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New here and frustrated with DH and SKids

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Hello! I'm new here and could use some advice. I'm not sure if I'm just over-reacting or what...Here's the scoop: DH and I have been married 8 years. I have 4 SKids - 3 SS's (19, 17, 15) and a SD (13). We have 1 son together (6). BM lives 2 blocks from us. Shared custody every other week for a week at a time. Basically we do all the "work" and she gets all the "glory."

My problem is that in return for room and board and vacations and being able to be on sports teams, providing them a car, etc....the kids should be doing some chores around the house. I don't expect 8 hours a day out of them, but minor stuff (cleaning their own bathroom, sweeping, cleaning up after they make lunch) won't hurt them, right?

DH says he agrees, and lays out a chore list and goes over it with them, but then doesn't make them do it. If they don't want to do the chores, they just don't do them. If they have something better to do (swimming, ball games), they do that instead. How do I get him to see that he needs to step up and make his kids do these things? I am tired of the lack of respect they are learning. My son went to use their bathroom the other night and was "disgusted" at how dirty it was. You know it's bad when a 6YO refuses to use the bathroom because "It's disgusting!" This has gone on since I've known DH and I know he is afraid that if he is too hard on the kids, they will move out and go live with BM. It happened with the oldest and that was a disaster. I don't want that, but at the same time, I also don't want to continue to be their maid and personal checkbooks either.  I honestly think the only reason DH ever says anything to them is when I get angry and start harping and nagging at him about it. I think he only does it to make me stop...not because he thinks it's a problem.

I could use some advice. I'm so frustrated I don't know what to do anymore.

by on Jun. 27, 2012 at 11:04 AM
Replies (41-50):
mummamaur
by on Jun. 30, 2012 at 11:35 AM
i get that i find myself telling 3yr old sd that i am not her maid and servant. my 2yr dd will bring a cup to me and say mommy may i have some milk and sd sits grunts and shakes her cup in my face. its sick everybody gets it for her when she acts like that except me and dh. she drops food on the floor and just looks at it or tells me to pick it up. or destroys her room and when i tell her to start cleaning up she says no you do it. my 2yrdd can clean her room so can the 3 yr old. its sad when no one else teaches her responsibility and respect.

Quoting angelmommy2806:

After 8 years you're just now wanting to lay down the rules? I'm not even a year into this and Dh knows I don't do the maid thing. If you don't like it step away and have your Dh deal with it.

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whatIknownow
by Emerald Member on Jun. 30, 2012 at 11:49 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting 2bkayleesmommy:

Don't clean it, don't give them $ easy as that! And when they want $ tell them to get their act together and clean.

Bribery is underrated. I pay $12 for my SS17 to clean the upstairs bathroom and it's the best twelve bucks I spend all week. He needs gas money, I need a clean bathroom. Everyone wins.

WickdlySweet
by Member on Jun. 30, 2012 at 1:23 PM
In my opinion they are old enough to clean up after themselves and should.One of your skids IS an adult and definitely should clean up after himself.

With that being said,I dont agree with anyone who tells you that you are disrespecting your husband.His kids or not...it is still your house too.BOTH of your house...BOTH OF YOUR RULES.They should obey your house rules.Telling you that they dont have to because they arent your kids is like me telling my kids that they dont have to listen to the babysitters house rules or grandmas house rules.

It is a big mistake when a NCP becomes a pushover to their children out of fear of the kids not loving them or wanting to spend time with them.The kids grow up spoiled and unable to cope with things that dont go their way as adults.Kids that grow up this way,learn very quickly what is going on and use it to their advantage with that parent.

My DH was the first man Ive ever been with who already had kids.The first thing I did was observe him with his kids and I could see very quickly that he is a discipliner.He is loving and enjoys his children BUT he lays down the law with them and demands respect.If he was a pushover,it wouldve been a deal breaker.The reason I even knew what to watch for is the fact that MY SF was an awesome guy but he was such a pushover to his kids throughout their lives that as a adults they became parasitic and drained him both mentally and financially and put my mom through HELL.There are worst case scenarios to the way your husband is with his kids.
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WickdlySweet
by Member on Jun. 30, 2012 at 1:42 PM
1 mom liked this
I lived with my mom and SF off and on throughout my adult years.The most recent was when my 9 year old was 2 and I left his father.Mind you I wasnt working or going to school and they were fine with that I kept that house spotless for them.I helped my SF with his boat and yardwork.I cooked except for the nights he wanted to and even then,during the day I would make a batch of tuna fish or salad...something I knew he want want for lunch or a late night snack.I did the laundry and since he left for work after my mom,I would go in their room and make the bed because I knew it made my mom happy.I felt a need to do something to contribute since they were housing and feeding my son and I.All I was ever asked was to clean up after myself but I felt bad so I tried to show my appreciation as an adult for their help.Even when I was in my early 20s I did this when I lived with them.I try to raise my kids to be the same,my son is only 9 but he respects SM's rules and I would be furious if he didnt pitch in as he got older.I would NEVER encourage him not to respect her house rules because she is only SM.We have rules between our homes that arent the same and I always tell him..."Sorry her house HER rules"

