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How has "checking-out" worked for anyone?

Fedupmama's picture

It has been a long time since I've held my own pity party and cried but I managed to get some tears out yesterday. I could make something up about why, but I know deep down I was just making sure I was still human, I've been on autopilot for so long. We have a 1 1/2 year old together and I was terminated 4 days after I returned from mat-leave, already pregnant with the second one. Ive had severe S-I joint pain since October with this second pregnancy as well. It hurts to walk, pick up my child, bend over.

Husband has 2 sons from prev relationship, 10&11, with 50/50 custody. I am up every-single-day at 7am with daughter, we have our routine. I keep a clean house, cook dinners, do laundry, etc. I ask for help when I need it. I ask, but it falls on def ears. My husband thinks I hate my SS's if I complain at all. When I put effort in to arrange something fun or buy the food they like, they have plans made with their mom (I'm the last to ever find out) and now just walk to her house (she moved into our neighbourhood a few months ago) and go for dinner there. We have house rules, but there might as well not be because they don't get followed. Nothing too complex, like turn lights off when you are done, food and drinks at the table, hang up back packs, shut the toilet lids so sister isnt in the water... legit, common sense things. I'm exhausted from reminding them about the rules, and I know it makes me out to be the evil step mom, a lot of them are to ensure the safety of our daughter (shut the baby gate, lock doors, put plugs back in outlets...). I'm exhausted because I'm in physical pain every day at 9 months pregnant. I'm emotionally drained from caring about 2 kids who were told I'm "a bad person" from their mom and treat me like a doormat. My husband has to work sometimes 7 days a week to make ends meet and they complain that we dont do anything. We're trying to budget for a 2 week vacation this summer with the whole family, they have sports starting up, we literally have everything for them to do (trampoline, big back yard, swing set, xbox, boardgame, bikes, skateboards, scooters, park, skating rink, soccer field nearby) instead they sit on their iPhones (BM got them, I was against it, but who gives a #$%^ what I think). 

Yesterday I was used as a free babysitter, no heads up, no asking, nothing. They just showed up after school. I think it's about time everyone can go #@€$ themselves. 

I'm out. I'm physically and mentally checking out. Im not cleaning, I'm not doing anyone's laundry but mine and the baby. Im not cleaning the piss off the toilet seats, I'm not closing them, I'm not putting toilet paper in the bathrooms, I'm not taking the iPhones away from the baby because they were left within her reach, I'm not making dinner, I'm only buying groceries for baby and me, I'm not doing dishes. I give up. 

Comments

dysfunctionally_blended's picture

Ugh so sorry you are going through this and at 9 months pregnant. How awful.

But honey, you have a DH problem. He isn't ensuring skids are doing as they are told. He isn't ensuing your boundaries are in place such as skid leaving for BM's or getting dumped on you. And he isn't helping you with the tasks you ask of him.

Skids could act like angels. BM could channel mother Teresa but until your DH steps up it will always be this way. 

Before checking out, make a list of the things you want to discuss. The things that are not working. Then sit down with your DH and work out a plan. One that he MUST stick too. Or ultimately you checking out with be for good. 

Step-girlfriend's picture

I'm sorry you are dealing with this nonsense, but glad you are at a point to take care of you. No is an acceptable answer, especially in step-life. Time to put some of this on your DH. I agree with dysfunctionallyblended- make a list of what needs to change. Skids need to do chores, clean up after themselves (including pee- I do not clean pee off a toilet. If I see it, I tell my SO, who in turn makes SS clean it up), do their laundry....your DH should be ashamed of himself for expecting you to do all of this at 9 months pregnant instead of having skids help.

Please stay checked out until things change, and if they don't, do what you need to do. Your health and happiness matters too.

Aniki's picture

Your husband is definitely the main problem. He has no respect for you. Definitely do what Dsyfunctionally and Step-girlfriend suggested.

When the skids showed up after school, how did they know you were home?? Was the door unlocked or do they have a key?Please stop allowing yourself to be a skid-sitter and set boundaries for yourself.

Harry's picture

He should not be working 7 days a week and dumping  those kids on you.  Your SK don’t want to spend time with you, they have two parents, Ther really don’t need a third. If your DH can not be home, then those kids should be with BM.  You are not a free Babysitter.  The faster to tell DH the better it will be.  If he is not home why is he depriving BM of her kids ? 

shellpell's picture

Please put yourself and your health first! If you don't, your toddler and unborn child will suffer, too. Forget about the skids. Not your problem. Have a come to Jesus meeting with your husband and overhaul the way you do things. Please. 

futurobrillante99's picture

I moved out and we’re divorced. It’s been an excellent outcome.

