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#31 of 48 Old 06-15-2006, 01:09 PM
 
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your dh may not be like this, but one of the "tricks" my dh pulls when he knows that we need a serious discussion is to do something really nice for me so i wont want to ruin his mood, kwim? of course, i sometimes do the same to him.

i have a friend whose daughter gives the blank stare when she is being disciplined (even if it isnt really anything other than asking her why she did something or whatever). it drives me crazy but this child has the blank stare as a mechanism for dealing with anyone callign her on anythign she does. i had to call her dad one night when she spent the night with me (sleepover with a bunch of kids) b/c something was wrong and i kept trying to find out what it was but all she would do was stare blankly into space. it was really eery to me. i dont konw if thats what you are experiencing or not. my friends little girl is 5 right now.
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#32 of 48 Old 06-15-2006, 08:33 PM
 
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At two my son understood that I was not his stepsibs mama. I don't think that is an issue.

And yes you do correct your child for spitting food out "but sister just did that" and you reply "Nevertheless we don't spit food out at the table in our house!" firm and final. Your child will test it and poke about but you just hold firm. Don't say it is rude or any of that judgement stuff as if her mom does it that would be you judging mom. Just leave it be.

Yes, you do watch a lot happen in your own home but the deal is this child has two parents and your kids has YOU so get onto working on your kid. Let him manage his.

if he won't manage his then make him recompensate you for what you endure. Make it his problem and he will eventually step up and do his job- or he will make your life so easy you don't notice anymore. Her table mannors are rude then stop eating with her, you and daughter eat alone- invite dh to attend two meals- yours and one with daughter...you only cook for your meal (if you cook). Do what needs to be done and let dh know that as soon as he feels he can make sure the table mannors are fit for the rest of you then you will eat together.

As for hitting and pushing- well my skids did this too and no it isn't OK. Just send them to their room. Now that I have two bios of similar age I can't tell you how often my older hits the younger...to your room- again and again and again. Make them look in the eye and apologize. This I certainly did do and I had logical consequneses- my skids treat my kids badly then they weren't going to get much from me favor wise. EVERYTHING I do for them is a favor that they can loose. Cooking nice food vs gruel, driving them places, letting them go play with friends...it is all things I do because I am wanting to make their visit pleasent- if they don't return the favor then I am disinclined to keep trying and they get that OUR relationship (skids and mine) is a mutually reciprocal relationship. They do and I do becuase we both have some reason to do it. IF they are not kind I am too tired to help them later on. Love and logic for the step mom.

It is bloody miserable being out of control in your house but the fact is you ARE out of control. The skid doesn't accept your input and your dh doesn't back you so all I am saying is accept that and start to control what you CAN control because there is a lot you can control once you stop trying to control the things that you really can't control.
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#33 of 48 Old 06-16-2006, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am not OUT OF CONTROL and I take serious offense to that.....

I can't control much at my house these days but I can CONTROL how dd's sister treats her when she is here....and I will NOT tolerate the behavior TOWARDS her sister when she is here....it's just not acceptable in any shape or form....normal sibling fighting, sure, but this is not what happens....

SD doesn't care if she loses favors, or loses out on doing things..I am not the one who suggests taking them away, DH actually does that but she's fine with it....she missed MANY dance classes this year bc of her behavior here and she just said ok, whatever...those consequences for when classes start in the fall there will be no classes....DH brought it up with me and I told him it was his decsion but I didn't see the point in paying through the nose for everything involved when she really didn't want to do the classes, didn't care if she missed them, didn't care if she went...they were her mothers idea in the first place but the classes fell on OUR day so we spend our tuesday evenings doing that. If she wanted to take Dance it would have to be on a day when she was with her mom and he said he'd been thinking about that for awhile and I told him, well, next time tell me....MEN.....It's just that she doesn't have any remorse for anything she does wrong or what she does to people.....Her father finally saw this this last weekend and I think that's when I saw the lightbulb flicker in his head that hey, maybe she (being me) isn't wrong and this really is happening.....

We've tried the dining separate but dd cries bc she wants to eat with daddy....and that's not fair to her.....I just moved our places around so now DH has to look at her and watch her do what she does...Maybe having an eagle eye view will help with him realizing this isn't right.....

Like I said, the only thing in my house right now I have any control over whatsoever is my dd and myself....nothing else.....and hwo she is treated...whether or not my husband backs me up with some stuff...she is my first priority right now....that became clear the past weekend. Yes, my marriage should be my first priority, but right now, it's my daughter.....she cried way to much this weekend at the hands of her sister. And that's just not right...

