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Stressed & Annoyed + COVID Testing

Crystalmuffin's picture

Since my last blog post, it was feeling like there were improvements being made as far as my feelings toward SD5. (She turns 6 in April.) I'm beginning to think/realize it will always be this ebb and flow of taking steps forward, then back.

 

Below is my list of petty annoyances, then I will go into detail about how I really feel.

 

1. Wears her rollerskates in our second story apartment.

2. Wants to be right next to me anytime DH isn’t home (every Saturday) and whistles, makes loud noises and plays her harmonica the *entire* time if we aren’t out doing something.

3. Leaves her things all over the floor. Spills her water everyday. Needs help doing just about everything.

4. Speaks to me like I’m her friend or babysitter, not like a parental figure.

5. Doesn’t take no for an answer. Says “but” and challenges my authority on just about every point. Thinks she knows everything. Doesn’t pay attention to anything around her.

 

Okay, so it feels nice to list out these things because they drive me crazy. I have been in her life for the past 3 years, so since before she turned 3 years old. We have her every weekend, and DH works Saturdays. I realize she’s a child, and I realized most that, I feel like we bond whenever I go out of my way to do things for her and we do things together.

What’s driving the wrench is that anytime I try to do things with her, she chooses to not respect me as an authority or maternal figure, at all. If she is directed by me (or DH) to do anything, she has to be told 5+ times, and then still doesn’t listen. I have to lose my patience with her before she realizes I’m serious, and by that point I’m done and everything she does gets on my nerves. It’s so frustrating because I am trying very hard to have a good relationship with her, but it feels like she just uses me for whatever she wants/needs and gets upset if she doesn’t get it.

 

Now, I feel like she’s just being a child. But I can’t seem to shake the lack of her listening or taking me seriously from my mind, and I don’t feel like I should be stuck having to be the bad guy and discipline her whenever her father gives in/up by allowing her to just go around making noise constantly. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t want to be around her at all.

 

I’m 21 weeks pregnant with a girl. I’m really worried about there being conflict in the future because my parenting style is more strict/structured. I bought her some workbooks and she enjoys going through them with me – I was taught by my own mother how to read and write when I was her age, but I don’t think anyone else does this with her outside of school. She really enjoys it, but her attention is super low and it feels like I am being the parent here but I don't get the respect of a parent? I don't think she's like this with BM. I ask her if she talks back to BM and she says, "No." I say, "Alright, then why do you think it's okay to talk to me like that?" No response, every time.

 

She’s really very sweet when she wants to be, I’m just so tired of her not taking me seriously and having to watch her and put up with the nonsense with no end in sight. I just feel like crap having these feelings knowing for a fact it would be different if it were my own daughter – I 100% would have her mind me and enforce stricter rules. It just doesn’t happen with her and I’m clueless on how to make it work.

 

On top of that, she’s still here today because we all got sick Saturday… I don’t know if she will be here all week because we all are waiting for COVID test results. I don’t think it’s COVID but DH worked with someone the other day whose wife tested positive so we all have to test. I’m tired having to communicate with her. She doesn’t listen to me. I feel like IDK just displaced in the situation. I’m working from home today and feel like I can’t get anything done because this is bothering me to such a degree.

 

Thanks for reading !!! Comments/discussions are appreciated. I’m always trying to find blogs from people going through similar things for ideas on how to successfully quell these on edge feelings.

 

(As I was writing this, SD got into my makeup. DH and I had a talk and I said a lot of what I said here pertaining to her not taking me seriously and not being able to discipline her how I would if she were my own daughter. He took her rollerskates away so she's only allowed to wear them when we go outside to use them. Clapping I've been waiting for that one.

Anyhow! Annoyed feelings persist but it takes a mess to make any changes seems like!)

Comments

tog redux's picture

So, this is a case where you should be able to discipline, like a teacher or a day care center would, since you are caring for her all day, and she's very young.  Does DH not support you in putting her in time-out or whatever method works? What does BM do, can you guys replicate that in your home (since SD listens to her, I assume there is discipline involved)?

Crystalmuffin's picture

I think this is where I'm lost. I tried at one point having family rules, I talked them through with DH and printed them out and we went over them with her. It's the follow through/consequences that are missing. When I spoke to DH about it today I said, we don't have a course of action for discipline and she's testing her limits, but we let her get away with not listening and breaking rules etc. I think she may be ADHD because it runs in the family, which is why she seems to never remember anything, but I'm no doctor.

Discipline afaik at BM's involves taking away her cat, not letting her have dessert, whatever. We don't have a lot here to take away from her and it feels very strange having her to go timeout for these testing offenses. I can't remember the last time I put her in timeout. So yeah, that's where I'm lost. She tests limits in such a small way oftentimes it's difficult to say, "that's it!" All she has here is TV and her toys. She plays with her toys all around the house and mainly draws/messes around and I take her to the park to run around on a typical day. She doesn't even want to watch TV most of the time, so I'm left thinking, what the heck do I do? It's obviously a fail on our part for not being more consistent and having clear consequences -- which we had at a certain point, but the lines seem to seriously be blurred since she's usually only here with DH for a day before she goes back to BM.

