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Had enough

stepmum1992's picture



I didn't know what category to put this in so I thought I'd go with general.


I am a mum to a 3 year old and pregnant. I met my husband 5 years ago, he then had a 2-year old son so he is now 7.


The set up at the moment (bare in mind this changes every few months) is 2-2-1-2. He is with his mum 2, then us 2, then back to his mum for 1 night and during the day on the saturday and back to us for 2 nights. 


I have tried to accept this but his mum doesn't give him the love he needs and is to put it bluntly an awful mum.

This results in him being so needy when he's here and won't leave my husbands side at all. 

Ive tried to accept this because I love him, and I just want him to be happy. I want us all to just live as a happy family.  But god it's hard when he is like he is. He is like a totally different person the first night he is back here from his mum and then he is usually ok for one night but then it's back to his mums again.


Ive tried to talk to my husband to change the arrangements but he just says no and he thinks the routine is fine.


I feel awful but I just can't live like this and as it is now I hate the days he comes here. I dread it, I know I'm a bad person for saying it but I'm struggling, especially with being pregnant and having another child I don't want to be like this 4 nights a week because he is unstable. 


There is literally nothing I can do but I just really needed to vent.

ESMOD's picture

That sounds like an exhausting schedule with a lot of change for the kid.  You think she is a horrible mother.. but in reality.. he may be just as needy with HER as he is with your household given the disruptive schedule.

I honestly think it would be much more restful for a kid to go 50/50 one week on.. one week off vs changing every couple nights.

It is going to come to a point that all that switching will be disruptive to his life and studies.

beebeel's picture

You having a toddler and one on the way is the more likely source of the boy's clingy behavior toward his dad.

That schedule sounds exhausting. I would much prefer week on/week off. 

ldvilen's picture

This has been going on for five years?  You are not a bad person for saying what you are saying at all.  What it is is reality settling in.  There literally is nothing you can do.  Welcome to Step-World, where you are pretty much at the mercy of BM and bio-dad.  Your DH says he is “just fine” with the arrangement, which shows that if it is fine for him, and apparently fine for BM, then as far as he’s concerned, you have to suck it up and take whatever is dished out.  Unfortunately, not all that uncommon in step-situations.

And, if BM is poisoning the well with her son regarding you and DH is just ignoring any of your pleas, he is sending many signals to his son that you are at the bottom of everyone's lists.  Hard to take as a SO or spouse—when you marry or move in you sure don’t expect some other woman to be above you priority-wise.  Even harder to take when you start having children of your own with DH, which will be any day now. 

Much is missing from this post. . . who is the father of the 3-YO?  If the 3 YO is not his, how does he treat the child?  How does your DH view his ex’s parenting skills?  I could ask you this and even more, but I don’t think it would change anything.  If you have a sniveling, enabling DH and a manipulative, controlling BM (when it comes to her ex- and child), then that = Step Hell. 

Not much choice in that environment.  If SK is older, you may be able to disengage.  Otherwise, you either put up with or get out.  Because. . . no one is going to change for you because you are at the bottom.  No matter how unfair or unreasonable, you’ll be seen as the one at fault because you’re the only one with the issue, as far as they are concerned.  This is how SMs get gaslighted over and over, every day, for years and years.  I’m sorry for your situation, and best to you going forward.

stepmum1992's picture

Sorry the 3 year old is with my husband so we have one together and one on the way. 


It's probably as you're saying, I'm at the bottom it's just hard to accept as we are meant to be a family and I just want everyone to be happy and content.

ndc's picture

2-2-1-2 is a good schedule for a very young child.  As kids get older it seems pretty disruptive.  My skids, who are 4 and 7, have a 5/5/2/2 schedule, and that works fine for now.  The back and forth with a 2-2-1-2 is crazy for a school age child. BUT, if your husband and BM are good with the schedule and don't want to change it, I'm not sure what you can do about it.  You raised it with your husband and he shot you down.  I hope you don't have much responsibility for the SS, since you obviously don't have much input, either.  I have to think that sometime in the near future the child will get tired of the back and forth and request a change.  That might wake his parents up to the fact that this isn't the best schedule for a child his age.

stepmum1992's picture

other arrangements but as when they split up BM said that my husband should have him one more day so we have 60/40 which also makes it more complicated. 


