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  #1  
July 19th, 2008, 09:53 PM
SFGiantsGirl's Avatar Super Mommy
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Ok, so if any of you read my last post you know about my bf and his daughter and I. Anyways, how did any of you deal with not always being the priority. I know that my bf's daughter comes first, I understand that we are not married....yet, but will it always be that way. I mean if we decide to have children is he going to put her before our children and me or is he going to put all the kids first before me. I mean don't get me wrong, he does put me first, but not when she is around. I think he has a hard time with knowing how to share his time with both of us. He told me that sometimes he thinks Im jelous, maybe I am. But usaully its cause I feel competely left out!! Like Im off to the sidelines, I never do that with her. I always try to include her in things we do, I mean yes, there are times where I tell her I want to spend time with just him and I, but thats usaully at the end of the day and we are going to sit down and watch a movie.
I dont' know how to talk to him about all this. I personally don't feel that I am a priority with him sometimes, I have tried to talk to him about it and he always say, well you know my daughter comes first. Yes! I get that, but I don't think it should always be that way, and if we are talking about getting married, shouldn't he start putting me first and showing her that. I'm not saying he needs to ignore her but for crying out loud, show her that I am a priority and that I do mean something to you and that she can't push me out of way!!!!!
Help please!!! Im totally lost on what to do and how to approach this one without starting a fight!!!
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  #2  
July 19th, 2008, 10:39 PM
Chunky Monkey's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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ITA. I think it's a little difficult for the parent to find the happy medium when getting in a new relationship. They are afraid of "neglecting" the child and don't see the relationship could be suffering. Plus if he doesn't put you in the same priority as her, she is going to see that later on and try to use that to her advantage as playing one against the other, the blame game, etc. It also might make it harder later on when/if you decide to have children together later on down the road.

My kids were extremely young when Scott and I got together. But I still made time for him. As the years have gone by, my kids and Scott all know they equally come first in my life, though I do need to devote a little extra time to the kiddos.

I hope he can see that he is neglecting you and you feel like the odd person out.

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  #3  
July 20th, 2008, 02:27 PM
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Although I do agree that he has to make time for you, as a parent children have to take precedence from time to time because they are completely dependant on us. Children look to their parents to learn how the world works and in his way, your bf can show her that it is important to take care of your significant other as well as your child by simply including you in his plans with her AND in making plans with her to do things for you! "Let's make dinner for her tonight as a special surprise!" can go a long way in both spending good, quality time with his daughter and in showing you a little special attention too. That goes both ways, though. You could do that with her and say "Daddy's birthday is on Saturday. How about you and I bake a cake for him to surprise him?" shows her that YOU value HER AND her father and that you want to show him that. I am absolutely against growing little princesses (or princes) who can always manipulate mommy and daddy to get their way because it gives them a completely unrealistic expectation that they will always enjoy being the princess and getting their way. Not in real life! (or without a trust fund!) I believe that part of our responsibility as parents/step-parents is to teach our (step)children how to treat their future spouses. The best way to do that is to show them how to show love. Don't allow yourself to get caught up in the "it's MY turn to have him" way of living because you will lose and so will she and your bf. You've got to sit down with him NOW before you get married and BEFORE you have kids of your own and lay out some ground rules. Your time with him can be at the end of the day when she goes to bed...which should be early enough to watch a movie together. During the day, family time should be the rule. If you don't want to participate in something then don't but it should NOT be something you're eliminated from taking part in if you want to. The exception is of course, special time which is pre-arranged between you and him. My DH spends a day with his daughters for their b-days. It's a tradition and one that I think works very well for all of us. It is all about daddy and the birthday girl for the entire day. I don't expect to be asked to tag along nor would I want to intrude on their special days together. Now, if one of the girls ever asked me to go, I would LOVE to but I do understand that this is a rare treat for them and it is special. Believe it or not, they will be all grown up and off doing their own things soon enough and you'll miss having them underfoot all the time! I know it doesn't seem like it at the time but it's true.
Also, keep in mind that you and the child "fighting" over time with him is a powerful thing for him! He's the center of the universe and might not be quite as willing to see that change as you are. (have you ever had two good friends who wanted you to go somewhere on the same day and you had to choose? It makes you feel really important...at least to those two people.) You and he are going to have a lifetime together. You have to be willing to let him have some time with her and he has to be willing to save some time for you exclusively. However, you're building a family here. You've got to make room for her in his life as well as yours or she will resent you and him both and it will undermine your future relationship with her...as well as with him. Sit him down and tell him how you feel. Let him know that you love his daughter and want the three of you to be a family but that he is hurting you by always choosing her over you. Let him know that you just want a little of his time and don't expect him to shove her aside for you. Above all else, get it figured out BEFORE you get married or don't get married! As hard as it is now, it will be much harder if things don't get worked out before the marriage...and especially before any more children come along!
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  #4  
July 20th, 2008, 05:31 PM
Daisyfields's Avatar Platinum Super Mega Mommy
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Well I am here to say that I completely, 100% understand. I am going through the same "argument" w/ my DH & we've been together for 4 years now & have 2 kids together etc.

