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New to this...New to stepmoming too.

Ashleyg1994's picture

Ohh where do I begin. Lol. This may be really long!

I am 25. I met my boyfriend almost a year ago and we did move very quickly, I will not lie. We were dating a month when he introduced me to his daughter who is now 2 (as of February). We moved in together after only 5 months of dating and now I am in full on mommy mode. Sometimes I can’t recognize myself honestly. BM didn’t accept the relationship until it benefited her. See, I work from home and my bf got a new job that allows for weekends off. We were taking his daughter every weekend and he was dropping her off before work on mondays. That didn’t suit BM because she wanted a “full day off” from work and child. So. Now we take daughter from Sunday afternoon to Wednesday afternoons. That means I watch her while I work and before bf gets home on weekdays. If I want to change the schedule, I become the bad guy because I don’t want to watch daughter for the majority of her time with us. I feel it’s not fair to my bf, who works nights and won’t get home until 11:30 pm and to me because it means less time actually working and I’m in school still. I really need advice on where I fit, what role do I play and how hard should I push the matter? My bf doesn’t seem to want to do activities with all three of us or maybe take her some weeks just on the weekends? Am I crazy for feeling like a babysitter and not a parental figure? Should I even have a right to be a parental figure? I have so many questions. 


tog redux's picture

Well, you've been dating this guy a year and already you are caring for his daughter.  You ARE a babysitter.

What is attractive about this situation to you? You are 25.  Go find a man with no children and start your own family.   And don't say he's "amazing" - this situation will probably only get harder and worse for you.

Letti.R's picture

^ ^ ^ This!
You are 25, WHY do you want a  future where you are dealing with some other woman's leftovers and someone else's kid?
Aim highter.

Ashleyg1994's picture

theres always a but, right? Seriously though, I am happy and he’s a great father, the problem is that his new job won’t swap him to first shift until he’s been working their six months. So, am I giving up too early if I don’t stick it out for those 6months? I mean what’s six months when were planning a future? I do love him and I love step?daughter. BM is irresponsible at best and I can’t help but try and compensate for that on our days with her. I try to do educational activities and take her to the playground. I feel like I might be going over and above because I have had my own stepmom in my life since I was four and I see a lot of myself in daughter. I don’t want to have the wrong impression, I am happy to spend the time I get with daughter, she amazes me and is a tiny human bubble of joy. 

tog redux's picture

You can have your own tiny bubble of joy, and I promise, you will find it even more amazing.

You've been with him less than a year, and he's already treating you as if you are "the bad guy" if you don't want to watch his kid.  I've been with DH for 9 years and I watched his son a handful of times, and never for more than a couple hours. 

There should be NO expectation that you watch his kid AT ALL, much less that you are free child care 3 days a week and it's non-negotiable. At this stage in the relationship, he should want to please you; so if you said you wanted to change the schedule, he should be all over making a change, FOR YOU.  

If BM wants a child-free day, there is this little thing called daycare. Yep, it costs money, but that's what you do if you want a "child-free" day.


Disneyfan's picture

What would your BF do if he didn't have you to dump his child on?

He is a parent first.  If you weren't in the picture, chances are he would never agreed to take this job.  Parents have make sure their work hours align with their parental responsibilities.

twoviewpoints's picture

You're not a parental figure, you're a very kind sweet babysitter who seems to care more for the tot than her father does.

With the wishy-washy schedule, I assume there is no actual custody order in place.... if there is, the parents aren't following it. You can't really force your BF of eight months to change , but you definitely can inform him what you will and won't do, what your expectations and boundaries are. If he can't (or won't) take you and your feelings into consideration ,well then it's time for you to move on before you get even more attached to the child.. 

Spend some time reading around here. The site is full of young generous loving females such as yourself. They jump right in , take on the parenting role and duties and try to please way too hard. My advice? Move back out. Let BF and Mom work out the schedule, the babysitting and all the hard parenting lifting.. Date him if you want.

Let him have to stand up to be the capable parent he is suppose to be. 

