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Typical day in the life of a stepmom

Shieldmaiden's picture

I recently had a very typical day of STEPKID  BS that was almost comical. I thought you guys would appreciate the inane-ness of it all, so here goes...

Skids dropped by to spend a week at our house - the beginning of their summer custody schedule. They couldn't be bothered to remember Fathers' day, even though their dad reminded them the day before, so they show up 2 days later. I wake up the next day to a kitchen sink full of dirty dishes and a sticky countertop - they made cupcakes for Daddy!  The kitchen was spotless when i went to bed. They layed out the cupcakes (with gummy candy on top)  on a towel on our stovetop, so I had to move all 18 of them so I could turn on the stove and make breakfast. Some fell on the floor. I picked them up and put them back. LOL. DH won't eat them, he will stick them in the trash underneath something so they don't see. He doesn't like sugary stuff - never has, never will. They know this.

I notice that the trash can is overflowing and smelly now. The recycling bin is overflowing onto the floor with cake boxes and popcorn boxes and whatever else they munched on after they picked over the nice dinner we made. The floor is sticky, although I just mopped it.I wonder if its worth the drama to leave a note that they take out the trash and recycling? Nope. DH will do it for them before they wake up at noon.

I get a call at work from DH. He mentions loudly that "SD16 DEEP CLEANED the kitchen!" I can tell by his voice that SD is listening. I say "That's great!" I go home and check the recycling and the trash.... still overflowing. I check the floor - still sticky. But....lo and behold, OCD SD16 wiped down the counters. The sink is still not scrubbed, but I will take what I can get. Deep cleaned? Not at all. Just the minimum she could do and brag about. I get to work taking out the trash, etc before I can start dinner. Both skids 16 and 18 are laying out with blankies and water bottles and snacks on my couch, taking up the entire sectional.

I take my dinner outside and eat on the patio in the sun, so I don't have to smell their bad breath and body odor or listen to them insist we need nicer patio furniture. SD18 has permanent stinkface now that she has to work part time - her attitude is best described as "barely restrained hostility."

After 2 days the skids take off. Their dad calls to ask where they are, if they will be home for dinner. They say they have decided to spend the rest of our week at biomoms, because its "BORING" over at our house and they are getting ready to go to the beach for the weekend. DH looks slightly disappointed but that leaves us a peaceful night and we decide to um...make a little whoopee. Just as we are getting into it, the phone rings. SD16 is at the mall nearby and needs to come by and pick up some clothes that she left at our house. Oh, and she might just stay with us tonight. DH says ok, when are you coming. Oh, she is here right now?. Ok. He gets out of bed to answer the door. I roll over and go to sleep. So much for whoopee.

I call the therapist office to set up a new family appointment, since DH was supposed to resolve the billing issue and balance owed from last time. (Also, SD18  completed week one of her job and the pressure is building, so we can predict that week 2 will be when she has her blow out and quits, and then the sh** hits the fan for us if we dare talk to her during dinner. )

The therapy office treatsme like I have the plague, and insist they can't set up an appointment or speak to me. I think, that is wierd, because at the old therapy office I was the one who set the appoinments and they were always very nice. Our therapist moved to a new office and now suddenly they won't call me back or speak to me. I find out from  DH that he "had words" with them and the issue was not resolved. I tell him to get it resolved asap, so I can make an appointment. I email them or call them daily and get the runaround. They say they can't talk to me to resolve billing unless DH fills out a permission form. This is not HIPAA, I am not asking about the therapy session that I was present for, I literally just want to PAY them. No deal. So, I am back to waiting on DH and wondering what happened.  Is it any wonder I feel tired all the time? 


Birchclimber's picture

 Your post made remember just one of the many reasons why my SDs are no longer welcome in my home.  The only difference is that yours made a mess when actually trying to do something nice (?) for your DH.  Mine would come over and just make a mess.  My gag reflex was through the roof when having to clean the bathrooms after they left.  Also, they would leave here and make us believe that we were the most boring and inhospitable home that they had ever visited. 

As for the issue with your therapist: comical, frustrating and peculiar, all at the same time! lol

Shieldmaiden's picture

Rags - I am in the home stretch! SD18 and SD 16 are coming to our house less and less, and child support to their BM stops when they graduate from high school. SD18 just got her diploma and SD16 is a brainy little know it all, so very soon it will happen. Its hard to be patient but I am as disengaged as I can be. The only reason I am invested in the family therapy for SD18 is to make sure that DH is accountable for helping her launch, and the goal is to get her mentally evaluated so she can get medication, so she can keep a job.

She is running out of time, because I am covering my bases now to make sure she doesn't think she can just move in with us anytime she wants. The best way to deliver this message is in therapy, so that she won't just walk away and pretend we never said it, or have a mental breakdown to get out of having to take any responsiblity. The only thing that keeps me going is that she is 18 now, and her sister is 16. The end is in sight. After that it is just holiday dinners.

CLove's picture

Yeah, we dont allow eating anywhere except the dining table.

But that was how things went before that rule went into effect.

SD23 - luckily dont have to do anything with her around - we are no contact. Except I decided to give her a piece of my mind in response to her nasty texts last September (yes! it took me that long)

Sanity_With_Stepkids's picture

I'm reading through your thread and nodding along.  What really resonated was the part about forgetting Father's Day.  Both my stepsons (13 & 16) have "forgotten" dad's day for the last 2 years- or maybe 3 now.  This of course after I had sit down conversations with each of them asking them what THEIR plan was for THEIR dad.  Of course they seemed excited at the time, said they didn't need any help, etc.  I'm also not mom so the BM can pay for anything that the kids can't cover (they both have their own money and if that wasn't an option, they could make a card- I don't care).  But when the special day came, there were no cards, no gifts.  One child even had the audacity (SS13) to tell his dad that he had no money and just like dad said, "don't stress" so SS13 decided he would do just that.  So empty handed, is how they showed up.  I'm done fighting the fight. They're selfish, self centered and entitled.  Kills me to see how much dad does for them to only be forgotten on the one day of the year that they should actually show up.  Sorry, rant over.  

I was also nodding along to the messes, sticky counters, dirty kitchen.  I too, clean all the time and I don't understand why the kitchen can't be found the way I left it.  Dad says our house is not a museum.  I remind him, it's not a frat house. 

This is all so hard. 

Shieldmaiden's picture

Hang in there, Sanity. The teen years are reallty hard with stepkids. They would be difficult for any parent, but being their stepparent is a special kind of difficult! Surviving this is all about self-care and setting boundaries. If you can't control what skids do and DH does, then just control what you can. If the skids leave out toys and don't clean iup when you ask them to, that toy gets thrown away. If they can't wash their dishes or put them in the dishwasher - then hide the dishes and silverware. They can eat off paper plates. If they leave their clothes in the dryer unfolded, remove them and put them in the trash. If they want to live with you after their 19th birthday, they must pay rent and work full time, and even then - They have to move out after 1 year. (Save the rent money in an account for them and give it back when you kick them out. That way they have money for an apartment and NO EXCUSES to mooch off you. )  Basically, if they are going to act like little wild monkeys- treat them like wild monkeys.

I also take a lot of hot baths to relax. If the skids are too much, I go to my room and relax or tell DH I am going to run an errand. When the skids were really bad, I used to take my take my time driving home from work - stop and get dinner and eat it in the car - anything to avoid them for another 10 minutes. LOL. Its really hard, and you deserve to live your life without that level of stress - so take care of YOU first.