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QTsmum's picture

Hi all. I'm brand new and thankful such a forum exists. I have 2 boys (5 & 9) and my SO has a son (4). We have been living together for about a year and a half.

I'm struggling, a lot. I have always had a great relationship with my own boys. I was a stay at home mom and I just tried so hard to be the best mom, while raising well behaved little boys. The Pinterest mom that everyone hates, ya know!? I loved it and don't regret being that mom while I was able to. I've done a pretty good job, if I do say so myself!

But now, it's another story all together. I feel like I'm getting dragged under by this new life. My SO's ex is a psycho (OMG, I could tell stories that would make you :jawdrop: !) and that has been beyond exhausting. SO has been a door mat (UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE YEAR) to her as long as I've been with him. His kid doesn't listen. He's not BAD (as he's quite young) but it's going that direction for sure. I can see it a mile away.

Parenting is work. You have to pay attention and not let them win the power struggles and annoying as hell battles, as little as they seem at the time. He, unfortunately, does not pay attention enough, or maybe he just doesn't care...I don't know anymore. I had a huge paragraph written up, but lets just say the kid annoys the heck out of me. Whining. Lying. Hands on behaviour constantly. Manipulating (his mother's traits for sure). This week I saw aggression that was concerning. Lack of listening, refusing to help clean his messes, but eager to tattle if someone else stops. He's so loud ALL THE TIME to the point of me wanting to just leave the house all together. Do you know how often I go online and look at hotels in the area???! I know all of that can be normal in a young child, but I'm not new to that age. I've done it twice. It hard as hell, I know. It's just consistency in parenting and discipline.

My kids aren't roses. They can all be jerks sometimes for sure. I just have high expectations for my kids and it's so frustrating when the other one doesn't have the same expectations to follow the house rules. It's is a sensitive spot in our relationship and I find myself just wanting to leave because it's just too frustrating to stay. I have told him straight up that I'm not in this relationship for his kid. We've been honest about it and our struggles. I mean, they won't be living with us forever but frig, it's going to be one hell of a long ride at this rate.

The mother has no parenting skills. She frequently ditches the child to my SO's mother, who is a Grandma with no rules or boundaries. So you can imagine what it's like getting back a kid who has just spent a chunk of time as the boss of the house with no rules. My boys are ending up 1. cleaning up his mess when he leaves because their bedroom is the main play area 2. ending up with a frustrated mum. This has all affected MY parenting towards MY children because there's just so much conflict and bad vibes here.

I mean, I love the guy to death. And we would be an amazing couple in a different life for sure. But is it possible for the relationship to work with this non-stop conflict? With that being said, I don't even know what the future holds for his kid and custody, as the mom is a deadbeat and I wouldn't doubt if we ended up with him full time. Full time. Imagine having Caillou on full blast all waking hours, amplified by 10. Fool

I kind of feel like I'm expected to take on the mom role to his kid and I don't want to. I don't know if my feelings are because of his behaviour or because of the ugly, bitter feelings I have for his mom (or maybe all of it together)... It was just so much easier when I was on my own. I don't think I expected that.

This is so scatterbrained, and I apologize.

ybarra357's picture

One a certain level, I feel bad for your SS. He has a couple of really jack up parents that pretty much don't give a flip about him. Dayum why subject YOUR kids to this cesspool. Move on.

ESMOD's picture

I'm curious as to when he and his wife split. Based on the fact that you have been with him for 1.5 years.. that puts his son at about age 2.5 when you got together. So, how long after the child was born did he leave his wife?

The reason why I ask is that a lot of men leave the raising of kids to "women folk". It sounds like you have been fortunate in having the opportunity to be a stay at home mother. Although, were you able to still do that after the divorce?.. it would seem that supporting your children would have been tough.. so not sure how long ago this was that you stayed at home... or do you still?

So, he doesn't exactly know what he should be doing. The child has few boundaries with his mom or other caregivers. 4 year olds are naturally going to be much more messy and unruly than older kids who have learned better, but he never will learn better if not taught.

Being a stepmother is actually even harder than being the mom. Many more landmines. You end up with limited ability to control outcomes etc...