Him not wanting to do fun activities with you and his child should be waving red flags on how things would be if you stay, marry him and have children by him. 

Ashleyg1994's picture

Everything you’ve said is helpful, thank you. I think I just needed more than “get out while you can”. I’ve just texted bf that I want to sit down and talk with him when he gets home tonight. The thing is, I’ve had a long go of terrible relationships (from abusive situations to addicts to cheating) and he’s the first decent man to walk into my life in forever. I think maybe I need a “me” vacation and figure out what I truly want outside the baby and the home right now. It’s a really tough thing for me to do because I do love them. 

Letti.R's picture

Decent is  still a low bar after abusers and addicts.
It may seem ideal to you, but your situation is already a train wreck with wishy washy parenting, indifferent scheduling and you being used/abused as a babysitter when the actual parents won't take care of their own kid.
You may not see the problems but what people have already told you is the best solution: leave.

Your choice to take / not take the advice because you think you know better.
Believe me, I did too, until I didn't.

ITB2012's picture

We all love things that may not be good for us, either wholesale, or when done too much.

I love chocolate but I shouldn't give up things to make sure I have chocolate. Those other things (including my self respect) are important and are much more of who I am than being a chocoholic.

I love cats but I shouldn't put the rest of my life on the back burner and work around the 50 cats I'd have if I told myself it was all because I love cats.

still learning's picture

Ain't nothing wrong with cats and chocolate being your priority!  Much better than some broken man and his messed up sloppy seconds family taking over your life.  

SteppedOut's picture

Here are 2 bits of advice when dealing with step issues.

1. Love is NOT enough.

2. Nothing changes if nothing changes. 

Look, you aren't even married yet and you are obviously having issues with this relationship; enough to seek out this site.  You should be in the fun lovey dovey stage still!!

You are the free babysitter now, what did the parents do for childcare before you came along? Nice bm wants "a full day off" so now YOU have to give up YOUR time. So, her time "off" is more important than your time? If your bf gets mad when you say you can't be the babysitter anymore... PLEASE see that as a big red flag. He is more worried about upsetting bm than your feelings. If you don't demand change and force it, this will never change. 

He doesn't want to spend time doing things with his daughter... but wants YOU to? Super. If you want children...and you have them with him, he will be just as uninvolved with them as he is her. Do you really want that in a partner? 

Please think very long and very hard if this is the life you want. 


shellpell's picture

^^^^ALL OF THIS^^^^^ you’re only 25?? You should have your pick of childless men eager to make you happy and wine and dine you. Please don’t put yourself in this situation this young. You have many years ahead of you. 

TwoOfUs's picture


I met my DH at 25. With 3 kids. 

Of course, we didn't move fast...didn't start dating until 26...I didn't move in until about 28 and we didn't marry until I was 30...and he never made me responsible for his kids in these stages. If he had, it may have saved me a lot of heart ache lol. Because no. 

I jumped in with both feet and did way too much the first two years of our marriage and started feeling tons of resentment. Then I wised up! 

mro's picture

"I’ve had a long go of terrible relationships (from abusive situations to addicts to cheating)"

 And this is another one.  Please take care of yourself and consider not dating for awhile.  There is some reason you are allowing yourself to get into these relationships.  You are being used, and all the rationalization in the world will not make it go away. It's only for a few will get better when...  No, it won't.  Lots of red flags here. There are therapists, books, and self help groups that might be of help to you.

TrueNorth77's picture

So how did the talk go??

Also, you mention it being for 6 months while he's on this shift. The thing is, you aren't doing this for HIM. You're watching SD for BM. You don't owe her or him that! You can still stay with your BF and stick up for yourself. If you don't do it now, it will not just be 6 months, they will find plenty of other opportunities to use you as a babysitter when it suits them.

Ashleyg1994's picture

Hi! I’m responding because you seem like you actually interested in the resolution and not the “just walk away” comments. 


