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Venting .. I don’t want SD around

Ashleytenorio17's picture

If you read my last post you know how SD12 had to over shadowed the birth of DH and my daughter with her all the sudden sense of exclusion... well I shouldn't say all the sudden, hell she has been through this 3rd times already and the girl and BM need to get over themselves. Our DD3, DS5 and my BS10 are all delighted to have a baby sis, my BS10 will always ask to hold her it's so sweet. That's how you should feel toward your sibling, love and instead SD 12 continues to feel resentment and it's really really starting to piss me off honestly. I guess I could maybe understand her feelings if this was the first baby but it's number 3 and if she really felt some type of way about her place with our family or felt "excluded" why has she not picked up the phone when DH has tried to call her numerous times after her rant to talk to her about her feelings. He called her the day after and she didn't pick up. He tried to FaceTime her as well and told her he was calling her to have a talk and nothing at all. No text, nothing and I'm here trying to not focus on it or her but I can't help to feel like "well forget you SD" it could be my hormones talking but I just don't feel like having that type of energy in my house . Maybe I'm thinking about it more because it's DH weekend coming up and I just really don't want her to be around , who knows what type of antics she will pull. My DH just doesn't see what she is doing either so I make it a point to share with him and others every time BS10 ask for the baby or the kids are doing sweet things with the baby so maybe he can be like "why doesn't my daughter even wanna see her sister " but I am starting to think he is just oblivious to it. Also it makes me wonder if BM really did just sent all those text for SD phone... anywho I just thought I would vent about my feelings because no one really understands unless you are in the step life .I have tried to tell DH about SD12 and explain to him what she is doing but I'm just too tired to keep on doing that ...


Stepdrama2020's picture

Your hormones all over the map, its expected after having your sweet baby. Add in the thought of SD and it becomes extra annoying. Hugs girl. 

Stop explaining to DH cause he doesnt want to hear it. That just makes it worse for you.

Make memories with your DD and the kids in the family who want to be there and enjoy the new addition. Let DH do backflips for SD, let him feel the frustration. Its his mess. You have enough to deal with. Let the thoughts  of SD go like releasing a balloon in the air.

Easier said than done.  So keep venting on here to let it out.

Chances are SD will never come around, will always play the victim. No matter how much DH reassures her BM will be there to twist DH's words. Not your mess to clean up.


Ashleytenorio17's picture

Thanks I'm trying . DH and I were talking about the weekends plans, he mentioned he will do a photography job early Saturday and I cringe at being alone with SD... I'm gonna try to really not think about it tho, 

Dogmom1321's picture

YES! You have a newborn to take care of and needs your undivided attention and REST when you can. Not your job to entertain SD... He can have her tag along at a photographer 'assistant' or make other arrangements for her. Definitely say something!

Ashleytenorio17's picture

Well BM conveniently planned her vacation with SD

on DH weekend so I guess that takes care of that but Yea I did tell him he needs to take her or ask his mother to watch her because I am beat 

dragonfly878's picture

Is that allowed? SD should absolutely be with DH during his parenting time. Giving her the option to spend time with her dad and then booking a trip during his parenting time a week after a baby was born is pretty messed up of BM. Sounds like she's the puppet master behind SD. Did SD tell him about the vacation?

Ashleytenorio17's picture

Oh this is soooooo BM to do this , she did that another time as well. BM did tell DH that she would be taking SD to Mexico at the end of July so technically yes she let Him know in advance but she said she wasn't sure. Which I am shocked BM still went because she complains that she can't meet DH because she can't afford gas yet she can go on a week long vacation? But I guess . Oh I'm sure she is using this as "how sad for you to be gaining a baby sister , let me cheer you up with a trip " sort of thing ...eye roll... I am just glad she won't be at our house this weekend because I am exhausted ! 

ESMOD's picture

Your SD is the only "visitor child" correct?  It's likely that the new baby just brought her old feelings to the surface.. it's not so easy to just "get over it"..  it would be like telling a step parent that they have to be excited about the Skid coming over.. just "get over" their annoyance.. it isn't that she is too stupid to understand that new kids happen. but she probably has very much felt that her dad has been able to (and not entirely his fault).. spend more time and effort with his other kids... while she is a visitor.. and while she has gotten some benefits from that status.. that doesn't mean that she can't also feel just a bit out of joint and possibly wistful that her dad has another child that is going to take his attention.. and that she isn't going to get any benefit from the new kid.

and yes.. that sounds selfish.. but lots of kids have trouble sharing their parent's attention when a new baby comes along.. and it gets extra complicated when it's in steplife and she isn't there so much of the time.. and yes.. by her choice.. but did she feel not "part" (due to her feelings.. bm's influence?).. and that made her pull away.. like i'm going to break up with you before you can break up with me kind of thing?

