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Frustrated with Expectations

CLove's picture

Kind of like sunny with a chance of rain...I am BOTH frustrated and having expectations...and Im trying to let go of them.

We are now starting Week #3 with SD16 B/M. She went fishing with Dad both weekends so theres that, meaning at least shes not doing NOTHING. But during the week, she is pretty much just hanging in the living room or her room.

I set us up with the login for tracking progress with online summer school. She logs in for an hour a day and is on track to finish within the alotted 4 weeks. Shes at 52% complete with this online self paced program, with an 82%. But if its self-paced, couldnt she be finished by now? I put the question out. Not to her because I know that I would get attitude back, but to one of the teachers that helped set us up with the online tracking tool. Also, if this is the ONLY thing shes got going on ALL DAY, shouldnt she be acing this thing? I dont know, and of course I cannot ask or it will cause problems and issues.

Oh, yeah, why are we on week #3 of our visitation with skido? Because the first week SD23 Feral Forger SD23 got COVID. The second week on Sunday SD15 B/M heard from Toxic Troll Bm that she now also has COVID. So...I suppose this is a taste of what life would be like if we were full time with her. This is a taste of possible life after visitation schedule ends (1 year and 11 months). 

In spite of myself I am having expectations. I asked if she could help by watering some plants today. Its been hella hot and the potted plants get dry quickly. Her eyes got big, her voice quavered a little bit as she explained she HAD to go to in-person class today because her friend NEEDED her emotional support. Her friend is HOMELESS and they are living out of THEIR CAR.

Of course I could not answer to I facebook messaged the city mayor to look for resources. I guess that in her eyes, my life is perfect, and I want for nothing, so I dont deserve help or consideration in any way. I must bow down to "those in need". Like I have for the past 9 years. Her mother is always "in need", her friends are always "in need". That as they say is that. That is the crux of things. I dont "need anything" because I "have everything". Shes 16. She should not be doing summer school (she chose it over redoing the last assignment of the year) and she should be working on getting her permit. She should be working a summer job. Or at least helping around the house somewhat. Helping ME. 

When I wondered what her living situation would be after the visitation schedule stops, she got upset and told me that she would have to live with friends because she could not continue lliving with her sister at her mothers apartment and if she "chose" to live with us, her mother would get very angry.

So - fingers crossed that I dont have moocher SD in my house after 1 year and 11 months...

**** Edited to add ****

Got a response from teacher - child can indeed log in and do work at ANY time. The only restriction is that if she wants to RETAKE a quiz or test, they are there to "unlock it" 8:30-12:00 noon. Child can indeed complete the course work early.



advice.only2's picture

I have a feeling your DH sets little to no expectations for SD16.  Why would she want to finish this class early when she’s got four weeks to drag a$$ and neither parent cares either way.  Why would she work hard to get her license when she’s got a mom and dad who will drive her everywhere?  Why would she need a job when everything she wants is paid for?  You are pretty much the only person in her life who actually has/had expectations for her, and she shut you down for that.   I think going forward you need to decide what your expectations are from your husband when/if his second daughter ends up a bum. 

CLove's picture

YES, that is precisely what happened with the older one and now I get to see it with the younger one.

Which is why I am focusing more on myself, and plan to intensify that in the ensuing months.

I think to avoid any and all arguments, Im going to keep my expectations to myself, until it becomes impossible to avoid or ignore. Im going to TRY to zip it for this summer. 

strugglingSM's picture

I'm confused...she said she couldn't help you water the plants because her friend is homeless? I'm not sure why that means she can't help with simple household chores. 

Have you and your DH had a talk about whether or not you'd allow her to live with you? If not, now might be a good time to do so. 

CLove's picture

Because that would be too early/late for her. To be a support system for her friend, she indicated she had to attend the in-person (I think its a hoax to get herself to in-person class to socialise) which means she would leave when Husband leaves (about 8 am) and get home when he does (about 5 pm) and sun sets at 8 pm right now.

We have not had any talks about that. His attitude/thoughts are that he already lost one child he will do anything to not "lose" the other, ir parenting out of fear.

Im thinking that once she goes back to Toxic Trolls for regular visitation, that I will start with new expectations for the now, with my eyes on the future.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

I would have still made her water the plants BEFORE she left. Your YSD has always held sort of a caretaker/peacekeeper role with her mom, prioritizing mom's issues instead of seeing how mom is failing YSD and Feral Forger. She's more comfortable helping others than taking care of herself, and no one has taught her to put her own oxygen mask on first. If she doesn't learn how to say no and draw boundaries, she may end up on Step Talk one day.

Maybe next time try expressing sympathy for her friend but remind her that she needs to handle her own business before she's free to help others?

