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#31 of 48 Old 11-13-2008, 02:13 PM
 
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I've got no dog in this fight, and I get that you are pregnant.

Make sure you consider whether your expectations are appropriate (and your harshness that she buck up makes me think they are not but stay with me and try not to be angry at me).

Given the age of the child and the neediness of the child, given what she is having to deal with, you might need to step back. If you are tired and overwhlemed, consider the few resources that a small child (pretty much just turned 4) has. You can't have great expectations for a 4 year old to deal with life when adults have a hard enough time.

Consider too, how you might feel if your small child had to divide her time bewtween households, and how you would want her emotional needs met. This is sort of about chores-- and I am not saying children shouldn't or don't like to help-- this is about learning how to get a family working together when there are small children involved.

Parents are always having to evalute the importance of time with a child Vs time cleaning the house. All of us have to make meals with needy children at our heels. Your dsd seems extra demanding because she is not a regular part of your daily routine. You're used to doing things a certain way and in a certain time frame. That changes with small children. Simple things take much longer, and we have to become more creative.

Instead of thinking she is getting in the way, think about how to meet her needs while you prepare dinner.Tthat may be having her help (and you working closely with her-- not sending her off alone to set the table) or having her dad help you in the kitchen with her. This needs to get done the majority of the time without power struggles and anger.

It's not that she needs to get with the program and understand the world doesn't revolve around her. It's that your family needs to figure out how to work together with a needy child, and soon, two needy children.

Working towards this goal now is going to help you once the baby comes. Because whatever aggravates you about the child now, will be multipled 10fold when you have a new baby to care for.
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#32 of 48 Old 11-13-2008, 02:31 PM
 
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As a custodial mom....I want my kids to have a good time and feel like everyone is happy to see them but at the same time it does get on my nerves when the other house is a vacation spot and mine is the land of toil. Balance is a good thing.
I completely agree with this! My X was very uninvolved the first four years we were apart - to the point where he went six months without even seeing them and when he did see them it was here in my home, he never took them anywhere. Since February he has come back into their lives and it's been a hard adjustment for the kids and me.

And now he totally gets to be nothing but the fun parent. They always eat out with him. They go bowling. They go to the movies. The go to the arcade. He never has to make them do their homework. The handful of times they have stayed overnight with him they could stay up as late as they wanted. He never makes any of them take a bath/shower. He brings them home at 9:00 PM hungry because they "didn't want to eat". He's not being a parent - he's being some kind of fun uncle. And honestly it's really unfair to me.

OP, I'm glad your step-daughter is involved in chores and normal household activities. I don't think time with the NCP should be 100% fun-time. I think it should be family time, and part of being a family is working together.
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#33 of 48 Old 11-13-2008, 03:18 PM
 
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family meetings with lists of what needs done and people cheerfully volunteering could make things more fun. Good Luck it is a touchy area in blended families.
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#34 of 48 Old 11-13-2008, 04:14 PM
 
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I use baking soda or vinegar or borax for most things.
Borax is far from non-toxic and natural - it's made from Boric Acid, the same thing used in rat poison and Botox
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#35 of 48 Old 11-13-2008, 04:52 PM
 
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Borax is far from non-toxic and natural - it's made from Boric Acid, the same thing used in rat poison and Botox
There is no borax or boric acid in botox. Botox is made from the botulism toxin. And although you shouldn't eat it, borax is as natural as table salt.
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#36 of 48 Old 11-13-2008, 07:56 PM
 
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Cleaning and other mundane things are "quality time," and I firmly believe that children should see their parents doing it, and help their parents with it to the extent they are able, regardless of whether they "live with" or "visit" their parents.

I also think it's good for a child to see both Mom and Dad doing chores. My ex-husband never saw his dad do anything--not even mow the lawn. He grew up believing that he didn't have to do anything around the house.


You're doing fine.
I defintely agree with this poster. My ex-husband came from a house where the were did everything around the house and him, his older brother and dad did nothing to help. His mom and sister cooked dinner and served it and when the men were finished eating they went an sat in the living room atwching tv while the women cleaned up. And course he expected this in our house as well. I grew up watching my parents split the chores of cooking, cleaning, etc. That is exactly what kids need to see. Yes your DSD should have some "fun" time too when she's with you but she should be part of the household and that means whatever you're doing (housework, yardwork, board games, tv time, etc) she should be a part of.