I don't think you have any thing to gain by trying to make him "see" that she is being selfish.. I would just concentrate on loving your new baby and enjoying the other kids that are there being involved.  If SD wants to come.. her dad can deal with her.. and honestly.. "should" be spending a bit of one on one time with her... since the other kids do have him as a full time live in dad.. which IS different.. and does make her a different class of child in the home unfortunately.. it's not her fault she is in that situation either.. and she just doesn't posess the emotional maturity to be less self centric right now.


advice.only2's picture

Since the BM in play here has done all she can to continually drive a wedge between SD12 and DH, it’s not hard to fathom that SD12 feels threatened by DH’s other children.  That doesn’t excuse DH lacking in communication in the past, opting to allow SD not to come visit on his allotted time, and scheduling side jobs when SD is there visiting.  I think you need to disengage from all the DH/BM/SD12 drama and allow them to parent or not as they see fit.   You can and should create boundaries pertaining to any future visits with SD12.  Let DH sweat his relationship with his daughter or not, you need to focus on your mental health and well-being and on that of your children.

Ashleytenorio17's picture

True . Since DH has still blocked BM she seems to be going through SD now but I'm going to tell him from now on if he has jobs to do on the weekend he needs to just take SD with him . With baby here now I have my hands completely full and I don't think or see her pitching in and helping like BS 10 does . 

dragonfly878's picture

I agree with this. If she's at your house to be with DH, she should be WITH DH. He can take her to jobs as you have your hands full and she gets one:one time with DH as the other kids are not present. 

Monkeysee's picture

I understand all the hormones, and your SD & BM have been a sore spot for quite a while. I agree with Esmod though that your sweet new DD might not be a happy addition for your SD, and she's not in the same position as your other bios are, where they're with you all full time. For SD it might feel like a bit of a loss, and I'm sure that's not being helped by her mother. I agree with others too that if your DH is going to pick up gigs on the weekends he should be taking SD with him, not only so you don't have to handle her along with a new baby & your other kids, but also so she gets 1:1 time with her dad. If you can, try to refrain from influencing how he sees SD, which I know is way easier said than done. Reality is they'll never see their kids the way and SP will and it’s a losing battle most of the time. The best thing you can do for yourself is disengage, focus on your 4 sweet babes & vent here when you need to. 

Ashleytenorio17's picture

Yea I'm just over it , dealing with it for years now and BM is getting worse which in turn effects SD to get worse. I try to not get involved any more and for the Most part I stopped trying to help him parent SD but I'm still bothered by her . You would think SD is craving 1 on 1 time with her dad but she alway creates drama anytime I go some where with my kids and she has to stay with DH. Ugh I loathe the " why can't I go or stay " victim card and since DH is oblivious to her manipulation he feels bad for her . This has happened a few times SD was forced to go somewhere with her dad alone while we did something else... I dunno what this girl wants anymore but yea I agree she needs to be with her dad . 

dragonfly878's picture

Let me just say I completely understand where you're coming from. I'm in a very similar situation with SS14. For me- what I needed most was for DH to "see it" so that I could feel validated. I'm pregnant too (and I have DD3) and much of what you're describing was my SS14 too. Once DH stopped falling for his and BM's manipulation tactics was I finally able to relax (sort of). I was always concerned that SS14 was going to give nasty looks to DD3 or treat her unkind because she was unknowingly displacing him from his throne. DH was (and still can be) oblivious at times to SS's behavior and so I didn't want SS around DD without me present for that major reason. I'm a hawk when it comes to her and DH doesn't always catch SS when he acts like a jackass. She's incredibly innocent and has no idea and so the thought of SS being near her without my supervision made me cringe. DH has gotten better at calling SS out- but he has to be aware it's happening in order to address it. It seems that's your point of frustration- your DH's lack of awareness. To echo what I said earlier- if she's at your house she should be 100% his responsibility. I'd frame it as an opportunity for "bonding"... she doesn't like it? Stay with BM or let DH address it. 

