Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Stepmom Central Stepmom Central

Step moms please help!

Posted by on Aug. 4, 2012 at 2:21 AM
  • 30 Replies
I have 3 step kids, 16, 12, and 10. I am really burnt out and just over all the direspectfulness toward me. I also have 3 biological kids. When it comes to my step kids I feel like I just can't ever say anything to them without it turning into drama. By drama I mean if I tell them to brush their teeth and fix their bed it's a flat "I KNOW" but do they do it? No. Then if I tell them again and even three times then they tell their dad I yelled at them. I don't yell and I guarantee if I did, they would never want to come back. So
Dad, 12 yr old, and I have had several discussions about this and it will be fine for a day and then it goes back to the same way. This week the 12 and 11 year old have been staying up until 12. Dad is deep sleeper who also snores so if they are in the living room (I have my bedroom door shut) he doesn't hear them but I do since I am a light sleeper. I told dh I have to work and he doesn't deal with them and all their noise I do. And then when I get up at midnight to tell them hey it's bedtime I am the asshole. They are like we have 5 minutes left. My daughter is 9 and regardless if it is summer she doesn't stay up that late. I am about to lose my mind!!! I will have a talk with dh but I don't know how to deal with these kids anymore. I feel like I am starting to just feel sick even when I know theyre coming. I don't like feeling like this but I also don't know what else to say to them or to dh to make him understand. I also feel I need to disengage. I hope someone understands and can help me with any advice. I still have 7 years of this and in all honesty I think things will get worse before it will get better.
by on Aug. 4, 2012 at 2:21 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
alissaplusthree
by Bronze Member on Aug. 4, 2012 at 7:22 AM
4 moms liked this

If you have had numerous discussions with DH and gotten no results, then it sounds like the root of the problem is with your DH in this situation. It could be that he has a different parenting style than you, or he could be putting his responsibilities off on you....I don't know. But I think your instinct to disengage is correct. Let him deal with them from now on, because obviously you have no authority or recourse when his kids disobey you.

The argument that many people make about SM's deserving respect can go on all day long....Nevertheless, this is a common complication with blended families, and when SM fights for her respect and authority, the kids fight right back with equal resistance and the turmoil never ends.You said you had seven more years to go, right?

So here are my observations and comments:


Quoting mytinydancer:

I have 3 step kids, 16, 12, and 10. I am really burnt out and just over all the direspectfulness toward me. I also have 3 biological kids. When it comes to my step kids I feel like I just can't ever say anything to them without it turning into drama. By drama I mean if I tell them to brush their teeth and fix their bed it's a flat "I KNOW" but do they do it? No. Then if I tell them again and even three times then they tell their dad I yelled at them. I don't yell and I guarantee if I did, they would never want to come back. Why are YOU the one telling them to brush their teeth and make their beds? This is now DH's job. From now on he gets up and gets them going...NOT YOU. If he leaves too early in the morning that is no excuse.. He can get his kids up early too if he wants them to have good dental hygiene. If he does not, then teeth don't get brushed, beds don't get made, and he gets to fight with his EX over half of the dentist bill for filling cavities. DH can make his own kids' beds when he gets home if it is an issue.
 So
Dad, 12 yr old, and I have had several discussions about this and it will be fine for a day and then it goes back to the same way. Let them argue with him. Let them tell him "I KNOW."  You are out of the morning routine picture.  This week the 12 and 11 year old have been staying up until 12. Dad is deep sleeper who also snores so if they are in the living room (I have my bedroom door shut) he doesn't hear them but I do since I am a light sleeper. I told dh I have to work and he doesn't deal with them and all their noise I do. And then when I get up at midnight to tell them hey it's bedtime I am the asshole. Not any more you don't....From now on you nudge DH awake and send him into the living room to quiet those kids. Then you roll over and go to sleep while he handles it. They are like we have 5 minutes left. My daughter is 9 and regardless if it is summer she doesn't stay up that late. I am about to lose my mind!!! I will have a talk with dh but I don't know how to deal with these kids anymore. You are not going to deal with them any more. You are turning that job over to DH. I feel like I am starting to just feel sick even when I know theyre coming. I don't like feeling like this but I also don't know what else to say to them or to dh to make him understand. Stop spending time trying to get DH to understand, and just put him in charge of his parenting his own kids.  I also feel I need to disengage. I hope someone understands and can help me with any advice. I still have 7 years of this and in all honesty I think things will get worse before it will get better.

When you leave the responsibilty to DH, you need to be willing to accept whatever parenting style or decisions he makes regarding his own kids.