CLove's picture

Dad is never on board with me asking her to do anything. If she asks to do something/for something and I say no, he finds a way to say yes. Its always been this way, its just become that much more annoying because we are starting week #3 of her and her ways.

But thats a very gentle way for me to approach it - thank you Biggrin

stepmomnorth's picture

For myself, when it came to my step kids I came up with a minimum chore amount plan for when the kids were coming over then i had my partner enforce it each day. I'd have gone nuts to see them not only sit around on the their butts all day and not do chores or help but on top of that cook and make snack messes everywhere. For example they must clear the dishwasher each day and empty recycling outside. Clear their own messes. Then I tried to absolutely forget about whatever laziness they had going on the rest of the time, just knowing they were doing something and just focus on my own day.

Is she going to get a job over the summer after school ends or is she purposefully postponing school to avoid having to work? Does she have anything else to keep busy with? 

CLove's picture

Chore plan. Husband couldnt plan his way out of a paper bag with two hands, two eyes and a flashlight.

While that would work if kid was bio and/or bio parents were on board with my case the best I can do is ask pretty please sugar and sprinkles and home made whipped cream...

She had the Saturday thing, but that went away mysteriously. And made noises about getting a job...but nothing. Shes got every excuse about why she cant do whatever. For example, when she was picking up the dog poop, I asked her to simply move the hose from one place where she was near to another place she was near to, and came up with excuse. Then her dad shows up and suddenly "well I didnt know thats what you wanted..."

Its easy to ignore this chit when its every other weekend...yeah I thought about that too, that shes avoiding because she had a job and liked the money but you know, its WORK.

stepmomnorth's picture

Yeah about the plants, agree I would still even have her do it, now. That way she doesn't look at it as, oh if I cry I don't have to do what Clove says.

I don't have any pity for kids that act this way. They literally have nothing going on. They are using waterworks to avoid doing work as if life is so bad.. The kids should be helping around the home and contributing. 



CLove's picture

And I am thinking that I need to have a big huge talk. About expectations of helping me. Of helping period but me especially.

She has grown up using her "waterworks" and its because it ALWAYS works.

la_dulce_vida's picture

The problem is that you are asking her to HELP YOU. It's not help. Watering plants is part of running a household.

Next time tell your husband that you're concerned about the plants because it's been so hot but you've been so busy....let him come up with a solution - either he does it or asks SD16 to do it.

I can understand operating at a high DEFCON level all the time, but you're only going to stress yourself out. You do not have the support to parent this child or prevent her from coming to live with you full time when she fails at life. All you can do is set boundaries for yourself and come up with a plan B for when she fails.

Ispofacto's picture

Biting our tongues is the worst part of this job.  Being lazy may be part of normal teen behavior, but if our own kids were doing this we'd be able to say something.


CLove's picture

Is almost chewed off from the constant biting back...

If I had a kid and it was blended, then Id still have the issue of "but Backstabber/Munchkin doesnt have to! Why do I have to?" (Downside), but THEN I could rejoinder with "you have to because I am your mother and want you to do more and be more than that" (Upside). Which would probably p!ss of Husband (downside/upside) but not enough to make any changes (all downside)

MissK03's picture

Why are still asking her "for help?" You know what the answer is going to be and you set yourself up for disappointment. You also shouldn't be emailing teachers anymore... that's fuel for TT. 

SD is NOT what you wanted/hoped she would be. Maybe she will be one day... Your husband does absolutely nothing to combat TTs house so you really need to switch your focus from SD to DH.

CLove's picture

I have to couch everything. But maybe not, after all its 1 year and 11 months more to go, and then no more threats of family court, and thats really the only reason I have been walking on effing eggshells around her.

I only email for technical assistance. Because she is very cagey and white lies fly out at any questions. Shes the expert of the non-answer. Because that way she can hide the fact that she is a lazy a$$ that doesnt want to get a job and doesnt want to get her permit.

MissK03's picture

Walking around eggshells with SD or your DH? Does your DH help you with chores around the house? If he doesn't then you have a bigger issue and can't expect SD to just be willing to help. 

Skids in my house dont do anything. SD does the dishes 3 days a week. Boys have no chores expect pick their room up when SO tells them too. SD keeps her room pretty clean now a days which is great. It was a ever losing battle for me with chore charts.. SO wouldn't follow through etc.. However, SO does dishes (I've never loaded the dish washer in almost 7 years) he does most of the laundry (mine included clearly) and will clean when I ask him too. 

So it's not like I'm doing everything. I do more of the actually clean cleaning (if that makes sense) which I don't mind. 

1 year and 11 months isn't going to fix anything.. you might have a bigger resentment issue when that time comes. 

