Maybe I am doing this all wrong?
I have been reading here for a little while and have posted a tiny bit. Trying to learn all I can about this whole step parenting thing. Although my partner and I aren't married so I am not technically anything!
I love my partner and his children. We have been together for 2 years (living together for 1) and I met the children about 4 months in. All very slowly at their pace. I was so scared before hand because the ex would ring my partner when she knew I was here to say that the kids felt pushed out and that I was stealing their dad and crying themselves to sleep etc. I met them and they never said anything like this. They seemed shocked that I wasn't a monster.
His ex is very different to me. I tend to be quiet and calm and drama free. I was pleasant when I saw her on pick ups / drop offs etc. but kept my distance as she isn't someone that I had anything in common with and she made little digs that I wasn't keen on. She was always unreasonable and made demands and threats but I stayed out of it and she said that she liked me.
Now she has decided that I have an easy life so she apparently has an issue with me. The kids are as lovely as ever with me. We go on day trips and to the cinema. When I have them on my own (my partner works shifts and the ex would drop the kids off up to 9 hours before he was due to pick them up) we bake and craft etc. The ex has now decided that I shouldn't have the children on my own but that her boyfriend can look after them. I know I have no rights to see them at all but this change has been brought about by her family / friends commenting to her that she should do more with the children.
I keep reading on here about disengagement and staying away from the children. Is that the best way to handle this stuff?
Plus it turned out that me not having them alone didn't count this week when my partner was at work, his daughter was off sick from school and her mother was busy.
I just wonder if it is going to get worse. The kids don't stand up to their mum but SD has said she wants to move in here as soon as she is 16 but that age was because she thought her mum stopped getting benefits for her at that age.
Should I carry on as I am? Should I take a big step back?
I don't really parent them I don't think. My partner does the parenting. I sometimes help with homework / packed lunches / uniforms etc.
I feel like I am going in blind as I have no children and have never dated anyone with children before.