Good Luck!

whatIknownow
by Emerald Member on Aug. 4, 2012 at 7:27 AM
1 mom liked this

Everything you described is regular kid stuff. Deal with it using regular parenting skills. Kids have to be told to brush their teeth over and over. Then they will complain that you are nagging or yelling. Ignore the complaint - it's *regular kid behavior.*

Kick them out of the TV room at midnight. So what if they say you are mean. 

why aer you so sensitive to these comments about being mean?  Every parent worth their salt has been called mean by their kids.

lilangilyn
by on Aug. 4, 2012 at 7:40 AM
2 moms liked this

I second the lady who says let the dad deal with his kids. Life is too short to spend one minute worrying about and dealing with skids. That is for their parents to do. Their bio parents.

spykgurlcom
by on Aug. 4, 2012 at 7:42 AM
My SD did this to me. She finally moved to BMs and stopped talking to us for a while. She thought she was so special she didn't have to have chores or do her homework. I told her that was bs. So, she moved to moms and became a hoarder and dropped out of school cause BM told her it was better for her future. Dh and I fought all the time cause I said she would learn. Well, by 19, now finally, she moved in with her friend and claims to clean. She also works with dh and JUST got her diploma from an online program. She was spoiled and got pist that I was her parent and not her friend, like BM. So oh well. Either they do what you say or go to BMs. Unfortunately that's how it goes. Now we have our own LOs to parent, and dh knows that since I'm a stay at home, its my rules. His rules suck. Lol.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
alissaplusthree
by Bronze Member on Aug. 4, 2012 at 7:47 AM


Quoting whatIknownow:

Everything you described is regular kid stuff. Deal with it using regular parenting skills. Kids have to be told to brush their teeth over and over. Then they will complain that you are nagging or yelling. Ignore the complaint - it's *regular kid behavior.*

Kick them out of the TV room at midnight. So what if they say you are mean. 

why aer you so sensitive to these comments about being mean?  Every parent worth their salt has been called mean by their kids.

I think it is the general concensus that frequently SM's get treated a lot worse than BM's by the kids. So what SM's have to put up with from their Skids is a LOT different than what they have to put up with from their Bio Kids. Plus Step Parenting skills differ from Parenting skills because of a few dynamics.

So it may not be a case of her being too sensitive.


This leads me to some questions for the OP:

Does DH believe his kids when they say you yell at them?

Has he chastised you over how you treat or handle them?

If he does not, then I agree with WhatIKnowNow when she says "So what if they say you are mean."    It's not getting them anywhere.




alissaplusthree
by Bronze Member on Aug. 4, 2012 at 7:51 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting chanizen:

I suggest reminding about teeth once per night, expect them to moan and note it to dh if they failed to brush. If he failed to care, I would stop. I wouldn't put the kids to bed. I would require the noise to stop. Then, if necessary, wake dh and have him get his kids to bed.

My dh gets ss ready before he leaves. Dh's parenting style is very different. So if dh wants to let him stay up, allow him to mouth off, etc.... He can have ss ready before he leaves. At those ages, if they weren't ready, they would have a 15 minute warning then I would leave. Dh can find another plan if he doesn't like it.

Yeppers...when BF's get put out or inconvenienced by the kids' misbehavior they put a stop to it REAL QUICK, LOL!

whatIknownow
by Emerald Member on Aug. 4, 2012 at 7:54 AM


Quoting alissaplusthree:


Quoting whatIknownow:

Everything you described is regular kid stuff. Deal with it using regular parenting skills. Kids have to be told to brush their teeth over and over. Then they will complain that you are nagging or yelling. Ignore the complaint - it's *regular kid behavior.*

Kick them out of the TV room at midnight. So what if they say you are mean. 

why aer you so sensitive to these comments about being mean?  Every parent worth their salt has been called mean by their kids.

I think it is the general concensus that frequently SM's get treated a lot worse than BM's by the kids. So what SM's have to put up with from their Skids is a LOT different than what they have to put up with from their Bio Kids. Plus Step Parenting skills differ from Parenting skills because of a few dynamics.

So it may not be a case of her being too sensitive.


This leads me to some questions for the OP:

Does DH believe his kids when they say you yell at them?

Has he chastised you over how you treat or handle them?

If he does not, then I agree with WhatIKnowNow when she says "So what if they say you are mean."    It's not getting them anywhere.




I thnk you're right that many SMs *think* they are being treated worse. But in reality, I think they are just more sensitive to how the kids treat them. they want to be "liked", or even "loved," and they know that love is not automatic and unconditional like it is for Mom. But at the same time they want to enforce the rules. You can't have it both ways. Either you are the "nice lady married to dad" who never tells the kids what to do, or you are the Enforcer, in which case, you're going to get some push-back just like Mom would get. Either of these roles is fine, but it seems many times, SMs want to be the Enforcer without the push-back and they get their feelings hurt when there is push-back.

