Hi, It's been a long time since I came to these forums and I have always gotten wonderful insight and advice from this community.
I wasn't sure if it was better to post this here or in the SAHM thread, because it relates to both! But it is also very much a blended family topic so I thought I'd try here first
Maybe I don't need advice so much as maybe just a listening ear or knowing other mamas struggle with the same thing. But advice and opinions are welcome too!
So. I am sort of a SAHM- I have been for the past few years and recently began working and taking some trainings, but it is flexible work that lets me still be a "SAHM". I have started getting busy though! Busier than I am used to being, but it is good because that was the plan!
Both DH and I have children from previous relationships, and our youngest together . 4 all together. We both have shared custody with our exes. Everyone- DH, exes, and their partners work outside of the home. I am the only "SAH" parent, although that is starting to shift. DH and I have always had a somewhat uneven give & take with BOTH of our exes- since early on they often ask for schedule changes, for us (me) to take the kids if a child is sick, school is out, it's winter/spring break etc. Even random wanting a sitter type situation. It's uneven because we almost never, ever do the same thing. I love being flexible and being able to take the kids if something comes up, and i even changed my custody sched with my ex so it's not so much of an issue (have kids during the week, he has them on weekends. He works out of town now.)
My main deal right now is DH's ex. I feel like it's come to simply be expected that I take all of our kids no matter what, and there is little to no acknowledgement of what i am doing, or that I may have anything else going on. it's gotten to the point where- for example today- It was a snow day. DSS's mom texted and said "Can DSS come there or should I take him to work?" I said he could come here- the other kids are here too. I don't want him to sit in an office all day and know I "turned him away". No response- no cool, thanks, awesome, great, anything. He bursts through the door an hour later and His mom & her partner are pulling out of the driveway already (this is a recent development- they don't even come to the door and check in anymore). So here I am, going to hang out with him for 9+ hours and make meals for DSS and that's awesome- for him- I love him and glad he is here- But I feel TOTALLY walked on and taken advantage of, all the time, with almost not validation or recognition for what I do (DH is very supportive and kind though).
For a better picture: I just had DSS almost every day of winter break (2 weeks, same deal. There may be a "Thanks!" at pick up but that's it. Not always. I ALSO started picking up DSS from school on our non-custodial days because DS goes to same school and they were "having trouble getting away from work to pick him up". SO now I get him and keep him at my house until they are off work. It get's spun as "Otherwise we will have to put him in after school care (which we have to pay half of even if we aren't using, we had to do that last year.)". I feel like she sees it as she is doing US a favor because we are saving money- but she is also saving money AND driving and the inconvenience of leaving work. Sometimes he shows up in the morning too to catch a ride (don't get me wrong, I think carpooling is great- I am just doing all the carpooling) No acknowledgement of this.
I guess today was just one more straw. No response to me saying I would watch him, not even waving or waiting to see if I came to the door, no thank you, nothing. I guess it bothers me more because I am his step parent vs his biological parent (If my ex were doing the same thing I would confront him about it), and I feel like If I were in her shoes- I would do it so differently.