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full time stepmom

newmommy05's picture

So I became the fulltime stepmom of SS since last August. BG: I have been in his life since he was 4, he is now turning 15. He has always lived with his mom until August when his mom told us to take him because she can't handle him anymore. We live 8 hrs apart so 50/50 or even regular visitation is not happening. Since he came to live with us, his mom is barely in his life anymore. They don't talk much except through text maybe once every 2 weeks. DH and BM do not communicate either. DH and I own a very busy business together and I spend half my day at the office and half at home doing other stuff. DH is barely home. We have 2 young girls together.

My problem is DH has never really parented SS. He is not really an involved parent to any of the kids. He loves them, but doesn't really spend any time with any of them when he is off. His thought is that, when he is not working and he's realxing on the computer at home, he is spending time with us. Every once in a while he will watch a movie or read with our girls. Anyways the reason I'm putting this out there is because I am the main parent to SS. Growing up with his mom, he hardly had any rules, he had no supervision and does not know how to do basic tasks. He does try but usually to no avail. He and I get along fine but lately (last couple of months), I have just been so overwhelmed with all that he is lacking and how no one is there to guide him through life. I have no time, nor do I want to devote myself to his cause. I have my girls and my work and our family/home to tend to. I am so fruistrated with the lack of parental support from DH and BM. I don't know what to do. I have tried to talk to DH about it many times but he gets offended that I won't do for SS what I will do and continue to do for the girls. I am resentful that I am handed this entitled, clueless, annoying, disgusting teenager to have to mold into a normal human. Like some kids, he is dirty, leaves dirty laundry everywhere, leaves wrappers with leftover food/candy on the floor, soda cans everywhere. Yes, when I see it, I make him clean it up and he does. But I don't want to be the one to do this. I can't just leave my house littered with garbage just to have DH tell SS about it when he gets home. I am at the end of my rope. What are some options?

SteppedOut's picture

If he is not willing to parent HIS child, why did he agree to the custody change? 

Yes absolutely leave all the parenting until 'd'h gets home and he can handle it. Maybe then he will start to realize all the bullcrap you are dealing with. Seriously, why should you give up your time with your children for ss and your 'd'h won't? 

Are there any consequences for poor behavior? If he leaves wrappers all over the living room he should have to clean the entire livingroom - pick up trash, dust, vacuum, etc. - not just pick up wrappers. Dirty clothes all over, oh good. You can spend all Saturday doing EVERYONES laundry. He will learn. That is, if you are able to put consequenses in place. Do you have responsibility AND authority? Or just responsibility?

ndc's picture

It's hard to parent if you're barely home. Is there a way you and DH could divide business tasks so he could be home more?  Is it truly necessary that he be away from home so much, or is it habit or avoidance of parenting/household tasks? Is there a way to hire additional help for the business to free DH up?  Without knowing that situation, it's hard to know if there's some give there. If your DH doesn't "get" why you might not want to do the same for your own two children with him and a teenager who is not yours and you haven't spent much time with until a few months ago, he's especially clueless.  It would be easy to say disengage, but that doesn't work if there's not someone there to engage.  Perhaps you need to paint your husband a picture of what his life will be like when you truly do reach the end of your rope, and ask him what he can do to help avoid that scenario.

tog redux's picture

Ugh. I would sit him down and demand changes, or the kid goes back to BM.

It's not your job to be his full-time parent.  Either DH steps up, SS leaves, or you leave.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

This is a common story on STalk: noncustodial dad enjoys years of being like a fun uncle while BM does all the parenting; BM finally dumps the booby prize half feral skid on Bio Dad; BD either buries his head in the sand or tries to dump his parental responsibilities on his wife/girlfriend/mother/sister/anyone with a vagina. 

You are luckier than some in that your H's son sounds like a tolerably nice kid and not a delinquent, but it was a mistake to allow the move before sitting down with your H and drawing up a list of rules, a plan for how he intended to parent his son, and a checklist for the transition that included recording the switch in family court and deciding how much c.s. BM would be paying (she IS paying c.s., right?).

The number one thing that boy needs right now is for his father to be present in his life, teaching, guiding, correcting, and providing structure. You cannot be his proxy - it's not your responsibility, and it will only cause resentment in you and the boy. 

This is your H's last chance to be a dad to and establish a connection with his son. It's also a good time to draw some boundaries and expectations that would benefit everyone and make your family stronger. You and your H should try a few sessions with a marriage and family counselor and see if you can recalibrate things before your H finds himself old, alone, and paying c.s. to you.



theoldredhen's picture

Hey, Julie,

You've wrapped this one up and tied it with a bow! Well said. Now, if the OP will only take heed.... 

Sotired345's picture

This is very true. I hear the same crap. “You’re her stepmother you need to step up” that’s just code for I’m lazy you do it. 

His kid his responsibility

newmommy05's picture

Can't deal with this anymore. Everything about SS annoys and irritates me. I don't like him living with us. He does nothing to controbute and is a pain in my ass all day long. He complains about everythung and can't do anything right. Stuff left out to spoil, dirty food wrappers everywhere, stealing tools and other things. Omg. We have him fulltime. His mom does not give a shit. She would take him back but only because we would then have to pay her child support wven though all yhis time he has been living here, she has paid us nothing. What can I do? 

Dh works literally all the time. Other than to separate, we would require a nanny from after school to bedtime and all day om thr qeekends to manage SS because I am done.

ndc's picture

If the BM will take him back, send him back and pay her the CS. Your sanity is worth it.

Also, would this CS be different from the CS you were paying her up until 7 months ago when he came to live with you?  Presumably you could live with it then, so I'd think it's just more of the same now. And do you really care *why* she's willing to take him, as long as she takes him and he's out of your house?