For the teeth brushing and bed-fixing, the OP could just say NMKNMP and let the teeth go unbrushed and the bed go unfixed, since these things are clearly not on Dad's radar at all. But for the TV at midnight, the woman has to sleep... regardless of what her dead-to-the-world snorring husband is doing, she has to be able to get up and say "hey kids, turn that thing off and go to bed, now!"  and if they say "wow, she's sure is mean," she has to learn that it's ok to be mean sometimes. Not all the time... but sometimes.

spykgurlcom
by on Aug. 4, 2012 at 7:55 AM
There were three main rules I wanted to ne follwed by SD, maybe this will help a little. 1) clean room and any mess they make. 2) keep us informed about whereabouts. 3) stay in school and have a job if old enough.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
alissaplusthree
by Bronze Member on Aug. 4, 2012 at 8:03 AM


Quoting whatIknownow:


Quoting alissaplusthree:


Quoting whatIknownow:

Everything you described is regular kid stuff. Deal with it using regular parenting skills. Kids have to be told to brush their teeth over and over. Then they will complain that you are nagging or yelling. Ignore the complaint - it's *regular kid behavior.*

Kick them out of the TV room at midnight. So what if they say you are mean. 

why aer you so sensitive to these comments about being mean?  Every parent worth their salt has been called mean by their kids.

I think it is the general concensus that frequently SM's get treated a lot worse than BM's by the kids. So what SM's have to put up with from their Skids is a LOT different than what they have to put up with from their Bio Kids. Plus Step Parenting skills differ from Parenting skills because of a few dynamics.

So it may not be a case of her being too sensitive.


This leads me to some questions for the OP:

Does DH believe his kids when they say you yell at them?

Has he chastised you over how you treat or handle them?

If he does not, then I agree with WhatIKnowNow when she says "So what if they say you are mean."    It's not getting them anywhere.




I thnk you're right that many SMs *think* they are being treated worse. But in reality, I think they are just more sensitive to how the kids treat them. they want to be "liked", or even "loved," and they know that love is not automatic and unconditional like it is for Mom. But at the same time they want to enforce the rules. You can't have it both ways. Either you are the "nice lady married to dad" who never tells the kids what to do, or you are the Enforcer, in which case, you're going to get some push-back just like Mom would get. Either of these roles is fine, but it seems many times, SMs want to be the Enforcer without the push-back and they get their feelings hurt when there is push-back.

For the teeth brushing and bed-fixing, the OP could just say NMKNMP and let the teeth go unbrushed and the bed go unfixed, since these things are clearly not on Dad's radar at all. But for the TV at midnight, the woman has to sleep... regardless of what her dead-to-the-world snorring husband is doing, she has to be able to get up and say "hey kids, turn that thing off and go to bed, now!"  and if they say "wow, she's sure is mean," she has to learn that it's ok to be mean sometimes. Not all the time... but sometimes.

This is a very good point. And it is certainly the flip side of the coin.

whatIknownow
by Emerald Member on Aug. 4, 2012 at 8:10 AM
1 mom liked this

I want to add a little WIKN anecdote here:  I did partially disengage once upon a time.

My SD-then -oh, I don't know, 4 or 5 maybe, was the Master Bedtime Extender Extraordinaire. This girl could have given lessons. She had skillz, let me tell you! She was one smart cookie (still is, and that's what I love about her, but I digress.... )  Anyway, she knew exactly when her bedtime was One Minute Away. Even though there was no formal time... she just knew when I or DH were thinking about putting her to bed.  She would wait until litterally seconds before the words came out of our mouths...   And she would say, "I want a bedtime snack."

Now, let me say that I personally HATE the bedtime snack idea and would like to see the inventor of the bedtime snack cast into a burning lake of fire. Damn you, Inventor of the Bedtime Snack. My kids never had "bedtime snacks", but apparently, my husband had always followed this ritual, and the bedtime snack strategy, if used correctly, could easily buy a child another 20 minutes. Then of course, the teeth had to be brushed after the bedtime snack. Then of course, a book had to be read. Now we're a good hour after bedtime. This drove me absolutely crazy.

So I completey disengaged from the whole bedtime deal. 9 pm came and went. 10 pm came and went. I did not remind anyone that it was bedtime. I went about my business. Bedtimes became random. SD would just fall asleep on the couch. Teeth didnt' get brushed. It all went to hell.

and you know what? My SD is 13 now, brushes her teeth before bed, has no cavities, sleeps great. Still has no bedtime. Still sleeps with the TV on all night. gets up just fine in the morning. Maybe it wasn't necessary to be a bedtime nazi after all... maybe it wasnt' a battle that needed to be fought after all. I got all those gray hairs for nothing.

I'm not sure if I have a point here.. maybe I do... sometimes, things just have to be let go. When the Dad does not have the same parenting style... we SMs can drive ourselves crazy trying to enforce 'rules' that just don't need to be enforced. 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN