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In need of some encouragement :(


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  #1  
November 22nd, 2011, 11:25 AM
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Okay so here's the deal. My boyfriend has a 4 year old daughter from a previous marriage (we will call her A) that we get every weekend. I've been in her life since she was 3, which is fantastic bc she doesn't remember a time when I wasn't around. Up until last August when I started school I had her all day Friday by myself (at the time visitation was thurs-sat). I loved spending time together and I loved all the special things me and her would do when it was just us.

We have a lot of trouble out of A for not wanting to eat (her mom won't make her meals, she only eats french fries, or cheez-its and pepsi) when she's at our house. All she wants is a box of cheezits and to watch TV. This really irks me because I feel like when we make dinner or when we go out to eat, she should eat! The days I had her by myself we never had a problem. She knew the rules and she knew she had to eat what I gave her or she wasn't going to play or get anything else to eat.

Here's the problem. When A is around her dad or her grandmother she turns into a completely different child. All she has to do is whine and then they give into her. I made her a plate of food (that she likes, so it wasn't like I was forcing her to eat stuff she didn't like) and told her she had to eat bc she hadn't eaten all day. I turned my back for one second and she was in her gma's lap whining that she didn't want to eat! Guess what?! "She doesn't have to eat if she doesn't want to!" and then gma proceded to give her chips!!! INFURIATING.

This kind of crap happens ALL the time (I won't name everything because it would take up way too much room) A wouldn't eat oatmeal Sunday morning so her dad drove all the way to the store to buy her pancakes. He came home, made her pancakes and everything was good until she seen us eating doughnuts. She started whining and crying saying she wasn't going to eat her pancakes because she wanted a doughnut! I told her no, and her dad told her no. I went upstairs for about an hour and apparently A fell asleep. When she woke up her dad gave her a doughnut after telling her no!

I'm so sick of hearing her whine around for things when I know she knows better! She never pulled that crap when it was me and her or when it's just her and my mom. It's ONLY with her dad and her gma. It's getting to the point now where I can't even be in the same house w/o getting aggravated all weekend.

It didn't bother me before bc it was just her, but I can't stand the thought of this baby being treated different bc "she doesn't have to do it for 5 days at her moms, so I'm not making her do it for 2 here". That's seriously the argument I get in return. This on top of the fact that BF told me Sunday night that his mom would make a difference between the kids because "she's closer to A".

I don't know what to do. I'm in a constant state of being annoyed and snappy and hateful because of all this. I don't feel like I'm a part of a team when it comes to parenting, I feel like it's those 3 and there's no room for me because I'm pretty much nothing to A.

Sorry this was so long. I just had to get it off my chest.
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  #2  
November 22nd, 2011, 11:31 AM
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I am sorry you have to put up with that. It is very frustrating! We have a slightly different situation, but one just as frustrating, fortunately, I don't have to live with mine - it's my niece, our daughter eats whatever we put in front of her, our niece is very picky, so when we are all together for dinner at the IL's, her mom brings her something to eat, which of course makes DD want it, she is only 2.5 and doesn't completely understand. But, I don't let her have those things unless she eats what is being served, that is how we grew up and how she will too! Well, SIL brought her DD yogurt and Reagan wanted it too, so she went back to her house and got her one, no way! Reagan had to eat her dinner first, I was so mad, it's one thing to spoil your child and not want her to whine, so you give in, but my kid is going to learn to eat what she has in front of her, especially if it is something I know she likes! Of course there are times she has something different, because we know she won't like what we served (too spicy or not appropriate for her), but geez louise!

Anyways, I would just stick to your guns when you are in charge and she will know you mean business and will behave when she is in your care. Talk to your bf and tell him how you feel and how you want your baby raised, ask him, if things were different, would he treat A differently? It's so hard, parenting is one of the hardest things you will do and there are no manuals out there to say this is how you do it or else! GL!!
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  #3  
November 22nd, 2011, 11:41 AM
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Thanks so much! I love A like she's my own, but I can't stand how they are pretty much grooming her to be an uncontrollable brat! They honestly let a 4 year old call the shots and make the rules! And what's sad is I never had to discipline her to get her to mind my rules or do what she was told. I think I put her in time out twice for the entire year! I KNOW how capable she is, but it's like they encourage her to act like that. I feel like his mom wants to be her second mom and since she's been around her longer I can't have a say so in how things are when she's here.