My DH claims I am jealous of his DS, not true, I am ANNOYED that he drops what ever he's doing (doesn't matter how important that first thing may be) to run to his son when ever he has a "cold" or a "fever"... that annoys me b/c he doesn't do that for OUR kids, meaning... if our children are ill, he doesn't rush home or go to the ER or go to the doctors apts, that's MY job...yet if his son (my DSS) is sick or what ever, he runs like he's on fire. That irritates me b/c I feel as though his son comes first, & I am sorry, but after couples/marriage therapy, personal therapy, children's therapy, it's not the child that comes first in a marriage, it's the MARRIAGE that comes first. If the foundation (marriage/relationship) is a mess, the whole family is a mess. Yes, the children need their food first, medical needs first etc., but all in all, it's the foundation (i.e., relationship) that comes first. There are ER exceptions but you get my drift.

Being jealous of the situation, sounds like you have a "hint" of it, but it also sounds like he's not sure how to balance things the right way. He feels guilty for not putting the child first & since you are not married (yet), perhaps he feels that his child MUST come first, which I can understand. At the same time, there needs to be a balance.

Also, feeling left out, it depends on what you are feeling left out about. If it involves decisions regarding the child, you have no imput on that, just forget that all together, don't even go there (speaking from experience, it gets you no where). I've tried to be "nice"... but I've been kicked in the face & after 4 years, I don't do it any more, I just say "yup, sure" and blow it off. Because in the end, my opinion regarding his son means nothing, b/c in the end, even my DH's opinion means nothing. I say that b/c bio-mom is the one who has the last word, regardless that my DH has 50% rights (medical, education, religion) she could care less on his opinions & disregards all that he tries to do. In fairness... a mom is "usually" right on stuff, it's mother's instinct, but again, bio-mom doesn't want your name in her child's vocabulary, so trying to be a part of things, well... unless she is Mother Teresa, I doubt that will ever happen.

Now if when he spends time w/ his child he wants nothing to do w/ you, then that's another issue all together. Which my DH also "has" done in the past. That's not okay. But perhaps he's trying to overcompensate for the time he doesn't have w/ the child & this is why he puts the child first. However, if you 2 are going to be married, he is sending the child the wrong message in that you mean nothing, your word is nothing & the child has the last say, that's a problem I've run into.

I am not sure how you should necessarily handle this, but being honest, letting him know that you are insecure about how things are, approaching things by saying "I feel this way when ______ happens"... not "when you do this, I feel jealous, left out, angry, upset". Avoid "you" statements. Also, don't approach this when you are upset or angry about stuff. Bring it up just like no biggie...perhaps when you are out at dinner. This way, you wont raise voices, you are in front of one another, making eye contact, he can't walk away (he can, but I don't think he will)... That's how I've handled things. I've also gone to marriage counseling. My end result is that I don't want my DH's child around me or my bio-children for a lot of reasons that I wont go into but it's enough that he doesn't bring him around "me" or "my kids". When he spends time w/ his son, it's w/ out me & my kids, the way I like it. I certainly hope you never have to be in my situation or make a decision as drastic as I've had to do for the sanity of myself & family.

I truly hope you can resolve this, but it's not something that will change overnight. I will say this, it doesn't usually get that better, so if you are thinking that you will all be this one big happy family, usually not the case. Remember, your SO chose YOU, but his child did not & the child looks at you as the person that is taking away their father's time or trying to replace their mother, they look at you as the wicked step-mother or person. It's hard for kids, they can't articulate stuff well, so they act out in different ways, which I am sure you've already run into but it does get worst if it's not addressed in the right way immediately. Just speaking from personal experience.

I wish you better luck in this area than I've had.

HIH
~C
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  #5  
July 21st, 2008, 08:53 AM
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I very much agree with fortheloveofTori regarding family time. During the day when the kids are with us everything is family time. My BF and I have had to reinforce that with the kids when they have attempted to manipulate family time into special time and blatantly ignored me. That is not acceptable in our home to ignore anyone. We have had many conversations regarding how they want to be treated by me (respectful, loving, caring) and that I expect the same treatment from them.