I feel for you because your husband should be making his adult children contribute in some way to the household.Theres a very strong chance they will use him throughout life and always expect him to bail them out of situations instead of learning to take care of themselves.


Quoting Bells2000:


Quoting heathercm26:

Wow. How about move to a two. Bedrrom and leave his grown kids behind.





Quoting Bells2000:

I agree with you, that at their ages, they should be able to do something more than they are doing. I get that its a problem because YOUR CHILD is suffering, because of the laziness of his kids. However, its not as if we as a SM can make them do anything.

I'm in a very similar boat, except all of my step-kids are 18 or over.... and the idea of them actually doing their 1 chore (take out the trash) is impossible for them to do. Its not as if its because they are busy with other things... the oldest is 21, is not currently enrolled in college, does not work, does not do anything but play video games all night and sleep all day.


DH won't do anything to tell his kids to do something, he instead just does it after I've bitched.


I wish I knew a solution to the problem. But I've since given up and we are working on making our marriage work... so part of our agreement is moving. I want 2 bathrooms... 1 for me and my daughter... the other his kids can use. They want to be pigs? sure, be pigs. But keep your dirty ass out our bathroom/space. etc.

I'm sick of it.



Because sadly, none of them would be able to live on their own or be able to support themselves. I really don't see the harm of them living here while going to college/trying to get on their feet, if they at least made an effort to do something to make it less of a hassle to keep the house clean with them and their dang dog. But 1 didn't even go to classes or do his school work!

When the oldest did "move out" into an appartment, he still came home to get clean towels and have his stuff washed.  I had no problem with that at all... it also made DH happy his kid was coming home, etc. However, the kid was NOT paying his own bills!! We can't afford to pay for indivudal appartments, utilities for everything at those individual appartments, etc and maintain our home.

I'm fearful they really are going to grow up and be just like their uncle... in their 40's, no work/job experience whatsoever.... he does nothing but live as a parasite from those around him. He lived off his parents until they died, lived off my DH until he was kicked out, and now lives off his sister who is tired and frustrated with dealing with him, but he has nowhere else to go if she were to kick him out.  Alls he does is collect food stamps, tries every so often to get on SS but told he isn't ill and is capable of working, just because he choses not to work doesn't mean he can not work, and watches the disney channel.


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Seychelles1409
by Gold Member on Jul. 1, 2012 at 5:43 PM




I told her not to give up because I hate to think that it's ever too late to make things better.  Maybe now that the teens are older there is some hope for the family.   My son would never clean his bathroom, but then one day out of the blue he started cleaning his bathroom and bedroom without any prompting from me!  Odd, but he just grew up!
Quoting whatIknownow:

If their SM hasn't been able to get them to clean the bathroom in the 8 years she's been their SM, why would she suddenly be able to get them to do it now?

That ship has sailed.

Quoting Seychelles1409:


Quoting whatIknownow:

I would not give up.  These SCs are still teenagers living at home.  There is time to work with them; they are not mature adults yet.  They still need the guidance of the adults in their life---their dad, if he will step up to the plate, and yes, their SM.

Quoting baparrot2:

 I think you started a little too late. I would probably just clean it myself at this point because it would probably be less of a headache.

I agree, it's too late.

I would hire a cleaning lady. 




lilangilyn
by on Jul. 1, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Stop nagging and start disengaging. It will work for you. I would have your child share your bathroom with you, and Dh can share the bathroom that his kids use. To me this is fair. I think they should be doing chores, but guess what? If they don't, then you don't do anything. You don't take them to their activities, to their appointments or anything else. Daddy dearest parents his own kids.