Ashleytenorio17's picture

Ohh so your dd is 3 as well! Yea sad part about my DD is she loves to be around SD and follows her like a puppy , and I know SD just sees her aS "in the way" it also bothers me at DH lack of awareness when she is over she is mess! We tell her over and over to clean after herself. Last time she was here it was horrible! She left cereal crumbs and mess literally all over the kitchen counter . I came in and saw it and immediately knew it was her . My kids aren't angels but it's strange that during the week my kitchen is never a mess despite having 3 kids here. They know the rules and know to keep things tidy. sD comes and crap is everywhere! So I asked who it was and it was Sd so I tell DH ( I leave it to him to let her know things now ) and it goes unpunished... ok next we all leave the house ( BS10 was not home ) SD, DD and DS5 where the only kids with us. We get back home and ohhh wouldn't you know someone left the apple juice out of the fridge and the cap was off and A cup was by it... ok it wasn't  DD3 , it wasn't DS5 and so I tell DH what happened and he asked SD if she did it and of course it wasn't her ..... so I said well there's a cup here with red lipstick and she was forced to confess ... again. DH did not say much to her . I bring this up because DH watches BS10 like a hawk and if he does anything wrong then something gets taken away for a bit , it's mostly samethings like what SD was doing . For example BS10 left the box of donuts open and there was one left for DD and since we have flies in the house DH saw it and asked BS10 if it left it open and BS said yes and DH told him no electronics for the day because he needs to better pay attention to what he is doing and how that donut left was meant for DD and now she couldn't have it because flies got to it. sD does the same and nothing happens. This goes on pretty much all weekend . It's like he is not paying attention or something ?! BS even toldhim how it was not fair because he couldn't play on anything all day and nothing happened to SD . So I point out every little thing she does , maybe to help him "see" but I have to tell him to back off BS if SD can do that same And has no consequences, this is why I also get annoyed .

dragonfly878's picture

If you pointed out his contradiction (you took away DS's electronics for the donut- how do you plan to discipline SD for the juice?) would he get it? Consistency is key and if he's going to do for one- he should be doing for both. Otherwise I'd tell him since he can't parent his daughter he has no business parenting your son.

Also, this is just me, but I would call attention to ANYTHING positive that your kids do toward your little one. They deserve the praise for being wonderful siblings. I wouldn't take away their praise because it's hard for DH or SD. Your kids earned it. Celebrate them. She could be celebrated too if she could get her head out of her ass...

Ashleytenorio17's picture

I have repeatedly told him to not parent my son if he can't do the same for SD and for a while he was doing great but I guess when she doesnt come for a while he forgets and just wants to be on her good side. We all pointed out how he punished BS versus lack of doing for Sd. He just said next time he would did the same for her . But yea if I see a mess or anything major I will tell him and let him deal with it or not I should say. I also do tell him everytime the kids do anything good so maybe little by little he will begin to see it. 

Tried out's picture

he just stops disciplining your child and lets you handle it?


Ashleytenorio17's picture

Exactly this , I tell him to stop and he won't for a while then it picks back up again and it's pretty

much never ending 

SteppedOut's picture

Hell no. If you tell him not to parent your child, do not let the "punishment" stand. HELL NO. Not when he is treating him unfairly. 

thinkthrice's picture

SD for fear of losing her to the BM.  Instead he vicariously parents your DS which is extremely distasteful. 

I had a taste of this myself with Chef purposely trying to FIND things wrong with Awesomeson.  Meanwhile his brats were budding felons. UGH!

Ashleytenorio17's picture

Yes! I hate it and it has caused some nasty fights . I'm ok with him parenting in a way where it's constructive, like giving a few chores or saying "help your mom with the groceries" which he tells him , that I'm ok with but I am not ok with the excessive getting on him about nothing . On the other hand I am sure to always tell him and brag when any of the kids do anything good. Like BS 10 getting honor roll, kids helping each other out.. literally anything . Lol 

notsurehowtodeal's picture

It is time for DH to qut discipling your son if he is going to do it in such an unfair manner. It is also time to stop the "tit for tat." He is watching your son for any infraction and you are doing the same to SD - that can't be pleasant for anyone involved. Each of you should be responsible for discipling your own child. If either one sees the child of the other doing something wrong, it should be brought up to the parent and then discipline is up to them.