There are many ways to bond together and make special memories as a family. BF's kids and I have baked cookies together as a surprise to my BF. We have also together with BF worked on special mother's day projects for mommy. We also make special projects for BF as father's day gifts. Nothing elaborate...the kids selected photo's of them to give mommy a disk of pictures and BF was given fridge frames for photo's and the kids picked their favorites. They have also made me tissue flowers, aluminum foil flowers, dinner, etc. Even more than the final product of any of the projects we work on the real strength is the time and the relationship that we build while working on the project. The kids love for the four of us to cook dinner together, one child usually helps each of us and they alternate allowing special time with each adult.

I suggest having a conversation with your BF about how the three of you will handle fostering a relationship between her and her daddy while also fostering the relationship between you and her and your BF and you as well as fostering the relationship between the kids and their mom. I don't remember who but someone mentioned that our job as step-parents for future step-parents is to teach these children how to be in a relationship and how to treat their spouse as well as what behaviors are acceptable and they should look for in their own future relationships. If you look at things that way and let them come to their own terms with loving guidance of adults that care about them then things are going beautifully.
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  #6  
July 21st, 2008, 08:53 AM
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I can relate some. We have a his, mine & ours situation. His 2 daughters live 4 hours away so we don't see them much. And it's very difficult for me (and all of the kids really) when we do. I get so used to our little family of 4 (my dd (soon to be adopted by him) & our ds together).

When his daughters come our whole lives turn upside down. Because of the distance & that the oldest is 13, after 3 1/2 years together we still can't blend our families. I realized recently that most of that has to do with DH. He just doesn't know what to do. There are other issues too like the fact that neither DH nor his ex wife told the girls that he was paying cs. I found out 2 years later but it was after so much resentment built in the oldest because she thought he was supporting my kids & not her & her sister. Funny thing is that I support my 2 kids 100%.

But anyway. What I did was start analyzing what doesn't work for me when his girls come. And we are starting to address them 1 by 1. Like having a rough schedule of the weekend. DH is a fly by the seat of your pants type person & I'm a planner. I didn't realize that I was starting to resent that my whole life was turned upside down & I had no control. Resentment was starting to build.

So we talked about it & have started putting specific plans together on how to deal better with our next weekend. So everyone is happier.

So my advice is to sit down & think about what specific things you would like different when his dd is there. And then have a plan of attack. Work with your BF to get a solution that works for all of you. I'm finding it works better if you have a specific situation or thing not just general comments.

Good luck!
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  #7  
July 21st, 2008, 06:28 PM
SFGiantsGirl's Avatar Super Mommy
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OMGoodness, thank you so much for all of this. It is helping me to understand it all so much better. Its hard when I have never been in this kind of a relationship before. Almost everthing my bf and I run into is new, for me and him. I am the only gf that he has ever let meet and be involved with his daughter. This also helps to explain why he is having a hard time balancing the time with both of us.

I totally agree about during the day it should be family time! I try that so hard too. Sometimes though, its like he just wants to take time for himself and expects me to deal with everything. Which I think is not fair at all. I don't mind that he wants time to himself, but I think that can be taken on a day that his daughter is not with him! Right??

I am also a planner. I like to know whats going on, have a plan of attack so to speak. I like agendas, they can be changed as the day goes on but I like to have some type of plan that we can stick to. My bf is a fly by the seat of your pants!! Sometimes I don't mind it, but when it comes to the three of us, I don't mind it too well. I want to be able to be prepared for what is ahead. I was raised that way and I have a hard time changing it. I guess it bothers me, because he leaves it all up to me to know what to get for his daughter. Make sure she has a sweater or sun block or that we have snacks for the road and water or whatever. Well I can't do that if you don't tell me that you decided last minute that we are going on a road trip somewhere!! He likes surprises.....to much sometimes!!

I guess thats why I get upset or jealeous or whatever...because I feel like he is passing all the responsibility on me! SHE IS HIS DAUGHTER NOT MINE...I mean its not that I don't love her or don't want to take care of her, but he can do it to!! He needs to, she needs him to! See, I do all that and then he just gets to baby her and love on her and get her whatever she wants. Thats when it's hard for me.

We went on a bike trip and she was still not real confident on her bike. So I hung back a bit and let him do his dad thing and I was fine. Well farther on in our bike ride she started to get hungry and was whining about it!! Ughh, cant stand it! So we get to our stop and he asks her well do you want chinese food, or pizza, or this or that, does he ever ask me....no!! She decides chinese. Well the place we were at was a grand opening for his freinds smoothie shop. So there were bounce houses and a band and the radio stations..etc. She see's all that and decides she doesn't want to eat, she wants to go on the bounce house. What does he let her do, go on the bounce house. Doesn't ask me if Im hungry and if I would like to eat. That day, whatever she wanted...she got. I was never asked anything! I felt like I should have just stayed home and let them go, like I wasn't even wanted there!