Create a calm and peaceful place within the home that they cannot invade and that is where you and your kid hang out. Leave their nasty lunch stuff out until it draws flies and Dh has to do something about it.

Their is a disengaging essay on steptogether.org that is excellent.

Crazystepmama
by New Member on Jul. 9, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Hi!  I'm new here, also, but boy do I understand what you're going through! 

I have 3 skids (SS21, SS16, SD12) and 2 bios (DS3 and DS2).  I have also struggled with the messes created by lazy skids.  I have dealt with everything from them not picking up empty pop cans and juice boxes (I stopped buying them), to food, to not flushing the toilet, chew spit bottles all over the place, not cleaning their rooms, etc.  I have seen it ALL.  And this is from OLDER kids.  Even my 2 and 3 year olds know how to pick up better than the older kids.

I used to clean up after them ,but have stopped.  Disengaged.  If their rooms or bathrooms are filthy, I shut the doors.  As long as my bios don't have be around the mess, they can be as piggish as they want.  I'm not fighting the battle.  Now my DH deals with it.  It wasn't easy, TRUST ME.  I am a NEAT FREAK.  But I decided I wasn't going to waste my time or energy on it.  Instead of cleaning up after them, I spend that extra time with my sons! 

Also - bonus......i figure one the skids move out, I have an excuse to redo their bedrooms.  New carpet, paint, ect!  WAHOO!!!

sidelinesally
by on Jul. 9, 2012 at 5:36 PM
1 mom liked this

I agree with whoever said that if SM nags, she's the bitch, but if BD does the harping on his own kids, it's ok. I tackled this same problem by disengaging AND splitting the chores. My kids and me are are responsible for x, y and z and SO and his kids are responsible for a, b, and c. I ask my kids to help and they do. If he doesn't want to get his kids to help because he thinks this is Disneyland, then he has to do them himself. My kids have already noticed that SC don't do squat, but I more or less just said "yup - two sets of rules and this is how we're rolling". They get it.

And as for the comment about disrespecting your DH...ummm, not so much. Ignore that piece of advice!

adamsmom0116
by Member on Jul. 10, 2012 at 10:33 AM

Here's an example: Got home from work last night and the crumbs from the day's meals and snacks were still all over the table, the kitchen sink had dirty dishes in it that should have been put into the dishwasher, the dishwasher was crammed full of dirty dishes (and no room for the supper dishes), there were no less than 8 glasses sitting around, there was a wrapper from string cheese on the table in the living room. Really, you guys? You are 13, 15, and 17 years old. Clean up after yourselves! So what did I do? I changed my clothes and went out for a run! Left it all for DH to deal with when he got home. Know what he did? Yep, he cleaned it all up himself and didn't say anything to anyone. Which is why they don't clean up after themselves, I know. Well, that and the fact that they don't have to do anything at BM's either. Years ago when we first got married, the oldest skid (about 11-12 at the time) left a banana peel on my new carpet and I had the nerve to say something to him about it. Wasn't "over the top" or anything - just made him pick it up and said to him "We don't do that here. It is not acceptable. Clean up after yourself or I'll have to hire a babysitter for you." OH MAN! Did I hear it from BM for that! I am just the SM and I don't have any right to treat her kids that way, why am I throwing such a fit over something as little as a banana peel being left out? blah blah.......OK, fine. Does SHE allow them to leave banana peels on HER carpet?? So I'm just supposed to sit back and enjoy the fact that their laziness and slobbiness is ruining my house?? Because that's not ok with me.

Bertieb
by Bronze Member on Jul. 10, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Good for you that DH cleaned it up! Try as hard as you can to leave their messes and DH will get the message or be their maid if that is what he accepts. You shouldn't. I'd keep a bathroom clean for me and my son and let them deal with the other.

I clean what I want, when I want. I'm not assertive so all I can do is be passive aggressive by ignoring shit. My DH is good about helping, but he doesn't believe kids should have chores for some insane reason.  That's the only thing my daughter likes about my marriage, she doesn't have to help around the house anymore! After a few months of marriage I disengaged from 17 yo SS clothes in bathroom floor after his shower. The hamper is in the closet next to the floor he left them in after his twice a day showers. I used the same shower and would just stand on his clothes when washing my hands, lol.  DH noticed the clothes (by me leaving the door open and light on at night!) and put them in the hamper a few times then finally said something to SS. End of that problem. Anyway, keep up what you did yesterday girl!

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