Really need help! I dont have kids and he has a 13yo and a 16yo. any advice, PLEASE! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 16 Old 06-18-2012, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am planning to move across the country with my long term BF. we 100% have plans to marry.

 

Long story short...

 

He has 2 sons that he has full custody of, one is 13 and the other is 16. DP is not sure if he wants more kids and right now I don't need an answer on that. I would love to know if anyone else has had a DP that was like him though. unsure, but then ended up wanting or having more.

 

my main questions are: how do we make it smooth for the boys? We have been in a long distance relationship for the last 1 1/2. the 13yo is still having adj issues about his mom and dad splitting. His mom is VERY, VERY  manipulative!!! I am so worried that he will lose his boys because of me. How do I form a bond with them and help them adj to their new situation. my main focus is the 13yo. the 16yo seems to be doing well and is really well adj'ed.

 

I am open to sharing ANYTHING about our situation in order to get the best advice. please feel free to ask for details and I will do my best to answer :)


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#2 of 16 Old 06-18-2012, 05:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lovebug View Post

I am planning to move across the country with my long term BF. we 100% have plans to marry.

Long story short...

He has 2 sons that he has full custody of, one is 13 and the other is 16. DP is not sure if he wants more kids and right now I don't need an answer on that. I would love to know if anyone else has had a DP that was like him though. unsure, but then ended up wanting or having more.

I would get this sorted out either way well before you get married. What happens when you *do* need an answer and the answer is no? You may ultimately decide that you don't want kids but if there is any chance that you will you need to know whether that is an option with him.

When I first met my DH he had one adult child and was quite sure he didn't want anymore. I wasn't sure whether I wanted children but it wasn't something I was ready to rule out at that stage. That was as far as the conversation went as we were just friends at that point. Very early in the process of us becoming more serious he, without any prompting or discussion, told me that if I decided I wanted children then he would be happy to have more. I am currently pregnant with our second child.

So, things worked out well for us but this is one of those big thIngs that really need to be agreed on pre-marriage. I know at least one person who married someone who said he didn't want children. She hoped he'd change his mind. He didn't. The marriage didn't survive.

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#3 of 16 Old 06-18-2012, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am just like you. I am not sure if I even want kids of my own, but I cant rule it totally out. He has said that if I should have a huge pull to wanting kids... he would be willing to make that happen for me. So I think that is sorted out. He is not sure if he has a "want" to have more kids, but should I want he is totally willing to take that road. he just might not be the one "asking for more".... if that even makes sense.
 


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#4 of 16 Old 06-18-2012, 07:43 PM
 
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That makes sense. My DH was/is the same. He was happy t go either way and left the final decision to me.

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#5 of 16 Old 06-18-2012, 09:51 PM
 
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I'm confused about who is moving. Are you all moving -- uprooting a 13 and 16 year old?  Or is it just you that will be moving?

 

How much time have your spent with your boyfriend and his children?
 


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#6 of 16 Old 06-18-2012, 10:58 PM
 
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Are you planning on moving straight in with him? Because personally, if the 13yo is still having problems with his parents splitting up then Dad's long distance girlfriend moving in with them would be a lot to handle. I would suggest moving to the same place and spending a few nights there a week but having two seperate homes to give him some time to adjust to the situation. 


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#7 of 16 Old 06-19-2012, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm confused about who is moving. Are you all moving -- uprooting a 13 and 16 year old?  Or is it just you that will be moving?

 

How much time have your spent with your boyfriend and his children?
 

He is relocating for his job. I will be moving from my state and him from his. we will all be moving to a new state. I have spent 6-7 days once a mth (sometimes longer). sometimes they come to me, but most of the time I go to them. this has been the drill for the last year and a half. both boys are very excited to see me when i am there.

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Originally Posted by Learning_Mum View Post

Are you planning on moving straight in with him? Because personally, if the 13yo is still having problems with his parents splitting up then Dad's long distance girlfriend moving in with them would be a lot to handle. I would suggest moving to the same place and spending a few nights there a week but having two separate homes to give him some time to adjust to the situation. 