Fedupmama's picture

I've made the lists, we've had the talks, it changes for a few days then back to shit. I know it's my DH. I was raised with a parent in the military, I understand the bigger picture of why kids need structure, chores, rules but I can't be the "reminder" anymore (not that I should have to be in the first place, but how far do you let things go when you have an active toddler getting into everything?) they just run to BM's now that she moved closer. If DH does work on the wknd they do go to their moms while he is at work. 

 

That's a great question about the babysitting thing and knowing if I were home or not, I have the same one!! But it's also irrelevant because it was discussed and agreed upon when we cut afterschool care that each household would work on responsibilities for being home alone for up to an hour until either adults came home. We dont have minimum age laws here. We've often left them to run an errand, go to an appointment, or be home after school for 45min when I was working (never left toddler with them, that is against our laws). Part of the reason BM wanted to get them cell phones (I opted for a landline). So I dont know wtf they couldn't just go to her house??? We've been doing this for a year now. 

Has anyone just stopped juggling and let the balls drop? Did it work? 

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

No DH no stepbrats.

Lock/chain doors from the inside when they are with their biohag. Block them from your phone.

None of your money or time or energy ever again.

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

No DH no stepbrats.

Lock/chain doors from the inside when they are with their biohag. Block them from your phone.

None of your money or time or energy ever again.

Siemprematahari's picture

Has anyone just stopped juggling and let the balls drop? Did it work? 

Stop doing EVERYTHING that you are doing for H and the stepkids and see how fast you'll get their attention. Sometimes sh!t has to hit the fan before anyone realizes just how much you were taken for granted. Place yourself and the health of your toddler and unborn baby 1st. All this extra stuff you're doing and the lack of respect and consideration that you're not getting is insane. Your H has to step it up and if he's not home his kids shouldn't be either. He's going to have to learn the hard way that you're not a doormat. And yes it works.....do it and you'll see.

Evil3's picture

My SKs were Disney parented and did NOTHING. I was the one running around cleaning constantly and the feral brats never so much as wiped out a sink throughout their entire childhoods. DH used to even bring their supper plates to them while they sat their lazy asses at the computer. When they were done, DH would come and collect their plates and have the nerve to ask them how it was. It made me sick. Who the hell cares if they liked it or not. They were late teens and still being waited on hand and foot. My SD29 was so royal that she never even did so much as empty her own period paddy garbage can. The garbages in the bathrooms would overflow with her used pads and make up tissues and spill out onto the floor. That'll be the day I empty a narcissist's period pads. Since DH worshipped SD so much, he can have at it with her precious used pads.

DH and I have our DD18 together. This all transpired when DD was much younger. Well, one day, I had enough and I went on strike. DH actually got depressed over how filthy the house got. He mentioned it to me and I said, "it's not my turn," and walked away. A few weeks later when flies were sticking to the computer desks due to SS' food droppings all over it, DH got depressed again. There were mountains of laundry and the house stunk. Not my problem. DH mentioned it again and I said, "well, we have very different values around parenting and with two able bodied late-teens people in the house, they can do their own laundry. I refuse to clean the f*ck up after near adults." Again, I turned and walked away.

In the meantime, I washed only a couple of dishes at a time for DD and I to eat. I did only DD's and my laundry. I did nothing else. I left DD's and my dishes dirty so that the SKs couldn't get to clean dishes and use them. It wasn't long before my DH realized what spoiled pigs my SKs were. My strike really opened DH's eyes. He gained a whole new appreciation for me and since I was no longer cleaning things, the messes and kind of filth left to rot like overflowing period paddy garbage cans, caused DH to open his eyes to how spoiled and disgusting his feral beasts were. I never cleaned up a damn thing after those two again.

I highly recommend it. It liberated me and I was no longer used as a maid. My SKs weren't even nice to me, so no more cleaning service. I found a lot of time to spend with DD and take her to gymnastics. I let DH handle the messes whether it meant making the feral beasts do it or whether DH was too chicken to tell them and he did it himself. My strike was the very last time I ever saw an overflowing period paddy garbage can. Stick to your guns. You'll be surprised at just how much about your SKs get exposed to your DH.

sunshinex's picture

All of this is so, so wrong. 

You are 9 months pregnant and being treated like a slave. 

NOT OKAY. 

