Don’t know what to do anymore
So last night, teenage SS went rummaging around in the kitchen for food in the middle of the night, which he knows he is not allowed to do. He woke me up because the kitchen is right next to our room. So,?ñas DH has asked me to do instead of involving him (and since he was blissfully still asleep), I went out there and confronted the kid and asked him what he was doing. He was all panicked because he knew he wasn't supposed to be in there messing around and, after some stammering, he landed on the excuse that he was looking for water and was like "Did I wake Im you up? I'm sorry, I didn't mean to". I pointed out where the water was (in the fridge like it always is, not the cabinets he had been digging around in) and told him to drink it in the kitchen and leave it there and he agreed. I have a lot of trouble sleeping and it took forever to go back to sleep after that, and I kept hearing him messing around going in and out of his room throughout the night. I mentioned this casually to DH and he didn't really much. Later this afternoon, I got tired from lack of sleep and decided to lie down to nap. But SS is stomping around the house, talking loudly and watch some irritating show too loud on the living room TV so I can't get to sleep and angrily get up to let the dogs out. When I get out there, I see a bunch of kid trash in the floor (this has been a constant problem that DH refuses to address with them) like Capri Sun straw wrappers and peanut butter cracker wrapper. I pick them up and walk over to the kids and say "Please put your trash in the trash can instead of leaving it on the floor. If the dogs try to eat this, it could kill them". And they just act like I said nothing and ignore me. Infuriated and tired, I let the dogs out and go back to my room and cry. I am so sick of putting up with these immature little brats. Their mom lets them do whatever they want and they've turned into wild animals and DH won't get onto them and make them act their age. When I try to say something, they either ignore me or say "I know!". Oh you do? Because you keep doing this constantly! They're both incredib lazy and refuse to keep up with basic hygiene practices. The little one can't even wipe herself correctly and pupils her underwear frequently, which she hides or refuses to wear. She also can't tie her shoes and she's nearly 10. SS smells like hot garbage all the time, refuses to wash his pizza face or greasy hair to the point that we have to force them bathe as soon as they get over here because they're so gross. Anyway, back to when I went back to my room to be ry. DH comes in and asks what's wrong and I explain that I'm frustrated because I got woken up in the middle of the night by kid A doing shit he shouldn't do, then he keeps me awake while I'm trying to nap, then neither kid will listen to me when I ask them to do things, like throw trash in the trash can. I usually internalize this stuff because it makes DH mad but I just couldn't keep it inside anymore and I was obviously upset and crying. He was obviously mad but didn't say much, just started slamming stuff around a bit. Then he left, came back a few minutes later saying he was taking them home (finally, we had been waiting all morning for their mom to respond about them coming back home), and he left. I know he's going to blow up at me when he comes back. I just don't know how to put up with this anymore. I think DH and I are both overwhelmed by the situation and don't know how to deal with these kids who he been ruined by their mom who doesn't care to parent them but sure likes to collect her child support checks. I just needed to get this out, rant, before I get yelled at for being intolerant of these brats. Thanks.
Just remember that BM isn't
Just remember that BM isn't the only one responsible for raising them. He can't put all the blame on her. You'll note that he's told you to deal with situations rather than involve him! Dammit,these are his kids! HE should be dealing with their shenanigans NOT expecting anyone else to pick up his slack! It's time he started actually being a parent!
And his solution to them behaving like ferals is to take them back to their mother? Bravo! See
If he's yelling at you over
If he's yelling at you over this it's the wrong person... He should be getting the kids in trouble. What you are asking is beyond reasonable and I would be upset as well. He needs to get control of his kids. Is he afraid of them? Why won't he say anything to them about their body hygiene and slobbiness around the house. He thinks this is acceptable and doesn't understand why you'd be miffed by it? The 10 year old sounds behind in age and abilities...
I agree its not just the mom
I agree its not just the mom that is raising ill behaved kids.. Your husband has a large part also. Doesn't sound like he does much or says much to curb the problems and address the issues.