Ashleytenorio17's picture

Yup I agree and I have told him to stop if he can't be fair . He says he is fair but again he this is part of his blindness with SD . Sometimes he will tell me when BS has done something wrong but he also tries to tell him how he will be disciplined and I have to step in and say um no it's up to me, this has caused so many fights but for the most part BS pretty much behaves and does his chores . But when SD comes she gets to sleep in and do absolutely nothing and that also bothers me. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

Your DH can't have it both ways. He can't blame BM for filling his daughter's head with BS then act in a way that proves BM isn't spouting BS. He can't say BM is keeping SD from him when he schedules work during his custody time, or doesn't show up to pick up SD. He can't claim that SD doesn't want to be part of the family when the way he tells her about a new sibling is by text.

Yeah, SD is acting rotten. Yeah, BM is probably trying to PAS your DH. But your DH just keeps playing right into it and then sits there with his thumb up his butt wondering why it's as hostile as it is. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again: SD needs her dad just as much as the other kids need him. That means SD will get special treatment during the 96 hours a month he's supposed to have her because he has to concentrate all his parenting of her into that time. He won't do that, so I can't blame SD for being resentful and not wanting to come over. He's not a good parent to her, and he can be a not-good parent at the same time as BM is PASing SD. Those two things aren't mutually exclusive.

Tried out's picture

"special treatment" entail for SD's visits? 

lieutenant_dad's picture

That she gets a few hours of one-on-one time with Dad that the other kids may get spread out over the weeks or weekends. That she is only responsible for chores that are impacted by her staying there for.96 hours (e.g. making her bed, putting her dishes in the dishwasher; not vacuuming the whole apartment since that takes away parenting time). That she may be on a different bedtime schedule or have a different bedtime routine because 85% of the month her sleep schedule is different (and this should be within reason, of course). That her dietary needs may differ or not match the rest of the family (not that she should get a bunch of fast food, but it may mean Dad makes extra sides or a different meal). That Dad spend extra time of doing or planning fun crafts or activities with her that are important for him to teach or pass down to her. That she get to do things that are more appropriate for a preteen than for toddlers.

Because he only has 96 hours, it's going to feel like it's all about SD. In reality, it's just condensing what he would do with his other kids into a shorter time period. There is also the reality that SD spends most of her time with BM, which means her integration into Dad's family life isn't going to be seamless. SD should be able to follow rules because she can go to school and follow those rules which probably differ from those with BM. However, she's likely not going to pick up on familial social cues the same way everyone else in the house will. She likely won't just step in and fall in line without more reminders and reassurance.

The weekends that the SKs were with us were not the same as the weeks and weekends that they weren't. DH could only do so much with the time he had, and he had to spend extra time instilling positive behaviors because they weren't reinforced with BM. Was it annoying? Yep. But it was the reality of having kids in the home who lived a very different life with ET than with us. The expectations set with them was different than what I would set with my own kids and different than what DH has changed to since YSK moved in full-time (and different than he was raising them when he and ET were together, and different than he would have treated them had he been CP).

ETA: Special treatment could also just be differences in parenting. OP doesn't agree with how her DH wants to parent BS, so she doesn't want him to do it. BS will get "special treatment" from OP because of that. Same applies to SD. "Special treatment" doesn't have to mean, in my head, a lack of discipline and parenting. It can just mean different from the norm or in line with the reality of the situation even if the reality is crap.

Tried out's picture

the problems that has to be considered, especially in a blended family with not just step-siblings but also half-siblings, is maintaining a balance so that all the kids, don't become filled with resentment EOWE. It's one thing for a SP to accept that the weekends revolve around a skid but quite another thing for the other kids in the family to accept it with equanimity.

Obviously the skid needs 1:1 time with their parent. That's a given. But a different bedtime than the other kids of a similar age? Special meals? I can't see it. The 1:1 time fosters a close relationship with dad or mom. The other things single the skid out for the type of special treatment that are just going to cause feelings of unnecessary resentment for the other kids.

lieutenant_dad's picture

So is it okay for the "visiting" kid to feel excluded if their dietary needs aren't included but the other kids are? Or if their bedtime routine is disrupted (again, within reason; I'm not saying let one kid stay up until midnight while everyone else is in bed by 8PM, but if SK is used to having a bedtime story or is significantly older than the other kids, there would need to be adjustments)? 

In OP's case, SD is 4 years older than OP's son (if O recall correctly) and nearly a decade older than her half-siblings. There is going to have to be "special treatment" for SD just based on her age alone. You can also integrate a "visiting" kid while not disrupting the whole flow. Adding a dish to dinner that "visiting" kid will eat, or adjusting so weekends with that child are more to that child's liking (again, not saying all fast food, but maybe you save spaghetti for those weekends because it's something everyone will eat) isn't really that big of a deal. It shows the visiting kid that their wants and needs are being considered while showing the other kids that everyone can and should be accommodated.