I know you disagree with me and you have that right.....but I didn't come here to get warmed (not flamed) by the fire, I came here for advice and an ear and I got that from many mamas......most of whom didn't tell me how out of control I was, how wrong I was....My family is already split in half, sides, by doing what you suggest, will thicken that line, at least at this time. In the future, maybe it wouldn't..but right now, it will...

This week has been so plesant....meals have been fantastic, chatting, laughter, time has been spent as a family.....I know all that will come to a sudden stop on monday and there isn't anything I can do about it....hopefully soon I will stop feeling that looming dread when monday comes around or the friday we get her for 5 days, I would love for that to happen, but not until the behavior starts to change....a glimmer would work for me at this point....
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#34 of 48 Old 06-16-2006, 03:58 PM
 
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I don't think anyone here's attacking/flaming you - you're really angry and upset right now, and I wonder if really what you need this forum for is more to vent than to get advice? That's ok, it happens.

I think there are a few of us here who have been to hell and back with step/ex issues, and who probably have some insights. On the other hand, everyone needs to come to things in their own time, and I know that if someone had given me advice a few years ago, that looks anything like what I've come to now, I would have thought they'd totally missed the boat.
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#35 of 48 Old 06-16-2006, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mammastar2
I don't think anyone here's attacking/flaming you - you're really angry and upset right now, and I wonder if really what you need this forum for is more to vent than to get advice? That's ok, it happens.

I think there are a few of us here who have been to hell and back with step/ex issues, and who probably have some insights. On the other hand, everyone needs to come to things in their own time, and I know that if someone had given me advice a few years ago, that looks anything like what I've come to now, I would have thought they'd totally missed the boat.
i know that's prolly not what's going on it's just the last post struck a nerve....I'm not so much angry as more upset and hurt....i came to get advice and to vent...most of the advice is great but i will not disengage from my family.....i will not live as roomates with my husband and our child...what does that show dd????

i know many of you have been step mama's alot longer than i have and i have taken much of what you have said her to heart and have written it down and plan to bring it up with DH when we chat about things this weekend...tomorrow prolly.....I'm not a bad person, I love this child.....I just want to stop feeling like my dd and I are guests in our own house...it's gone on for too long now....

thanks mama......
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#36 of 48 Old 06-16-2006, 05:28 PM
 
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I hope it works out! Of course you and your daughter shouldn't have to walk on eggshells or feel like guests. I'm sure if you can get to where you feel like you and your husband are on the same team, it will all be a lot easier to deal with. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

(oh, but really, I was serious about not making food an issue - her behavior pushes all your buttons because you don't want it to affect your daughter, and it also reminds you of her mother's unlovely qualities, but if your stepdaughter is seriously into control right now and gets poor eating behavior modelled at mom's, the BEST thing you can do for her is to just be very matter-of-fact about food, not comment AT ALL on how much she eats, and let it go. She'll never get a chance to learn if she's full or not or what she really likes to eat, if she's all focused in on food as a weapon in family conflict. Please take it out of the equation! )
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#37 of 48 Old 06-16-2006, 06:29 PM
 
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Gianna.
Look I can relate. I have my sd now and it can really make summer tough. I am also an "abused" "new" wife and it stinks. I try to do the best I can because I want to be a GOOD person, no matter who it involves. My sd either acts as if she has no respect or puts on this sad little face to pout for several hours like she's 4 (she is 11).
I think you did the right thing. You are NOT her drop of sitter. You ARE the stepmom/nurturer/leader you are NOT there to be abused by the mother.
Hang in there and message me anytime. I feel your pain.

~Gabbi~ Life experienced by me..... Mommy to 4 chicken3.gif,Furry Babies x 2 dog2.gif,and the love of my life trekkie.gif

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#38 of 48 Old 06-16-2006, 06:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabbi
Gianna.
Look I can relate. I have my sd now and it can really make summer tough. I am also an "abused" "new" wife and it stinks. I try to do the best I can because I want to be a GOOD person, no matter who it involves. My sd either acts as if she has no respect or puts on this sad little face to pout for several hours like she's 4 (she is 11).
I think you did the right thing. You are NOT her drop of sitter. You ARE the stepmom/nurturer/leader you are NOT there to be abused by the mother.
Hang in there and message me anytime. I feel your pain.
*please keep in mind I don't have time to read the whole thread today

still though. s all the way around.