Your DH asked you to do it
Your DH asked you to do it because it makes YOU the Bad Guy. And him blowing up at you because he's a lousy parent is a crock. Tell him to sack up and deal with HIS "ruined" kids. They are not your responsibility. Wake up jis lazy butt next time. Sheesh.
Go back and re-read
Re-read your posts and then re-read the advice.
It sounds like not much has changed.
Sending you good vibes.
Keep it simple.
Immediate compliance with your home rules and standards of behavior from the second they arrive until the second they leave.
They immediately bathe upon arrival.
No food except at meal time. Lock it all up. Every cabinet, the pantry, and if necessary, the refrigerator.
They immediately clean up after themselves or they spend the entire visit moving tons of gravel from one side of the property to the other by hand using two buckets, a shovel and their feet. Bactk and forth, the entire visit. None one spilled piece of gravel. Kids need the lesson that they behave or they suffer. Their choice.
And for sure, you DH needs to understand that his failed parenting will not be tolerated for a single microsecond. Whether the spawn are present... or not.
If these were MY kids, I
If these were MY kids, I would never have allowed them to get to this point of laziness and stink. It just would not have happened. I don't really agree with the way their BM "parents" if you can call it that, but I also understand where DH is coming from, not wanting to spend the whole visit yelling at them, but I don't think it's good for them to be allowed to act like this and be so lazy and unkempt. It just putsDH in a bad position when BM won't do the simplest of parenting or make them do anything. I just don't have enough control in the situation to manage it like I want to and it's so frustrating dealing with these kids because of that. I really just want to yell at them and tell them straight up what I think about how they behave but it will definitely cause an issue with everyone else if I do that.
When ss did the whole dump trash on the floor thing
Hubby got a text message with pic of this rubbish dumped, followed by a message "deal with this!!"
within mins he was calling or texting sd telling him to empty trash and not dump it on the floor as we had cats who would rummage through this and 2 toddlers. Skewer sticks on floor and food etc attracts ants and we continuously had ants in the house because of this.
hubby handled this and made it clear that everyday ss was in our home, he was responsible for emptying trash.
You know what to do.. you
You know what to do.. you just need to do it. Your husband raised (let's 100% ignore his EX.. because he has had ample opportunity to raise his kids.. and isn't.. he is a lazy crap parent) these kids and then yells at YOU when they misbehave and cross boundaries.. and it's your fault when you get upset that your belongings.. your peace is disturbed?
I mean.. yes.. kids make "some" noise.. kids may even wake up in the middle of the night.. and a teen who is hungry at 2 am may want a snack.. and not sure it's 100% right to deny that.. but your HUSBAND.. their FATHER should be the one up in there asking them why they are up!
His failure as a parent is making him a failure as a partner as well.
He didn’t yell at me
So, update: he didn't yell at me when he got back from taking them back home. Apparently, he was angry with the kids for being lazy and inconsiderate and not listening to me. So he yelled at them the entire ride home and told them that they just come to our house and do absolutely NOTHING for themselves, and that had to stop. He told them that they better pick up after themselves and put trash in the trash can because toddlers are capable of doing this. He also yelled at them for not respecting me and not listening to me and told them that they better start listening to me from now on or else. Then, he came home and apologized to me for what happened and gave me a back rub. He also made me stop doing the dishes and cleaned the house himself. I told him that they are way too old to be treated like babies and coddled like their mom does to them and that we don't have them do chores or anything like that at our house, but they need to at least pick up after themselves and bathe regularly. I said it was ridiculous for children to be so lazy and inconsiderate and that it really pissed me off. He said he agreed 100% and he was sorry that it happened. You see, their mother moved them out of state for several years and let them do whatever they wanted with no supervision. Prior to that, DH was the only person parenting them and they were very well-behaved and disciplined. As soon as she had them most of the time, it was utter chaos. Now they still stay with her most of the time and she still isn't parenting them or making them do basic things, like bathe regularly or brush their teeth or go to bed at a decent time for school. So when they come to our house, that all just continues because there have been no expectations for their behavior for a long time. DH is in a bad position because he doesn't want to spend his entire weekend with them yelling at them for everything. He missed them and just wants to enjoy beisround them again. We did see them once a year while they were gone because that was all we could afford to do, but those were 100% Disneyland dad visits, and I can understand why. I think we are both equally overwhelmed by how they behave and I think he has finally had enough. He has told me before that he knows that they aren't acting right but he tries to choose his battles with them because otherwise they would just get yelled at the entire time and he would be miserable too.