If we're going to say that a "visiting" kids needs to seemlessly adapt to a different household's rules for 96 hours per month when they spend 85% of their time in an entirely different routine, then the "full time" kids can also learn that there will be adjustments during those 96 hours because their sibling lives a different kind of life than they do. Now, parents have to TEACH that to their kids and explain that piece, otherwise kids will end up with resentment or feeling like things are unfair (been there, done that as an SK myself).

Note, I don't think OP has to facilitate any of this. She will need to teach her youngest two kids that their older brother will get to visit his dad and may have a different lifestyle than they do (for better or worse), but her DH needs to do the same with those two littles in regards to SD. SD and OP's BS can be brought up entirely differently since they aren't bio siblings, and it sounds like OP has different standards for her BS than her DH does (and vice versa, for better or worse).

ESMOD's picture

The younger kids can also be taught that because SD only gets 96 hours (and some of those are sleeping hours).. with at dad's.. they have hundreds of hours more a week than her with him... she just isn't there to "view" the one on one he spends with them at different times throughout the month.

Because expecting that SD will just suck it up and go to her dad's for a scrap of his time because he chose to have two more kids and take on time with his new wife's child also..  it's no wonder she isn't thrilled to go to a home that revolves around a kidlife that is much younger than her own stage in life.  and it's world's different to be an occasional visitor in this.. than growing into it full time.  But.. again it's on her DH to make this happen.. not just play lip service to her still being his little girl.. when his actions don't match up.


I don't think anyone is advising her DH ignore his other kids.. but make a special point to do more with his older daughter on the rare days he does have her.  

Tried out's picture

words into my mouth. I never said a skid's food likes and dislikes shouldn't be included when planning meals during her visitation. Of course they should, but no more so than the rest of the family members. I merely objected to your statement that a solution would be for dad to fix her entirely different meals. And I stand by that.

Similarly, regarding bedtimes, I spoke only of children who were close in age, not toddlers and teenagers. This happens in most families - getting older confers benefits.

I realize our perspectives on this are different. You see skids as getting screwed by divorce. I see all kids getting screwed by divorce.

And children can be taught to accept that their life goes tipsy turvy on visitation weekends but they can't be taught how to feel about it. Recognizing this is important, too.

ESMOD's picture

I think the point is that OP expects SD to have "learned/be taught" how to feel about her dad having more and more kids when she gets very little from him (in fact.. him running off to do jobs when it is her weekend etc.. ).

Asking for him to acknowledge that she also is important and matters.. in actions.. not just words may mean "special treatment".. or maybe using different less triggering words.. "appropriate treatment" for a kid only in the home 96 hours a month.(shoot.. lets make it 60 wakiing hours a month).. To say that he might take lets say.. 2 hours of each of those days to spend one on one time with his kid.. is what.. like EIGHT hours a month?  I'm guessing he spends 8 hours or more with his other kids the other 26 days a month!  or at least he "should" be spending that kind of time with all his kids.

To ask that he tries to have or plan a meal that SD likes.. the 12 meals out of  the 90 or so that get prepared in that home each month. not saying they have to buy her LD stressed.. but letting her have some input with her preferences? just like I'm sure the other kids (well not the baby probably).. and maybe.. letting her have a different meal.. aka.. micro nuggs or PBJ.. or whatever DAD wants to fix for her to make her feel more comfortable in an environment where she very much is in this quasi guest position?  that's not asking a lot of him either..

To not expect her to spend an hour a day doing "once a week" chores when she is only in the home 4 days a month?  Sure.. learning to keep her messes down.. clean them up.. learning to care for her own room/space.. that's important.. of course.. she should be doing that.. and maybe even helping with day to day tasks like preparing the salad for dinner or washing dishes/loading dishwasher after the meal.  For what it's worth.. she is going to learn or not learn the greater balance of chores/housekeeping things at her mom's.. where she spends most of her time.  Of course.. dad can help her learn to use a dishwasher.. how to use the stove safely to heat up ravioli.. and use the microwave and clothes washer.. but her chore load? it should be miniscule compared to the adult's and kids that live there full time.  

If the kid's father spends quality time with his other kids the balance of the 26 days they live with him.. then seeing dad spend some time with SD when she is there shouldn't give them big "feels".

But part of that is that her DH lays off picking at her son.. because that IS unfair if he won't parent his daughter to clean up messes like he wants to do her child.

