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I don’t want to fail at this

Posted by on Oct. 21, 2017 at 2:02 PM
  • 3 Replies
Hi everyone, it’s been ages since I’ve been on here, but I wanted to give an update and vent a little. My step kids are now nearly 18, 16 and almost 14. They all currently live with us however SD18, who has special needs, will be living with her mom about a 4 hour drive away as of next year. SD16 is overall doing pretty well but can be lazy and struggles with some subjects in school. SS14 is a good kid but has difficulty with social interaction and has never really had friends he hangs out with outside of school. Pretty much his only interest is video games and he tends to be lazy too, but will do his chores when told to. So overall, no major complaints. However, here is the difficulty I’m faced with. My DH is currently completing is Masters degree and in the process as commissioning as an officer in the National Guard, but on top of that he is also a high school teacher and youth program manager. All together he is pretty swamped and so a lot of the household and parenting has fallen on my plate recently. I work full-time too so it’s not as if I stay home and have all day open to take care of the house and kids. We do have a schedule set up that has been working for the most part, but the thing that’s bothering me is the lack of boundaries for SD16 and her willingness to take advantage of me. She has a boyfriend who is a good guy, but they are still in the phase where they want to spend every possible moment together, or at least video chatting. Lately her grades have been slipping, and while she took responsibility saying she was just getting lazy, I’m pretty sure it also has to do with her being distracted by her boyfriend. The thing is, With the girls approaching graduation, and my stepson right behind them, I feel like I’m in over my head. I feel the responsibility of ensuring their success on my shoulders and I don’t really know if I’m doing a good enough job. I have been their stepmom for 10 years now, so Im not new to this, but I also don’t have any children of my own. And I know people will struggle to understand this, but they are not better off going to live with BM, we tried that with disasterous results. The only reason SD18 is moving in with her next year is because she will go to a day program and have other caretakers, but she can also be semi independent. I guess I don’t really have anything specific to ask, just wanted to get my feeling out somewhere. I don’t want to fail these kids, but I can only do so much. Thanks for listening.
by on Oct. 21, 2017 at 2:02 PM
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Replies (1-3):
anonomomma
by Member on Oct. 21, 2017 at 2:33 PM
Everyone has different parenting philosophies, but I am in the camp of by the time you are 16 you are almost and adult and your future is your responsibility. I am not going to hold your hand like a toddler and make sure you do what you need to do. I don't think you need to bear the burden of how these almost adults turn out at this point.

Have you discussed with your DH about how he feels about the kids and what he thinks needs to be done? I don't think I personally would support him going to school right now unless he is willing to give up some other things so he is home more. All the kids are almost out of school and he can either wait a few lore years for that or something else needs to go. Its not fair for you to raise his kids while he is off building his life. What do you do for you? What about your future and what makes you happy? How much have you given up for him, and what do you get in return for your sacrifices?

***eta I apologize, I read your post, left then came back. Your husband isn't returning to school but currently enrolled. I still think you need to talk to him about expectations and possibly changes. GL!
rocknmom85
by Silver Member on Oct. 21, 2017 at 3:50 PM
Yes, he has about a year and half left before he has his Masters. However, that is one thing he cannot give up right now because his military status is contingent on it. However, it’s all online so he actually is home in the afternoon and evening and helps as much as he can but also needs space to do schoolwork. He has attempted to lighten his load a little and only teaches 5 classes now. But I tend to agree with your parenting philosophy, but I still have trouble feeling guilty for not “doing more.” Like with SS, he is required to do his chores and homework everyday, and we do have dinner together most days, but the rest of the time he is typically playing video games. But because he has not expressed interest in doing any extracurriculars despite pushing him in the past, we just let him do his thing. But I still worry about his social situation and lack of interests. Then with SD16, something I just realized but hadn’t mentioned, is I think I’ve become a little bit bitter towards her. The fact that she manages to just slide by with minimal responsibilities and quite a bit of freedom, and with everything I do for her, I think it’s created a little bit of animosity. She is so subtly stubborn and strong willed, without being blatantly disrespectful, that she gets away with more than the other kids do. I really just don’t know how to fix that. And on top of that she’s at the stage where she wants to be totally independent but still asks for a lot.

Quoting anonomomma: Everyone has different parenting philosophies, but I am in the camp of by the time you are 16 you are almost and adult and your future is your responsibility. I am not going to hold your hand like a toddler and make sure you do what you need to do. I don't think you need to bear the burden of how these almost adults turn out at this point.

Have you discussed with your DH about how he feels about the kids and what he thinks needs to be done? I don't think I personally would support him going to school right now unless he is willing to give up some other things so he is home more. All the kids are almost out of school and he can either wait a few lore years for that or something else needs to go. Its not fair for you to raise his kids while he is off building his life. What do you do for you? What about your future and what makes you happy? How much have you given up for him, and what do you get in return for your sacrifices?

***eta I apologize, I read your post, left then came back. Your husband isn't returning to school but currently enrolled. I still think you need to talk to him about expectations and possibly changes. GL!
Leigh84
by Gold Member on Oct. 22, 2017 at 4:02 PM
I agree w/annonomama, your sks know what is expected of them to graduate. You can encourage them, remind them, be on their ass, but it’s not like you can hold their hand every step of the way. If they fail, that’s on them.
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