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It’s just all too much. I feel like a babysitter.

Livery's picture

Haven't been on here in a while. After my last post, I took some time with my family and actually ended up on a break with my boyfriend for about a month. We decided to try again. Majority of the issues were pretty much resolved, I just had to implement some boundaries. But here we are again. For those who don't know: Been with my boyfriend a little over a year, I relocated about 6 hours away for him, his son is 2 years old and he has 50/50 week custody. 

My boyfriend finally got a good job.. to where I didn't have to pay for majority of everything like I was having to do very often. This being the case, he asked me if I could take on more with his son; picking him up from school, taking him to school, taking care of him on days he's working, etc. I agreed, and it is now draining the life out of me. Each of his weeks, it just feels like I'm a babysitter. It feels horrible. He's making good money, but I feel so isolated and like I'm in a box taking care of his son. I've been here for a year, I work from home, I don't get out much, deteriorating mental health and I have the stress of his 2 year old half the time. To me, it just makes me feel like I was molded to fill this role. I feel like I've lost my identity in it, my whole life is about doing for him and his son. 

This is so much. I feel like I'm suffocating. I've voiced this to my boyfriend, and he said his grandmother can take him ONCE a week. Wasn't much, but I guess he tried? And basically tells me that I pretty much am going to have to go through this because it's just what life is going to be if I'm going to be with him. He's supportive, listens to me when I cry, gets me gifts. But I just can't help feeling this way. It just feels like I'm thrown in so fast. I don't want him to quit this job, it's great money, but I'm not doing good at all. 

Fellow step parents, is this worth it? I'm 22. I'm so young, and this is so much. I love my boyfriend, but holy hell this is killing me. I feel like I can't get any help anywhere. 


CastleJJ's picture

You are 22. This is not worth it. While your BF appears to be supportive, he isn't really, because if he was, he would be working to find a solution to fix the problem immediately, like finding alternative childcare through a daycare or more family/friends. He wouldn't be slapping a bandaid on the issue by finding alternative childcare for only one day. He wouldn't be telling you to essentially suck it up because this is life. You are not responsible to provide/be childcare for his kid. For this relationship to work, there needs to be balance and he needs to be picking up 100% of the slack when he isn't working, and it sounds like he just isn't willing to do that. 

No gifts or forms of affection make this worth it. Your mental health comes first, always, and if he won't respect or support that, he isn't worth your time. 

Hesitant to try's picture

and at the young age of 22, I think that's the right call. No matter how great your bf is, and no matter how much you might come to care about his son, it sounds like you do not enjoy, or want to be in a parent/babysitter role, and it sounds like moving away from your previous life for him was the wrong choice since you're lonely and isolated now. Can you undo this move?

Loving someone doesn't mean you should sacrifice yourself and your own well being to help them out. If his new job with great money can afford to pay 1/2 your bills and provide childcare then maybe there would be a possibility of sorting this out. But if not, I don't see how you being this unhappy is going to end up as a happy ending for everyone involved. 

Livery's picture

I can undo it, but I am under a lease with him until November. Regardless, I'm stuck paying half of everything if I were to even move home. I've even wondered if he could change his custody at this point, just to give me a damn break. But he always says "she will never have him any more than I do." BM is pretty rough herself, so I don't have it easy on any side.  I love his son, and I did agree to this because HELLO going from making virtually no money to making double what I do? I'm going to say yes. I wasn't even thinking. And now when it's brought up her just reminds me that I said this was okay.... I just regret it. Thank you for your words though. 

SteppedOut's picture

Girl, RUUUUUUNNNNNNN. Fast. Far. Like the fire of hell is on your ass. Because, it is. This is draining your soul. 

Please don't waste your life like this. 

bananaseedo's picture

Don't throw away your young, care-free life.  Enjoy it, work, travel, have new experiences.  Meet someone down the line where you can have a nuclear family and raise your OWN children together.  There is SUCH a big difference between a nuclear family and a blended one.  I honestly believe single parents should only date other single parents-it's not fair to burden the other person w/your kids unless the hell is reciprocated lol. 

Wondering what he did for his 50/50 for child-care when you guys were on break?  Why can't he find daycare during his week?  Don't saddle yourself with this mess hon, just please don't.  Trust us, there are decades of experienced women that have been through hell and back.  I will NEVER advise a non-child having YOUNG woman to tie themselves to ANY man with kids and an ex-wife.  They are NOT worth it, and love is never enough.  Go be free darling! 