Tried out's picture

said a skid's meal preferences should be taken into account. And if they are, then there is no reason to fix them special/different meals. Right?

And I said nothing about chores or no chores.

And I said (earlier reply) that of course a skid should have special time with the bio parent during visitation.


Ashleytenorio17's picture

Lol!!! Im sorry but LOL..... and nah I don't want my BS to get special treatment , if by special treatment you mean not have DH on his ass about everything and then punishing him then I guess... I only want DH to treat SD and Bs as equals and right now SD is getting the special treatment by basically getting away with things and making messes all around the house with out DH getting on her . Different bed times? SD would stay up until 4 am if we let her so we set a time for her and BS. SD also does not like 1 on 1 time with her dad which I find very odd but she would rather be with the rest of the kids . We have tried it. I do agree that when step kids are here the normal routine changed but I'm not gonna revolve my weekend she is here around her and if DH doesn't then I guess that's on him. I use to make her we had all her special snacks ( she eats mainly junk food) I use to get her clothes for the season to keep at our place . But that has stooped and I leave it to DH to take care of . Basically NACHO ... also she does the same chores that Bs does , she's in the house so therefore she needs to help out . I'm not talking about scrubbing the floors but she actually enjoys mopping so that's her chore as

well has helped BS feed the dogs . I feel like of you give a step kid special treatment that builds entitlement especially if other children are living in the home and all follow the same routine and set of rules , why should their routing get thrown off? No whenSD is here she flows right in the routine . How else will she learn how to live life? Life doesn't stop just because she is present, it continues she she has to learn to move with it . 

ESMOD's picture

Obviously.. she should not be allowed to make messes.. but when you are only in a home a fraction of the time.. unless floors are mopped daily in your home (some people do I guess).. then having her clean the floors dirtied by others over the week? that's not equitable.. expecting her to keep her own space clean and neat.. having her learn to do laundry if she needs it during the visit.. having her help prepare meals.. those are all reasonable asks..

and her DH should be more proactive about spending time with her.. and with the other kids at the same time if that is what she enjoys doing.

and no one was advocating you allow her to stay up to 4 am.. lol.. LD specifically said no to that..  but having her go to bed at 8pm because the younger kids do too?  she is a teen.. not an 8 yo.. she should be ok up to 10 or so easily.. and food.. again.. not saying junk food has to be the only thing available.. but certainly she does like certain foods that could be more on the menu when she comes.. most kids do like pizza.. spagetti, lasagna.. tacos.. quesadillas etc... just like I'm certain you try to serve the rest of the people in the home foods they don't hate.. why wouldn't her preferences be taken into account when she comes.. and I'm sure she likes more than just twinkies.

Yes.. you can nacho.. you can also tell your DH that meals during her time are HIS responsibility.. would give you a nice break anyway right?

lieutenant_dad's picture

First, I said none of it was your responsibility. It is your DH's.

Second, I mentioned these things should be done "within reason" and with consideration to her age and time she actually spends in your home.

Third, you can accommodate someone in your home without totally changing your entire routine. This goes back to getting what you give. If you (globally, not specifically you) want SK to behave like a family member in the home, then they need to be incorporated like the other family members are which includes BOTH providing things they like while also setting expectations for behavior.

Again, NONE OF THAT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. But, it is your DH's, and he isn't consistent with his parenting. That drives you batty, and it probably drives SD batty. Even if she is seemingly getting what she wants, that doesn't mean she is actually happy or getting what she needs. He has to parent through her crappy behavior, and he just doesn't.

"SD, we're going to the store to buy you snacks. You can have one box of a treat, but also need to pick out one bag of fruit you like."

"SD, I know you like tacos and spaghetti, so which would you prefer foe Saturday for dinner? BS gets to choose Sunday lunch."

"SD, you're going to come with me on Saturday to my photo shoots, but afterwards you and I are going to go <insert fun thing a 12 year old wants to do>. Do you want to invite BS or go just the two of us?"

"SD, come to the kitchen I'm going to teach you how to do <insert thing>. I don't care that you don't want to do it, you need to learn it. If you already know how to do it, then show me and you can go back to playing."

"SD, you need to strip your bed and put the sheets in your laundry basket. No, I'm going to stand here until it's done. They are your sheets and this is your chore. BS has his own chores, and has more than you here since he is here more often. Now, strip your bed."

Tried out's picture

who is actually living the blended family life. Those of us - including myself! - who are telling you how to do it and how to feel about it are just background noise.

Just do what you feel is necessary for your entire blended family. 