CLove's picture

Eggshell walking = both

Shared Chores - Husband and I share much of the cleaning. Husband will clean all day if possible he loves it. Im a generalist and will putter around between gardening and watering and cleaning. Point is, SD doesnt do anything unless we ask pretty please with sprinkles, and we rarely ask. Or rather I rarely ask. And her room is a mess. And we are going on week three into a 3 day holiday weekend so do I really want to have to deal with that all weekend? I stay away as much as I can as it is...

MissK03's picture

Oh ok good. SO saw my frustration with SS17. He was barely working and not doing a damn thing during the school year so I get it. SD is in honors classes and is heavily involved with her school work so she does what she needs too. SS18 works two jobs but is a f'n tornado when he is home and SO is constantly on him about messes. BUT getting them to do anything extra.. forget it. Not worth the frustration 

CLove's picture

Pick your battles. I mean, it is worth it for me to deal with attitude when its not my room? And shes nice, so thats a big deal.

CLove's picture

it wont fix - Im strategizing and will post on it...

Livingoutloud's picture

Be careful. You are back to craziness of checking grades, emailing teachers and agonizing over her schooling and overall obsessing about SD's life. It will back fire again. its only the matter of time. It's better to back off. And I'd not worry how things would play out if you had your own kids. You simply don't know. It's a mute point. 

But I most certainly find it unacceptable that SD does nothing around the house. That's on your DH. I'd try to have a serious talk with DH. If he makes no changes in making her do stuff then he needs to do it himself. If he doesn't, then refuse  to do things around the house. See how long it would take him to notice. No laundry  no cooking no cleaning. Id also talk about where is SD planning on living? 

Cover1W's picture


My YSD16 does nothing. Nada. Zip. I'm watching to make sure she cleans up all of her dishes AND food prep mess, and told FH I would be doing so, and that's it. Oh, and I made sure she cleaned up the bajillion shampoo/conditioner bottles from her bathroom because we were having house guests too.

What she does or does not otherwise do is not on my radar. If DH doesn't give chores, make her go to the grocery store with him or do anything else, it's not my problem.

Oh she does have a job for two weeks this summer. Two weeks at an education camp for little kids. The 6-hour a day (two days) training was "hard." "It's a job" I said.

CLove's picture

It was fine when 8-12, but at 16 plus, her "belly up to the table" eat and slurp the food then put the dishes in the sink routine is getting old.

Im trying to clear my radar. Its hard when its every other week, but 3 weeks solid into the holiday weekend will be super tough. I will be making plans to be gone and she will be stuck at home because I wont reward kids that decide firstly to take a class unnessessarily to avoid getting a job, and getting a permit. Secondly a kid at 16 that doesnt want to help out doesnt get to do fun things with me and I refuse to plan anything fun for said lazy $$ kid.

Yeah, these kids dont want to do anything "hard". I recall when she wanted a $1,400 drawing pad, when I mentioned she could design something and do a "go fund me" with the design on a sticker and ask her rich relatives, she said "I dont want to work that hard". This was a few years ago, at 12 I think, or 13. I will never forget that.

Shes had a job for a few weeks and is finding the reward in that, but I dont know if it will spark that ambition - probably not.

CLove's picture

and then at "overall obsessing". Egads. I spend hardly any time on any of that Skid stuff anymore. I want to set Husband up so HE can see whats going on and manage all that. Im simply frustrated with it all and see its a re-run of how he non-parented Feral Forger SD23. Plus, she has a tendency to tell "little white lies", and make up things when its to her benefit. So now I know the game and its now "game over". No rewards for this teen - no invites to lunch or shopping, no rides to friends home, nothing from me.

As to having the almighty heart-to-heart with Husband - I currently walk on eggshells anytime I discuss anything with Husband about SD16 Backstabber/Munchkin. I prefer to not discuss it until there is a huge problem. I pretty much do bare minimum NOW . Not that our house is junky, I just dont slave away with any deep cleaning and let him do all cooking for princess lazy a$$. I go out a lot on the weekends. They do their thing (or not), and I do mine.

I did ask him to have her do the dog doo. Huge sighs. Ill just pile on some chores myself, see what happens and deal with upset angry husband because she will then either pout and go silent and morose or find excuses and try to opt out of everything, which he knows is bs but Im the easy one to get angry with. 

Rags's picture

friends car with  your friend."

The whole avoidance, manipulation, bullshit to get what I want and avoid doing what I should be doing thing pisses me off to no end. Time for escalating abject misery.

Do what you are told when you are told to do it or GTF out!  Only 1 year and 11mos do go. The more severe the state of abject misery there is for SD B/M, the shorter that horizon will be.

Make it short!

CLove's picture

is at all predicated on something to do with me, things will not go well.

Im keeping my distance...somewhat. No involvement with school or driving.