Its times like that, that I get upset and don't know how to say something. That was supposed to be a family thing for all three of us. Instead it was him and his daughter. I tried to talk to him about it and he said, well you just got jealous of her. You know she needs to spend time with me, that she comes first. I do believe that was way more than she coming first and I think she new it and was doing it.
Sorry to vent again!!
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  #8  
July 22nd, 2008, 12:58 PM
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Wow so much of what you've written sounds so familiar.

My big one is not ever even knowing when DH's girls are coming to visit. Since they are 4 hours away, it takes some coordination. They have activities, their mom needs to be able to drive halfway & DH works 1 weekend a month.

But I realized 2 years into this that DH's schedule gets reviewed, the girls schedule gets reviewed, the mom's schedule gets review but nobody cared one bit about my schedule I didn't realize until recently that I was building a quiet resentment because of that. I've always tried to be accomodating because he doesn't get to see them much & schedules are hard to coordinate. But that means that I can never plan anything for myself, my daughter or the 4 of us for that matter. It's like I didn't matter. My daughter & his youngest are inseparable which is great. But I can't plan a playdate for my dd knowing we might have his dds during that weekend. Or I should plan something if they want to have alone time or if SD wants to see her friends (she used to live in our area - mom moved them after the divorce). If SD has a playdate & my dd doesn't, my dd will be miserable & then so will I.

So I'm glad we had a blowup recently with the oldest because it really made me think of the things that are bother me. I really analyzed it and DH & I have started talking about the specifics. We won't see them for another 2 weeks so I'll see if it works better. I'm hoping it does.
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  #9  
July 22nd, 2008, 04:26 PM
Story's Avatar French Canadian
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I understand what you're talking about.

When I met my BF, I was already pregnant.
He had a daughter.

And he said that he dated some girls that were actually jealous of his daughter. And since I was pregnant, he didn't frear jealousy from me. He was right.
A parent should always put his kids first when the kids are around. And if he doesn't have his DD with him all the time, it's even more understandable that we want to spend all the time he has with her. Family time, yes, but remember that even in the family time, kids come first. It's not a law or a rule, it's a feeling and a need.

Even in our family for example. We have 2 kids together + his DD. When we want to spen family time, we are doing what the kids would enjoy. Otherwise, what's the point?

Quote:
I guess it bothers me, because he leaves it all up to me to know what to get for his daughter. Make sure she has a sweater or sun block or that we have snacks for the road and water or whatever. Well I can't do that if you don't tell me that you decided last minute that we are going on a road trip somewhere!! He likes surprises.....to much sometimes!!

I guess thats why I get upset or jealeous or whatever...because I feel like he is passing all the responsibility on me! SHE IS HIS DAUGHTER NOT MINE...I mean its not that I don't love her or don't want to take care of her, but he can do it to!! He needs to, she needs him to! See, I do all that and then he just gets to baby her and love on her and get her whatever she wants. Thats when it's hard for me.[/b]
You should tell him that you don't like it, but on the other hand, I see the situation like he really wants a family with you and his DD, he "treat" you like if you were the mother. Sometime it's too much, because HE IS the father, but that's the sign, I think, that your BF really wants you to be around and make a family or else he wouldn't let you do anything about his DD.

Quote:
So we get to our stop and he asks her well do you want chinese food, or pizza, or this or that, does he ever ask me....no!! She decides chinese.[/b]
I think it's normal when he spend time with his DD that he wants to give her what she wants.
How many days a week do you have her with you?
Quote:
What does he let her do, go on the bounce house. Doesn't ask me if Im hungry and if I would like to eat.[/b]
He didn't ask, but did you simpy tell him that you wanted to eat?
Visibly his DD is the center of his world, and that's normal, I think, particularly if he doesn't see her very often.
You should tell your needs and don't wait to your BF to ask you when his DD is around because he might just forget to ask you.

I'm telling you what I think with what I read... but I'm not around you, I don't know your BF, so maybe I'm totally wrong... but it all seems to me that you BF misses his DD A LOT!!
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  #10  
July 22nd, 2008, 07:24 PM
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You are right my bf does miss his daughter. He only gets her every other weekend and tuesdays and thursdays. Sometimes he gets her tuesday-thursdays when his ex is in a good mood. So I know that he wants to spend time with her I understand that.