Tried out's picture

orphanage when she's not at her dad's.

Your SD is an only child when she is at her mother's and one can assume she gets lots of meals based around her preferences. So how is it unfair that her likes and dislikes aren't given top billing at dad's, as long as it's something she likes? Your other kids have to share the privilege of having their favorite foods served at meals. Why shouldn't a skid when they're with their blended family?

I just don't get it.

ESMOD's picture

I think the shade of difference is that her father should be making a bit of a special effort to make a child that is only in the home 4 days a month feel included in the household.. and feel welcome there... and wanted there.. and to not feel strange because meals, routines etc.. are likely different than her own.  No one is necessarily advocating that she get to meal plan the entire 4 days of meals when she is there... but trying to see that she has food she will like when she eats.. as long as we aren't talking pure junk... or lobster tails.. what is the actual harm when I'm guessing that the other people's preferences are factored in at various other meals throughout the month.  

And... the other kids are small.. and I'm not even saying that he ASKS her what she wants.. he should have a fairly good idea what she likes by this time in her life.. so it shouldn't be some huge hardship to try to not serve things she dislikes for those few days a month.  And.. I'm guessing at other times during the month.. it's possible the other kids get fed different things at meals.. I knnow lots of parent that will put chicken nuggets and grapes in front of the little kids.. but have something more sofisticated for the adults to eat.. so "special meals" is a relative term there too right?

And.. how are the other kids to know that her likes are getting top billing. unless they are told. they should just see the food on the plate and eat it right? that's how they were raised I'm assuming? That maybe they see a special meal for everyone when SD comes because her dad wants to have a "nice familly meal" with all the kids present? that is also perfectly ok... like a nice roast. or baked chicken.. or shrimp pasta.. something everyone likes and is kind of a special treat because for him it IS special when all his kids are there.

yeah.. she gets her mom full time.. but she only gets one parent at a time.. a couple of these kids have both full time.. is life fair? nope.. is it ok to make SD feel welcome and make her think that people are happy she is there? yep.

and..... I get that OP is frustrated because it seems her DH is pushing some of his obligations onto her when it comes to SD.. and THAT is not fair.. and he needs to step up and do the actual leg work to make his older daughter feel part of his family.. instead of just platitudes.

Ashleytenorio17's picture

Yes yes yes! SD was pretty much 8 solid years of her life by everyone. My DH, MIL , SIL everyone because we was the only child of DH at first. My DH bent over backwards for SD. Before I came into the picture he would usually always have SD so the one on onemtome

was constant of course . Our children will never ever have that, they will never have their own room at MiL house ( like SD had and loves to brag about it) they will never have the same amount of undivided attention that SD has for All those years . So you can argue what is fair but that is a fact . SD had DH all to herself for all those

years and now she doesn't wanna share the spot light. Well it's time for SD to move aside and let the smaller children also have some special time with their dad. Not saying that DH should ignore SD but she is not a baby, she is not a toddler , she is a teen almost and she doesn't require as much care or attention as A 3 year old. My DH does and tries to spend time with SD but is she doesn't want to I'm not sure what he is suppose To do ? Beg? And what the other poster said is right , SD has everything catered to her at BM house and is still taught that she is The most important thing and should be the most important child in DH life by BM. This is very clear . DH will usually ask SD "what do you want for Snack and to eat?" Her reply is "Mexican candy and Takis." Um no .. she will usually get one favorite snack and for meals she will eat what the other kids eat it his usually pizza , quesadillas or grilled cheese. SD mops because she requested it. bS 10 was going to buy SD asked

if she could do that so she did, and she doesn't mop everytime she comes. She has mopped maybe a total of 3 times. We try to do more things as a family since she voices she feel excluded from the family but even then she will not show up

Gemini's picture

So according to you, SD, who sees her dad 4 days a month, needs to step aside so that her siblings, who live with dad fulltime, can have some special time with dad. How does this make sense? The other kids have the other 26 days a month during which they can have special time with dad. It’s understandable that during the very limited amount of time that she’s there, SD wants her father to concentrate more on her. You can’t compare the reactions of the other kids to her because they live there fulltime, whilst she doesn’t. It isn’t rocket science.