Yes. For money reasons I am not sure if we could afford 2 different homes. I would  have to take a large pay cut to make the move. plus, with the type of job he does, he really needs the help of another adult in the home. I have thought about us having separate rooms...

 

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I don't think the 13yo has a big issue with me as much as he has an issue with what his mom is feeding him. She is trying to pull every string to get him to move with her. sadly, its not because she wants him to live with her, but its more because she would get a large amount in child support. he very much feels the pull of the split more so because of how she treats him.


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#8 of 16 Old 06-19-2012, 01:57 PM
 
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You talk about the cost of having two separate places being a problem, but if your SO's ex decides to drag the issue into court to try to create a change of custody--even if there isn't one--huge legal bills could accrue outweighing the cost of having a separate, small, apartment for you. I don't know that it would necessarily make a lot of difference to her whether you live in the same house versus the same town, but if if you think it might, the cost of the small apartment might be worth it. It is also well worth it if you anticipate that she'll attempt to alienate the children from SO even more because of your living with him.

 

My DH's ex was "fine" while we dated (I was with him and DSD nearly all of the time that he had her, and DSD talked about me a lot, we've always gotten along great). Once we bought a house together, the ex got mad and filed a Motion with the Court for DH to not have any parenting time at all, for his child support to be double the statutory amount, and for him to pay for half of every dime she spent on DSD besides. M-a-d. That excursion, to protect his right to see his daughter, accrued over $7,000 in attorney fees alone. As far as family court is concerned, I think that's cheap. We only had one fifteen-minute hearing! These days we're lucky to go more than a month without having to have the attorney put the kaibash on something she does (usually interfering/refusing parenting time). I love my DH more than anything in the world but there are times I seriously consider if it was best for DSD--even though we get along great--for DH and I to live together/get married (usually this thought happens when DSD comes crying because mom told her she's not allowed to love dad, or that she's not supposed to want to go to dad's house, etc).

 

It's not the answer, but perhaps another thing to consider.


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#9 of 16 Old 06-19-2012, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The area we are moving to is a high rent area. He is having to keep his home and rent it out in his current state. he will be renting it out, but it still does not cover his full payment. we have tried to work it and there is just no way with my pay cut and his current home.

 

I guess I am looking for advice on how to support the 13yo. how to form a bond and to let him know I am not "taking his dad away" not that he will think that, but this is a new area and I know teens can be hard as it is.
 


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#10 of 16 Old 06-19-2012, 05:21 PM
 
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I think you should be pretty concerned about both kids -- 13 and 16 are generally not great ages for moving cross country, leaving all your friends, and being forced to change schools. And no age is good to move away from a mother (unless the mom is a meth addict or something).

 

That the kids are getting a new future step mom  as part of the package is just the icing on the cake.

 

I'm just not getting from your posts that you really grasp how much is going on for these teens, or how that may play out.

 

This is a lot more complicated than you and dad deciding this is the right moment to move in together.


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#11 of 16 Old 06-19-2012, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think you should be pretty concerned about both kids -- 13 and 16 are generally not great ages for moving cross country, leaving all your friends, and being forced to change schools. And no age is good to move away from a mother (unless the mom is a meth addict or something).

 

That the kids are getting a new future step mom  as part of the package is just the icing on the cake.

 

I'm just not getting from your posts that you really grasp how much is going on for these teens, or how that may play out.

 

This is a lot more complicated than you and dad deciding this is the right moment to move in together.


Well thank you for your concern and despite your thoughts I DO indeed understand what they are going through... that is why I posted. that seems a little hard to grasp via a blog post were you have just a tiny tiny bit of info. I guess I am in need of support. Instead of feeling support, I am feeling judged. I will say I am not great via text, but I feel like I am having to defend my and DP actions. I am 100% open to ideas and feedback- but dont tell me I dont grasp the idea of what they are going through; as if you have a better idea of their emotions.  DP can not help his job transfer, given his job its not exactly a choice. I am concerned for the 16yo, however, he is not taking this nearly as hard and understands; he has said he wants me to move in and be close. the 13yo has also said the same thing, but also cant understand why his mom is the way she is. both have said it makes them sad that I love them more then their mom, I just tell them "their mom loves them and they might not understand everything now, but in time they will understand.'

