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I am failing on so many levels

Momma bear6's picture

Two my children BS17 And SD17 have a difficult time getting their laundry done. Both of them can get smelly. My BS17 I tell him he stinks and to go do a better job in the shower and he does. He comes back smelling great. My SD17 walks into a room and the whole room smells because of her. We can't leave her bedroom door open or it stinks up the whole house. My poor BD15 who shares a room with her is always spraying the room down. She won't do her laundry and makes excuse for it not getting down. She is perfectly fine wearing dirty clothes. She complains she never gets asked out on dates and I think it has something to do with her smell. She will hug me and I have to go change my shirt because it smells like BO. Her half of the room is awful. You can't see carpet beneath all the crap on the floor. I love her and she is for the most part a great kid. Anyway her laundry day was on Friday she was told if she did not get her laundry done she would loose her phone until her next successful laundry day. So Friday came and went and she did not get any laundry done. We have told her she can trade days with another child or make arrangements with us for another day. We let all the kids have their phones for work so she had her phone yesterday (she is a CNA who works three 8 hour shifts a week) So this morning I had to put my foot down and say no phone. After she threw her phone at my head I threw it down the hall. It seems to be ok. She tried to run away with her phone and I told her to hand it to me and get her butt in the car her SB was driving and get to school. She got in the car but she is telling everyone I just threw her phone and forgot the fact she threw it at my head. My husband is being wishy washy on everything and I feel like a complete failure this morning. I am so sick of being the bad guy all the time. Her mom is the cool one (who only has visitation one weekend a month) She has two Grandma's that she can complain to who believe she can do no wrong. Now she contacted her birth mom ( my husband and her mother adopted her at birth). My husband never makes a punishment clear to the kids so he comes across as the nice guy. I come in dead last in people to respect in her eyes. But yet I do everything for her good and bad. I go to every concert ever parent teacher conference ever doctor appointment. I make sure all her needs are met but I also have to be the disciplinarian. I hate this!!!!


DaizyDuke's picture

Why have her parents left YOU to parent her??  why is your DH not addressing her cleanliness issues?  Why is your DH not addressing her laundry failures??  Why did she not get her laundry done on Friday, was she working or just being lazy?  Seems to me like you are being taken advantage of.  YOU are not the failure, her parents are.

Momma bear6's picture

She had an orchestra concert and that's why we allow her to trade with one of the other kids or have some of Saturday to do laundry. But this particular Friday she knew she was going to her mom's house right after the concert. She had known this for several days so she had multiple opportunities to make arrangements.

StepMamaBear6's picture

I do not understand why you would throw her phone down the hall.  Whether it was thrown at your head or not, it was an incredibly immature thing to do.  

The day my child or stepchild threw a phone at my head is the LAST day my child would have a phone in my house. Period. Dot.  An act of aggression like a phone being thrown at my head would NOT go over well with my husband or I. I would take that phone, put it up where SD could not find it, and she could use the phone at work if she needed to call me.  Phones are a privilege and a responsibility.  She has obviously failed to learn either of those things.

I can't believe your husband would be ok with her throwing a phone at you.

Cover1W's picture

I'll bet she threw it down the hall partly to get it away from SD and partly visceral reaction.  SD14, just over a year ago, threw a pen at DH, missed him, I had to duck as it was coming straight for my face. And she was in TROUBLE. I didn't have to say anything.

My SD12's friend once threw a wadded up piece of paper at her mother.  I told her if she ever threw something at anyone in my house again she'd be banned.  Never happened again.


Iamwoman's picture

It sounds to me like you are the only one in the situation who is NOT a failure.

i mean think about it: DH doesn’t care about his daughters hygiene, nor does anyone else that should, including herself. Her classmates obviously care, but she is too dense to notice. That’s her own fault.

Peer pressure is exactly what caused my DD to start caring about showers. If your SD is oblivious to this, then she has a long, tough road ahead of her.

I have to admit, if a child threw a phone (or anything) at my head, I would definitely lose my temper too. SD needs to know that adults are people too, and that she can’t go around throwing tantrums and physically assaulting people without receiving the same in turn. I’d say she is very lucky that you didn’t throw the phone back at her, or that it didn’t break on the wall. However I do agree with another poster that in addition to scaring her back a bit, you should completely take the phone away. Flip phones are a great embarrassing alternative for teens who abuse their smartphone privileges. My own teenDD is currently on flip phone punishment...