It is difficult for you all to totally understand where I am coming from since you don't know all of what goes on and see everything. Which is why I am trying to be open about when he spends time with her. Its just that sometimes...well lately...his spending time with her is sitting in front of the tv or she is watching tv and he is on the computer looking up things about fish aquariums(he loves them and has like three) in the other room. Which totally irritates me, cause I tell him why aren't you spending time with her or us or whatever. So thats why I get upset when things happen like when we went on our bike ride. Its like he is trying to make up for when he is home but not spending time with her.


Its hard because I don't know what is going through his head. I know he wants us to be a family and I know thats why he lets me do what I do. Thats why I do have a great relationship with his daughter. And I feel terrible when I get upset about these things, because Im not upset or anything with her. Its him that I am upset with. I don't understand his logic or thought process about what he does.
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  #11  
July 23rd, 2008, 08:13 AM
Daisyfields's Avatar Platinum Super Mega Mommy
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Your story sounds very similar on so many levels, I can relate too & it's not that it's funny (cause it's not) but when you see how normal this sort of stuff is across the board for blended families, it makes you wonder why?

ITA that you should talk to him, have a plan in action, be on the same page so that when the child is around, you're ideas are not divided. Children are smart & the moment they see a sign of weakness in the foundation, they play you for everything they can in way that only a child could. The wrong this is to let it build up & get worst, cause your emotions will only end up escalating.

Blended families are very hard, your mixing 2 sets (sometimes more, like for me) of parenting ideas, & most of the time our environment as we grow up set the bar for what we are & what we expect. Some people may find that burping at the dinner table is fine & others would find that offensive & rude. So when you are mixing 2 (or more) parental ideas, well... it gets sticky & sometimes no matter what you say, or how you plea your case, you will not come to an agreement on what's right or wrong. Picking what's most important to you as a person & what you need in your life is what I'd focus on, the other stuff, well...its just stuff.

I hope that you can find resolution for your issues & I hope to hear from you on the updates & that they are positive & work out so everyone is happy. It takes time, but w/ the right parenting & attitude, it can be done. Depends on the amount of work everyone is willing to contribute.

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  #12  
July 28th, 2008, 07:11 AM
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Hi,

I am completely new in JustMommies and at this subforum. I am in the same situation as i presume many of you guys. My husband has a 9 year old daughter from a previous marriage. We see her every other weekend and one month in the summer. This summer it is August which is in just a few days. I am new to being a step mom and i am also completely new to the idea of being a mom since i am 23 weeks pregnant with our first (joined child). I find all this bewildering to say the least and i am trying to find my balance. It is not easy i understand that. When the little one comes it seems to turn my life upside down, but i know it is not the child's fault. It is me and me alone that has to find the balance, since my husband is doing the best he can to keep us happy (as i see it) and the child for goodness shake is such a sweet soul. Sweet and i feel bothered by all this. I know somehow how she feels because i come from a broken family. My mom divorsed my dad when i was 5 months old and i never met him. Now they are both dead and it's too late. But it isn't too late for that little one to have her dad the best possible way. Be it 2 days every other week. And during those days i say nothing, i want nothing, i presume nothing and i demand nothing. I please to see him with her doing the dad/daughter stuff. I never felt they left me out and in fact most of the times it is me that tells my husband to take his daughter and get some quality time for themselves. I know they BOTH need it. But especially the little one. It is painful not to know your dad. It must be painful also to know your dad but also know you cannot see him all the time. I don't know if the child tries to have her own way with her father, but i don't see it like that. She seems to respect everything and is very careful about how she acts. Or at least that is the impression that she is giving to me. What i mean to say maybe not with the proper words is that i wouldn't mind if my husband spend more time with her, during 'their' days. They are not together all the time. It makes absolute sense, not to say it is needed from both sides. Maybe then you shouldn't be so sensitive towards something like that. I am sure that when you have children of your own you man will love all of you equally. And as maybe you will place your kids before him at times (i am sure), he will and must place his children before you. That does not mean that he doesn't love you or repsect you. But when kids come in the picture, or pre-exist, i think we should step with care and understand that it is not the same as it would have been if we were alone with him. It changes the whole prospect of things. Letting the kid have her way (if that does not cause immediate harm upon you or the house and is not dis-appropriate with your family norms) whenever she comes i don't think is something bad. I read another post from you speaking about eating what she liked one day and that no one asked you. Don't be so sensitive. Usually i say to her to decide, and you know what? That turns the other way and she tells me 'no no whatever you like'. I am sure that if you told them that you were hungry they would have stopped for you to grab something. They were just too involved in their own thing so they forgot. See it as something beautiful and benefitial to both your husband and most of all his child. Be tender around her and let her know you care. And above all place your own needs in the back seat for a couple of days. That can't be so bad, yes?? I am sure that everyone will appreicate it. Above all you for you will feel so much better after that.