 

and just so we are clear, its not meth, but their mother is a sever alcoholic and literally just picked up one day and moved across the country- when I say literally, I mean literally. she packed her things and left a note. they returned from a fishing trip to find her things gone and a note... a freaking note!  she will have them come visit for 2-3 days every 3-5ish mths per court order. however, they sleep in the living room and are not allowed in any of the "extra" bed rooms. it is made clear to them that the stay is temporary until it comes to the money. she has actually said "DS if you lived with me your dad would have to pay us and we could go on all kinds of trips"... vomit! I am the only positive female in their life.

 

I didnt want this to be about her (this thread). I want it to be about me and my relationship with the boys.

 

the boys and I are close... to the point when their dad deploys both have REQUESTED to stay with me. they do not want to stay with anyone else. I just want to insure I stay positive and try to support them. I would love ideas on how to support them. I dont really need input on the situation.

 

so again, I will ask, what kind of support can I give them to help them understand their situation.


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#12 of 16 Old 06-19-2012, 08:42 PM
 
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It sounds to me like this is a situational move, because of a job transfer, not a decision to move in together whether the kids like it or not. Anyway, if they both see you as their primary maternal role model (despite loving their mom), in the long run it's better for you all to live together.

 

I don't know your dss, but here are my general suggestions: have the whole family do regular family meetings where everyone can talk openly about family issues, encourage each other, and agree on family rules and consequences. Try really hard to get each boy his own room. Expect, discuss in advance, and open space for intense feelings. Outline acceptable behavior in anger at a family meeting- can people yell in their own room, slam doors but not break things, raise voices but not call each other names, etc. Make sure each boy gets connected with his passions and interests in your new town. Agree with your dp that you will back each other up in front of the kids, and work out disagreements in private! Get into a routine as quickly as possible, as if the kids were still little- teens and toddlers have a lot in common! Get regular meals, bedtimes, work times, chilling out time, alone time and social time in a kind of daily rhythm if you can- the routine will soothe and support them until they find their footing. Plan on being there for company a lot until they make friends.


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#13 of 16 Old 06-19-2012, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It sounds to me like this is a situational move, because of a job transfer, not a decision to move in together whether the kids like it or not. Anyway, if they both see you as their primary maternal role model (despite loving their mom), in the long run it's better for you all to live together.

 

I don't know your dss, but here are my general suggestions: have the whole family do regular family meetings where everyone can talk openly about family issues, encourage each other, and agree on family rules and consequences. Try really hard to get each boy his own room. Expect, discuss in advance, and open space for intense feelings. Outline acceptable behavior in anger at a family meeting- can people yell in their own room, slam doors but not break things, raise voices but not call each other names, etc. Make sure each boy gets connected with his passions and interests in your new town. Agree with your dp that you will back each other up in front of the kids, and work out disagreements in private! Get into a routine as quickly as possible, as if the kids were still little- teens and toddlers have a lot in common! Get regular meals, bedtimes, work times, chilling out time, alone time and social time in a kind of daily rhythm if you can- the routine will soothe and support them until they find their footing. Plan on being there for company a lot until they make friends.


Thank you! this is just the type of thing I was looking for. some of the things are things I have already put into place, like the family dinners and and DP and I backing each other up in front of the boys.

 

I love your idea of setting ground rules when upset ans insuring some kind of normal routine. everything has been crazy, implementing some form of normal totally makes sense!


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#14 of 16 Old 06-20-2012, 11:11 AM
 
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Instead of feeling support, I am feeling judged. I will say I am not great via text, but I feel like I am having to defend my and DP actions. I am 100% open to ideas and feedback- but dont tell me I dont grasp the idea of what they are going through; as if you have a better idea of their emotions. 

 

 

I'm sorry. I really don't feel any judgment toward you or the situation and I'm sorry that I came across that I did.