My question is this: who shouldered you with all of this responsibility by yourself? 

You’re responsible for your own kids, and anything you do for a skid is a favor to your DH. Period.

I feel sorry for your BD having to share a room with her piggy stepsister.


Cover1W's picture

Your DH should be involved as others have pointed out.  And throwing things at people is an immediate act of violence that should not be tolerated and item should be confiscated permanently.

I'll bet however, that your DH is like my DH.  I can ask, plead, beg, demand, and so on, that he address SDs (esp. SD14's) cleaning issues.  And NOTHING EVER happens. 

So here's my suggestion based on my experience, esp. if she shares a room with someone and her stench is effecting someone else:  Give a deadline by which everything must be cleaned up.  And if it's not met, trash everything not apporpriately cleaned and put away.  This means if you wash it, and you can donate it then do so.  Or sell it.  Or find another family who needs it.  Throw away everything that's not savable. And make it clear to her that it WILL happen again until she grows up and becomes a part of an acceptable room-mate situation.

My SD14 doesn't have much clothing left in our house - no underwear, no socks, no extra pants.  I refuse to buy more and so does DH.  If her things are in her laundry basket, she can choose to wash those, but she doesn't.  Anything left out when she leaves is gone.  She's got two towels she uses over and over again (really, really gross). 

I really could care less what she thinks and told DH he's lost all input into the situation since I'm tired of hearing platitudes and promises.  I have more finacially into the house and I'm not going to stand for it to be treated like a trash dump.

I love dogs's picture

How does she have a CNA job with her poor hygiene? Surely her supervisor would say something. It's also horrifying that someone in healthcare who is supposed to be selfless and nurturing would throw a freaking cell phone at you! I agree, your H and BM need to step up and you need to let this almost-adult figure it out on her own.

advice.only2's picture

That's what I was wondering if she's smells that bad they would send her home especially being a CNA.

Aniki's picture

Maybe she works in the gastroenterology ward and no one can tell if it's her or the eternal smell of the ward.... Bad

Momma bear6's picture

My husband was at work when this all went down. He has tried with me to get her to have better hygiene. I don't understand how her employers let her come to work smelling like she does. I think they are desperate for coverage so they put up with it. I was really hopeful peer pressure would help us with this problem but she doesn't get it.

I completely agree throwing her phone was unacceptable and immature on my part. I wish I could go back and make a different choice. Her father is supportive of me and he had just told her she was loosing her phone and that's why she threw it at me.

Her mom is her adopted mom and feels incredibly threatened by me. She trashes me to my Step daughters every chance she gets. Her birth mother she just recently ( like 2 weeks ago) got in contact with lives thousands of miles from us and might not even know there is a step mom in the picture. 

My H is supportive of me we just feel like our hands are tied. We don't want any of the kids to go live with their other parents. My Husband's ex has a drug problem and has been in and out of jail and rehab. And my ex husband was extremely abusive to me and my kids. I know most of this is natural teenage drama but I can't be a friend and a parent. I feel like she is more need of a stable parent than a friend. Because she is under my roof  all but two days a month I have to run a house and hold all the children to the same standards.

Cover1W's picture

I don't think your hands are tied at all.  You can take control - the problem is, it seems, that you don't want to 'scare her off' which translates into her getting her way all the time.  Which is not how the 'real world' works.  If you hold all children to the same standards, hold her to it then.  Give her an ultimatum with a timeline and clear ramifications if it's not met.  If she's holding down a job then certainly she has some sense of responsibility...she just knows what she can get away with.

Livingoutloud's picture

If she is still in high school and works as CNA three 8 hours shiffs a week (when does she work those shifts? Weekend? Nights?) and she is playing instrument or something else with music (concerts), she might be extremely tired. Is she doing ok in school? Could her lack of cleanliness especially cleaning her room be due to lack of time and energy? 

Aniki's picture

Your husband needs to get off of his hiney and parent his daughter.

I feel the most for YOUR daughter having to share a room with her pig of a stepsister.