We we had a really long chat the other night. He has agreed that it has been unfair and I guess I had not been as vocal as I thought I had. BF can be oblivious to emotions when they are explicitly pointed out. He has apologized and told BM that I will be involved in all schedules and any changes made. 

24 years as a SM's picture

Have you figured out how much money is being saved on daycare since you are watching the SD?

Just J's picture

You do not have to be BM’s or your boyfriend’s on call babysitter. If you weren’t in the picture, they’d have to find daycare or some other arrangements. They’re using you and that’s BS. How dare they make you the bad guy when you don’t want to do them a FAVOR! Unbelievable. Too bad if mom wants a whole day off? Parenting is a 24/7/365 job. What if the bio dad was out of the picture? There’d be no “days off “ then so buttercup needs to suck it up. 

I’m not saying dump the guy, but step back from playing mom. That will bite you in the ass sooner or later and there is no more of a thankless job than  Step parenting. You’ll never be appreciated, the slightest wrong doing will be thrown in your face and you’re seriously just asking for trouble. Mom and dad are gonna have to find a daycare, stop being their free nanny. 

TrueNorth77's picture

This ^^^^

It is pretty ridiculous that you are even in this position right now. To re-cap: Your SO and BM just decided that it’s easier on BM (not even your BF!) if you watch SD while you work. So she can have a kid-free day off. And now somehow you are the bad guy if you say no? In no world would this be ok with me. Don’t they have a Custody agreement? If not, you are looking at a lifetime of disagreements about custody time and uncertainty of when you will have SD.

NO is an acceptable answer, and it is the appropriate answer  here. Although step-life is really hard, I’m not saying run. But you also have to start setting boundaries right away or you’re going to become even more resentful. Feeling used or like you’re just a babysitter wears on you, wears on your relationship, and causes resentment that ends relationships. Stick up for yourself, no one has your best interests in this situation except for you. 

TwoOfUs's picture

I'm confused about how the weekend doesn't count as a "kid-free day off" 

Does BM work in the service industry or something and have Mon-Tues off instead of the weekend? If so, i's weird to me that she would want to pawn her daughter off during all her free time and have her during her working hours when she has to pay for care...most parents would want the opposite. To get to spend time with their kids on their "weekend" and find a place (school, daycare, etc.) for the kids during their work week. 

At any rate...yes. As others have said, this is a ridiculous expectation that's been placed on you. I used to work from home exclusively (now work from home about 3 days a week...and my days in the office are flexible), so I understand how rude people can be about your time. If you're serious about your job, you have to treat your work from home hours as if you're in an office...totally unavailable to do anything else. Including watching someone else's kid for free.

TrueNorth77's picture

Also, BF has wknds now the situation has changed from BF actually seeing SD and spending time with her on wknds, to OP babysitting while BF barely gets to see SD on Sunday-Wed. Just mind-boggling. It seems like the BF is more worried about appeasing BM than making sure OP is happy, and actually spending time with his daughter.

TwoOfUs's picture

Yeah the whole thing is mind-boggling and infuriating. Who came up with this plan? Why did OP ever, ever agree to it? Couldn't she have simply said: "Sorry. I'm working during those days. (And, also, it's not my job to watch your kid.)" 

Or did she voice an objection up front and get shut down by her BF? (it's happened to me before!) 

They're both really entitled and taking advantage of her. 

Lady.Tremaine's picture

I've been in your position. In a way I still am. 

26 now and just married. To get this far I had to make boundaries and stick with them . For example if my husband wants to use my car ( good gas mileage) he can't just do so he had to ask me .If he wants me to take the kids somewhere he has to ask and accept no is the answer.

If your bf is making you a bad guy but not bending over backwards explain the boundaries you need. If he's pissy then dump and run asap.

Mountains's picture

stop and think if a girlfriend told you this story and what you would say/think... what advice would you give?  Take it from those who have lived it, you are being used...find your own voice...find your own person.  Then you are I. A position to be in a healthy relationship.

Harry's picture

You are not one of them.  If BF is such a great father, he would have a job where he can take care of his kid not dump the kid on you.  This is the best time of a relationship and he’s dumping his kid. It’s only going to get worst for you. 

