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Not a bad situation, but still such a struggle

may927's picture

I feel a little embarrassed to post on here, as I do not have a very bad situation at home, and especially after reading other's posts on here.  

 I am 38, and have been with my husband for almost 6 years.  He has an 18 year old daughter who just moved out, a 17 year old son, and a 13 year old daughter who live with us every other week.  My husband is wonderful- he's a wonderful father, has appropriate boundaries with his kids, pays a ton of attention to me, expects them to move out when they're 18, etc.  From the start these kids accepted me and were very respectful.  I'm pretty easy with them, but as I said, they've given me no reason to not be.  

Despite all this, I dread when they come every week and I'm so happy when I get my home and husband back and can live how I want.  I hate how messy my house gets, and that my food that I want for myself gets eaten.  I don't want to be obligated to socialize with them.  They are very chatty kids (I am not really), and though I care about them and am especially close with his youngest (who tells me she loves me and is always very engaging and sweet), I mostly just either want to be alone or alone with my husband.  I hate when  my husband has too many obligations with them, even though he never makes me do any of it, and also lets me know he'd love for me to be there if I wanted to.  He also prioritizes our time together all the time.  I feel like a bratty, terrible person because it's hard to not have resentment that he even had 3 kids with his awful ex-wife.   All I can think about is in 5 years when the youngest is finally 18.

I am pregnant now for the third time in a year and a half.  I'm at 12 weeks, which is further than I made it the other two times.  I truly look forward to telling my step kids because they love babies and children and I believe they will be wonderful in helping me raise this baby.  I hope it will help me to feel more apprecative of them and a part of it all.  I grew up feeling pretty isolated and I think I have jealousy of how close the kids are to my husband and to each other.  I hope it will make me feel part of the loop, but I wonder if I'm just being naive, and it will actually make things harder.   Thanks for letting me vent everyone.  

tog redux's picture

It's hard to share your home with three kids that aren't yours, honestly. I struggled sometimes with only one skid.  We have a small house and if SS was here, he'd be sprawled in the living room, which is normally my sanctuary (DH has an office) and I'd be forced into my bedroom so I didn't have to spend hours with him. I'm an introvert and I like my space and quiet.

You aren't a terrible person. You do have a decent step situation, though, so be grateful for that. I did too, and this board made me appreciate that. Aside from my DH's crazy ex, we had it pretty good - SS is a reasonably likeable kid, he never targeted me, and DH is a strong parent.

ReeH's picture

I feel exactly the same way you do. We usually have the kids on weekends and on most days they are not really at home and when they are they are not really in my way. However, I find that their mere presence in the home exhausts me. I have two SS. The bigger one is very chatty. Sometimes he asks a lot of unnecessary questions and everything he says triggers me. (Mind you, he doesn't really say anything bad). The smaller one is a bit bratty so I just try to avoid him at all cost. Whenever they're at home I try to avoid being at home with them. And if I am, I stay in my room. I feel guilty for feeling this way. I just don't have the attachment to them. 

hereiam's picture

My SD27 was a pretty good kid but I still sighed with relief when when she went back to her mother's, and we only had her every other weekend.

There have been times that I've resented the fact that DH had a kid, mostly because BM was awful, but I knew he had a kid from the start (and I knew BM was awful), so I had to come to terms with the fact that I chose to be with him, anyway. The resentment can just eat you up inside and can damage your relationships with your step kids and your husband.

You do have it better than most on this site. Be thankful for that! And vent, here, anytime.

Step-girlfriend's picture

I get it, I feel like I'm in the same exact situation as you. My skids are easy- SD9 and SS12, they are respectful and welcomed me. SD9 tells me she loves me 10 times a day. SS12 stays in his room playing video games most of the time, and SD9 has even been giving me more space by going up to her bedroom to watch TV or her phone. I do like them and care about them. But man. I count the days until they go by Crazy's for 2 measly wknds a month. It means a weekend of being alone, no one getting on my nerves, yammering about school, no messy house.... I also have the countdown going til they move out. I feel guilty feeling this way too, but it's pretty common.