I wouldn't mind 50/50 but BM asks us to have SS at least one night a week when she's meant to have him or she asks to swap for her gain. 


I do have a lot of responsibility, I'm the one who sorts out his school uniform, his shoes his normal clothes, his food. He comes here early every morning and never has breakfast at his mums for example. She moved away 3 years ago to another town and doesn't even drive so mostly my husband drops off and picks up otherwise it's BMs OH. 


It's just a very weird situation.

ITB2012's picture

She should have EOW and breaks, and that's it if she's far enough away that it's more than 30 minutes drive. That's too much to put on the kid much less the dads who are doing the driving.

The poor kid probably has no idea where he's gonna be on any given day. A seven year old doesn't keep track but I'm sure he doesn't like the inconsistency, especially when it seems awfully flexible with BM asking you to take extra time.

Why can't he be dropped at school by the stepdad?

If you don't like the schedule, YOU don't have to manage it. Hand it all over to your DH, the uniform, shoes, food, etc. Once he's tired of it too, or tired of grappling with a kid who is irritable from all the uncertainty, he may come around. OR, he handles it.

stepmum1992's picture

but my husband is too scared he would lose in court and she would get 50/50.


His step dad can't drop off at school because of work unfortunately so drops him off here 6:50 and we take both our kids to husbands mum who has them before and after school.


Its all these things that make me certain we would win a court case but he is just too afraid to lose.


Good idea to hand it over to husband, but I just feel it's my responsibility. Being a step mum is harder than you could ever think hey.


Thank you so much for your replies btw

ldvilen's picture

Think about this. . . your husband is "too scared," so your life has to suck?  You have to pay a higher price for someone else's divorce than they themselves pay?  You are to sacrifice part of your life (and possibly a better life for your "ours" child) because some other parents can't parent correctly or get their act together for THEIR child?

stepmum1992's picture

so so well. I just don't know how to put it across to the husband in the best way.


Thank you!!

Evil3's picture

If you read on here, you'll find that it's common for SKs to be ultra-clingy. Often, it's assumed that the other bio parent isn't giving the kid enough attention, but it's not the case. My SD30 is still off-the-charts clingy with my DH. She has to have CONSTANT contact with him and even got her career in the same organization that DH and I are in just so she can be on the communicator with DH 24/7. When my SD was younger, I would go to counselling because her clinginess was driving me insane and it was shutting me out of DH's life. Counsellors and well-intentioned friends would all say it's due to BM not giving enough attention, but it wasn't true. SD was the most fawned on kid I had ever seen in my life and it was never enough. She was fawned on and coddled by both parents. There's something about CoD that makes them super clingy. The parent has to be the one to do something about it, but they often don't because they interpret the kid's clinginess as a measure of the kid's love for the parent rather than being a sign of some other issue that needs looking at. Unless your DH does something about your SS' clinginess, he will never change. These kids do not reach milestones when their peers do, so you can't count on your SS to get a GF or launch when he's older. Yes, the custody schedule sucks, but the clinginess is a separate issue and I get the impression that the reason you hate the schedule is because you get no real breaks from the clingy kid. Clingy kids can be exhausting and they thwart the other family members' needs for love and affection from being met.

Rags's picture

"Ive tried to accept this because I love him, and I just want him to be happy. I want us all to just live as a happy family."

If you are focused on the visiting Skid being happy and he can only be happy with his way, then no one in the family is happy. 

It is better to set the rules of behavior, discuss the structure of Skid time in the home with DH with absolute clarity that DH is both father to your joint children and your husband whether SS is in the home or not and DH cannot sacrifice everyone elses happiness for the Skid's happiness.  The fix is that SS integrates to the family structure immediately upon setting foot in your home and complies with that requirement until he leaves for BM's.

Anything less than that sacrifices you and your own children on the alter of  martyrdom to the Skid.  That nevr works out well for anyone.

Good luck.