~Gabbi~ Life experienced by me..... Mommy to 4 chicken3.gif,Furry Babies x 2 dog2.gif,and the love of my life trekkie.gif

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#39 of 48 Old 06-16-2006, 07:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by goosysmom

I know you disagree with me and you have that right....
I don't think I am disagreeing with you. I am agreeing that the only thing you have power over is you and your daughter and your (obviously you can't control your dh or your daughter-or any one but yourself- but you can influence strongly their behavior)

I am agreeing that she can't hit your child and that you must step in to stop that.

I am agreeing that it is rough to live like this.

I am even understanding how it sucks to eat seperatly and to endure all this garbage. Belive me I understand!

But the problem is your dh not your sd. It sounds like taking the privilage of dance isn't a great privilage to take as it isn't motivating her. Have you read a love and logic book? It might be a good read as it talks a lot about finding your child's key. Your sd has a different key. Now you can't make your dh parent her but you can certainly control what you are willing to do for your sd.

Write a list of EVERYTHING you personally do for your sd. Do you do laundry? Do you cook? Do you clean at all? Do you drive her places? Provide any childcare? These items are all items when you have power and control. THIS is where you focus your energy.

If my skids won't behave I find that I am "too tired" from managing their garbage to do these things anymore. So there is a standoff on some topic (don't hit your brother for example....) I would move my child to a safe place and admonish my steps with an ominouse..."wow, that could be really sad for you" and then when later on in the day they ask for anything that *I* do for them I would remind them that they hurt my child and I am way too tired from comforting my child to possibly have the energy to do that. They quickly learn to treat me and my child with respect no matter what they do towards their father or when he is parenting them. I do get treated differently than he does. They know that treating me badly "could be sad for them" and will be. Conversly if they are great I am quick to notice, complement and reward. OUR relationship turned around quickly once I started this.
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#40 of 48 Old 06-16-2006, 07:39 PM
 
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Oh golly, if it works for you MommyMine, it's your call, but theominous "could be sad for you" thing FREAKS me out! I don't have a problem with the basic correlation of "you treat someone shabbily/they won't feel like doing nice stuff for you", but the lingo is creepy...at least to me....

And hey, the end result you're going for is a functioning family unit that includes everyone in it on fair and equal terms, so it's probably a good idea to watch the "MY kid" vs "skid" distinctions.
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#41 of 48 Old 06-16-2006, 07:57 PM
 
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I don't aim to have a nuclear family, I am to have a functioning step family- and I do now. They are not my kids. They are my dh's kids (my skids). I don't see any issue in acknowledging the obvious.

My oldest (teen) gets the same "it might be sad for you" I don't say it mean...more sorrowful...and it has worked well for me. I think there are a TON of other things you can do but the key is to use as consequences things YOU can control and the problem with being an unsupported step parent is you can only control things YOU do- not say ground them. So you can't come up with an immediate consequences usually. But life is like that often too-consequenses come from our action and usually later on. and sometimes the fear of what it could be motivates changes when often I have no idea how it might be sad for them until time tells me. Honestly at this point skids and rarely need to have an Uh Oh moment. They get it. I get it, we have an understanding.
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#42 of 48 Old 06-19-2006, 01:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mammastar2

And hey, the end result you're going for is a functioning family unit that includes everyone in it on fair and equal terms, so it's probably a good idea to watch the "MY kid" vs "skid" distinctions.
Is it???
I've never made that assumption that my family has to involve everyone on fair and equal terms, and all the kids in my house are mine biologically. Their needs are met, but at different times children have different needs. The thing is, goosysmom's needs aren't being met, her dd's needs aren't being met, her sd's needs (particularly for stability and firm boundaries) aren't being met- it's not a good place for anyone.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#43 of 48 Old 06-19-2006, 09:48 AM
 
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Is it???
I've never made that assumption that my family has to involve everyone on fair and equal terms, and all the kids in my house are mine biologically. Their needs are met, but at different times children have different needs. The thing is, goosysmom's needs aren't being met, her dd's needs aren't being met, her sd's needs (particularly for stability and firm boundaries) aren't being met- it's not a good place for anyone.
I've never assumed "fair and equal" to mean "the same."
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#44 of 48 Old 06-19-2006, 10:08 AM
 
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how are things? did you speak to your dh?

do you have a plan for what happens if he doesnt acknowledge whats going on?

i hope you have some support IRL b/c i believe your dd is being treated unfairly and perhaps your dh just needs a wake up call to realize the severity of the situation.

let us know how you are doing.
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#45 of 48 Old 06-19-2006, 01:21 PM
 
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Gianna,

I got your PM and didn't respond right away because I really wanted to think about this. As you know, I don't agree with the total disengaging method. Also, I haven't been in a situation exactly like yours, but I have been just as frustrated with different issues. I hope things are going better now, but if not, here are a few suggestions. Take them as you please!