He has asked me to address
He has asked me to address issues with them directly when they happen so that they will understand that I am also a parent and authority figure and they should mind me. I had not been doing this before because it made me really uncomfortable, so I would just find him and tell him to talk to them about it. So that's why I addressed those issues the way I did. He said to tell them firmly to stop what never it is they're doing and if they don't listen to tell him and he would handle it. Which he has. I think he's just as disappointed in them, frustrated and fed up with their behavior as I am but he knows they have no standard of behavior at their mom's house where they spend most of their time. He didn't let them behave this way before but he doesn't want to spend the whole time they are with us over the weekend yelling at them and punishing them for stuff because that's not fair either. We are also very stressed about money and other issues lately and we don't have the patience for kids behaving poorly on top of it.
Well, that was a much better
Well, that was a much better oiutcome than I had expected. I hope the progress continues.
Does he understand that disciplining them doesn't need to be yelling? There are much more efficient ways. They leave their wrappers all over the place - there will be no more treats for them. Start putting locks on the kitchen/pantry door(s). Removal of privileges is a good one. Turning off the WiFi can work wonders. There are loads of ideas that are much less stressful for all concerned than just yelling at them.
I know, I was shocked as well
I know, I was shocked as well when he came home and wasn't upset with me. I couldn't believe he had actually did something about the problem and talked to them about it. That's a good point about yelling, but unfortunately, with SS, he will ignore you or say "I know, I know" if you just tell him something plainly. You have to yell at him to get him to take it seriously. Same with SD, she gives attitude when you tell her not to do something or she pouts and acts like she doesn't have to listen, unless you yell. As far as locking up the cabinets: I myself would be in favor of that idea. However, DH is not going to go for that. He feeds them as much as they want because he has an issue with letting them be hungry. He struggled with food insecurity for a lot of his childhood and adult life and it pains him to refuse them when they ask for food. He also refuses to live with locks on kitchen cabinets, which I have to say, I really don't want to have to do that either. These kids need to start listening and adhering to our rules. But it's so hard to get them to do that when they live the way they do at their mom's.
When kids roll their eyes and
When kids roll their eyes and sigh and pout and say, I know, I know... I think these are pretty typical reactions of teens when they're asked to do something. My kids do this too. The key is following through each and every time. So you or your husband ask them to put a candy wrapper away and they sigh..oh well for them. They still must do it. Don't back down on parenting due to these teenage reactions. Follow through and make them do whatever was asked. They react this way to look like a victim but it's all just normal household rules stuff. Stick to your rules and don't back down. Don't let it deter you from parenting or enforcing rules or boundaries. I necessary use a firm voice. They have to follow the rules as part of them living there. They are not the adult.. They don't get to decide.
They are definitely learning
They are definitely learning victim mentality from their mother. Nothing is ever her fault and she never takes responsibility for anything. All she does is try to get attention from others and cry about her problems and the kids are learning to be this way as well. Like everything is hopeless and that they should be coddled all the time. I have to learn how to suppress my anger and frustration when they don't listen to me so that I can get firm but not yell and be mean, because I get to that level quickly with them. I really have a huge problem with being dismissed and disrespected and I know I will overreact if I don't catch myself first. I have been addressing things once, getting frustrated with them ignorning me and then disengaging to avoid this but I guess I have to try harder yet again. I just honestly don't know if I want to live the rest of my life dealing with these kids. I love my husband and how hard he is trying but this stuff makes me so angry and feel so hopeless about the future that it forces me to consider other options. And that in and of itself infuriates me because I love my life with DH and it would be really great if it weren't for them.