Aunt Agatha's picture

1. Meeting his kid after 2 months.  Way too soon. 6 months is the minimum per most experts.

2. As posters point out, BM dumps her kid on you to get a free day.  Signs of problems to come.

3. Your SO dumps his kid on you, and treats you like the bad guy instead of someone doing him a huge favor.

4. He is more concerned with what BM wants than what you do.

5. Your priority should be school then work.  But he is not supporting you in this if it means he can’t dump kid with you.

6. No clear CO, or if one exists, it’s jot being followed.

7. You are too concerned about meeting their needs over your own, and lack boundaries needed to protect your own future.

There are more, but you get the idea.

Step away, move out and let more time go by.  See if your SO steps up as a parent.  Stop being a door mat and protect your future.  Finish school and take care of yourself first. Your SO is already prioritizing his EX over you.  He is not the great catch you think he is.  


Winterglow's picture

Am I crazy for feeling like a babysitter and not a parental figure? 

Yoiu're a babysitter. An unpaid babysitter. Everyone benefits from this situation except for you. You should not feel any kind of responsibility about sitting this child simply because you are not her parent (she already has two) and you are not getting paid for your time. The more you watch this child the less time you have for work and the less money you are making. You either work from home or you babysit, which is it to be?

BM wants a while day off? Tuff, that's what childcare is for. Your bf can't be bothered spending time with his daughter? Tuff, that's what childcare is for. Both of them are getting off lightly and you are bearing most of the weight. Time to put your foot down and tell them that this child is theirs and not yours and that they are just going to have to find another solution for looking after her because you're not doing it any more.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

Talk to your BF.

It makes ZERO sense for your BF to not spend time with his kids.

I understand feeling like a babysitter. Just a few months ago I threw a fit because I was feeling like an unpaid nanny. THANKFULLy DH stepped it up at that point. Does more to help out with both the house and the kids and the funding. And things have gotten smoother for the most part.

Put your foot down. He should be helping. It hard to get things done with kids at the house. Trust me, I know!

TwoOfUs's picture

No kidding...especially a 2-year-old. How are you supposed to get anything done at all? During the 1.5-2 hours while she's napping? 

ndc's picture

I'm also in my 20s and I watch SO's kids a few days a week while he's at work. The difference is that I offered and wanted to do it; prior to me doing it they went to a babysitter. I was able to rearrange my work hours and it saves our household money. BUT - I did not start watching the kids until we'd been together a couple years and were engaged, I did a trial run first (keeping kids home from babysitter to make sure I and they were OK with it) and I can stop anytime and my SO would just send them back to the babysitter. In other words, he doesn't EXPECT me to watch his kids, it is wholly my choice.

In your situation, I think you feel like the unpaid babysitter because you are. I also do not like that he expects you to watch his kid while you're working.  He apparently doesn't understand or care that working at home means you're supposed to be working, not babysitting. I don't see how you can do a job and watch a child at the same time and do a good job at both.

I would tell your boyfriend that this isn't working with your work and school demands, and he's going to need to make other arrangements. If he gets mad and doesn't agree, then my conclusion would be that he's using you to make his life easier, which would make me question the relationship. If you don't WANT to watch the child, insist that her parents figure out alternate arrangements. If your relationship doesn't survive that reasonable request, then you dodged a bullet.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I watch mine huge chunks and am in my 20s. ndc hit things spot on.

You need to talk to him.

still learning's picture

Oh honey, you're about the same age as my dd.  I know that you're going to do what you want to do and you think this is the best man you're ever going to find because of whatever dysfunctional programming you have from childhood.  I'm not going to tell you to leave because you won't right now but I will ask you to slightly change up the dynamics of your situation. 