Oh, and SM life hack- hide the food!! I have a drawer in the fridge that skids know they can't go in because it's my food. I have the top shelf in the pantry for my food- they know it's not for them. If that fails, put your food in an empty box of something they wouldn't be interested in at all. I've found that most times, skids will open the fridge door and look only at places that are visible. If it involves opening a drawer, that food might as well not even exist, because they certainly won't dig for anything. Same with the freezer- Anything I want for me, I put on the bottom freezer shelf. They don't even look. They literally look at the top 2 shelfs, and can't seem to see anything below that. I can't remember the last time they ate something of mine.

may927's picture

Thank you for your encouraging comments.  I have just begun to realize the things you are talking about with the food issue.  I just started hiding things in the bottom shelf of the freezer, in high up compartments in the fridge and in pantries that don’t hold food because you are right- they don’t take the time to rummage around! It’s a great idea to have a delegate drawer that’s for me and tell them so! 

Crazymess's picture

Even my bio kids eat my food and i have to hide it from them. I will put it behind the healthy stuff that i know they won't dare touch or move to look what's behind it. 


Siemprematahari's picture

Your feelings are natural and most of us can relate to wanting that space and feel relief when the stepkids leave. You are fortunate to have well behaved skids and hope that you all build a stronger bond especially once the baby arrives. Its tough being a step mom and what I would suggest is to always try to make time for yourself to relax and unwind. You need that time to clear your mind and regroup.

Always do the things you enjoy and take care of you. Don't neglect yourself or your needs which include "me time". I'm glad that your H is very much hands on and understanding.

Anon9876's picture

Your feelings are valid and there is no problem too big or small that it can't be mentioned.

It's hard to share the home you have with your husband with 3 kids that you didn't give birth too. It can feel invasive when you have come to expect a certain home life and are having to share your most intimate space with anyone. So, I totally get it.

It's a different atmosphere all together when it's just you and your DH and you cherish the moments you have alone with him in your home.

That discomfort and unease will never really go away, but it gets a little easier to deal with when you try to get into the mindset that you aren't going to let your habits change in your home simply because your SKs are visiting. It is still you and DH's home, so try to set boundaries as far as: 'this evening I want to spend an hour undisturbed to do blank', or ' today your father and I want to talk for 30 minutes just to catch up so please give us privacy' or 'at 8 I'm going to watch my show in my living room', etc.

Don't be scared to assert yourself in your home. You'll be relieved to have a litthe say so when it comes down to it.

Also, have you explained to your DH that you would appreciate alone time with him? Even for just a couple minutes to gain your sanity back lol.

The way it sounds he's very open and I'm sure that he would understand where you're coming from. Otherwise you might become resentful of your SKs.

It can be annoying and overwhelming to suddenly have your living room taken over, your alone time with DH put to the side, your peace and quiet disturbed, your routine shaken, etc.

To the point that as you said you 'dread them coming over'.

It's totally normal to feel this way.

I'm happy for you! Bringing a new life into the world is always super exciting.

As far as how having a baby will affect home life-it could go either way: good or bad.

Some of the kids might experience jealousy. Then again they might totally dote on the baby. As long as they feel that they are still getting attention it might work out. Regardless it's gonna complicate things a little. When that happens just focus on your new bundle of joy and your shared happiness with DH and you'll do great.

may927's picture

Thank you for the thoughtful response and validation.  I think you are right, that the more I assert myself, the better I will feel.  Even my husband tells me this all the time! 

Anon9876's picture

Your husband sounds like a smart man.

Assert yourself and you won't feel like the doormat!

Plus, when the kids see you taking control of your life they will take you more serious and even if they don't-you aren't negating your own needs and desires simply to appease other.

Good luck and congragulations!

may927's picture

Thank you for the thoughtful response and validation.  I think you are right, that the more I assert myself, the better I will feel.  Even my husband tells me this all the time! 

notasm3's picture

I loved, loved, loved my niece who came to visit me for a week or two at a time a couple of times a year as a child.  But boy was I tired after her visits.  She was just a perfect child who never caused the slightest problem - but it was just exhausting taking care of a young child.