 

My situation is that I have 2 teens and my husband works in a career that moves people around a lot, also one where he travels a great deal. So we know a lot of people whose lives are like this, too. We aren't military, but are often living close to Air Force bases, and I have had several friends over the years who are military wives (we have a lot in common, and it's easier to make friends with other people who are semi-transient).

 

Just getting teens through a cross country move emotionally together enough that they don't bomb a year of school or start drinking can be a challenge.

 

I agree with singin the rain's advice, esp the part about helping the boys find activities they enjoy. This is really, really important, and honestly, more difficult at this age than for younger children. Even for a kid who has a specific thing they LOVE, it will be different after the move and they may quite it. My kids lives revolved around competitive swimming, until we moved and the didn't connect with the new coach. They then felt yet another loss. With a kid who hasn't found something they are passionate about, it can be more intimidating to try new things at this age.

 

I think volunteer work is really helpful for teens. I lets them see in a real way what they have to contribute to the world. It also gets them around different people and makes their world bigger.

 

I also think that organizational skills are really important for moms of teens, esp. during a move. Most of us get to start with one kid at a time who didn't have much going on in their lives, and we get to build up our organizational skills slowly. I know this isn't what you were really asking for, but organization is part of what keeps a home running smoothly (with less yelling) and makes it so that kids needs get met.

 

I use a wall calender with large writing spaces to track major dates at school, dentist/doctor/orthodontist, sports things, cut off for applications (the 16 year old should most likely be taking the SAT this year), DH's travel schedule etc.

 

I also use a 3 ring binder on the kitchen counter for other types of paper -- insurance reference stuff, school reference stuff, etc. I pick up business cards for their doctors and dentist and other professionals we use and keep them in the binder.  Pre-move I would use the binder to make list of what needed to happen ASAP after the move, documents related to the move, etc. printed maps showing the route from the new apt/house to the post office, library, DMV, etc. (the organizational part of setting up lives for teens in a new city where to don't know your way around and don't have friends can be fairly daunting)

 

Parenting a teen is partly about helping them figure out what their goals are and then providing the frame work for that to happen.

 

High schools near bases sometimes offer special services to military kids -- understanding how rough it is to move at this age. Ask.

 

There is a parenting teens board here on mothering, you might find it helpful over the next few years.

 

As far as helping the 13 year old adjust, helping him find joy in his own life will help. Getting to know him and helping him figure out things to try. He may be a kid who could really benefit from counseling. Being consistent in your love for him even when he is NOT being the least bit lovable.

 

I honestly don't think it would be wise to consider adding more children to the family for at least a couple of years. Settle in as couple and a family. You'll have enough on your plate esp. if your fiance gets deployed.

 

I wish you well, and I think it is very admirable that you are willing to play this role in these boys lives. It sounds like they deeply need you, and that you really care about them.

 

Peace


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#15 of 16 Old 06-20-2012, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sorry. I really don't feel any judgment toward you or the situation and I'm sorry that I came across that I did.

 

My situation is that I have 2 teens and my husband works in a career that moves people around a lot, also one where he travels a great deal. So we know a lot of people whose lives are like this, too. We aren't military, but are often living close to Air Force bases, and I have had several friends over the years who are military wives (we have a lot in common, and it's easier to make friends with other people who are semi-transient).

 

Just getting teens through a cross country move emotionally together enough that they don't bomb a year of school or start drinking can be a challenge.

 

I agree with singin the rain's advice, esp the part about helping the boys find activities they enjoy. This is really, really important, and honestly, more difficult at this age than for younger children. Even for a kid who has a specific thing they LOVE, it will be different after the move and they may quite it. My kids lives revolved around competitive swimming, until we moved and the didn't connect with the new coach. They then felt yet another loss. With a kid who hasn't found something they are passionate about, it can be more intimidating to try new things at this age.

 

I think volunteer work is really helpful for teens. I lets them see in a real way what they have to contribute to the world. It also gets them around different people and makes their world bigger.

 

I also think that organizational skills are really important for moms of teens, esp. during a move. Most of us get to start with one kid at a time who didn't have much going on in their lives, and we get to build up our organizational skills slowly. I know this isn't what you were really asking for, but organization is part of what keeps a home running smoothly (with less yelling) and makes it so that kids needs get met.