You work from home and that's the reason you've become default babysitter to two parents who are taking advantage of you.   Start now and stop making yourself so available.  Make up something about having to meet a client in person or having to go to some business to make an in person contact.  You could even go find a job where you actually have to go in to work. If you don't want to create waves then make it about your job rather than babysitting.  You can also tell bf that your boss is not happy with the quality of your work since you have been so busy watching SD and you'll need to go somewhere to work without distractions.  If your bf really loves and appreciates you he'll understand, if he's just using you for childcare then he'll get mad, gaslight, and accuse you of not caring about him and his daughter.  

Good luck honey, take care of yourself.  I'll echo what others have said; SD has 2 parents and it's their job to raise her.  You can be a positive bonus person in her life but you don't have to be the unpaid nanny/parental figure.  

secret's picture

I've worked night shift. I call BS that he can't watch her during the day.

If you watching the kid is prat of the discussion you two had for working overnight, here's how it SHOULD go:

1) You watch SD until DH gets home from work.

2) Like every other day working parent who comes home from work, they should be watching their kids until bedtime... in this case SD is 2 - I'm assuming she still naps?

3) working that time shift is a switch and it's hard. Been there. HOWEVER... He gets home from work at 9... spends 9-1pm with his daughter, puts her down for her nap... and goes to bed 2pm.

4) You can then watch her from let's say, 3pm to bedtime, 7pm... while DH sleeps...

5) DH sleeping from 2pm - 10pm is a full 8 hours, and only leaves you stuck babysitting for a few hours each day, only some of which is during your work time.

Realistically, that ain't gonna happen. He's probably going to want to sleep 11am - 3pm... get up until about 7pm...back to bed for another few hours... and again, that will also be broken up because let's face it, the kid is 2 and not likely to be quiet Smile

Regardless, there's plenty of time during the day for him to watch his own child, with you as BACKUP not babysitter. Nothing wrong with you helping, if that's what you two agreed to, but you agreed to terms - and none of those were BM's.

When she insists you watch SD because she has a day off, just tell her you are working. If she continues with but you're working at home... you can respond with yes, which means that even if I'm home, I'm working and won't be able to watch sd.

Blaman's picture

i have  a 24 year old step son who won’t move out. He is not disrespectful to me. Rather, he is aloof and treats me like a piece of household furniture. I want my privacy and want him to move out by the time he is 25. My husband knows this but no steps have been taken on stepsons part to move toward this goal. He pays us a small amount of rent but his job is low paying so he has no savings . He spends his discretionary money going to bars and clubs with his friends. His car is on its last legs  The reality is that he will not have the money to move out in a year because he is saving nothing. I think he needs to get a second job rather than play video games every night. His dad is making life too comfortable. WhenI confront my husband with this he becomes very defensive. He will always put his kids first and has stated  as such . His daughter, 27, did finally move out but she is very needy and spends at least one weekend night each week at our home , most of Sunday watching sports with her dad and also goes out to dinner with him weekly I want to encourage her relationship with her dad but there are no boundaries. She comes over whenever she wants and let’s herself in draping herself over the furniture and watching endless amounts of tv. I’m  at my wits end and think about leaving every day.

Livingoutloud's picture

My brother works from home. He absolutely has zero availability to watch a 2-year old while working.

What kind of job allows you to watch a kid all day? Plus you are also in school?

Also if you do enjoy babysitting and being a nanny and a housekeeper, then you can get actual job like that and get paid. 

What’s up with these men making girlfriends to be free babysitters and housekeepers? We had several threads like that lately 

JBDmom's picture

I was in a similar situation when I first got together with my  BF at the beginning of our relationship but I never said anything or was listened to when I did. It’s been 2 years now and I still get treated like a babysitter and I e been told that I’m replaceable On Multiple occasions when we fight about me having issues. I don’t have much of a way out at this point sadly after having a child with him and currently being pregnant with another and sadly being completely in love with both of them. Is your sanity and you as a prerson worth all of the pain and the struggle that’s going to inevitably going to take it’s toll on you. I really wish you the. Set of luck and hope that you’re treated with more respect and consideration than I am. Be strong if you’re going to do this because there will be many days you feel like you’re going to break.