My DH knew better when I was pregnant. He helped a lot at the beginning, but man, during the third trimester, he just KNEW. Not one dish was found in the sink the entire third trimester. He made sure to clean up after himself and his daughter as SOON as a mess was made. I was in full-blown nesting mode but also incredibly exhausted so he made sure I had nothing to get emotional and upset over. 

Your husband is being inconsiderate. What on earth is he teaching his children? They are going to be complete jerks one day when they have heavily pregnant wives! He should be teaching them to cook, clean up, etc. for YOU right now if he wants them to be half decent men one day. 

Disgusting. I can't imagine being treated this way while heavily pregnant. 

elkclan's picture

Well, it sucks. I was two weeks overdue and my ankles were so swollen they wouldn't bend. My MIL had the nerve to come into our house after the baby arrived and complain about how dirty the floor was in a pointed way toward ME. WTF? Her son ought to have known how to use a mop. 

Maxwell09's picture

Girl I am tempted to move IN to BM's neighborhood just for these reasons. You are about to pop and have a toddler on your hands with a DH that is barely available. Embrace the fact they are at their moms. If they are there then they aren't at your house making a mess, dirtying dishes, peeing on the seat and raiding your pantry. Dh not home and Skids don't want to listen? Send them to their moms. DH not home and skids don't want to eat what your about to fix for dinner? Send them to their mom's and cook just enough for the three of y'all. They aren't playing with the outdoor toys? Girl either sell them or cover them so your toddler can grown into them and they'll still be in prime condition! The skids just sitting around the house on their phones? Change the wifi password and play dumb so they either run up BM's data or go back to her house for wifi. Win:Win either way. Encourage your DH to get a passcode door lock so you don't have to fumble with keys and don't tell the skids the passcode to get in. Tell your Dh it is because they forget to lock the door and you don't want the toddler going out (it auto locks after a few seconds) Great baby feature! Side perk is the kids won't be able to barge in anymore. If you have a garage have your DH clean it out so you can park inside and hide your vehicle so skids won't know when you're home. When they comes knocking DON'T ANSWER. They can go back to their moms until their dad gets home. You can say you were napping or didn't have your phone on you when they tried to come over. Instead of thinking of how caged in you are with BM right up the road and the kids way of just coming and going...think of all the ways you can force BM to babysit her own children while you prepare for another baby. 

still learning's picture

Your DH should not have 50/50 custody if he is working 7 days a week and can't contribute to the care of his children.  I've done the whole, "I'm on Strike!" bit and it only backfired on me leaving the house in utter chaos. What did work for me was minimalizing everything and cleaning out the clutter.  Another thing that worked was hiring out household chores/projects that DH was "too busy" to do. Once there was another man taking care of his business DH stepped up! 

I'd suggest hiring a sitter to help w/skids while you are in the last part of your pregnancy and after having the baby. If DH claims it's too expensive then perhaps the boys can stay with their mother instead.  DH could also adjust the times he has the kids and still have 50/50.  Is there a grandma that can pitch in and spend time with the boys during DH's parenting time?  

The key for you is to stop being so available. The problem with being a SAHM is that EVERYONE thinks you're home eating bon bons and watchings soaps so of course you don't mind watching their kids.  Only you know how to remedy this, I'm sure you can brainstorm some ideas.  Just the other day at work a delivery driver came and dropped off groceries.  She was a momma and had a toddler in the backseat while she did her deliveries.  

The issue is that BM and DH want you to provide free unlimited childcare for them.  Your task is tactfully handing their parenting duties back to them.  

Fedupmama's picture

So DH doesnt travel for work, he is home every night, between 4-7pm, works occasional weekends according to the job (maybe 2 out of 4 weekends a month, sometimes just a Saturday, sometimes Saturday and Sunday, usually off early afternoon). Being a SAHM was never a discussion, or intention for us. Baby2 was planned, losing my job-not planned (I dont think anyone ever does plan that, but it is what it is). Since then, I have been aggressively seeking new employment (but I'm the elephant in the interview room being that I'm pregnant) while upgrading my own career for a position beginning after baby2 is born, and legally attempting to secure severance and mat leave benefits, all while going to OB for baby, physio for pain. All while trying to maintain a death free environment for toddler. 

I know that I do more than my fair share when it comes to the house, I'm just asking how to get a DH to step it up permanently-not here and there, not after constant bitching... And thank you to Disney kids post and the others like it. We dont have skids this week, last night the overflowing garbage was changed, the dishwasher loaded, dinner cooked