 

He picks her up Friday night, we eat, she goes to bed -- I watch her until around 5 on Sat, same deal. DH watches her and we may do something Sunday morning, then she goes home. It's been difficult to be consistent with anything, and I think that has a lot to do with it.

tog redux's picture

Read up on 1-2-3 Magic - might be helpful to you guys.

I was going to say that she sounds like she might have some ADHD behaviors, have they looked into this?

Aniki's picture

Rollerskates in the home? No. In a second story apartment? Hell No!!! I'm sure the neighbors are loving that. Is the apartment soundproof? Regardless, rollerskates are for outside. Like skateboards and bicycles.

Your DH needs to change his work schedule or make arrangements for a babysitter for Saturday. Or SD can go back to BM's while he works. 

Toys left everywhere, disrespect for your authority, has to be told 5 times... This is BS - told ONCE and discipline if she does not do as told. Your DH needs to step up and PARENT. Until that time you should be doing nothing for her. SD is the way she is because it is allowed.

tog redux's picture

I'd have taken the dang rollerskates and locked them in the trunk of my car as soon as she took them off, after the first time she didn't listen. 

Aniki's picture

Right?? It's a mistake to give her so many reminders, too. Five. Ridiculous. 

And apartments are all too often thin walled/floored. A zillion years ago, when psycho exh and I lived in an apartment, we had a couple over for dinner and cards. The table was positioned so that I could reach in the refrigerator for soft drinks without getting up. No alcohol as we were all training for a triathlon at the time. The only time anyone got up was to use the bathroom. They were there from 5pm to just after 9pm. The downstairs neighbors complained that we had a wild party! 

Crystalmuffin's picture

I agree, I think I'm bad about voicing all my grievances to DH. He knows I don't like to watch her on Saturday but the arrangement keeps changing. We are meant to have her 50/50 but because of COVID she has to be home during the week. Her mom works, and her schedule shifted recently to where she once again asked if we could watch her Saturday.

A lot of times I'll take her to her Grandma's house, but DH and his mother are in the middle of, er, "differences" so I'm left to be the one to watch her. The guilt ends up being the problem. I want to be a good wife, good stepmom, watch her, do things with her. If I don't do that, I feel guilty. It's exhausting doing it as much as it is exhausting trying to make it work. I'm at the point where I want to disengage but again I feel stuck in the middle here.

Aniki's picture

SD needs to go back to BM's when your DH is working. If you were not available, he would have to do that, change his schedule, hire a babysitter, or play nice with his mommy.

You're just over halfway through your pregnancy. You need rest, amongst other things. Find your voice and speak up. If you do not, it will be worse when your baby arrives. 

Crystalmuffin's picture

I believe you're right. I'll wait for a good moment this week to bring it up to DH. He's taking her to the doctor and hopefully dropping her off with BM this afternoon but he's on edge atm. I think if I explain it like I'm pregnant and with everything going on I think she should only be here when we are both here to have help. I can do it for awhile, but this isn't the first time I ask for a break so hopefully it goes over well.

Aniki's picture

It certainly sounds like his expectation is that you are the automatic babysitter because you are his wife. The fact is that SD is the responsibility of DH and BM. Anything you choose to do is a generous bonus. It should not be your job. Which means he should be able to handle his child solo. What will he do with SD when you're giving birth, in the hospital, taking the baby for shots/appointments, etc? 

Crystalmuffin's picture

Thanks for the discussion, guys. I feel better having a plan to put my foot down and have more talks with DH about how we will handle discipline.

24 years as a SM's picture

I hope this makes sense. I sat my son down and told him from now on I would only repeat a request for him to do something twice. The first time I would make sure I had his attention and he was looking me directly in the eyes, then tell him what he needed to do. The second time I would do the same, but tell him that this is his last chance and he would be put into timeout if he didn't follow through. If he talked back or tried the "But..." for each time he talked back or said "but' I would add a minute of timeout. If he threw a crying temper tantrum during timeout, the clock didn't start until he stopped crying. There was no third time telling him, I just put him in a corner and told him to think about why he is there for 6 minutes, if he started to argue, I would say, that's an extra minute, if he continued and I tell him each time you open your mouth to argue with me will add more time to the timeout, If he walked away from the corner, I would bring him back and let him know that the time just started again from the beginning.

You have to follow through each and every time, one time of not following through will set you back to the beginning again. It took my son about one week to understand that I meant business and he would be in timeout a lot if he didn't do what he was told. He was 6 years old at the time, my DS is now 43 and did the same thing with his two boys and it works, but you have to follow through each time.