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Stepmom Central Stepmom Central

you fight the fights that need fighting...

Posted by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 7:34 PM
  • 25 Replies

Hello everyone - i am new to this, so excuse me for not using abbreviations (i am starting to get the jist of most of them, but get lost in the lingo from time to time)...i'll give you a little background on my situation and am completely open to any tips, suggestions, criticisms, etc.   My husband and i got married this past October.  i have been living in the house for about a year and a half (once engaged, i agreed to move in.  i didn't think living together without a serious commitment was a good example for his 2 daughters)  the BM is currently living (and has been since the divorce) with her boyfriend.  I knew going in to this that the girls would give me a run for my money (they are 8 and 12) but for the most part they have been pretty good...here's my problem - i, apparently, was held to a different standard growing up.  my parents were loving, kind and generous, but also strict and to be respected.  not having any children of my own, but being extremely involved with many children (sister's, cousin's, best friend) i feel like i had a pretty good knack in dealing with children (and i LOVE kids).   my husband was completely blindsided by the divorce, and i've been told that the 'punisher' in him was never quite developed - hence a consequence free zone has been established in the house.  i held my tongue a LOT, but since we've been married the oldest seems to be getting more and more disrespectful to him...my argument is that if she doesn't respect/listen to him now, then we will BOTH be in BIG trouble once she gets in to her mid-late teens.  shes a good student, but lack ANY sense of ambition or drive.  she likes to read --- but we have had to put a max. TV time on the school nights (1 hour) and weekends that we have them (she literally watched about 16 hours of TV the last weekend she was here, and that was in between naps).  the girls are not used to any chores, so we came up with simple things that they could do while they were here (put clothes away, clean bathroom, dust)...all minor chores for their ages (i think)...i literally just went and looked at the bathroom that the 12 year old was supposed to clean (i knew something was amiss when she was back downstairs in about 5 minutes declaring the deed done).  there are undies on the floor --- hair in the sink --- make up on counter...as i sit here typing (after cleaning the kitchen and in between loads of laundry) they are all downstairs playing on the WII --- i have set out the cleaner and a rag and am waiting to pounce and punish (no TV tonight!) -- does this sound too harsh? 

by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 7:34 PM
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Replies (1-10):
lovemyfriend
by Bronze Member on Mar. 5, 2013 at 7:58 PM
1 mom liked this

I think your real issue is with your DH.  It doesn't matter if he was blindsighted by the divorce, or that the 'punisher' in him never fully developed.  I think it will cause a lot of problems if you are the one putting forth the punishments.  It needs to be him.  I say this only because I've witnessed it on here SO many times, and it really is the only thing that will get them to both respect you.  Otherwise, you're just going to have to learn to let it go...(way harder than it sounds, I know.)

Good luck!

lovemyfriend
by Bronze Member on Mar. 5, 2013 at 8:00 PM

That being said, the punishment you put forth is not too harsh. 

packermomof2
by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 8:00 PM
2 moms liked this

They don't need to come to your house to clean it.  Dad needs to be the one making and enforcing the consequences or else you are going to make things harder on you than they need to be.

I have kids.  They don't have chores here, per se, and they live here 100% of the time. They help out when asked (sometimes hemming and hawing, most of the time they are pretty good).  It was never their SM's place to change things because of how she was raised.  

"What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms."
Thomas Jefferson
to James Madison

"They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Ben Franklin
American Statesman
lnr187
by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 8:06 PM
1 mom liked this

 this. if you're the only one punishing the kids, then you're going to be the bad guy. dh needs to be on the same page. if he isn't willing to teach his daughters some responsibility, then he can pick up the slack and do their work. talk to your dh. maybe you can sit down and decide on some chores and consequences together, that you're both willing to enforce.

Quoting lovemyfriend:

I think your real issue is with your DH.  It doesn't matter if he was blindsighted by the divorce, or that the 'punisher' in him never fully developed.  I think it will cause a lot of problems if you are the one putting forth the punishments.  It needs to be him.  I say this only because I've witnessed it on here SO many times, and it really is the only thing that will get them to both respect you.  Otherwise, you're just going to have to learn to let it go...(way harder than it sounds, I know.)