I hope i make sense.......i am new to this and this and i am trying to balance myself. Let alone speak to others. Take care!!!

PS: BTW you have no idea how many times she comes over and she wants to paint and her dad is in the computer searching and doing work (he is internet administrator so PC's are his job, as they are mine). The child usually wants to do her own things then. Be it watch TV, paint or even spent time with me...bake or talk or listen to music or anything.....that is pretty normal also i think....i wouldn't be so highly strung if i was you about all this...yes?
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  #13  
July 29th, 2008, 06:43 PM
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"PS: BTW you have no idea how many times she comes over and she wants to paint and her dad is in the computer searching and doing work (he is internet administrator so PC's are his job, as they are mine). The child usually wants to do her own things then. Be it watch TV, paint or even spent time with me...bake or talk or listen to music or anything.....that is pretty normal also i think....i wouldn't be so highly strung if i was you about all this...yes?"</span>

Again, I don't feel its right to say I am being high strung over all of this. I am asking that he spend time with his daughter as well. I don't want her thinking...well all my daddy ever does when I come over is spend time on the computer looking at fish stuff or fixing up his fish tanks or playing video games and not letting her play with him....she deserves more than that. I am thinking of her. Not myself, but her. None of what he does on the computer has anything to do with his job. So he can do all of that on the days he does not have her. I don't mind him doing any of those things when I am around. She is the only child, so she has to do things by herself. When she is at her mom's house, all she has is herself to keep her entertained. So when she is with us, she wants to spend time with him and I. Be it playing board games, or watching a movie and sitting with us, or swimming or whatever. When she is with us, she knows she does not have to be by herself and so he needs to give her that! So I wouldn't say that me feeling this way makes me high strung.
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  #14  
July 30th, 2008, 04:28 AM
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Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that both the original post and the last one are basically saying the same thing about how the child needs some time with her daddy. SFGiantsgirl, what I hear you saying is that you dislike him basically ignoring her and leaving you to take care of and entertain her while she is visiting but that you also don't want to be left out of the family stuff. Essentially, that you're wanting the three of you to be doing things TOGETHER as a family--not just you and her or him and her. ITA that kids do need some extra consideration when they come to visit but NOT that they should be given free rein simply because they go home in two days! Children need rules and limits and consequences. If they don't have those, they feel "entitled" and treat people poorly when they grow up (as well as while they're still young--as I am sure we have all seen examples of!) A child who doesn't know what the rules are or the consequences of their actions feels insecure. They need to know if they do this, that will happen....not that you may or may not get in trouble this time, depending on a parent's (or step-parent's) mood! My stepdaughters are very spoiled and undisciplined by their mother but when they come to our home they know that there are rules and that certain behaviors have consequences so they act differently around us than they do around their mother. (Her idea of discipline is not do anything until you lose your temper and then you scream at the kids until they are brought to tears. Not cool!) So, although at home there is constant fighting and yelling and name calling, they know not to start that garbage here and they get along better. If they don't, they are separated until they can behave better and privaleges are taken away. Although either child by herself is perfectly behaved and very sweet, there are times when our visits are not the least bit fun! Usually, this happens when they haven't been here together for a while. (We have less structured visiting schedules because they live in the same town and we see them during softball games and whenever the decides to go out with her married boyfriend and party...which is frequently and usually at the last minute. Those of you who know me, understand why I call her . IMO she is completely unequipped to raise children and frankly such an irresponsible person she should have limited access to them to begin with but it's not my call so I keep my mouth shut most of the time) Yes, the family changes while the girls are here. We do things a little differently to accomodate them, just as we would if one of my sons came to visit or anyone else. Anytime you add more people, something will change, even if it's just what is allowed on the TV. BUT they do not rule this house nor do they get to call the shots simply because they live somewhere else. My DH is more involved with them when they come but neither of us wants them to get the idea that they're little princesses who rule the castle! They can ask for anything...doesn't mean they'll get it but they can (and do) ask. When you give a child whatever they want, whenever they want it, you give them a warped idea of how the world works. I doubt seriously that any of us can have whatever we want...so why would you want to give your child or stepchild the unrealistic idea that they can have anything they want by simply asking, or worse, demanding it??? Remember, today it's the new Miley Cyrus doll...tomorrow it's a car and money to go party at the beach with their friends over spring break! Do you REALLY want them to get the idea that they can have whatever they want? In just a few short years these kids are going to be teenagers and speaking from experience (I have two sons in their 20's, a daughter who is 16, a step daughter who is 17 and a step son who is 15) you do NOT want a spoiled teenager with a sense of entitlement!!! Parenting is hard work! It would be so easy to just give in to everything they want and allow them to do whatever they want. No fights, you get to be the good guy all the time....easy! However, the decisions you make today define the troubles you will have tomorrow. Don't take the easy route! You WILL regret it later and you will have no one to blame but yourself! (or in my case, the who still treats my 17 yr old SD like a little princess and because of that, Tom and I never get to see her unless he wants money) Moderation is the key. I'm not saying a child should NEVER get her way, just that you have to teach her not to EXPECT to get it so that when she does, she appreciates it. She'll be better equipped to deal with the world if you do.
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  #15  
July 30th, 2008, 12:58 PM
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This is a big deal with DH and I. DSD is 8 and DH and I have 3 kids together, 3 under 18 months. He helps me with them, but I do a lot of the work and playing. When DSD is here, I have not only 3 infants, but an 8 year old to take care of. She is kept so scheduled at home she doesn't know how to entertain herself. So she whines and wants to go places, and DH drops everything to do stuff with her. She doesn't listen to anyone, and is rude, and DH doesn't discipline her and gets upset if someone else does. And she has to have him sleep with her each night and cuddle with him. He gets very distant from me when she visits because if he hugs or kisses me she runs up and hangs off him and whines. I'm talking about a quick kiss or hug.

