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Irene H.'s picture

Lord, give me strength.

Tonight is the last non-Skid night, before they come for our week with them. We’re week on/week off with a 50-50 custody arrangement. The last week they were here was awful, and this week without them has been too short. 

I’m trying to fight these feelings, but when they’re here the house is so different, such a negative vibe. I feel an actual, physical weight when they’re here. I even feel guilty for disliking children so strongly, but they make it so hard. 

To say I’m dreading their return is the understatement of the century.


Kes's picture

I used to feel exactly the same, in anticipation of EOW, and during as well.   I don't know if I would have survived having my SDs for a week at a time.  Commiserations to you.  

Mumof8's picture

I know what you mean.  My Skids are loudmouths who fight with each other and my little dds constantly.  While I love them, every time They come back to me (I have them every day of the week btw) I live in dread.  I used to enjoy them even though they were a constant behavioral nightmare, but about a year and a half ago something clicked and I got sick of watching her go for girls weekends, and parties and dates with adults and I was stuck taking her little man to OB appointments and then all of the kids to the grocery store etc.  I got sick of constantly being embarrassed in public as people wondered how someone so quiet and controlled (and patient) count have such crazy children.  I try to deal with them as little as possible now, but my DH can hardly stand them, and their BM can't stand her own kids either or being a mom.  She tells all the men she's with she doesn't have any kids, unless she has done a background check and the kids can be used in her favor.  Yep, every time they leave I have filth to clean up, but finally have a quiet non-violent house.  Her extended Holidays are my favorite.  A week at Christmas?  Yes!  I can finally celebrate it like a normal family.  Her Thanksgiving?  We can actually invite people over and don't have to worry about the oldest SS offending them.  I feel for you.  Maybe try to schedule activities for them for the week.  If they are little keeping them busy helps.  If they are teenagers, well, lock yourself in the bedroom for the week and I'm sorry.  Teenage skids and preteens are THE WORST!!!

Irene H.'s picture

You described it perfectly. We try not to take them anywhere or have company when they’re here, because there’s a better than average chance they’re going to behave in a way that’s humiliating. When we can’t avoid social events with them, we spend the whole time on pins and needles, monitoring for them to say or do something horrible.

Case in point: I have a nephew that is autistic. He’s a great kid. It’s not uncommon for the Skids to call people retarded, or say “you’re autistic!” if someone is acting weird. This is despite repeatedly being corrected by us, in combination with their school’s anti-bullying campaign. They know it’s wrong, get punished when they do it, and they revel in doing it anyway. I’m terrified they will blurt something like that out, in front of my autistic nephew or his mother. This is my life.

They’re 13, 14, and 15. My family loves their dad, and my mom keeps assuring me I can get through 5 little years, in exchange for a lifetime with him. She has more faith in what I can endure, than I do.

Ithinkican's picture

My husband keeps inviting me out with his daughter but no way. I don’t want anyone to think she’s mine!

She has no idea of social etiquette.

Simpleton21's picture

I think I would die of a stroke or heart attack if I had to deal with SD for an entire week at a time.  I know what you mean though. I get a sense of dread on EVERY day it is our turn.  I try to disengage but that is hard when you have an SD that is an attention whore.  It is like the harder I try not to give her attention the more desperate she is for it.  Ugh!  We have her tonight.  I thought about working later than usual.  She is the only reason I would ever rather be at work than home!

nengooseus's picture

I'm working the whole week after Christmas because they'll be there.  I joke that I'm thinking of setting up a cot--and I have a girlfriend locally to stay with if it gets to be too much.  

It's like having a hurricane plan.

Simpleton21's picture

LMAO, the lengths we go to just to avoid them!  It is sad that being at work is more appealing!  I volunteered to go help my dad clean up debris and branches at his rental property over this past weekend to get away from SD.  She is currently faking another injury so the spotlight/injury/crutches are giving me some form of PTSD I believe.  The clicking sound of her crutches as she continually moves about the house unneccessarily and then just stands in people's way and interupts everything is enough to push me over the edge!

nengooseus's picture

Mine skulk almost silently through the house until they find their dad.  It's freaking creepy, like children of the corn, or something.  And SD lost her door last visit (DH is OVER her BS!), so she's going to be worse than usual this week!  I startle easily on a good day, but it just makes me mad when it's them.  LOL

Ironically, this is a short weekend with them for us this weekend, as DH will be travelling until Saturday evening, and I've pawned them off on their STBX-stepdad for the day!  

Irene H.'s picture

Children of the corn! I’m dying!

Simpleton21's picture

Oh my SD does the daddeeeetz stalking as well....yep, hypochondriac that comes up with annoying names for people and an attention whore.  It is such a fun combo!  She doesn't startle me when she is wandering around the house looking for dadeeetz because of her crutches and the sound they make so at least I get a warning but man that is annoying also.  Basically any time dadeetz is out of her site she is looking for him.  If I come out of a room and she hears the door but doesn't see him I hear "dadeetz" and I want to go off and be like "give him a freaking break" but I also don't want to engage so I just ignore her and let her quest for dadeetz continue.