Based on your posts, it appears you are very frustrated with the way your family dynamics are when your dsd is in your home. Sounds like things are comfortable for the three of you when she is at her mom's. It also sounds like there is friction between the expectations of you and your dh. Am I right so far??

If so, this is what I suggest...

First, RELAX. Try not to stress over what's going to happen when your dsd has time in your home. Just go with the flow and try to accept whatever happens during this time in stride.

Second, EVEN THOUGH YOU DON'T AGREE with the way your husband is parenting, try doing things his way for one week that your dsd is in your home. Give it a week. Occupy your bio child and make your own fun. After all, if you expect him to try things your way, you might as well give his way a try. This is defenitely not an idea situation, but I think doing this may cause the type of changes you are hoping to see. If you just don't stress over it for a few days, I think you and your dh can have a civil conversation about things once dsd is back at her mom's. Your dh will probably respect you more because you haven't been grumpy about the situation. He'll probably be much more likely to listen to your point of view.

Third, Once your dsd is at her mom's... have a grown up conversation with your dh (if he'll cooperate!). Let him know that you were happy with the lack of arguing and overall frustrating that had been happening, but missed him because he didn't spend much time with you and your bio child. Maybe the two of you can plan ways to incorporate a combination of alone time for dh and dsd and then family time for the four of you. I think "weaning" him from his behavior is going to be more productive than just expecting him to change overnight. This is obviously going to be an adjustment for all of you.

Like I said, take my suggestions or leave them. Unlike what SuperNanny believes, no answer will work for everyone or every family.

Good luck and let us know how things work out!
Take care,
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#46 of 48 Old 06-21-2006, 04:30 PM
 
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s Sorry things are so tough for all of you at home!

I just wanted to invite you over to the Gentle Discipline forum. I don't see why only us without dsc should benefit from that great forum! I've learned so much over there - some stuff has been pretty helpful! Check it out sometime!

Best wishes for all four of you,
Tracy

Rockin' mama to Allison (9), Asher (5) and Alethea (3), head over heels in love with my sexy husband, Tony.

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#47 of 48 Old 06-21-2006, 08:40 PM
 
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How's it going?
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#48 of 48 Old 07-21-2006, 11:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 777
I hope I understood what you were describing enough to give some helpful advice. It sounds like your husband feels guilty and over parents the older daughter and is defensive so doesnt listen to you at all. I hear your frustration and sadness. I am in a blended family and it took me almost a year to realize how defensive i was regarding my dd. A lot of it was in my head - I felt like my husband didnt understand me or my dd - it is a long story of why and how, but looking back I feel i overcompensated with my daughter - would go into her room a lot alone, etc..
My situation is similar. I have a 9.5 DSS, a 6.5 DS and a 7m/o DD. He has "dad guilt" and treats the boys differently. DSS recognizes they're treated differently and uses this to his advantage. when there's a comotion, DH bolts into the room to rectify the problem, looks right at my DS and punishes, no questions asked. DSS sits and smirks, he was doing the same thing. This has become a terrible pattern.
I see my DS trying to get the affection and attention he craves from DH but he feels guilty. My DS resorts to neg. behavior to get SOME attention,any attention. It's so hertbreaking! I've brought it up SOOOO many times to DH.
Just last night he came home,kissed the baby and said nothing to me. I keep asking what's wrong and he says"I don't know". He left to work on one of our apartments. he's been doing this for the past 2 weeks. he's invited me to come help him. This morning, he left w/out kissing me. I called his cell and asked what was up. He said we have some serious issues, namely we don't like the way we're raising our respective children. I asked for specifics and he said he didn't really have any. I asked what we could do about this, he wasn't sure we couyld and didn't have time to talk about it. I asked if we were doomed, he didn't know. I think his son is mean and very manipulitive, he thinks mine is annoying. he doesn't want my DS to grow up to be a loser like his father and " doesn't want to be his parent when he gets older. DS doesn't really see his dad and looks to DH as the dad figure. DH just can't seem to be what DS wants him to be , although he sees him being that way to his own son. I calmly explain how DS is feeling and how it hurts him. He just can't get around his own Dad Guilt. DSS has this house and his mom 5 minutes away. he's here and there at will, mostly weekends. DH has all 3 kids while I work and he plays "super Dad".He's not a Bad guy,or father. He just has these problems on some days.
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