The worst part is how she bugs and torments my babies, she bothers them and gets in their faces until they scream and doesn't listen to me at all. It is very disrespectful. I think it is disrespectful how she treats her dad, so long as she is having money spent on her, or is getting to eat all the candy she wants she loves him and wants to stay with him. When he disciplines her or says no she wants to go home. And the looks she gives me when he gets mad at me for saying no to her, or for when she interrupts a talk or a kiss.

I know DH lets her get away with anything and everything because he feels so guilty but he's just harming her in the long run. And making it very hard to be around her. Last visit she constantly bugged the neighbor's and I got tired of getting after her and finally they complained to DH's boss. I tried to be nice, got her some craft stuff and some stuff to do outside, but she wouldn't do any of it unless she had a grown up to do it with her.

I don't know what to do, it just gets worse the older she gets. She's made comments that I should fetch her whatever she wants and give her whatever she wants because she doesn't visit that much, she's a princess, and the guest of honor. It's okay to wake the babies because she doesn't see them that much.

Thing is her uncle had a hard time being able to stand her too. Said DH was stressed because she wouldn't listen and always wants stuff and doesn't appreciate it but can't bring himself to say no.

DH has higher expectations from the babies then he does the 8 year old. I don't know what to do, maybe talk to him when she's not there. Tell him how she's gotten worse over the years and it'll only get worse was she gets older. Tell him that saying no, setting boundaries, and limits is part of being a loving and good parent. She'll respect him and me a lot more if he did and allowed me too as well. and for God's sake tell her to listen to me when I say no, instead of getting mad at me in front of her! No wonder she doesn't listen to a word I say, because he always says yes and I'm the one that gets scolded.

Blended families are tough.
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  #16  
July 30th, 2008, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that both the original post and the last one are basically saying the same thing about how the child needs some time with her daddy. SFGiantsgirl, what I hear you saying is that you dislike him basically ignoring her and leaving you to take care of and entertain her while she is visiting but that you also don't want to be left out of the family stuff. Essentially, that you're wanting the three of you to be doing things TOGETHER as a family--not just you and her or him and her.[/b]
I just wanted to add that I got this impression too. I have been there and still there 4 yrs later. DH has custody of his 8 y/o son so it is a little different but we moved in together about a month after dating (we dated in high school too so it is not like we didn't know one another ). After I moved in my 8 y/o son started going to the same daycare and depending on who got off work first was who picked up the kids. When we bought our house a year later the rules of the house also changed. Everyone ate the same supper (before he was on a fish stick/chicken nugget diet), there was a bedtime. I got thrown into the mother role for him, not that I minded too much but like you said he "isn't my child." DH was outside with his friend or playing a video game while I did all the parental things including discipline while he would get all the glory so to say by being the "good parent." He even thought at one point that I was being too rough on his son because I didn't allow him to talk back to him or other adults when they told him to do something. At that point, what actually seemed to work for me is that I stopped doing those parent things for Alex if Jason was home. If he wanted something to eat or drink I would send him to his dad. If it was time for him to take his bath I would tell DH he needed to go get his bath ready and that was it. After awhile (maybe a month or too) Jason came around on his own and started to do more things, not just for Alex but also for my son too. That wasn't what I meant for him to do it just happened.