QTsmum's picture

I'm on my phone and can't be super thorough but they apparently had a trial separation when the child was a small baby and officially when he was just over 1. She liked being pregnant, not having a kid. She would hole herself up and get high, while throwing the few dirty diapers she changed on the floor and left them, just to show her character. He took care of the Baby from newborn and she checked out, so to speak. I feel bad for SS too. I just can't get past the irritating behaviour to bond (and I feel bleeping awful about it). We had him for about a month straight and things were a bit better behaviourally, but they are split 50/50 and the schedule is nuts. Also I was doing more parenting of him then, which isn't what I want to do. I feel like his dad should be the one handling the discipline for the most part, and I shouldn't be the bad guy constantly.

I was a stay at home mom for...7 or 8 years (working part time from home) and got a full time job when I left my ex husband. It was also from home though. The shitty part is that since then, I left that job (toxic boss, high stress, it was making me ill) and now I'm full time helping SO with his business, which has really grown since I jumped on board (I was in business before and he was bad at the business end of his start up). :(. And don't I feel like a dummy for putting my whole life into one basket. I feel like such a dumb girl, which I typically pride myself on not being!

ESMOD's picture

I think it sounds as if your SO could use some parenting classes... (the EX too). Maybe the kid should be tested to ensure that mom's drug use didn't cause permanent issues too?

Unfortunately, it's hard to have that conversation. "you are a "crap" dad and your kid may have mental issues".

It's ok to not love your SO's kid like your own. You have two and he has one... that is his responsibility not yours. Of course you may do things for and with the child, but they are being done for your SO.. not your responsibility.

The kid's 4. That is a lot of years you will have to endure... with a crazy EX and a kid who isn't being raised very consistently. Your kids may suffer for it too. I guess only you can decide when the ungood outweighs the good.

Disneyfan's picture

It sounds like mom may have had postpartum depression and that dad has been the primary caregiver.

If that's the case, why blame BM for the child's behavior and not his father?

Peanut575's picture

I don't think you can blame PPD for the way she's choosing to raise her now 4 year old. Not to say she didn't have it at the time, maybe she did, but the kids 4 now.

ESMOD's picture

I get that both parents have a responsibility but OP is only really dealing with one of them.. her SO. and the fact that he is not doing an effective job on his end is all she can comment on really.

QTsmum's picture

It's more than that. She's mentally ill and a very unwell person. She has had help and been offered an unlimited amount of support (by my SO, his mom and beyond). She was actually an in patient for 3 months (mental health and eating disorder) but she has relapsed and is in a very bad place and choosing to take it out on my SO and using the boy as a weapon. Unfortunately, unless she is beating the boy, the process to get him out of her care is very difficult (SO has been in the courts recently and tried to file with CAS) and it's a stand still. Honestly, things would be better after an adjustment period I'm sure, if we had him full time I think the back and forth is a huge part of the problem.

I think I just need a break. I feel like I'm drowning in her issues and drama, (it has been insane) the kid's behaviour and being ill myself (a month of awful pneumonia) on top of business nonsense. A break would do me well. My boys are with their dad for a few days starting tomorrow evening (I have them for 3-4 weeks straight while he works out of the province) so it has been a lot...

ETA: she told my SO that if she could be pregnant again without having the baby, she would be. She's a true sociopath/psychopath. liked pregnancy for the attention and has never seen the child for as anything more than a nuisance. It makes me feel awful for not bonding with him, because I know he needs a motherly role model, maybe in time...if it calms down between us.

marblefawn's picture

During the first year of our marriage, I cried constantly for my single life. It's true a lot of my life unexpectedly went away right after our marriage in ways that had nothing to do with the marriage. But on top of being laid off from a job I loved, losing two dogs, and giving up my house, I now had to deal with the reality of marriage, which was considerably tarnished by SD. We fought a lot in those early years and I thought we might not make it. I longed for making my own decisions and being harness-free. But most of all, I longed for the freedom to leave toxic relationships - I was now forever tethered to his kid, who I was quickly learning was a hateful, manipulative agent who could sink my marriage from four hours away and without DH even recognizing the threat.
You know, it doesn't sound as if you're married. Maybe this isn't the right situation for you and that's OK, right? Your kids are young, though, so don't linger if you suspect it won't work. And next time, maybe just seriously date instead of moving in with someone. That way your kids' won't be shaken so much by your decisions.
This is still fixable, but time is of the essence. Maybe move out and keep dating this guy - just tell him what you said here - it's not what you expected. Why be miserable? His kid is 14 years away from the earliest possible launching. That's more time than some people get for murder Smile

Stalk's picture

As hard as this is for you, an adult, imagine what your kids are feeling. What you do know tells what kind of parent you are.

