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How do you disengage?

Posted by on Feb. 14, 2012 at 1:01 PM
  • 20 Replies

I'm just wondering how you go about this.  SO and I have three kids altogether and they're very close in age.  Just recently, if I tell SS4 no on something or to go to something he doesn't way to do (like brush his teeth) he is on the verge of tears.  When we're all in the house together (I have 50/50 with my ex) I am the primary caregiver.  But if I disengage, then do I not keep him in our routine and leave it up to his dad?  To what extent should I take this?  Direct him to his father when he does something wrong? 

I am much more routine oriented than SO and if SS isn't folded into the girls' routines, SO will let him pretty much do whatever he wants.  This seems rather unfair to my DDs if they have to go to bed at 8pm and SO lets SS stay up until whenever.

Just wondering how others handle this.  Thanks!!

 

by on Feb. 14, 2012 at 1:01 PM
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Replies (1-10):
mamajules311
by on Feb. 14, 2012 at 1:17 PM
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I went through the same thing. My daughter was 3 and SS was 2 when DH and I moved in together. My daughter was always on a routine, and SS was so far from it. After awhile I just had a conversation and him and I layed out our expectations. It has rarely been am issue since. We are a family. It's not looked at as I'm Sm he's SD. It's we are parents, you are kids. I would just try to talk to DH and let him know how you feel and come up with a routine that works for the both of you. It's hard to compromise when you've been in the same routine with dd so so long, bit compromise works best with these situations.
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lilangilyn
by on Feb. 14, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Ugh on his kid staying up late when the others have to go to bed. I think since he is small, you need to negotiate with your DH how you are going to handle all this. I think you might need to go to some couple's counseling so that he can get some idea about parenting in general.

Dana333810
by on Feb. 14, 2012 at 1:24 PM
3 moms liked this

Disengaging is pretty easy for me. I stop talking to them. (DH and SS). I let DH take care of what ever it is that's going on. If SS is doing something bad, I tell DH to go take care of (what ever it is) If it starts to get too stressful, I shut myself in the bathroom with lots of candles, music, and a scorching hot bath until I'm relaxed enough to make an appearance back into the zoo that I call my house. lol If DH still hasn't tamed SS, I will do my thing with my girls, tuck them away into bed, and hit the hay myself.

I don't stress myself out over it, and you really shouldn't either. I'm sorry, but you are responsible for your own happiness, you have to make it. Take care of you and your DD's first, and let DH handle SS. My life has been soooo much more peaceful since I started doing this! Much, much thanks to some of the ladies on this board!!!!!!!!


BMof2SMof2
by on Feb. 14, 2012 at 1:58 PM

 

Quoting Dana333810:

Disengaging is pretty easy for me. I stop talking to them. (DH and SS). I let DH take care of what ever it is that's going on. If SS is doing something bad, I tell DH to go take care of (what ever it is) If it starts to get too stressful, I shut myself in the bathroom with lots of candles, music, and a scorching hot bath until I'm relaxed enough to make an appearance back into the zoo that I call my house. lol If DH still hasn't tamed SS, I will do my thing with my girls, tuck them away into bed, and hit the hay myself.

I don't stress myself out over it, and you really shouldn't either. I'm sorry, but you are responsible for your own happiness, you have to make it. Take care of you and your DD's first, and let DH handle SS. My life has been soooo much more peaceful since I started doing this! Much, much thanks to some of the ladies on this board!!!!!!!!


 I started doing this too! My DD goes to her father's every weekend and either one or both of my SS arrive on Sat nights. I no longer tell them when to go to bed or get in their pajamas or whatever. I present them with options for lunch or dinner when I'm making it and if they don't like it, pour a bowl of cereal. I don't try to keep the kids busy if DH is working and I have them for a little while either, there are 3 game systems, tons of toys, tv, or if the weather is nice, go outside!

Dana333810
by on Feb. 14, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Isn't it crazy how stressed you can make yourself over things like these??? It's completely unnecessary! That's so funny that you do that with lunch and dinner, because I do the same thing to all three of them! DH, SS and ODD!!!! LOL. I actually tell DH "If you don't like what I'm making, well, you know where McDonald's is." LMAO

Quoting BMof2SMof2:


 I started doing this too! My DD goes to her father's every weekend and either one or both of my SS arrive on Sat nights. I no longer tell them when to go to bed or get in their pajamas or whatever. I present them with options for lunch or dinner when I'm making it and if they don't like it, pour a bowl of cereal. I don't try to keep the kids busy if DH is working and I have them for a little while either, there are 3 game systems, tons of toys, tv, or if the weather is nice, go outside!


2AKBlondies
by on Feb. 14, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Don't your hubbys get mad when you do this?  I honestly don't see SO taking it very well if I drop off the map when it comes to SS.  I know from past conversations he would see that as dividing our family rather than blending it.  Please don't think I am saying what you ladies are doing is wrong, I just know my SO would be mad because it's happened before.