Good luck!

 

Tinkerbellmama
by Platinum Member on Mar. 5, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Did the kids have chores before you came along? If not, you're only going to make things worse for everyone. The girls are gonna get pissed and you're going to have a bigger attitude on your hands. Your husband is gonna get pissed because off of a sudden his girls are gonna hate being there. The only common factor is gonna be you and your changes.

Doodle39
by Bronze Member on Mar. 5, 2013 at 9:59 PM
2 moms liked this


I get a little stuck on the wording when it says "they don't need to come clean your house"; this implies that this isn't their home. Precisely due to the importance of building that sense of belonging and ownership, I agree with children having chores.  My SS has chores. He's only 5, so by no stretch of the imagination do we have him do it to lessen the work load.  But, we do it to reinforce he's capable, we all have important things to contribute and that this is our home and we need to work together as a family to take care of it.  

Quoting packermomof2:

They don't need to come to your house to clean it.  Dad needs to be the one making and enforcing the consequences or else you are going to make things harder on you than they need to be.

I have kids.  They don't have chores here, per se, and they live here 100% of the time. They help out when asked (sometimes hemming and hawing, most of the time they are pretty good).  It was never their SM's place to change things because of how she was raised.  



packermomof2
by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 11:41 PM



Quoting Doodle39:


I get a little stuck on the wording when it says "they don't need to come clean your house"; this implies that this isn't their home. Precisely due to the importance of building that sense of belonging and ownership, I agree with children having chores.  My SS has chores. He's only 5, so by no stretch of the imagination do we have him do it to lessen the work load.  But, we do it to reinforce he's capable, we all have important things to contribute and that this is our home and we need to work together as a family to take care of it.  

My home is my kids home, but I didn't have kids so that someone would clean my home.  If I need help, I ask for it. They do help out, but they won't be punished for not cleaning the bathroom.
If dad is fine with his kids not having the chores it isn't SM's place to dictate they have them.  It doesn't promote a sense of ownership or belonging, IMO.  When parents don't raise their kids with set chores and a newbie comes in and says "this is how I was raised" and "I'm going to punish the kid because they didn't do what I said to do even though dad isn't big on this" she is setting herself up for issues and the kids aren't going to feel a sense of belonging.  They're going to look at this woman like an interloper who needs people to clean her house for her.
"What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms."
Thomas Jefferson
to James Madison

"They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Ben Franklin
American Statesman
midwestcsm
by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Thank you all for your input...i only take exception to this "they don't need to come to you house to clean it" --- i am not expecting 2 little cindrella' s and me the wicked stepmom.  they come to my house to learn that their actions and inactions have consequences, accountability, respect and self worth.  i want to help raise strong, confident, self-sufficient women who are ready for the world -- i do not want to contribute to this 'give me' society, in which children (and some young adults) feel entitled to things that they haven't EARNED.  i agree that my husband needs to create/enforce the consequences WE consider acceptable, and we are working on that together,  but i don't think that just because i am the SM deems me impotent when it comes to running our household.  i will not allow the children to run our house.  although the lack of structure wasn't my fault, nor theirs, i find that it can only help them in the long run (and both have stated that they would rather be at our house rather than at their BM's).   


Quoting packermomof2:

They don't need to come to your house to clean it.  Dad needs to be the one making and enforcing the consequences or else you are going to make things harder on you than they need to be.

I have kids.  They don't have chores here, per se, and they live here 100% of the time. They help out when asked (sometimes hemming and hawing, most of the time they are pretty good).  It was never their SM's place to change things because of how she was raised.  



FloridaMomma
by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 8:22 AM
I foresee huge issues in your future.
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viv212
by Bronze Member on Mar. 6, 2013 at 8:29 AM
1 mom liked this
I agree. The issue is with your husband. Don't fight a battle with his girls when you're fighting alone. What your expectations are of his girls are right on- they should know how to clean and they should have chores. But if it's going to be you that is making them clean and your husband can't follow through, all you're going to do is create resentment between you and his kids- or else you will keep getting the bathroom cleaned the way your sd did it.
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