Uneven step parenting situation, feeling walked on. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 3 Old 01-05-2015, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Uneven step parenting situation, feeling walked on.

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.
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#2 of 3 Old 01-05-2015, 05:17 PM
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I'm sorry. I'm not a step mom but I had the same thing happen when I was a SAHP.

She's a weeny and is being rude. But I don't know that confronting her about it will help the situation. Have you talked to your DH and just vented about it, and let him know what you would like from him? Sometimes, I tell my DH exactly what to say. If he looked you in the eye and said, "Baby, I really appreciate you watching my son and treating him like your own child. It means the world to me. My ex can be a piece of work, and that's part of the reason she's my ex. I'm so lucky to have you, and my son is lucky to have you. Thank you."

My other thought is to go do nice things for yourself. Go get a pedicure, or a message. Really. I'm serious. Pamper yourself because you deserve it. It's easier to let other people's BS go when we spoil ourselves a little. There are a total of 4 parents, and the other 3 are never going to say, "OMG! You've been doing so much! You deserve a foot message!" So say it to yourself, and then go do whatever it is that would make you happy.
My last thought is for you and your DH to plan a date night and have his ex watch the kids. I know that this won't happen as often your step son is with you, but even doing it once it awhile might be fun.
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but everything has pros and consĀ  shrug.gif

Last edited by Linda on the move; 01-05-2015 at 09:39 PM.
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#3 of 3 Old 01-05-2015, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
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You are right Linda, I know her personality all to well and I know confronting her in any way will probably just lead to resentment or some kind of punishment on her part. Either she will put him in after school care and hand us half the bill or be insincere and excessively thank me. I do not want either. I spoke with DH about it (again, this seems to be a meltdown for me about every 4 months or so) and he was very supportive and understanding. I told him that we probably just need to retrain- next time he shows up in the morning unannounced, i will ask her to please let me know when he is coming. Next time she texts something to DH at work about something I need to do regarding DSS, he should tell her to contact me directly. Next time I have something planned or am overwhelmed, I will say no. We actually went through a very similar process early on (4+ years ago). She had instigated a pretty nasty custody dispute and wanted almost full custody. She did end up with way more custodial days (that has changed some over the years), but then immediately began asking DH if he wanted to "borrow" DSS, or keep him an extra night, etc etc- so she could go on dates, do fun adult things, or go out of town with her new beau. It was so frustrating to have just watched DH get drug through the mud and have to fight for custody and lose most of it, then to have him manipulated into taking DSS extra whenever he possibly could (because of course we wanted him!). Finally, he began to see the light, and started telling her no sometimes- he was working on weekends and began not taking her up on weekend visit offers that weren't ours. She got mad at first but then slowed down on asking for favors (It had gotten to the point where it was once a week or more that she asked). Now the game has changed a little, but it's still uneven.

And yes! I actually made a vow to do more self care after one of my meltdowns awhile back lol! I used to color my own hair (badly- 30 and really gray already), so I was like- Hey! I'm getting my hair professionally done from now on! & I also get a mani or pedi here and there, or go to yoga classes, and would LOVE to start massages- but that is not in the budget yet. After I get more work- Yes!
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