Ashleytenorio17's picture

Maybe it "step aside" wording was harsh what I mean was SD still got more attention then our current kids do now . Because DH onlY had her literally everything was focused on her and every minute he had her was focused on her, I mean every minute . Our kids will not andndo not have that even though yes they have a live in full time dad doesn't not mean he is in their face 24/7 like how he was with SD and it was only her . He helps yes but he is also working multiple jobs ( photography and he does Amazon) in between waiting for a full time job. He is not home playing with them like how you maybe think . So when you think about it our kids are not getting near as much one on one time as SD had . I don't mean literally SD needs to step aside but she gets attention from DH when she is over . SD Is the one the constantly chooses to ignore him ... SD is the one that refuses one on one time, doesn't answer his calls , doesn't answer FaceTime, doesn't answer text. I dunno but I just feel like he does his part with giving her attention,'I mean she is almost 13 so she doesn't require as much attention as a 3 year old for example. DH has explained this to her over and over to help her understand . 

stepmomnorth's picture

In a blended situation I don't agree that any of the kids should be given special treatment.. All kids should be treated equally otherwise the ones without the special treatment are getting the short end of the stick. That's not to say that all the kids shouldn't have their fair share of quality time with their parents. I'm just saying none of the kids should be given priority or special treatment, moreso than the other kids. All the rules should be the same for all the kids and no kids should be catered to for special meals that are better than everyone else's 

ESMOD's picture

I think the word "special" is probably not the most accurate description.  SD should be getting a good measure of her dad's quality attention that the other kids get 26 days worth of.. she only gets 4 days a month.. so those days.. her quality time with him can be bigger.. also if she is 13 and the next closest child is 8?  sure.. different bedtimes isn't "special" treatment.. it's age appropriate.

I also don't think that it's so much "special meals that are better".. but that SD's preferences are more taken into account for the minority 4 days of the month.. since the remainder of the family would have more of their preferences considered the other 26.. (again.. I don't think anyone is advising mcdonald's ever meal... but trying to ensure her preferences are given weight.. for those few days).

And.. rules can be the same.. or similar.. let's say that BS8 has chores that take 15 minutes a day on average.. so that means 7 hours a month of chores.. SD is only there 4 days.. so her equitable amount of chores for the household is 1 hour  for the whole month.. 30 minutes a weekend.  and that is IF her BS is doing 7 hours a month.. if he is closer to an hour a week.. then her chore load would be well under an hour.. probably around 30 minutes a month.. a MONTH.. not every weekend she is there.. so that is not a lot.. but she isn't there a lot right?  it depends on how you count the equality.. is it number of hours/minutes total? or is it number of hours/minutes adjusted for the relative amount of time the kid actually lives in the home?

Of course.. all the kids should be maintaining their own space and keeping common areas clear of their clutter.  but asking SD to clean a bathroom she shares.. when someone else has been using it and dirtying it up all week before she got there? that's not fair at all.. to her.

And again.. rules are often not the "same" different kids have different rules for very valid reasons.. including age and maturity and behavioral reasons as well.  That there may be somewhat more condensed attention to SD since she gets so little time with her dad?  certainly that's not really special treatment.. but more like equitable treatment given her visitation circumstances.

Monkeysee's picture

I thought you explained it well, people are getting hung up on the 'special treatment' phrase & I think missing what you're saying. There's also a difference between equitable and equal & I think that gets missed sometimes too. I agree with what you're saying, OP's SD is only 12, she's very much still a child, and has influences in her life that are completely outside of her control. I get OP's frustration, lord knows I've been there, but expecting SD to just be shoehorned into existing family dynamics isn't equitable, reasonable or fair either. Her DH needs to manage it better, but he won't, so it is what it is. 

SeeYouNever's picture

I can't keep that chain straight but I wanted to add my 2 cents about "special treatment."

It's not so much special treatment as limited expectations. If you start calling it special treatment then that's what it becomes and then it becomes unfair to the other kids. 

Maybe on SD weekends You all take a break from the more intensive chores, and meals become a little less formal. It's not reasonable to have a visiting child do major household chores but it's also not exactly fair if she gets to sit on her butt while resident children do their chores. If SD weekends are supposed to be relaxing and fun-filled for her then they get to be that way for everybody. Any other way and it's going to create resentment. 

I also agree that there needs to be a little bit of time carved out for her to have one-on-one time with her dad. Usually the way we do this is DH does pick up and drop off without the rest of us and maybe he takes her shopping. If you don't want to have to spend money a walk or some other little project can work just as well. It doesn't have to be more than a hour or two. 

Other than that when I had my babies I found it was so much easier to just disengage and opt out of anything to do with SD. 

Tried out's picture

best explanation of reasonable expectations for life in a blended family that I've seen.