Livery's picture

He has day-care already. But my responsibilities are to wake him up, change him, feed him breakfast, drop him off, work, go back and pick him up, feed him dinner, then dad gets home. Then on weekends I basically just have to kiss them goodbye because either I have a whole Saturday that I have to watch him, or on drop off days (sundays) BM always has just so much do to that she drops him off at 9 am and there goes another day. So I get no weekends. Literally nothing. 
I completely agree that people with children should really only date other people with children! To me, and from what I've been through, it just seems the fairest way! I've even tried to change my boyfriends perspective, put himself in my shoes, or ask him if he could date someone who has a child. He claims if he loves someone he loves someone, but he would definitely prefer them to not have children. But somehow, just can't seem to understand me?

When I was gone, he didn't have this job. So a lot of times he didn't have to have help, and when he did it wasn't "so much" for the grandparents. Why do I have to take all of this on without help from them when they're blood ?? It just sucks. I'm trying to figure this out.

Winterglow's picture

Why does he think you have the TIME to watch his son when you are working? You have other priorities. It isn't because you're at home that you have nothing better to do. Time to remind him that your job kept both of you afloat when he was unemployed and it's time he showed a bit of appreciation. Rather that you watching his child during your working day, how about he takes him to work with him? Bet he'd be thrilled about that.

He's teling youi it's his way or the highway. Hmmmm ... From where I'm standing, it seems to me that his son is his responsibility not yours. Therefore, give him one last chance, either he finds childcare that covers ALL of his son's needs or you are out of there. 

Livery's picture

It's not necessarily when I'm working, but the fact that I WFH does come into play. I'm always here, meaning OF COURSE I can take on the things that need to be taken on, right? I have to get up earlier so that I can make up the time it will take to wake him up, feed him, dress him, take him to school. I wake up almost 2 hours earlier than normal now, just so I can keep things as normal as I can with work. 
At this point, I've been going through it for so long I'm not sure there's a chance that even if he could change it I would want it anymore. It's too much sacrifice. Either he's making barely any money, I'm paying more than half of the bills, or he's making way more money than me and I become babysitter. I can't win.

TheAccidentalSM's picture

What did your boyfirend do with the child when you were on a break?  He managed for a month without you.  It was probably hard for him but he coped.  And then realised if it was going to be easy for him he had to get you back.  The first thing he did when you came back was to dump his child care burden on you.

I really think that you should get away form this relationship.  Your SO expects you to do all the traditional "women's work" and doesn't respect you.

Livery's picture

I don't want to believe that he does this because it's considered "woman's work" but damn does it feel like it... it just feels like I'm in a constant limbo of picking up the slack. He didn't have this job when we were on a break, so there was much less help he was having to ask for. I had just said in another comment but I'll say it again, either he's making barely any money and I'm having to pay well over half of everything, or he's making almost double what I make and I'm a babysitter. I can't give my life up like this. Not for someone who honestly, shouldn't have had a child when he did (he was 21) and still is figuring out how to even be a decent parent, let alone partner. 

TheAccidentalSM's picture

If you are stuck with the lease can you live as roommates?  Hand all child care back to the parents.

Or if you aren't ready for this level of change, can you just not be in when BM rocks up on Sunday for early drop of?.  Seriously, if she generally arrives by 9 be gone.  Go for a walk, join a church (not my thing but you never know and its hard to argue that someone shouldn't go to church),pretend to join a church, take up biking or skating, just go for a drive.  Just don't be there.  The bios will figure it out without you to pick up their slack.

Findthemiddle's picture

Maybe y'all can find a balance that works for you and your boyfriend- Who knows?  How about you give it until the lease is up and see where you stand then?  I would urge you to consider what you are sacrificing at 22 - but in the end it's your choice.   Being young offers a lot of freedoms and opportunities that are time limited.   Also, you may be making choices that will change the course of your life.  Hate to sound so dire - but I wish someone had told me.

advice.only2's picture

What boundaries did you implement when you got back together?

What changes did your SO make in the month your were separated to make you believe things would be different?

If you were talking to a family member or friend in this situation what advice would you offer them.

If you weren't responsible for raising another man and woman's child at this point what activities would you be doing with your free time?