Same way w/ sleep
I am the same way with sleeping. Honestly it's overwhelming and beyong annoying when they do this... been there. I know you have to look after the dogs but I would start leaving the mess as much as possible.. that's what I started doing. It would drive me insane but after a while it was the point of it all. Hopefully you can disengage and next time wake your DH up and ask him what the ruckus is in the kitchen.
I think that, given my
I think that, given my current stress level and opinion regarding their behavior and care, I am just going to have to disengage. DH is pretty good about cleaning up after them and cooking for them, I just start nervously cleaning while they are there so I have an excuse not to interact with them and also because I don't like the mess. But I think I will leave it for him and focus on something else while they're around. It's just too stressful dealing with them and I don't think I can handle the apathetic and dismissive responses without freaking out and screaming at them. I wish I could try harder, because DH certainly is, but I honestly don't like them, hate when their in my house, and don't want to deal with them anymore or try to cultivate any relationship. I think I will just hole up in my room with the dogs and ride out the visits that way.
That's prob for the best! I know I got my stepdaughter full time a week after we got married. The BM looked for anything to cause trouble... which of course it did since my own son was grown. Anyways, I learned to disengage as much as possible and it makes a huge diffrence. I know that my DH and I fought a lot when she was younger but then I thought - it's his kid he and the mom can raise her.. so I do not offer to do anything at all extra.
You are exactly right. I didn
You are exactly right. I didn't have any involvement in creating these kids, they did and they can figure out between them how they want to raise their kids. I'm sorry I can't be super mom for my husband but I shouldn't have to be because it's not my place. If I stay involved and keep trying to get them to do what I want them to do, I'm either going to go crazy trying to figure out how to do that and deal with their attitudes or I'm going to lose it on them and scream at them and overreact. I don't want to do either of those things, and I can tell that I just don't have the patience or the mental energy to keep trying with them. Leaving is not the answer because I love my husband dearly and our life together, and I refuse to give that up. I am sure he won't be thrilled about this plan but I think he knows how stressed I am and he will understand if I just can't handle it. I've been talking to him about how depressed I have been lately, so he is aware that I'm struggling and has been very supportive. Things have been hard for us recently and I had recently discovered a love for participating in an activity recently that I cannot disclose because I think BM reads this page and will know who I am if I say what it is. Anyway, I really fell in love with this activity and wanted to make it into a career or side hustle at the least because I was very passionate about it and felt like I was meant to do it, but I have had to give it up because the training is too expensive. Oddly enough, it costs about the same amount as the child support payment - how cruelly coincidental that is. It just adds to my resentment of the kids and the situation were stuck in. I have been very sad about not being able to do this and have become very depressed about it and other circumstances that are impacting our quality of life. I'm just not in a place right now to deal with these kids. Someone else is going to have to do it.
I read your post and was
I read your post and was about to tell you to forget about BM, your main issue is a DH issue and that you should reconsider your situation. But, I re-read your update and was shocked. Your DH's response to his kids' shitty behaviors was perfect. I was pleasantly surprised by what he did about his kids and for you!
The bottom line is, DH can't control what goes on in BM's house but he can and should certainly set expectations and consequences when at your house. Don't worry about what BM does and doesn't do in her home; you both already know she set her own kids up for failure. She sounds like a total loser.
Also, I would do a lot less yelling at these little sh&ts and do more things that would make them mad, like no internet or not buying them snacks, or maybe, like Rags suggested, lock up the food so even if they get up at night, they have access to nothing. I would also insist that they all shower upon arrival from BM's house and take daily showers. If they refuse to shower, then they get no TV, no internet and they have to stay in their rooms until they decide to bathe. :) I also think DH should not expect you to discipline or talk to his kids when they do something wrong. Play it safe, make sure all the lectures, reminders and discipline come from DH. Your role should be to support him and enforce what he says. If he continues to put you in a position of telling the kids when they f&ck up, it might lead to more problems. I think disengagement is a great thing for you to do! It's very satisfying!
In any case, I feel for you and hope things improve. Rotten skids can destroy a marriage. My ex SS did a great job at this but his daddy was an a^^hole too, so....
Take care and keep us posted!