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#37 of 48 Old 11-13-2008, 08:01 PM
 
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I didn't read all of the replies, but I see absolutely nothing wrong with it. It's just part of life, I'd find it rather unhealthy to run around entertaining one person for two days. There should be fun times, there should be down time for everyone to relax and do nothing, and there should be time to take care of basic needs of the household. All of these are just parts of life, all are fine. :


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It's not what you do, it's who you do it with.




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#38 of 48 Old 11-14-2008, 12:57 PM
 
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It sounds like you have a really good mix of work and fun. I wouldn't change a thing.
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#39 of 48 Old 11-14-2008, 02:07 PM
 
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just to add a slightly different perspective. my 2 oldest kids rarely see their father, i'd say 4-6 times a year. in the past(they were about 11 and 7 at the time or 12 and 8), they would spend a good portion of that time cleaning his house with him because often their visits fell on his "cleaning days". they would come home angry and hurt for cleaning a house that they did not live in, and just wanted their dad to spend time with them - say playing a game, or going for a walk. they wouldn't look forward to the next visit because they knew they would end up having to clean. all they wanted was their dad to show he cared for them by interacting with them ... and being expected to clean was not helping them connect, it was putting distance between them. frankly, i would have been happy for those visits if he would have done something fun with them!

just something to consider ...

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#40 of 48 Old 11-14-2008, 02:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mandib50 View Post
just to add a slightly different perspective. my 2 oldest kids rarely see their father, i'd say 4-6 times a year. in the past(they were about 11 and 7 at the time or 12 and 8), they would spend a good portion of that time cleaning his house with him because often their visits fell on his "cleaning days". they would come home angry and hurt for cleaning a house that they did not live in, and just wanted their dad to spend time with them - say playing a game, or going for a walk. they wouldn't look forward to the next visit because they knew they would end up having to clean. all they wanted was their dad to show he cared for them by interacting with them ... and being expected to clean was not helping them connect, it was putting distance between them. frankly, i would have been happy for those visits if he would have done something fun with them!

just something to consider ...
I think this is different than the OPs and many others situations where we see our stepkids EOW at the very least. Certainly if the kids were only seeing their dad a few times a year, than I can see how it would be inappropriate and unfair to not rearrange your cleaning day to spend time with the kids. I'm sorry your children have to put up with that!
In that case, the kids are more of a visitor to their dad's house, and therefore should be treated more like visitor. In my case, dsd lives here too. It is her house, she has her own room, her own things, etc. She is here frequently and considers herself to have 2 houses. Therefore, I don't feel like she should be treated like a visitor to our home.

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#41 of 48 Old 11-14-2008, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by greenemami View Post
I think this is different than the OPs and many others situations where we see our stepkids EOW at the very least. Certainly if the kids were only seeing their dad a few times a year, than I can see how it would be inappropriate and unfair to not rearrange your cleaning day to spend time with the kids. I'm sorry your children have to put up with that!
In that case, the kids are more of a visitor to their dad's house, and therefore should be treated more like visitor. In my case, dsd lives here too. It is her house, she has her own room, her own things, etc. She is here frequently and considers herself to have 2 houses. Therefore, I don't feel like she should be treated like a visitor to our home.
that


Even though DSD is only with us at min. 4 days a month... we say she has two homes. She has her own room here, her own clothes, her own toys. She even has her own pet here. She is a part of this family, not a visitor.

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#42 of 48 Old 11-14-2008, 02:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by greenemami View Post
I think this is different than the OPs and many others situations where we see our stepkids EOW at the very least. Certainly if the kids were only seeing their dad a few times a year, than I can see how it would be inappropriate and unfair to not rearrange your cleaning day to spend time with the kids. I'm sorry your children have to put up with that!
In that case, the kids are more of a visitor to their dad's house, and therefore should be treated more like visitor. In my case, dsd lives here too. It is her house, she has her own room, her own things, etc. She is here frequently and considers herself to have 2 houses. Therefore, I don't feel like she should be treated like a visitor to our home.
I think a whole lot of different things are being said, and there isn't really one scenario being looked at. Everyone here is saying good things. It is good that your daughter thinks that she lives in two houses. It is good that kids feel like they're a part of the life in both houses. I just hope that the perspective that it's appropriate for children to do housework that's proportional to the amount of time they stay in the house has been heard.

If JSMa's DSD loves helping clean and using the duster or whatever, that's great. My guess is that when she's 12 or even 8, she won't think it's fun any more, but that's a long way off. There have been false choices by people in this thread. The issue isn't necessarily "fun vacation" time vs "family together chore" time. It is OK to simultaneously have a situation where the adults clean like crazy on Sunday and the (older) EOW stepkids do their homework or play in the yard or whatever instead of spending the day mopping a house that they don't spend much time dirtying up.

