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An engaged lesson

Cover1W's picture

Ok, I'm pretty darn well disengaged with slight engagement here and there and I want to be more disengaged this coming year but it's difficult with almost 50/50 custody and long weeks when YSD is here. So I choose carefully if I can.

Today while going through my baking shelf I discovered that YSDalmost16 opened a new jar of something rather than use up the open one (and thus have to dispose of the empty jar....she is notorious for doing this, like leaving a small spoonful of rice in a Tupperware and putting it back in the fridge instead of cleaning it, leaving empty hair care bottle after bottle in the shower rather than cleaning them up and recycling them, etc). She also didn't clean up the sticky bottle she used, so I had to clean the shelf off and discovered she used up something else and left the empty on the shelf. This is MY area. Not having it.

Told DH I'm having a talk with her, she's going to clean up the stuff (I had to clean the shelf already tho) and take care of the empty things. And he is not going to "rescue" her because it's rude and inconsiderate and I will let her know this. She can use the baking stuff but not like that. I'm not her maid and store-keeper.

If the behavior falls into my stuff I will 100% engage.

Kes's picture

Quite right - this is just very lazy behaviour on the part of your SD - "someone else will do it" ie you.  You can be disengaged and still address things like this directly with her. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

This is very common, basic level kid correction - family fluff that's handled on the daily.

It's the post-divorce, guilt- riddled parents who screw their kids up and then expect their new partners to accept their self created dysfunction that ruin things. I love how you've documented this in your own step situation.

Kids just do what they do, and most are born average. What's sad is, we haven't figured out a way to better help kids survive living in "broken" homes without becoming worse off than before.

tog redux's picture

All of that is typical kid stuff - that should be addressed. Your DH doesn't do her any favors by not teaching her responsibility and how to be considerate of those you live with. 

Cover1W's picture

I'm the one that shops but in cases like this I buy the replacement (s) then add those plus a 'service fee' onto what he owes me for the groceries.

We don't use our joint house account for this stuff since he'd never see the ramifications (I do the banking for joint stuff).

Harry's picture

DH get upset that he shopping three times a day, to replace thing SD screw up.  When he get tired of shopping, he will get on SD back to stop the playing around.   You shopping does nothing to stop SD games.   You shopping is not disengageing.  
You shopping is putting SD in control of your life.  And you need that jar of....... for dinner.  Or DH will have to pick up take out

Cover1W's picture

Nope not trying to make him upset. I just know what works with him. I cannot "make" him do anything

The things are my baking items and not an immediate issue but for her cleaning them up and taking care of the empties appropriately. There were already replacements for them when they ran out. No biggie, it's the cleanup and expectations that someone else will handle it that's my problem.

Rags's picture

Start dumping the shit she leaves in the middle of her bed. All of it, trash, all but one bite containers, empty product bottles, etc, etc, etc... let the shit moulder on her bed until she returns and cleans it up. 

Tell DH that he touches it on pain of death. Figuratively of course.


grannyd's picture

My SS and I made a game out of leaving a tablespoon full of milk in a half gallon container, two squares of toilet paper on the roll, a single perogy on a refrigerated plate and other outrages. We’d laugh, hilariously, at which of us could be the most offensive with our refusal to ‘finish and replace’. Yon SS (16 years old at the time) cracked first (no milk for his cereal before his summer job) and called a family meeting wherein we all agreed to some basic rules for restoring foods and products that we’d ALMOST demolished.


My SS (having once been caught in the act) admitted to dancing his fingers through the bread bag to seek out the freshest slices and leave the stale ends for the rest of us. Like his dad, SS is, essentially, incapable of lying.  He’s such a comic that we laughed, helplessly, over that confession, even though I pondered slapping him upside the head. 


Hon, the supreme laziness of adolescents is the stuff of stepparent rage. My own daughters (both in Uni when I married DH) had been abandoned by their sperm donor and by virtue of necessity were responsible, at ages 6 and 7, for dishwashing, vacuuming, bed-making and much more. When they visited Chez grannyd, after my marriage, they were horrified at the entitled behaviour of DH’s teens. Part jealousy and part disbelief that ‘Tiger Mom’ had abandoned her standards. 

It's easy to punish our bios. Other peoples' kids? Nope. It was very difficult to explain that fact to my strictly raised children. Sigh! Sorry 2




Rags's picture

Standards are standards. They should apply consistently to all kids in the home regardless of biology and regardless of birth order with some adjustments for age related ability to perform to the standards.

It would drive me nuckin futz to come home for the summer or holidays and see how my parents dealt so much differently with my 6yrs younger brother than they did with me.  I would stand in drop jawed paralysis waiting for them to kill him when he would back talk. I was not even allowed to disagree much less back talk.  They let him get all spun up and disrespectful.  If I had pulled that shit I would have died over and over again because they would have resuscitated me just to do me in again.

My shock met its highest level when they agreed with me that it would have never been tolerated with me, then proceeded to inform me that "your brother owes you an eternal debt of gratitude for teaching us how to be parents. He owes you his life because if you had not been our first, we would have strangled him by now."

I just walked away shaking my head.

My DW and I are both the eldest sibling in our families. We raised SS to the standards that we were raised to which was orders of magnitude a higher standards than our younger sibs were raised to.  Which is more of the case for my bride's  younger sibs than for mine.  My parents tightened up on my younger brother as he got older.  My IL's pretty much shot their parenting round on my DW who is incredible while their younger three are pretty much under performers.