New, overwhelmed stepmom - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
Thread Tools
#1 of 5 Old 09-19-2013, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
SandraC's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I live with my boyfriend. We are both in our mid- twenties. His child (2 years old) lives with us half the week. This is a new arrangement for the past two months or so. I pushed for it because my boyfriend got up 5 days a week and went to watch his kid at his ex's house. After over a year of this, I was at my wits end and told him I needed things to change. So, they did, but now whenever I'm not happy with something, it's "what I wanted" so I "shouldn't have any issues." This has been very overwhelming for me. I love kids and love his, but wasn't prepared for everything that comes with living with a baby. I'm doing my best but feel unappreciated and unsupported. For instance, we were out (the three of us) and I wanted to go home because him and I got into an argument. My boyfriend said that if I left, he would revert back to the old situation where he went to his ex's house to watch the baby because the child wanted me there and it was selfish for me to go home. So now I feel pressured to join in every activity and outing. It's like life goes on hold when the baby is here. I feel bad for leaving, even just to go to the store. I am also confused about my obligations and responsibilities. For instance, the baby is no longer sleeping through the night. Usually my boyfriend gets up to put him back down, but all of a sudden this week he said it should be 50/50 between me and him. I tried last night but I was so tired I forgot to give him a new bottle and I didn't change his diaper. My boyfriend took over and then was annoyed at me today because of that and because I didn't get up with the baby the rest of the night. I didn't even hear him wake up. I have tried to explain that this is all new to me and I didn't get the crash course in having a baby that he got. He is understanding to a point but I'm really confused and disheartened. Not to mention I have always considered myself to be great with kids and very mothering, and today my boyfriend said I'm not doing a great job with his kid. Good, but not great. This is hurtful to me and I am really trying but I don't know what to do. I'm also sad because I'm really seeing that I'm alone in this and I always will be...if we have a child together, he already knows all this stuff. Am I always going to be left out and left behind? I need help. Thanks so much for reading.
SandraC is offline  
#2 of 5 Old 09-19-2013, 01:59 PM
Mummoth's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 3,467
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

Maybe this, right now IS your crash course in parenting. All parents have to negotiate how to split the work of raising a kid.


At 2 years old, it's unlikely the kid needs a bottle in the night. Waking up again after sleeping through is pretty common when there have been changes in their life, he probably mostly needs extra comfort in the night. Diaper changing in the night depends on the kid... my daughter is nearly 2 and wakes once around 3 or 4am. I don't change her because if she's wet it's only slightly. She'd wake up the house if I tried to change her and it obviously doesn't bother her much since she goes right back to sleep once she's snuggled in with me. Maybe your stepson would be soaked through in the morning... it's definitely worth the extra few minutes to change a diaper if it means not changing the bedsheets!


I think that you shouldn't need to be with him every moment, but maybe your BF would like a break, too? My husband and I often split jobs so that we each get some zone-out time or to go solo on an errand. One person does bath-time, the other one does story-time, etc.


It's actually a great sign that he seems to hold family time so dear... a lot of people take their family for granted. My littlest is my husbands first bio child and he has said that he's glad I'm an experienced mom... he would be way more freaked out by her having the flu and things like that, if I hadn't BTDT and know when we really need to get worried and when we can just keep an eye on things.

~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

Mummoth is online now  
#3 of 5 Old 09-20-2013, 06:15 AM
sparklefairy's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,948
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

The way that he is treating you is not okay.


"shouldn't have any issues" (unwillingness to discuss and negotiate family issues -- not okay)

controlling behavior around your movements 

telling rather than asking you to take a greater parenting role

giving you a report card (good... not great)


I realize that I'm only hearing one side of the story, but these things concern me about your boyfriend's behavior.

sparklefairy is offline  
#4 of 5 Old 09-21-2013, 09:15 AM
aricha's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,166
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

It sounds like maybe the two of you need to get on the same page with some of your parenting roles. Many couples get to do this slowly, and often with a new baby there are some natural roles that emerge-- for example, mom might get up at night to nurse a baby, or dad might get up at night to give a bottle so mom can sleep, or the working spouse might need to sleep so the other parent gets up. But since you are jumping right into parenting later in the game, you might need to sit down and talk about what is going to work. It might be your BF's opinion that you should take turns at night, but if that doesn't work for you, you should have the opportunity to speak up so the two of you can problem solve. For example, my husband is very willing to get up with the kids, but they always wake me up first. So I could complain every night that he doesn't do his part, or we can figure out something else (in our case, I wake him up and he takes them back to bed).


The other thing is that if he wants you to take on half the parenting, he has to let you do it your way. It will never work if he micromanages. My husband is a stay-at-home parent, so I was much less experienced caring for our kids on my own. I had to figure out how to do it my way. Sometimes it was the same as him, sometimes it was different. As long as the underlying values are the same, you should each be able to carry it out in your own way. In my case I might ask my husband for suggestions and he might offer advice or explain why he does something a certain way, but when I am parenting his only job is to support my efforts. If your BF wants to be 100% in control of parenting, then he needs to do all the parenting. If he wants you to do some of it, he needs to back off and let you do it your way. He can't have it both ways.

One thing that made a big difference for me in learning to parent my step-toddler was to sign us up for a parent-child (aka "mommy and me") class that we went to on our own each week. Yoga, art, gymnastics, whatever you are in to. It helped us build a strong relationship, which is going to give you a better foundation for parenting. And it gave me time to figure it out without my experienced-parent BF looking over my shoulder. 

Springshowers likes this.

Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
aricha is offline  
#5 of 5 Old 09-23-2013, 07:48 PM
greenemami's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: PA
Posts: 1,751
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Originally Posted by sparklefairy View Post

The way that he is treating you is not okay.


"shouldn't have any issues" (unwillingness to discuss and negotiate family issues -- not okay)

controlling behavior around your movements

telling rather than asking you to take a greater parenting role

giving you a report card (good... not great)


I realize that I'm only hearing one side of the story, but these things concern me about your boyfriend's behavior.


All of this.  Granted, I'm coming out of a not great relationship (in which I was a stepmother to ex's daughter) and a lot of these behaviors sound really familiar to me.  How long have you guys been together?  I ask because ex pushed/guilted me into taking on a lot of the parenting very quickly with his daughter (and also did a lot of bashing against his dd's mom, therefore causing me to feel like I needed to "mother" her) and it caused a lot of problems.  I love my dsd and I loved her then, but was uncomfortable jumping into a mom role right away.  


It's one thing for him to ask for a break, but another entirely for him to insist with no discussion that you need to take on half of the parenting.  Ex used to insist that I get up early with dsd half the time as well-I would have been happy to give him a break sometimes, but it was a bad dynamic that I felt guilted and belittled into doing it.


He sounds like he is taking advantage of you, even while putting you down and making you feel bad about yourself, plus threatening to spend half his time at his ex's house?!!


It's nice in theory that he wants you guys to have family time, but you do not need to be there every second that his child is.  It is actually really healthy for your bf to have alone time with his child.


Again, I apologize if I'm reading into your situation too much, but it just really brought back bad memories for me.  I should say, though, that I do have a great relationship with my stepdaughter, even now that ex and I are no longer together, and that I would encourage you to try really hard to separate your frustration with your bf from your feelings for his child.  I really struggled with that and am very grateful that dsd seems to have not picked up on it over the years, because I never resented her, but I did resent the hell out of the way ex treated me, both in regards to her and many other issues, and it was hard to separate the two.

Single mama namaste.gif to dd dust.gifand ds fencing.gif, loving my dsd always reading.gif .
greenemami is online now  

Quick Reply
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off