No Name's picture

My SS was the youngest when DH and I began dating. SS was 2 when they split and 7 when I came into the picture. He was a brat. DH yelled, SS never listened. The other older two were not much better. I felt it was up to DH to discipline. All of my friends couldn't believe the behavior. I probably spend years locked in my bedroom to not have to deal with them. I seriously think DH drank to get through those years. Looking back I wonder if I had disciplined them and corrected them would they have turned out different? I also think that if BM would have embraced having another person love their children instead of being the way that she was things may have turned out differently.
He is so young. I think that there is hope for him. Try treating him the exact same way that you treat your sons. All kids need rules and they need to know that there will be consequences if they don't follow the rules.
I found with my children that something different worked with each. You had to get them where it would make the most difference. With my oldest daughter it was her phone. So the punishment would be no phone. With my son it was his video games. I remember one time I took every single thing out of his bedroom except his furniture and books (he hated to read) and I told him that he could earn one item back at a time.
Good luck to you. Honestly, I think you've got this!

QTsmum's picture

I think the worst part is that I know I need to go. That's what my gut says...and it's an awful feeling.

Disneyfan's picture


Acratopotes's picture

Please explain to me how a 4 year old child can rule a house? I just don't get it, they are small enough to teach...

screaming and floor tantrums, easy pick him up put him in his room and close the door, saying, you can come out when you behave like a human. Then stand in front of the door, if he opens the door... you are right there....and you keep on doing this till he knows, the quicker he behaves the quicker he will get out.

Not picking up toys, no problem you loose your toys then...

His father not being a parent, oh hell NO.. Dear your son is acting out, please take him to his room for 10 minutes, stand out side, he needs to be alone till he calms down...

And this counts for any child behaving like an idiot in your house, who cares if it's bio or skid..

The problem here is actually your SO, he does not have your back and he's not enforcing rules on any one, he's happy cause he does not have to deal with the adult parenting stuff, you are and that makes you the bitch. Unless he changes you will live in hell.

If your gut feeling tells you this is not going to work, Hon listen to that gut feeling and leave, do not waste 5-8 years and then leave...
it's not good for you or your bio's... yes it will hurt, but know what, the relief is much bigger then the hurt, the normality of your life is a big reward, and the hurt will go away sooner then what you think. I've been through this... and yes after 14 years, I left...
now the X can be a father and now he says NO, now he includes me in his future plans (as if I care) but it's 8 years too late, his brat is 18 she will never change and parenting her is not going to help...

QTsmum's picture

I agree completely. I should talk to him about his discipline and consistency. I'm a great parent, which is why my kids are well behaved and not complete assholes. I have to remember that he has been doing it on his own and I think he honestly just doesn't know what the hell hes doing. It's just a matter of having the conversation when things are calm and not while I'm heated. I'm sure "you're a crappy parent" will come off differently on that situation!

I mean, my ex was lucky in that I was there to learn about parenting by reading and talking to friends and guide him with SO has never had anyone to lead him. It's just such a heated topic to talk to someone about.

Rags's picture

First... welcome. I hope that you find this to e a good place to vent, contribute, and pick up some useful advice from others who are living the blended family dream.

IMHO your marriage can survive if you put your foot down and consistently enforce the household standards of behavior for all of the kids in the home including your SS-4. If your DH does not like how you parent and discipline then he can step up and do it before you have to... or he can STFU and have your back until the two of you can discuss it off line. Keep the heat under your SO's feet until he steps up and delivers as your equity life partner and as an equity parent to his own spawn.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

IMHO of course.