@Dana333810 - Do your girls wonder about why your SS gets to stay up and they don't?  Or do they understand that there's a difference because they have different parents?

mamajules311
by on Feb. 14, 2012 at 2:59 PM
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I'm with you. They way my DH and I have ALWAYS done it, and with both our kids was we are a FAMILY. We don't look at each others kids differently because they are SS. They have the same rules, the same chores, and if neither one likes dinner, don't eat. If my DH needs to go somewhere he doesn't ask because he wouldn't wouldn't ask with the son we have together. It took just some simple conversations in the beginning and compromises to get where we are. Nothing is perfect, but we work together as a family because we don't want is or our kids to be segregated because I'm the BM or he's not BD. We are the parents in our house, and they are our kids. Some people don't think that's how it should be, but our kids don't look at each other differently as SB or SS. They are brother and sister. To me, if you segregate, and don't have the same rules, the kids will eventually resent that one kid doesn't get a later bedtime,, or do chores. Special treatment basically.


Quoting 2AKBlondies:

Don't your hubbys get mad when you do this?  I honestly don't see SO taking it very well if I drop off the map when it comes to SS.  I know from past conversations he would see that as dividing our family rather than blending it.  Please don't think I am saying what you ladies are doing is wrong, I just know my SO would be mad because it's happened before.


@Dana333810 - Do your girls wonder about why your SS gets to stay up and they don't?  Or do they understand that there's a difference because they have different parents?


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paladinmom
by on Feb. 14, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Here's how I disengage, and it's a bit different from some of the others because DH is CP and so am I.  

When the kids are in the mood to continuously argue, fight against the daily routine, run around and mess up the house... I get to a point where I will simply say "That's it!!!  You guys have a choice, you can stop and clean up your messes around the house - or, you can keep on doing what you're doing and when Daddy gets home, it's just not going to be a fun evening anymore!"  That's how I disengage most of the time.

Also, I will send them to DH if he is at homes when I just don't want to deal with it.... 

Other than that, I can't fully disengage and just "let him deal with it" because they live here!

Dana333810
by on Feb. 14, 2012 at 3:36 PM

My children are 4 and 11 months lol. SS is 7. They all usually have the same bed time of 9 on the week days, and 10 on the weekends. It isn't very often that SS does stay up later. When he does, ODD will ask if she can stay up too, and I tell her no. She will ask me why, and I tell her because I am her Mommy and I make the rules. I am not a dick head about it, I tell her it kindly and I read her a story from her disney books collection and she goes to sleep.

It took me a long time to get where I am now in this blended family. It may take you a while too. I had to explain to DH pretty much that the way we were doing things just was not working. I was not accepted into the Mom role, because he already has a Mom. DH has 50/50. He didn't accept me as a disciplinarian, and it only made things worse when I tried. It only stressed me out further when things didn't work out.

So I eased out of it a little bit at a time. I was open to DH about why I was doing what I did. I wasn't a prick about it, and it worked. You can ease into disengaging with out jumping head first and throwing yourself to the sharks. Start with little things. Like the routine stuff with your SS. If he starts being non compliant, look to your DH and ask him to please take care of it. If he does not take care of it after a few, ask again. If he still does not, let it go. Although I do think that he should..........

This has worked out really great for our family. It has lessened the stress on me and the family. Not to mention me leaving things alone helped our stich with BM tremendously. I found my place, and I am happy in it. You just need to experiment and find yours. <3 =)


Quoting 2AKBlondies:

Don't your hubbys get mad when you do this?  I honestly don't see SO taking it very well if I drop off the map when it comes to SS.  I know from past conversations he would see that as dividing our family rather than blending it.  Please don't think I am saying what you ladies are doing is wrong, I just know my SO would be mad because it's happened before.

@Dana333810 - Do your girls wonder about why your SS gets to stay up and they don't?  Or do they understand that there's a difference because they have different parents?


BMof2SMof2
by on Feb. 14, 2012 at 4:00 PM

 

Quoting neverbeamom:

I ignore them- SO and SS. Well sort of. Example- I was so mad at SO a couple nights ago because he wanted to go get some new headphones and I was trying to take a nap. He asked SS if he wanted to go with him, and SS said no, not unless he could get something. It made me mad. DON'T GIVE HIM AN OPTION AND DON'T JUST LEAVE HIM HERE BECAUSE YOU ASSUME I'LL TAKE CARE OF HIM. SO told SS don't bother me unless it's an emergency but yeah right! He's 8! He came in 12 times for multiple reasons. I told him finally to go play in his room until his dad got him. I told SO I didn't get my nap and that I was leaving. I went to the bookstore. From now on he is to ASK ME if it is okay to leave SS with me, not just leave him if SS doesn't want to go.

 DH works Saturdays 10-5 and Sundays 1-5. SS13 and SS6 get picked up on Satuday nights after DH gets out of work. SS13 is every week and SS6 is every other week. If SS13 happens not to be here on a weekend that SS6 is then DH has to find a sitter for SS6 on Sundays if I have something to do or am especially tired. DS is 11 months and SS6 is not especially helpful and still wants to be entertained. 

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