "hey I'd rather spend time with my GF this weekend than my Dad... but how do I tell Dad that?"

Especially if "visitation" is still being forced to strictly... I think I would have balked big time at 18 if my Dad was telling me I absolutely had to spend full weekends with him. I was barely home when I was 18 between work, activities, friends and BF.

I guess I'm trying to say... he is 18... you do have to understand he is technically an adult and fully allowed to have his own life. Pick your battles and rules that are age appropriate... such as no swearing in front of kids, if you are going to have friends over be respectful to the home and clean up after yourselves.

Good Luck with everything!

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