It does get better, I promise. I would talk to him first about how you feel and if that doesn't work then just start to slowly stop the parent stuff, unless of course the child is in danger. Good Luck.
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  #17  
July 31st, 2008, 10:48 AM
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gina777, that is a good idea. I started backing off some of the parental duties. But at 8, she needs a woman to give her her baths, I tried teaching her to shower, but she refuses most times. Plus with her hair down to her butt, she has a hard time washing it. Then she needs that hair brushed out and braided. But a lot of other things I let her do or DH do. I made sure glasses, and snacks were within her reach. I made sure there were snacks and stuff for her to eat. I made dinner, but breakfast and lunch she could do. I figured she was old enough to get cereal and sandwiches. This was a lot better. And if DH wanted to make her a hot breakfast everyday that was fine, so long as he cleaned up the dishes. Mornings are crazy for me, so I don't feel I need to make eggs and bacon every single morning for her. And he did start to get annoyed with her demands. She'd demand, not ask nicely, but demand breakfast and he'd make it then she wouldn't eat, or he'd make some and offer her some, she'd refuse, and he'd eat it. Then 30 minutes after he's cleaned up she wants some. I think this last time he started to see what I go through everyday while he's at work.

But how do you talk to him so he'll understand and not get defensive. How do you tell him his good intentions are only spoiling the child, that you can't and shouldn't buy their love with money, gifts, and no rules or limits whatsoever. I know he doesn't see her that much, but she can still enjoy her visits but should be expected to live by the house rules, respect us, her brothers, and other people, and to appreciate things when she gets them. That she shouldn't expect to have a small fortune spent on her when she visits, because as the babies get older, the less we'll be able to do that. I see what is going to happen when she hits her teen years, she'll be asking for Seven jeans at $150 a pair, money for the mall everyday, for us to fly her and her friend for a visit. But we won't be able to give her what she asks for all the time, and she'll turn on her dad then. The very first thing she says when she sees her dad, is not hi, or I love you, I missed you but when are we going to the arcade?

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July 31st, 2008, 12:11 PM
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Mariah, does your DSD's mom wash her when she is at home? That is just uncanny to me that an 8 yr old does not know how to wash herself. I don't know how you can actually talk to your DH without him getting all defensive. My DH did that too. But it actually sunk in after awhile.
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  #19  
July 31st, 2008, 02:41 PM
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I don't agree with a lot of how DSD is raised. Her mom does do a lot for her that she could do herself. She does get washed at home, but not that often. DSD always wants to know why we shower everyday since she and her mom are so busy they only have time for showers/baths twice a week. Her mom watches her brush her teeth, eats her leftovers off her plate (she threw a huge fit when DH wouldn't eat what was left on her plate), sleeps with her mom most nights (my toddler does but he's not even 2), and still wears pull-ups each night.

I did teach her to shower when we lived in a place that had just a shower stall, I'd get in in my swim suit or stand outside in my bra and shorts to wash her hair, and she'd do the rest. I just wash her hair and hand her the wash cloth, but she has told me her mommy washes her bum, but I tell her she's big enough to do that on her own. I can't say anything, because she's not my kid. I just don't agree with how she's raised and make every effort to make her more independent in my home. I make sure it is easy for her to do things for herself and make her clean up after herself too. I can understand her needing help with her long hair, but sometimes I wish I could take her to get it cut a bit shorter so she can start learning to do it herself. But I wouldn't dare, I would get so mad if someone cut my kids' hair without asking me. But it's just a wish.

But the hardest part is her constant, day long need of adult entertainment. If she is not on the go all day long, or doing something fun (arcade) or having money spent on her on treats or not being entertained by an adult then she gets very naughty. That's when she bugs my babies or just gets mean with everyone. I make it a point to play with all the kids, I tickle the babies, wrestle with my toddler, and do beads or something with her each day. Then I leave them to their own to play and discover. My toddler can easily play on his own, just running up for a hug now and then, the twins are discovering their feet, but she can't. She doesn't know how and I'm sad for her. I remember being her age and playing imaginary games all by myself, making up stories, playing dolls, building stuff, even digging in the dirt. I had a blast even if no one could play with me. I get so frustrated, because DH works so much and suddenly I have an 8 year old who needs the supervision and guidance a toddler does. She's such a bright kid too, for her next visit, I'm getting in the super long line for the city summer kid program. Activities all week from breakfast to dinner with a bunch of other kids. will cost us $100 if I stand in the super long line in the spring, but it'll be worth it. Otherwise it's $15 a day.
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  #20  
July 31st, 2008, 02:49 PM
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Wow, that is all I can say to that. Sorry that you are thrown into that situation.

SFGiantsGirl, How are things going?
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