How to talk to SO about this - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 05-31-2005, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I need some advice.

(a little background) My SO and I have been a couple for over 2 years, a good portion of that time was long distance however. We've now lived together for 7 months. I have a 4yo, he has a 9yo. We each have respective custody, so the 4 of us live together.

Now, we all moved in together in October. Dss was in school, and has been (obviously), he has 2 weeks left until summer vacation. If I'm honest, I'm dreading this.

I love my dss, I do, with all my heart. But, he's 9, I'm 23, he's starting to get to that defiant age (with everyone, not just me), but on a whole, is a very good boy. This isn't part of the issue really, but wanted to give you an idea of where I'm coming from on this.

Anyway, during Christmas break he had 4 weeks off school, I was losing my mind! I have SUCH a hard time parenting this child 24/7. He's at that age where he's asserting the 'you're not my REAL parent, so nothing you say matters' attitude, and that's fine, he can have any attitude he wants, HOWEVER, it just stresses me out to no end!!!

During school though, he's in school until about 2:30, then goes to his grandmother's until my SO picks him up on his way home from work (about 5-5:30). I don't have to watch my dss alone at all, and it's actually quite peaceful. I am so much less stressed with this arrangement, and get so much more done in the day. (I have alot of problems with stress, I'm also bipolar and do have OCD, this is a HUGE mental thing for me, not 'just' stress...)

So, with summer break coming up, I have decided I want to talk to my SO about arranging it so that dss is not here during the day. I know this is gonna sound horrible to him, and that he will most likely get defensive, (I don't blame him)... However, this is something I feel like I need to do to keep it together, and keep my day and workload going smoothly.

What I need advice on, is how to talk to SO about this? How do I gently discuss this with him, and still get results? How do I not back down, when I know this is something I need?
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#2 of 9 Old 05-31-2005, 04:55 PM
 
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I also have a nine year old ss and it is harder now than when he was cuter and sweeter. I don't think it is unreasonable that he is gone at least part of day-- for your sake but also to get him out of the house and invovled in activities. I have a rule that dss must sign up for at least one activity during the summer since he is not a joiner naturally and would rather sit indoors most of the day. One year it was swim lessons, last year it was police camp, this year fire camp. He is only gone till noon a couple days a week so I don't think he feels like I am trying to get rid of him. It is for his sake and mine. If he was my bioson I would have no guilt about making him try new things and get out there during the summer. He would probably have fun at a day camp a few days a week. I wouldn't make him go all day everyday but a few days a week? They probably go hiking, biking, fieldtrips, etc. I think it is good for them in moderation. Plenty of bio parents drop have their kids signed up for day camps so they can run errands, clean the house, etc. It's not that unusual at all.

I gave dss the parks and rec book and let him decide.

As far as the "you aren't my mom" thing, I think it is annoying. Duh, I'm not your "real" mom, but really, what's his point? He has to listen to a lot of people who aren't his mom like his grandma, teachers, adminstrators, camp counselors, etc. Dh lays down the line on this one. He doesn't single me out as a special adult. He tells dss that any adult that his dad leaves him with is the one in charge. Don't let it get to you or it makes it too powerful a sentence. I have heard it once and said, "Of course, I'm not, who said I was? " and then mentioned that I was merely the adult in charge at the moment. Dad followed up. He hasn't said it for years because it doesn't work.
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#3 of 9 Old 05-31-2005, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My dss is also the kind of boy who wants to sit inside all day. If it were up to him, he'd play video games 24/7. Something his dad used to let him do. I don't though, and that frustrates him. I let him play, just limit it (I don't wanna be the 'mean one' ALL the time in his book, ya know? lol), and he has chores he must do first.

One thing that's stopping us from day camps etc, is money. We don't have alot at the moment, and dss's biomom is squeaking by paying maybe 1/4 of the child support she's supposed to be paying each month. So, we'd get no help from her either.

Dss's grandmother has a pool, and he's friends with a little boy who lives across the street from her. He gets out, plays etc. Not like he would here. He has no friends in our apt complex, and just doesn't wanna get out and try to make any either.

I WANT to just say to my SO 'whatever you would normally do if I weren't here 24/7, just do that', but I KNOW that's just rude and wrong... I'm responsible for this child too, and don't want to 'put him out', I'm just not equipped yet to parent this child 24/7
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#4 of 9 Old 05-31-2005, 05:10 PM
 
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Tell him just like you told us. That in order to keep it together you need to have an arrangment that works for you. Do you have a YMCA or anything like that near you? You could sign him up for something fun to do during the day. That way he's out of the house, your SO will be less likely to feel defensive, and your DSS won't feel like he's being sent away, kwim?

As for the "you're not my mom" attitude I wouldn't worry about it. You're not and you both know that. It's tough to deal with but as long as you both aren't trying to build something based on false pretenses, kwim? Maybe sit him down though and let him know that he doesn't need the atittude, makes it harder on everyone involved. I agree that it is annoying and that it doesn't matter, any adult who is in charge is in charge..period. Make that clear to him and hopefully his attitude will go away...however slowly.

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#5 of 9 Old 05-31-2005, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He's also noticeably entering puberty...lol Not that that REALLY matters, but alot of the attitude seems to be directly related..lol (I laugh, only cause I remember that time so well...lol)

I have a 4yo, I'm SO not ready for this...lol It's hard...

On an upside, I'm emailing with my SO about this right now. (He's at work, we email throughout the day), he seems receptive so far, but like me, we're just clueless on a solution.

We have little extra cash, and I don't drive. The driving is a HUGE issue, cause there's not much within walking distance, especially if you throw a 4yo into that walking, ya know?
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#6 of 9 Old 05-31-2005, 06:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MomBirthmomStepmom
One thing that's stopping us from day camps etc, is money. We don't have alot at the moment, and dss's biomom is squeaking by paying maybe 1/4 of

Don't forget that almost every camp program has a scholarship program which can pay for a portion or all of his camp tuition and, if it is something that would be beneficial to him (and your family), I think you should give it a shot.
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#7 of 9 Old 05-31-2005, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There's this great Boys and Girls Club that dss used to go to before I moved here. But somehow my SO got behind in payment, and they won't accept dss back unless the back-money is paid in full ($300, which we just don't have right now).

I will look into scholarship things and such. And of course, being the last few weeks of school, dss is being sent home TONS of papers for summer classes and camps etc. We'll have to go through them, and go over our budget.

To be honest, I'd give up some things to keep my sanity if it meant shuffling the budget to accomadate dss going to a daycamp.



UPDATE: SO has also agreed to talk to his mother about taking dss on maybe an every other day basis during the summer, and letting biomom pick up some of the 'off days' to help with my workload
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#8 of 9 Old 05-31-2005, 06:45 PM
 
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Sounds good! I just want to say again that even if it was your biological son, you might still want a break from a 9 year old and it will be good for him to get out away from the video games. check into scholarships, too!
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#9 of 9 Old 05-31-2005, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone! Most especially thanks for not digging into me about 'not wanting the step-kid around', as I've heard on other forums. It's not that at all, I just know I'm a young mom, who's oldest is 4, having to parent my step-son is like I jumped many years in parenting, with no help with the transistion, ya know? I don't know how to do it yet, and am usually too scared to say that...
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