I think our house should have the same rules for everyone! I feel like shes old enough to start understanding that rules are different at our house. I would never make a difference between expectations and rules between my kids and her but it's like no one gets that?! They want to baby her because they feel sorry for how crappy her mother is. It is so frustrating.
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  #4  
November 22nd, 2011, 11:47 AM
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I totally get that, I would sit him down and say, look, she can't be like this with this baby coming. We have to agree on house rules, and you have to enforce them too! Make him watch Super Nanny There can't be one person telling her this and another telling her that - it's not fair to you or to her! I am sure it is hard being in your position, your bf really needs to understand that you really want the best for A and you want her to be the best that she can be and without rules and discipline that is not going to happen. People are so afraid to tell a child "no" these days that children are becoming out of control! Telling a child no is not abusive, it's real life, they can't control everything, we are the adults. I am so with you on this! I wish I could give you more advice than what I have, because I am sure it is comppletely and utterly frustrating!
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  #5  
November 22nd, 2011, 11:50 AM
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Just hearing someone reiterate what I'm trying say and do makes me feel better. Sometimes it gets to the point that I feel like that maybe I am the one in the wrong, but having someone disconnected from the situation give me their input really really helps. Thanks so much
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  #6  
November 22nd, 2011, 12:23 PM
Amazona's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Kids are WAY smarter than we think. My son is entering the terrible two´s and it´s a nightmare to feed him!
He knows he will get what he wants by whining to his dad and, I´ll admit it, sometimes me too but you can´t always give in because they´ll manipulate you.

I think this is something you need to discuss with your boyfriend right away because it could potentially affect you later on when your own child refuses to eat.
I understand that he doesn´t want to be "the bad guy" but someone needs to parent that child and if her mom is lazy enough not to care what her daughter eats, then having daddy play nice isn´t going to help the child either.

You´re doing the right thing (at least someone is thinking of A!) but you need to sit down and have a serious conversation with your boyfriend about it.
You don´t want to be in the same spot when yours act up later on
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  #7  
November 22nd, 2011, 12:28 PM
SuperMartianRobotMom6's Avatar Proud Mama & Happy Wife
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Your in such a tricky situation..
Have you tried to discuss your feelings with your BF?
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  #8  
November 22nd, 2011, 12:32 PM
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Yes! He's so sensitive about the situation because he has guilt of what she has to live with at her mom's and since he only has her for 2 days he doesn't want her to be mad at him the entire time. I keep trying to tell him that he can't tell our kid when he/she is 3 that the rules are different for A because of her mom's house. He also says "when she's older she will understand and she won't act like that." UM HELLO?! Wouldn't it be easier to teach her rules NOW than try to control her when shes 10?!

He said I make him feel like he's a bad father, which makes me feel awful. He's in no way a bad father, or a bad partner, he just has to push past the guilt and be the parent.
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  #9  
November 22nd, 2011, 12:53 PM
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This may rub some people the wrong way but coming from a similar situation where I am Mom and there was stepmom involved I have a totally different take on this. I don't know how mom is and honestly speaking you may not either. My ex told awful lies about me to everyone regarding how I raised our son. Unless you personally know her mother all you can go off of is what you've been told by other biased individuals. That being said, as far as the child I understand you may love her as your own, but she isn't your child. She isn't even your stepchild yet. She is your BF's child. You really don't have any say as to how he raises her, legally speaking. The problem is that if you continue to push the issue then it may end up causing BF visitation time. I'm in no way condoning her behaviour, b/c she does sound very manipulative, but children from broken homes often are. All you can do is let your BF know how you feel and if he won't change it then you just need to accept it and continue to love her as she is. I'm sure I've ruffled some feathers here but I'm speaking from pure life experience in this area. I've been dealing w/ it for 15 yrs. I would hate to see your family in the turmoil like mine has been in b/c of that.
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  #10  
November 22nd, 2011, 12:56 PM
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I'm sorry you are in that situation. I would definitely talk to your BF about how you are feeling. Let him know that you don't want there to be double standards for your child. It is super important for you and him to be on the same page when it come to parenting or it will be very frustrating for you.
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  #11  
November 22nd, 2011, 01:28 PM
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You are starting a family with your boyfriend and I assume you live with him also. It is your house and your rules, regardless of what goes on at the mother's house. From my understanding in reading this, you have tried talking to him, but have you told him that maybe everyone needs therapy? It is always better to have a third party, especially a professional, mediate the situation and offer suggestions.

