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Am I Being Unreasonable?

Posted by on Jan. 22, 2014 at 2:33 PM
  • 22 Replies

Good afternoon.

I hope to hear some good feedback; good or bad.  

I am very new to step parenting.  We have two of my husband's 4 boys living with us.  When we married, they moved into the home I own.  It is a 2 bedroom condo, 2 bath but shared shower/tub.  I give this information for a reason.....lol

I want them to feel like the home is their home as well.  The youngest who is 15 has been through some difficulties in school and past relaships of his farthers.  So I have compassion and empathy for him.  My heart breaks for some of the things he has gone through.

That aside, he has no respect for the house or the contents of the house that are mine.  Sometimes I feel like I harp on them all of the time, and that is NOT my nature. I am told  I worry too much about the lttle things.  Here are a few things that get, and continue to be under my skin.  I would love to hear comments; good or bad.

Putting and leaving dirty ball caps on the kitchen table

leaving shoes/ear buds/footballs and other things lying around in the living room after being told over and over to put them away.

45 minute showers, yes you read that correctly.  I am showered, dressed and ready to leave the house in less time that it taks the youngest to shower; let alone get ready.

They have no sense of urgency

No table manners.  I had to get up from the table the other night because the youngest would NOT use a napkin.  He used his has to clean his mouth or would stick his tongue out to get something off his mouth.  I repeatedly told him to use a napkin.  We were to go to a friends house that they had not been too before, the following day for football and dinner.  I told him that if he couldn't use proper table manners he was not going because I would not have him eating at a table of 20 people eating  like he does at home.

Leaving filled drinking glasses on the floor by the chair.

Leaving shoes/shorts etc in the floor in the living room.

When the garbage is taken out they will put it on the deck instead of taking it directly to the dumpster when taken out of the can. One night it was raining so they left the bag in the kitchen.  I woke the next morning to the trash being strewn on the floor by the dog.

I pray for patience, understanding and guidence each day.  They have both had some hard times and I understand how those experiences can affect someone.  However, that doesn't negate manners and responsibilities.

It has gotten much better, but the leaving things out and the manners get under my skin.

Thank you in advance for any comments, questions or concerns.




by on Jan. 22, 2014 at 2:33 PM
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Replies (1-10):
goddess99
by Michelle on Jan. 22, 2014 at 2:57 PM

45 minute shower, I don't even want to know what he's doing in there. I agree with the napkin use and I would have gave the same "not going" warning. I think the garbage is plain laziness on their part and leaving their items laying around - I would tell them If I have to pick it up you won't see it again.

BamaSabanFan
by on Jan. 22, 2014 at 3:15 PM

OMG....Thank you for your response.

I picked the football up the other day and hid it.  I also hid his favorite glass he likes to drink out of.  I agree on the laziness.  I have not used that word to my husband because he said he ex wife and his last couple of relationships said that the youngest is lazy and he didn't appreciate them saying that.

He has full, complete custody of the boys.  As I am sure you well know, that is very unusal so you can imagine how their mom is.

My husband tries to make up for past mistakes, but it is beginning to be at the expense of the kids I believe.

I am beginning to resent the youngest and that is not like me at all.  Some days it is all I can do to converse with him.

They have not had normalcy in a while, and while I try to provide a loving, caring environment; it will NOT be at the expense of me.

I feel I am adjusting to the step mom role pretty well.  I just have some basic expectations and basic rules.

After I posted the post a moment ago; putting it in words  made me realize I need to sit down and have a calm heart to heart with my husband.  We need to set more ground rules together and once that is done, we need to sit the boys down and go over the new rules.

The oldest told me one day...wow...you really like a clean house.  He wasn't being disrespectful when he said it.  I told him yes.  I was proud of the home I own and I am glad to have all of them at the house.  I went on to tell him I know that I seem to be nit picky about the house but this is how I explained to him why.

I work all day and come in the house...the first thing I see is the kitchen.  There are dirty dishes from where they have been home and eaten and I right away cop an attitude because I know the dishes have to be washed before I can make dinner.  My dishwasher doesn't work so it is hand washing for now.

Then I walk past the dining room table and a diry gross hat is sitting on the table......then I have to walk through the living room only to see junk sitting around left out....then I go to my bedroom.  So before I can even do anything I am hit with all that junk and it doesn't sit well with me knowing they have been home all day and have done nothing except play xbox, eat and be on their phones.

He said...wow....when you put it that way I understand.  Did it change anything? NO!  Grrrr....lol

Quoting goddess99:

45 minute shower, I don't even want to know what he's doing in there. I agree with the napkin use and I would have gave the same "not going" warning. I think the garbage is plain laziness on their part and leaving their items laying around - I would tell them If I have to pick it up you won't see it again.


MistressMinerva
by Jennifer on Jan. 22, 2014 at 3:24 PM
2 moms liked this

I agree it's laziness. You do need to have a heart to heart with husband and both of you need to sit the boys down and set some rules. Maybe if the boys see Dad is on board with this then maybe they will help out more.

goddess99
by Michelle on Jan. 22, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Yep he heard the words but the meaning didn't sink in. Tell them if they dirty all the dishes before dinner they have to wash them. OR (and I hate to suggest this but sometimes you just have to pick your battles) you could buy disposable plates and cups and that way everything just gets thrown out and you don't have to worry about dishes that just a sandwich sat on. Do you have hooks or a coat rack by the door so right when he walks in he can hang his hat? Cause I agree that a dirty hat on the kitchen table is gross. It is your home but it's theirs now too and kids just think differently than moms when it comes to cleanliness.