Now see how annoying reading dadeetz that many times was.  Imagine hearing it.  She also tried to get my son to call me momeetz and I quickly shot that down!  NO!!!!!

nengooseus's picture

We have the skid 4 days out of every 14.  I hate those days.  In fact, I hate the week before and the week after because of them.  The week before, I'm dreading their arrival (this week I have to pick them up, in fact!) and the week following, DH and I are emotionally exhausted from the stress of having them there AND trying to recover the house from them.  It's awful.

I feel a little bad, too, because the kids aren't that bad.  They're 9 and almost 14, but they're mostly compliant, relatively quiet, and I'm not responsible for them at all.  SS9 hates being at our house because BM has poisoned him with her venomous spew and SD is an emotional wreck because of her mother's dysfunction.  DH becomes needy because of how needy the skids are, and I don't do needy.  Solutions yes, b*tching and whining, no.

HannahD1020's picture

I feel the same way.  We have 50/50 too and I worship the days they go back to BM's and basically want to cry when they come back and the anticipation that comes from it.  I know it's going to be tense, they'll be fighting and I'll feel like the outsider.

ESMOD's picture

Maybe try to plan a few relief valve things that get you out of the house.. alone.  A "I have a ton of christmas shopping.. will be at the mall this eveneing.. don't plan on me for dinner."

Irene H.'s picture

Ya, I’m thinking of changing my gym time so I get home later, and we just set up a home office/hobby room for me, that I can hide in when I have to be home.

ESMOD's picture

That's great.. having a way to break it up should help.  When my SD's came to visit us.. for most of their teens.. our home really was not set up for guests at all.  We built it that so our fault really.  It was a cabin.. with one real bedroom and one bathroom.. that you could only get to by going through the one bedroom.. there was a dual loft also.. where the girls would stay.. but it literally meant that they had to go through OUR room to go to the bathroom.. even in the middle of the night.  And we didn't have a TV in the living room area.. so one of the first things I did was to get them one for upstairs.. lol.. after too many times coming home to DH watching TV in bed with his two It was all they had.  Plus, we lived on 65 acres in the middle of nowhere.. so no other kids or places for them to go.. lol.. so believe me I understand underfoot!

Irene H.'s picture

When I first came on the scene, the kids basically lived in their dad’s bed. He said the last couple years they were married, he slept on the couch and they slept with their mom. But I did put my foot down about that. I’m not about to be laying in the bed, in my underwear, with 11 and 12 year old boys!

On a side note, your place sounds like heaven, like the house I grew up in. We’re looking to do something like that when we retire.

ESMOD's picture

we didn't really plan it for visitors.. haha.

Our big retirement plan is to get my husband's boat done up with a couple of staterooms (it's 100feet!) and then do what I like to call the lobster circuit.. Keywest to maine!

TwoOfUs's picture

I remember this feeling so well. 

We “only” had them EOWE...but the amount of space that took up in my brain made it feel like a lot more. When they left Monday morning, it took me at least a day to get back to my normal...maybe more. My job is intense and I NEED my weekends to reset. And then the dread typically started setting in the Sunday evening or Monday before the next visit when I realized I wouldn’t get the upcoming weekend. All in made it feel like I had maybe 3-4 quality, skid-free days every two weeks. 

Its the worst. 

theoldredhen's picture

Poor Irene!

Hon, skid week is tough, even when the children are not all bad. I always liked (and came to love) my handsome, droll, charming and intelligent SS although his younger sister was a teenaged bundle of hostility. Despite the bond between SS and me, my anxiety level would skyrocket immediately before the step's arrival.

It all comes down to the same unnatural situation: other people's kids invading one's space. Having to relinquish the freedom to be half-undressed, grab DH's butt while strolling past him, sing loudly while cooking, curse when you've dropped something on your foot, leave the bathroom door open to let out steam while showering. I could go on for several pages but I'm sure that you all know exactly what I mean.

Bejamin Franklin once wrote that 'Fish and visitors stink after three days' and that seems to have been my problem with steps. They never seemed, to me, more than 'visitors' and I was unable to feel entirely comfortable in their presence. Your Mom is right though, Irene. I managed to survive 6 years of stephell and the last 27 years, alone, with my beloved DH, have been pure bliss.

Step-girlfriend's picture

Totally agree with Old Ren Hen! My skids aren't even bad and I still feel dread when they come. Especially since we have 68% custody so we get skids 10 days at a time, and Crazy BM only gets them 8 days a month. It feels like we never get a break! If skids were assholes I doubt I would be here still.

Iamwoman's picture

^^^Yes. Visitors.

When skids don't make an effort to "blend" into the family, they are making the choice to be frequent visitors instead.

I know the books tell us that we, as stepmoms, are visitors in the children's lives, but when I pay the rent, and I brought every piece of furniture into the relationship, and I purchase all of the food, and cook the dinners - it is my house. It is my family. Anyone who has an opportunity to be a part of my family and chooses not to blend, is just a visitor.

I love this redhen!

Irene H.'s picture

Thank you for giving me hope!

LosingHerShit's picture

I know just how you feel. I wish I could just leave whenever they come over. It just stresses me out days before they come until they are gone!!