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#43 of 48 Old 11-20-2008, 06:24 PM
 
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I'll admit first and foremost to not having read every message in this thread. My apologies if this has been addressed. It's really only sort of related to the originial topic, but knowing that JSMa is looking ahead to the future dynamic when a little sibling joins the family, I thought I would add it.

Anyway, I had a discussion with someone recently about this different perspective. We were in the habit of scheduling things like trips to the zoo, Christmas light tour, dinner guests, etc for times my step-daughter was here. My thought was, of course, that we want them all to have the opportunity to do the fun things we;d planned and that they'd like to do them all together. We also didn't want her to feel left out if she heard about something really fun we'd done without her.

Before this conversation, I hadn't thought much about the message we might inadvertantly give the other children (the ones who live here all the time) if all the really fun stuff happened when their sister is here.

Anyway, through this discussion, I came to see the perspective of the other kids, who could begin to feel that THEY are not worth doing fun or exciting thigs for/with, and that we only want to do those things when their sister is here. So, while we still plan plenty of fun outings and events when their sister is around, we also make sure they do fun things when they come up at other times.

Just a somewhat rambling and perhaps unrelated thought... I seem to be in a rambling and unrelated sort of mood today

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#44 of 48 Old 11-20-2008, 06:43 PM
 
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that is weird. when i visited my dad and stepmom life went about as usual. if my sister had a school function, i went along with her. if my stepmom was canning, i watched or helped out. they never stopped what they were doing just because i was there, and i wouldnt have wanted or needed them to.
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#45 of 48 Old 11-20-2008, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll admit first and foremost to not having read every message in this thread. My apologies if this has been addressed. It's really only sort of related to the originial topic, but knowing that JSMa is looking ahead to the future dynamic when a little sibling joins the family, I thought I would add it.

Anyway, I had a discussion with someone recently about this different perspective. We were in the habit of scheduling things like trips to the zoo, Christmas light tour, dinner guests, etc for times my step-daughter was here. My thought was, of course, that we want them all to have the opportunity to do the fun things we;d planned and that they'd like to do them all together. We also didn't want her to feel left out if she heard about something really fun we'd done without her.

Before this conversation, I hadn't thought much about the message we might inadvertantly give the other children (the ones who live here all the time) if all the really fun stuff happened when their sister is here.

Anyway, through this discussion, I came to see the perspective of the other kids, who could begin to feel that THEY are not worth doing fun or exciting thigs for/with, and that we only want to do those things when their sister is here. So, while we still plan plenty of fun outings and events when their sister is around, we also make sure they do fun things when they come up at other times.

Just a somewhat rambling and perhaps unrelated thought... I seem to be in a rambling and unrelated sort of mood today
*nods* Those are some things I have thought on as well. Blended life is a hard road to navigate.

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#46 of 48 Old 11-21-2008, 12:52 PM
 
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Aricha thanks for saying that . . . kind/wise words mama.
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#47 of 48 Old 11-23-2008, 04:24 AM
 
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OP, I would rearrange your lives somehow so that you get time as an immediate family somewhere in the weekend. Is there any way that you would work smarter on the Sunday morning so you have Sunday afternoon together, or could you add a housework evening during the week? It isn't that visits should be out of the ordinary every time, but that the children (all the children) should know that they, not cleaning, are firmly at the heart of your weekends.
Failing that, is there any way you could pay or barter for cleaning? It could come in handy when the baby comes, too.

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#48 of 48 Old 11-23-2008, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OP, I would rearrange your lives somehow so that you get time as an immediate family somewhere in the weekend. Is there any way that you would work smarter on the Sunday morning so you have Sunday afternoon together, or could you add a housework evening during the week? It isn't that visits should be out of the ordinary every time, but that the children (all the children) should know that they, not cleaning, are firmly at the heart of your weekends.
Failing that, is there any way you could pay or barter for cleaning? It could come in handy when the baby comes, too.

Our whole weekend, nor our whole Sunday revolve around cleaning... I wrote out our schedule before... there is plenty of family time.

And DSD is only to help clean her room and her hamster cage and we pay an allowance for that.


And at this point, no sorry there is no way to add cleaning to the weekday nights, nor do I forsee it in the future with the baby. I have fibromyalgia and after putting in a full day at work I am exhausted. I can't do much by time I get home from work, and when the baby will be here I will be tending to baby's needs. My DH works nights, so I am on my own during the night.

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