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Different rules and expectations for two sets of kids??

MrsMiserable's picture

So I am reallyyyyy struggling and I feel like I am falling deeper and deeper into a hole. DH's ex wife is a lunatic and puts a ton of stress on DH, SS9 and SS11, and even myself and my children. That alone is enough to drive me off the deep end. But the parenting and discipline in our house has gone completely off the rails. When I met DH's boys I knew pretty much right away that we have two very different parenting styles. I am pretty strict on my kids, they have always had chores and screen time limits and I expect them to be responsible for themselves and their actions. DH's kids were pretty much allowed to behave however they wanted. The were 7 and 9 when I met them, the exact same ages my bios were at that time. They had no chores and no responsibilities what so ever. They watched TV and played video games until all hours of the night, even on school nights. They would leave wet towels and dirty clothes all over the bathroom and their rooms and DH even picked out their clothes and pajames for them daily and laid them out. They never washed their hands after using the restroom and usually somehow ended up with poop on the toilet seat and floor every time they went. They were disgusting!! And I pretty much told DH from the get go that before we moved in together he had to get those kids under control. 

DH is a lazy parent and always afraid to be the bad guy so I pretty much took it upon myself (stupidly) and retrained the kids. I got them on a schedule pretty quickly and were at least picking up after themselves and no longer leaving pee and poop all over the bathroom. Fast forward almost three years later and the stepkids are supposed to be responsible for almost as much as my bios. But the problem is, I have to stay on them constantly. We have a chore chart hanging in the kitchen that they are supposed to check off daily. I expect very litte of any of them to be honest. It's mostly keep your room clean, make your bed, clear the table after dinner, take care of your guinea pigs, walk the dog, etc. Not like I'm asking them to dig ditches or cut down trees!!! But the steps do not do anything without being told and reminded over and over again and then I get a huge attitude and backtalk.  SS11 keeps losing shit and breaking his stuff along with other peoples in the house. They are disrespectful to adults including servers, cashiers, people in public in general. None of which I would ever put up with from my bios. 

But now we are stuck in this place where I'm tired of being the only one to follow up and make sure chores are down and the only one to actually dish out any consequence for not doing chores, talking back, bad grades, etc. DH either does nothing or will discipline one of his kids then feel bad and go back on it. My bios are starting to question why their step brothers don't have to actually do any of their chores and still get to be a part of all the fun family stuff. BD9 and BS11 have straight A's in school and are, for the most part, very good kids. And when they do something they aren't supposed to I have no problem keeping them in check and handing out an appropriate consequence. And then they see step brothers act like little a-holes but get to do whatever they want. 

How is this ever going to work?? I am seriously at a loss right now. I think the only thing that makes sense is for them to all have the same rules and expectations but clearly that's not going to work. My kids do exactly what they are supposed to but I come home after a 10 hour work day every night and have to be a drill sergeant or the steps will  do nothing but leave messes everywhere and keep the whole house up all night. 

Gimlet's picture

So you told him to get the kids under control, he didn't so you stepped in, you moved in anyway, and now you're tired of handling it all.  Understandable but not a surprise, and I am not trying to be harsh. 

I'd move back out again.  He's already shown you he isn't going to parent.  Date him if you want but end the stress for you and your kids. 

Aunt Agatha's picture

You are setting yourself and your kids up.  You can't care more than the feral SS's parent.  

Continue down this path and your kids are likely to start resenting you.  Get your own place and let your SO deal with what he's created. 

HR1972's picture

I used to ask my husband to have his kids get their $#!% done regularly. He started to handle it because I tell him I'm not listening to their comments and he knows it. Not that that would work for you but just another option in case you wanted to try. He didn't even know how/where to start.  He probably didn't want to hear me fussing so now he does it all on his own and man is it great! Just wanted to share in case it could help your situation. If that doesn't sound like an option...^^^what they said. 

ExcellenceToolkit's picture

Take your kids and move out and let them live in a dirty pigsty. If after three years they haven't caught on, things will never change and you will end up running yourself to the ground. Better to  see them on dad weekends (if you must) and never go over there. When I moved in with DH he wanted to hire a housekeeper so I stupidly paid for half not knowing that he was actually too lazy to clean up after his kids and wanted someone to help him pay a maid to do it. After three months of paying for this housekeeper and observing how he never lifted a finger to parent or clean up after his kids nor did he ever teach his kids to clean up after themselves I realized I was being used because the nasty stuff in the house was caused by his kids so I cancelled the housekeeper. Why pay to clean up after his kids? He should pay all of it or he should clean.  DD and I don't make messes like that.  That pissed him off. I moved out after that and his house continues to be one disgusting pigsty. 

Ashleytenorio17's picture

This is my life ! SD is only child of her BM do as you guess she is spoiled, has no boundaries or rules. Comes to our house and BS8 follows the rules with ease and I keep my kids in a tight schedule and they shower at certain times. For some reason SD didn't think she needed to shower at all or sleep in her bed and crap. I made new rules for the room SD and BS 8 shared but really the rules were for Sd because she kept trashing the rule and locking Bs out finally I moved SD into the room with DD which DH is on SDs ass about because it's DDs room also . I disengaged from SD and DH started to notice why isn't SD taking a shower daily, why is SD still up when BS8 is asleep and why is SD eating candy at 10pm when I told BS8 he can't eat candy after 7pm. It helps that I say out loud thank you BS8 for cleaning your room, or thank you BS 8 for brushing your teeth and it's good to have fresh breath! Maybe this will help you also ?

Ashleytenorio17's picture

My BS 8 also starting asking why he has rules and sD doesn't, he said this in front of DH and immediately DH got on SD. Does your bio kids say it on front of DH?