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I met my husband when his daughter was 15 months old and moved in fairly quickly. We got married 9 months later (a year ago).....
Step-daughter only knows me as her mom; her bio-mom abandoned her at 3 months old. Step-daughter will be 3 years old in a few weeks.
I have my own children from a previous relationship. Alex is 13; Grace is forever 3. My husband and I are expecting our first child together, in April.
The problem for us is that prior to my involvement with DH and step-daughter, her grandmother was helping dh raise her and the child was not stimulated or parented properly; she had no limits, rules, boundaries and was able to do whatever she wanted, was never told no she couldn't do or have something.
I have tried so hard over the past 18 months to blend this family and it isn't working. I lay down the law in my house and the child behaves usually how I would like her to. I had to change her diet (eliminate the bottles of milk, the juice, the ice cream, the sweets, and stop her from eating continuously all day off anyone who had food. I took her to the dentist and she had 4 fillings put in her mouth when she was 2 years old.
DH doesn't believe in disciplining her and seriously just wants to let her be babied. She doesn't do anything for herself because she knows that she doesn't have to, that daddy will do it for her.
Our weekends are disasterous because she demands 24/7 attention if daddy is home. He can't sit and play a poker game online for 30 minutes without her trying to climb on him, or run to him, every 30 seconds.
Because of her past environment, she is developmentally assessed as being similar to a 26 months old and her language development is assessed as being about 22 months old.
I am becoming really frustrated as my relationship with my husband is pretty much obsolete. He works all day, I look after the kid all day - and when he comes home at 5pm each night, it is all about his demanding child.
I will also add........... I wake my step-daughter up on the weekends at about 7:30-7:45am to make sure she goes potty, and my husband usually sleeps in until at least 10am...... If he wakes up early, I get upset because I know that this means a few more hours extra of having to listen to the whining, demanding, child of his.
He can't give me a shoulder massage or a hug without her trying to climb between us, ect...
C, mommy to:
4 kids - 3 with feet, 1 with wings
Wow, sounds like she has some attachment issues, despite the fact that she was so young when her mom left her. And if her grandmom was caring for her prior to you and DH getting married, she's probably mourning that loss as well. I would venture a guess that some of her behavior is just being almost 3, too.
I'm so sorry for the loss of your daughter. I wonder though, if some of your problems with your step-daughter don't stem from internally feeling angry that your caring for his daughter and not your own?
I don't have any experience to offer suggestions, but I wanted to welcome you to the board!
I don't really know what to do. I don't think my feelings have anything to do with Gracie's passing; we actually all lived in the house together here before Gracie passed away.
I guess I just kinda feel bad, because it is almost like I feel that she is being held back by their behavior; she is capable of so much but she doesn't let herself grow in her family's presence.
An example is potty training...... I read books, read comments here on JM, ect to find out if maybe she was finally ready; but she didn't show any signs of being ready.
I really wanted her trained though since we are expecting this baby.
So I started 3 weeks ago, and within 2 days she was potty trained; she has had only 2 accidents since then (and they were because I asked her grandma to take care of her for an hour while I went to prenatal class)....
We even forgot to put a diaper on her last night before bed (we only put one on after she goes potty right before bed) and she never wet the bed.......
I am really worried that the behavior that she has when her dad is around is gong to affect the relationship between my dh and our baby when he arrives.... among other things too..
C, mommy to:
4 kids - 3 with feet, 1 with wings
I am actually in the opposite situation. My son's dad is occasionally in contact with me, but hasn't seen our son since he was 16 months old, and doesn't call (he lives in Idaho, and I'm in AZ - moving to SC in a few weeks). I've been raising him with the occasional help from my mom and sister. I AM concerned about how he will react when we move and I am married to SO - since he has primarily been around females.
I agree with Rachel - it seems like some of her behavior is typical 2-3 year old stuff. Especially for little girls. When I was young, I used to get in trouble for hanging on people whenever I gave them a hug. I craved attention, because I DIDN'T get it from my dad. Even though, it's been a year it's still going to continue to take time. Keep doing your best with the attitude, and poor eating. If you really feel like your DH is enabling her, sit down and talk to him about it. Explain that your concern is her well-being not to whine, and he should listen.