Quoting BamaSabanFan:

OMG....Thank you for your response.

I picked the football up the other day and hid it.  I also hid his favorite glass he likes to drink out of.  I agree on the laziness.  I have not used that word to my husband because he said he ex wife and his last couple of relationships said that the youngest is lazy and he didn't appreciate them saying that.

He has full, complete custody of the boys.  As I am sure you well know, that is very unusal so you can imagine how their mom is.

My husband tries to make up for past mistakes, but it is beginning to be at the expense of the kids I believe.

I am beginning to resent the youngest and that is not like me at all.  Some days it is all I can do to converse with him.

They have not had normalcy in a while, and while I try to provide a loving, caring environment; it will NOT be at the expense of me.

I feel I am adjusting to the step mom role pretty well.  I just have some basic expectations and basic rules.

After I posted the post a moment ago; putting it in words  made me realize I need to sit down and have a calm heart to heart with my husband.  We need to set more ground rules together and once that is done, we need to sit the boys down and go over the new rules.

The oldest told me one day...wow...you really like a clean house.  He wasn't being disrespectful when he said it.  I told him yes.  I was proud of the home I own and I am glad to have all of them at the house.  I went on to tell him I know that I seem to be nit picky about the house but this is how I explained to him why.

I work all day and come in the house...the first thing I see is the kitchen.  There are dirty dishes from where they have been home and eaten and I right away cop an attitude because I know the dishes have to be washed before I can make dinner.  My dishwasher doesn't work so it is hand washing for now.

Then I walk past the dining room table and a diry gross hat is sitting on the table......then I have to walk through the living room only to see junk sitting around left out....then I go to my bedroom.  So before I can even do anything I am hit with all that junk and it doesn't sit well with me knowing they have been home all day and have done nothing except play xbox, eat and be on their phones.

He said...wow....when you put it that way I understand.  Did it change anything? NO!  Grrrr....lol

Quoting goddess99:

45 minute shower, I don't even want to know what he's doing in there. I agree with the napkin use and I would have gave the same "not going" warning. I think the garbage is plain laziness on their part and leaving their items laying around - I would tell them If I have to pick it up you won't see it again.



BamaSabanFan
by on Jan. 22, 2014 at 3:42 PM
1 mom liked this

I put a hook on a door across from the dining room table....lol  We periodically use paper plates.  I am a real fork and real plate kind of person, but hey....maybe they could eat off the paper plates.  I am not real keen on that idea, but if it helps...so be it.

I totally agree on the picking your battles.  There are things I do let slide that are more of a "me" thing than proper etiquette.  

Thank you so much for your responses.  I will let you know how the conversation goes with my husband.  I am sure it will go well.  He has had my back on everything since they have moved into the house.


Jinxed8
by Silver Member on Jan. 22, 2014 at 3:54 PM
1 mom liked this

You are not being unreasonable !  My daughter tends to be like that too - I am constantly after her, she comes home from school and throws her coat and hat on the couch, yet we have hooks just for that in the entrance !!! Leaves garbage and sometimes dirty dishes in her room etc etc   I put a sheet of paper in the kitchen with her daily tasks which are as simple as : 

When I come home from school I :

  1. put my school bag away
  2. hang up my coat
  3. empty the contents of my lunch box
  4. bring dirty dishes / trash down from my room
  5. clean bedroom
  6. start homework

it's just common sense. Don't feel bad it's your home and you want it clean.  It's the least everyone can do is keep the house in some kind of sanitary order.  You do need to sit down with your husband and talk it over.

mindful23
by Member on Jan. 22, 2014 at 4:53 PM
You will be harring and harping for awhile and with good intentions. Open up a good dialogue and set some good boundries and rules they can follow without any fuss. Its a little difficult if too much is expected of them.

Just bare in mind the difficult life they've had before. Not easy for them and for you. So dont get into too much of a battle and stress yourself.

Wean them into your lifestyle slowly and out of their bad habits.
Just my opinion. It worked for me. But geez it was hard work lol. Now life is back to normality. Just got to work on their attitude next. *sigh*
brandeis96
by on Jan. 22, 2014 at 7:19 PM

My husband's dad would go around with a garbage bag and pick up the stuff all the kids left out and actually throw it away. He only did it once with his kid-- then his grandkids lived with him and I think he had to do it like 3 times before they "got it."

You're going to have to sit down with your husband and set rules. Make sure he enforces them too, or you'll be the "evil stepmom." Set a shower timer. Require and model good table manners-- if they can't do it, then they get to go to bed without dinner. 

I totally know what you mean about hating to come home to a mess-- it's the worst to know you've worked all day and now you have to be the maid? I think not.

If you do this, you will prepare them well for adulthood. They will have FOLLOW-THROUGH, which a lot of people these days don't. 

And, ya know, do some fun stuff with them to temper it. I think they'll be okay-- they were just never taught.

delanna6two
by Platinum Member on Jan. 23, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Hope things will work out...

mrsnoble2004
by ♥Arlene♥ on Jan. 23, 2014 at 11:09 AM
1 mom liked this

First off you have to be consistant once you and dh agree to the ground rules, secondly and most important is you're going to need a lot of patience. 

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