 

I use a wall calender with large writing spaces to track major dates at school, dentist/doctor/orthodontist, sports things, cut off for applications (the 16 year old should most likely be taking the SAT this year), DH's travel schedule etc.

 

I also use a 3 ring binder on the kitchen counter for other types of paper -- insurance reference stuff, school reference stuff, etc. I pick up business cards for their doctors and dentist and other professionals we use and keep them in the binder.  Pre-move I would use the binder to make list of what needed to happen ASAP after the move, documents related to the move, etc. printed maps showing the route from the new apt/house to the post office, library, DMV, etc. (the organizational part of setting up lives for teens in a new city where to don't know your way around and don't have friends can be fairly daunting)

 

Parenting a teen is partly about helping them figure out what their goals are and then providing the frame work for that to happen.

 

High schools near bases sometimes offer special services to military kids -- understanding how rough it is to move at this age. Ask.

 

There is a parenting teens board here on mothering, you might find it helpful over the next few years.

 

As far as helping the 13 year old adjust, helping him find joy in his own life will help. Getting to know him and helping him figure out things to try. He may be a kid who could really benefit from counseling. Being consistent in your love for him even when he is NOT being the least bit lovable.

 

I honestly don't think it would be wise to consider adding more children to the family for at least a couple of years. Settle in as couple and a family. You'll have enough on your plate esp. if your fiance gets deployed.

 

I wish you well, and I think it is very admirable that you are willing to play this role in these boys lives. It sounds like they deeply need you, and that you really care about them.

 

Peace

OMG! the bold part is sooooooo helpful! THANK YOU! The binder is such a great idea! I would have never thought of that on my own. DP prob has all that info down, but it will be all new to me. just brilliant! The wall calender is something I already use for myself, I will just have to come up with something bigger for the +3 lives I will be adding. I just dont think my 8 1/2 X 11 picture frame will work :)

 

The italic section, I totally agree. I dont really have a pull to have my own right now. I want to get the family we do have up and running before we add anything else to the picture.

 

Thank you very much for your words of encouragement! I really Love DP and his boys. this all is just a little overwhelming and I have to be the rock, that is just who I am. the great news is, DP is great when I ask questions and he knows my strengths and my weaknesses. we balance each other really well.


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#16 of 16 Old 06-20-2012, 10:44 PM
 
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DP prob has all that info down, but it will be all new to me. just brilliant!

 

yes, but it may be disorganized. A lot of families can function with things rather disorganized, but when you move, if things are disorganized to start with, it can really, really go to hell.

 

Are you guys going to put something legal in place so that you can sign for things -- get the kids enrolled for school, consent to medical care, sign permission slips, etc.? With dad being military, you really don't know when he will be there and when he will be required to be else where. The more you can hit the ground running, I think the smoother things will go.

 

The only medical records I've ever need on my kids after a move were dental x-rays and official records of vaccines. Next time you visit them, see about just driving past their dentist office while it's open and picking up a card. Take it with you when you go to the new dentist, and then they can track down the x-rays. Dad might have the official vaccination records -- which will be needed to get the kids enrolled in school. If not, get the card for the kids' doctor when you are in town, too.

 

I know this all might sound like tedium, but it's part of the hassle of the cross country move.

 

The wall calender is something I already use for myself, I will just have to come up with something bigger for the +3 lives I will be adding. I just dont think my 8 1/2 X 11 picture frame will work :)

 

There will be a new batch of calendars out during back to school time thumb.gif.

 

I really Love DP and his boys. this all is just a little overwhelming and I have to be the rock, that is just who I am. the great news is, DP is great when I ask questions and he knows my strengths and my weaknesses. we balance each other really well.

 

There is a old British expression I really like. Rather than referring to children as "step-children,"  they were referred to as "ready-made family."  I've always like that more -- it seems warmer to me. It really seems to fit your situation -- you are getting a "ready-made family." 

 

Good luck


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

Linda on the move is online now  
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