If you plan on spending your life with your BF, you cannot spend it walking around on eggshells for him and his family. It is not fair to you or your child. It may be annoying now, but later on in life it could cause turmoil. Hopefully he will soon see eye to eye and actually listen to your feelings too.
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  #12  
November 22nd, 2011, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindseyE117 View Post
You are starting a family with your boyfriend and I assume you live with him also. It is your house and your rules, regardless of what goes on at the mother's house. From my understanding in reading this, you have tried talking to him, but have you told him that maybe everyone needs therapy? It is always better to have a third party, especially a professional, mediate the situation and offer suggestions.

If you plan on spending your life with your BF, you cannot spend it walking around on eggshells for him and his family. It is not fair to you or your child. It may be annoying now, but later on in life it could cause turmoil. Hopefully he will soon see eye to eye and actually listen to your feelings too.
I agree that therapy may be the way to go. I see the view from the other side too, it's a tough situation for everyone involved. I have a stepmother and a stepfather. Neither my mom nor my dad ever bad mouthed the other in front of me, at least not until I was old enough to know better - lol! Anyways, my dad, was in fact the "bad parent", he was never around for us and he really regrets it and is trying to make up for it, the problem is my stepmother - she is nuts! And by nuts, I mean crazy...the woman is emotionally unstable and I don't like being around her, so I don't see my dad very often, I talk to him on the phone a lot. Don't let the mother make you out to be that person, although I know this to be true in my situation, it can certainly be turned around! Do your bf and A's mom get along at all or is it a very tumultuous relationship? Perhaps all 3 of you need to go to therapy together, maybe not right away, but it might be a good idea if you plan on being in their lives forever, she isn't going to go away, she is A's mother, good or bad and it would behoove (sp?) everyone to try and at least be on speaking terms and "rules" terms, the rules don't have to be exactly the same at your house as they are at her house, but the child needs to understand that when she is with you, those are the rules of your house...she will grow up to appreciate the good from both sides (if she gets "good" from both sides). My mom was always the one with the rules, I respect her more for that and am who I am because of the way she raised me. Ok, now I am babbling.

I hope you are able to at least let your bf know how you feel, without making him feel like a bad father, it's really hard to voice feelings like that in such a touchy situation. Try starting off by telling him what a great father is and why, then explain to him that it doesn't matter what A's mom does at her house, this is not her house and we need to sit down and agree on some rules.
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  #13  
November 22nd, 2011, 02:15 PM
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not only does it sound like they are allowing her to be a brat i think they are lining her up to be obese. pepsi doughnuts chips at 4? she needs to learn how to eat healthy foods. what is wrong with her mother? you BF needs to say something its just going to get worse. at that age she needs to eat healthy foods that will give her the nutrition she needs.
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  #14  
November 22nd, 2011, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sara1217 View Post
not only does it sound like they are allowing her to be a brat i think they are lining her up to be obese. pepsi doughnuts chips at 4? she needs to learn how to eat healthy foods. what is wrong with her mother? you BF needs to say something its just going to get worse. at that age she needs to eat healthy foods that will give her the nutrition she needs.
Thanks everyone for your input! It means a lot more than you know!

The thing with her mother is that she knows she doesn't do her part as a mom and she's quite open about it. A has had all kinds of dental problems (cavities, major dental surgery at 2 etc.) due to her mother giving her mt.dew in a bottle and pop since she was a baby, her excuse (which I heard come out of her mouth) was that "You don't have to take care of baby teeth, they're just gonna fall out anyways!" She openly drops A off on anyone that will watch her even though she has no job. Her excuse is "If you had to deal with her all week you'd be dropping her off too!" (And yes, I heard this myself!) It's no secret how she is so it's not as if I'm basing everything on what a 4 year old tells me.

As far as nutrition, A's mother is apparently extremely picky and A isn't allowed to eat the food her mom does not like. A's mothers excuse is that if she can live off of it then so can A. I was actually making progress with getting A to try new foods until the visitation schedule changed & I was no longer babysitting her.

BF said that he will start a new approach to parenting this week and he said he realizes that they have spoiled her too much due to the situation with her mom. Hopefully we can make a step in the right direction.
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