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New to Cafe Mom- brand new step parent w/ blend family any suggestions for survival

Posted by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 9:20 AM
  • 17 Replies

I am a brand new step parent. He has two old children and i have one older child. 

My kids are 12 and 16 and he has a 10 yr old who comes to live with us every other week. 

Transition is hard for her and so are the family rules. Blending the two families I notice that 

my kids have set rules and obey they, she doesnt and needs boundaries. Her dad used to 

function a certain way and that is still carrying over. The issue at hand is no boundaries in our

bedroom. She comes in far too much. Sometimes when I get up to make lunches and go back 

to bed he invites her in our bed. She uses our bathroom to take a shower, and brush her teeth. 

She is under foot while I am trying to get ready and constantly interupts my morning flow of trying 

to get ready. Sometimes while were laying in bed she will come in our room and insist on bathing 

in our bath tub. She has her own bathroom and isnt made to use it. 

by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 9:20 AM
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by Gold Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 10:37 AM

If you are going to have rules, you and DH have to be on the same page. I would explain to him why you insist on a particular rule and why it matters to you. If he doesn't understand that you don't want her in your bathroom, because it makes it hard to get ready in the morning, he's just going to think your nitpicking.

DH thought I was being a control freak when I insisted SS5 lay out his clothes the night before. He didn't realize that SS is picky about his outfit and was constantly running short on time, because he wanted to fight about his clothes. Now that DH knows the reason, he's more than happy to help me enforce it.

Maybe she's feeling insecure. You said this is all new, right? Maybe she gets in bed with BF, because she wants to feel like she has some alone time with him. Maybe she wants to be in your bathroom while you're getting ready, because she wants to have some personal time with you, too. While you might see if as her getting underfoot and annoying you, she might see it as "we're having girl time".

by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 11:21 AM
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I can understand. My skids where all Co sleepers. I am not! They wouldn't go to sleep unless you were laying with them but if you got up they would to. I put my foot down on that right away. There is no reason for an 8 and 6 yr old to have to sleep with a parent and/each other. The 3 yr old I was a little more lenient. She could crawl in bed with me/us only in the morning.

What if you talk to dh about some guidelines. She can take a shower/bath in your room once a week. Otherwise she needs to do that in her bathroom. Brushing teeth in her room. Allow for alone time with dad during the day. Also do something "girly" with her in the evening so she feels that she ia getting her alone time with everyone
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by Amy on Jan. 18, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Welcome to the group!

Sounds like there is a communication problem between you and your husband.  You need to discuss how to help her change these behaviors and he needs to put his foot down on what isn't ok.

by on Jan. 22, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Thank you everyone for your insight, I love this sight.

All of you are right. I have not felt comfortable enough to demand intamacy rules in the bedroom. He has been single since she was three, at first she slept with him as it was much easier to get ready in the am ( 4am). She also kept her clothes in his closet and took a shower in his bathroom. She looks 6 although she is in 5th grade and is 10 1/2. I understand she is his youngest too so I have been gently transitioning the intamate bedroom policy. He thinks she is still a little girl. 

I wonder am I too rigid wanting our bedroom and bathroom as our own private area. My kids have always followed that rule. She wakes up and comes in my room, like I said wants to lay down sometimes with me. Then wants to take a shower in my shower. Gets out has me brush her hair. Sometimes she request that I was her hair in the bathtub facet. While I am putting on make up she is combing her hair after I do it. I suppose she likes that one on one. I on the other hand like to get make up on in my bra and underware or with just a towel. I also need private time when I shower. I am not her mother and feel weird barely dressed in front of this 5th grader, I also dont think its appropriate for a 5th grader step child to lay in bed with a step mother or father. Most 5th graders are developing although she is not yet I really think boundaries need to be set. Coming in our room when were in bed and insisting on bathing in our tube also is weird. Her dad should not be seeing her naked. Am I rigid, over reacting? Not understanding the situation. I am afraid to bring it up to him bcuz he sees her as his little girl. So I just tolerate it, but its really bothering me. 

I dont allow either of m children in the bedroom period. They dont have any of there things in there, toothbrush, underware on the floor robe on the chair. I think that is dysfunctional. 

WHen she is not in our home, I have smooth nice mornings, stress free. No one banging at the door bcuz they need lotion or want to come in my room and force me to get dress or ready quickly. How can I fix this and turn it into an acceptable routine? Why cant she take a shower and get ready in the childrens bathroom, like the other children? How do I break it to my husband. 

When I moved in I moved her clothes into her room, I always take her toothbrush and put it back in the holder in her bathroom and put all her dirty clothes in her hamper. I lock the door, forcing her to knock. I have told him I dont let my kids in the bedroom bcuz I believe it is our personal space. 


by on Jan. 22, 2013 at 2:46 PM

HELLOAD WELCOME! Sounds as if this could get only worse!  Sit down w/ the hubby, figure out where each one of you is stuck to what and find where you can compromise!

Skids don't just come in our room whenever.  That is OUR room.  KNOCK...and wait.  Just like when they are in their's!  Our bathroom is OURS.  Unless someone is in the other one, it's off limits


by on Jan. 22, 2013 at 2:46 PM
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Oops.  HELLO....and WELCOME!

Blend in!

by on Jan. 22, 2013 at 2:51 PM

O thank you.  I didnt think I was rigid or nuts. I appreciate hearing that it is not normal

by on Jan. 22, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Now that you mention it, when I first got married, my stepkids used to use our bathroom to brush their teeth. I have no idea why. I just held my tongue for a while then finally told my DH, "I hate it when the kids use our bathroom. They wipe their toothpaste face on my towel that I use for my shower!" We have 3 bathrooms in our house so there is no reason on earth why they should be in the master bathroom.

He agreed to ban them from the bathroom. It was pretty easy. He just hadn't realized it bothered me.

Have you tried just banning them from that bathroom?

About the bed thing, have you asked your husband to not invite them into your bed? I don't think I'd blame the kids for this. I think it is your DH's responsibility to instill these boundries.

by on Jan. 22, 2013 at 3:22 PM

We have three bathrooms two, and the kids have a really neat bathroom they all use. She knows it and wants special rules. 

I have not said anything about it yet. Just been dealing with it by locking the door and being in the shower when she needs to come in. Ignoring the banging at the door while I am getting ready works too. 

I need to have the talk. Before I lived with him and was just the girlfriend NOW I am the wife x2 wks so I am getting ready to have the talk. I was thinking hmmm maybe I should invite my kids in to invade our space and he will get the hint and make the rule all on his own lol.

by Le Bonjour Chat on Jan. 22, 2013 at 3:26 PM
My twin skids used to barge into our bedroom all the time and DH used to bathe them together in our tub when we first met. Once I moved in we set boundaries for them for privacy sake and because they were getting older (they were 9 then, almost 12 now). It didn't happen overnight, but if you and DH are consistent, you can break her of that habit. If there is another useable bathroom in the house, there is no reason for her to have to use you masterbath.
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