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Sharing the Load

StrugglingSDad's picture

I am a person that likes to help out others, it's just in my nature, however, I am starting to feel like I am carrying a very uneven load.

The day goes like this.

Partner leaves for work @ 7:00 AM

I prep school lunches and make sure all kids (4 kids - 1 is mine) are ready for the school bus at 8:00 am

I work an 8-5 Job (currently Remote), partner works 8-5 Job (Teaching).

I am home when the kids get in usually with lunch prepared, then oversee homework, chores and sports preparation.

Now the kicker the kids are with us 50% of the time but her kids (3) come to our house every afternoon and are collected by dad on his weeks. So I am feeding, doing homework and getting them ready for their activities which he will then take them to.

Then I will prepare dinner, clean a few areas (kitchen, dining room etc), fold any excess washing etc - you know the small odd jobs.

Now the idea behind the kids coming here was so she could see them during our off weeks, but since she works so late this barely happens. The kids have activities almost every night some of which we volunteer.

Then she works again at home after all of this until 10-11 pm (teaching is clearly a crazy profession).

If I raise this point the arguments will go along the lines of...

- Do you really think I do nothing around here?

- Well I didn't ask you to do that.

Or two of my favourites, absolute silence until the next day at which time the argument will continue via text as this is her prefered medium OR answering a question with a question - I might say hey you said you were going to order pizza on the way home, did you do it? to which I will get the response umm you are also able to call and order did you do it?

I am not sure what I am trying to do here but needed to get it out because I feel like I am doing a great job but if I voice frustrations then what I am doing is made to seem inconsequential therefore not worth doing or made to feel guilty that I do not recognise her contributions.

I feel like I am parenting "their" kids more than they are, neither of the Boys read at the appropriate level and the Daughter is weak in Maths. You would think that this would be strange for a teacher's kids to be behind but with the amount of time spent working there is very little time for any help, so I simply ask her for materials and tutor them myself.

tx for listening


Survivingstephell's picture

Stop doing so much and stop caring if things get done.  Leave it for her to do.  Don't let her use these flimsy arguments, stop letting them work. You need to become utterly helpless to help her when she fails at follow thru.  By doing so much you have trained her into doing less to nothing.  As for the teaching, are you sure she's working so much?  Sounds like very poor time management. Or an excuse to cover up other activities.  Have you talked with their dad about taking them more,  It's obviously too much for her to handle, maybe they should stay with dad.   

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

It sounds like you are being taken advantage of as well as being taken for granted.  You are doing all the heavy lifting for kids that aren't even yours. 

It would be one thing if you didn't work and contribute financially, but you do. To be honest she should be responsible for taking care of her kids 100% and anything you do is a bonus not an expectation. 

She also should sure as hell show some gratitude and appreciation for everything you do. Because truth being told very few men would do what you do even for their own kids. 

She needs to realize if you weren't there, then what? You don't have any obligations to her children and from what you are saying it doesn't sound like you are getting anything out of this relationship. 

I would suggest couples counseling since it sounds like you are having difficulties communicating with her. I would insist on it. It's time to start learning how to set boundaries and for her to learn to compromise. Otherwise your marriage is going to continue to become more strained. 

It doesn't sound like she is treating you like her husband and partner, but instead you are her live in nanny. It's understandable you feel frustration with your situation. 

Iny situation I work outside the home. We have 1 kid each here most of the time. SO has some months work is slow and he is home. I still do not expect him to take care of my kid and it is not my responsibility to take care of his.

My kid has two parents as does SOs,. Good, bad or indifferent it's the Bios responsibility to be first in line to take care of their children. It your wife can't do something for them because of work, then their BD should be the one picking up the slack, not you.  

If the other parent can't or won't, it shouldn't be expected that you will be responsible for kids that are not yours. 

Winterglow's picture

I've read over your other posts and wanted to know if SD and SS have come back to live with you? 

In any case, stop doing all of it. Yes, all of it. No more tidying, washing, folding, it all has to stop. I don't know how old they are but given the eldest is 20, I doubt you have any who are that young. So the kids are all old enough to deal with their own and it's time they chipped in with the cleaning.  Any extra needing done will be done at the weekend as a team effort with ALL of you participating. 


They can all prepare their lunches the night before by themselves. If they don't make it to the bus stop on time, it's not your problem. It's your wife's. If they can't get to the stop on time then they get up and leave with her in the morning. Or she ensures they're ready before she leaves. She doesn't get to leave them all to you. 

You are only responsible for yourself and your daughter, not her kids. If they're behind in school, then it's up to her to organize her work better so she isn't getting home (WTF is she doing that's keeping her at work so late?) at all hours and then hiding in her room. 

Step back and let the chips fall where they may. So she doesn't want to play as a team? Fine, then neither do you. Let her see how much you do when you stop doing it all...

tog redux's picture

Let Dad know that due to your job needs, you can no longer keep the kids on his days - give him two weeks to find another option. 

Stop packing lunches for kids who can do it themselves. And let the house get messy. 

Your wife is seriously lacking in relationship skills, or she's a skilled manipulator. Only you know which. 

Rags's picture

I think it is time to end the kids coming to  your home on Dad's time.  He and your mate are taking advantage of you and it needs to stop. Only you can stop it.

Put your foot down and stand your ground.

In addition to not hosting the Skids on Dad's time, put together a clear chore list.  The kids should do most of it, if they are old enough to be able to do it. My assumption is that they are based on your descriptions.

I find it interesting that the intention of having them come to your home on Dad's time is so their BM can see them. Does their dad see them on Mom' time?  Then... she doesn't get home early enough to see them.  

Nope, end their presence in your home during Dad's time and use that time to focus on your career and your own child.  

Hopefully your mate can step up and be your equity life partner. If not, you have some hard choices.

Good luck.