I will always come in last place
I was never really sure I wanted children of my own, but as life would have it, I fell madly in love with a man who came who was going through a bitter divorce and has 3 kids. We've been together almost a year and a half, and the divore was official a few months ago. The kids are 14, 12 and 10 and don't get me wrong, they are wonderful children. We have them every other week, and while overall its been an enormous adjustment for me, I know I am very lucky that they all adore me. I adore them too. But sometimes I'm tired. I work from home, so all summer, I am with them 24 hours a day for 7 straight days. I am with them as soon as they get off the bus from school, and I am with them all day if they're sick or if its a school holiday/vacation. My boyfriend and BM both work long hours, and when they're with her, they're often home alone. I spend more time with the children than the both of them do combined, and I do it while working my job. BM will often text my boyfriend to make sure I am home, and then tell him she is dropping the kids off early. He then tells me the kids are on their way. That's all the notice I get sometimes. I make their snacks, cook dinner, do all of their laundry and clean up after them. I help them with their homework, drive them to sports practices and games (sometimes all 3 in different places in the same day). I make them birthday cakes and I buy all of the presents. I even bought a house on my own (since boyfriend was going through the divorce) so that they could each have their own room. I was the first one the two younger girls told when they started their period. The eldest boy came out to me as bisexual long before he told either biological parent. My whole world revolves around them. The problem is, I feel like no matter how much I do or how much I care for them, I know I will always be at the bottom of the barrel.
Today, for example, we weren't supposed to get the kids until after school (3pm-ish). I awoke at 8:30am to my boyfriend kissing me goodbye as he was leaving for work, and as he headed out the door he stopped to let me know that BM texted him earlier this morning and told him two of the kids are sick and staying home from school and that she would be dropping them off to me at 9:15am. I must have made a small groan of displeasure because boyfriend has been texting me all morning now about how he would arrange for his mother or sister to come and "take the kids off my hands" today, and that its obvious how disgusted I am by having to take care of them. It always comes back to him relieving me by sending the kids to an actual family member. That hurts my feelings so much because I think of this as my family. But if I say I don't feel like a part of his idea of family, its then my problem because he insists they bend over backwards to make me feel included. I, however, do not feel included. We've been bickering all morning now and I feel absolutely terrible and depressed.
I am never, ever consulted in situations like the above that directly impact my entire day. There is never a, "Would you mind watching the kids today while you work?" or "Would you be able to drive the kids to all of their practices tonight?" It is just expected that because I work from home and because I signed up for this, that I am always ready and willing to be told where I have to be and when for these kids. And then I am never thanked or acknowledged for anything. A couple of times I have mentioned that I feel more like a nanny than a partner when it comes to the kids, and it always turns into me being told I blow things out of proportion and being told maybe I should have thought twice about getting involved if I didn't truly want kids.
I am always consulted last, if even at all. I absoutely understand that the kids come first, and I do put them first. I would never say no to watching a sick child or bringing them here when its not our time just so that they don't have to spend a day alone while their mother is at work. But I'm tired of feeling like all I'm good for anymore is to be the babysitter and that being said babysitter is the only piece of my identity. I'm tired of being the one who takes care of the kids 85% of the time but never get a say in any real decisions. I'm tired of being told I am "disgusted" by the children when I voice any negative feeling, despite the fact that my boyfriend moans and groans regularly about the same things and its just fine for him to do so. I'm just frustrated and sad and I don't have a single soul I can talk to about it because I feel I will be seen as even more of a villain than I already am made to feel like I am. I found this site today and just really needed a vent and I am so appreciative I was able to find this forum. Thanks for letting me put some of my feelings into words.