Hey all. I've never been on here before, but after doing a Google search of what I'm experiencing I thought I really needed some advice. My boyfriend and I have been dating for several months now. I have one daughter on my own, who is 7. He has two on his own that are 5 and 2.
I've come here because I am really struggling with some of their behaviors. I don't remember my daughter ever acting the way they do. I care for both of them, but I am literally exhausted all the time. I have also been pretty consistently sick since around the time it all started to affect me and stress me out. I'm not sure what to do about it. My boyfriend is wonderful. He's supportive and helpful and sweet. He listens to me and comforts me. I don't want to lose him.
The two year old will scream bloody murder when she does not get her way. Sometimes it's things like she simply wants dad off the phone and she will scream in the car so he can't have a conversation. Which is just ridiculous to me. It's an ear shattering scream too that hurts my head. I can't deal when she does this. I've walked away with so many headaches/migraines because of it. She also wakes up in the middle of the night screaming and crying. He's convinced they're night terrors, but they don't seem like it to me. Whenever she wakes up like that he puts her in bed with us, which we all know sleeping with a two year old is no cake walk. She frequently wakes up after being put in bed with us and will push and hit and cry. There was one night it was so bad I moved to the couch. She was slapping me and everything. I've tried numerous times to tell him that he needs to just put her back in bed when she does this instead of putting her in bed with us, but he doesn't. Or if he does one night he doesn't the other. He's not consistent.
The five year old is the rudest, most stubborn child I think I have ever met with no respect for authority figures. She will blatantly look you in the face as she does something you told her not to do and she will keep doing it and making sure you are looking while she's doing it. She will try to boss adults around and also boss my seven year old. My daughter gets very annoyed sometimes. She has purposefully broke things. She picked all the buttons off the remote one night while dad was cooking dinner. She broke the blinds on purpose. She will demand my daughter do whatever she wants to do 24/7. I don't know how to handle her. I don't feel like it's my place to fully punish her the way I would. We don't live together. We haven't been together for a super long time. But her behavior is genuinely concerning to me. I honestly think she may need to see a counselor. Her teachers have voiced concerns and her daycare provider.
Their mom isn't exactly the best. She drinks and parties a lot. She leaves them with grandma frequently and said she was opting out of getting them on Sunday's because she didn't want to deal with their dad and she only gets to see her boyfriend on Sunday's. The five year old had a meltdown over this because she was supposed to come get them one Sunday and just bailed. She has them 2 days one week and 3 the other and sometimes all those days are spent at grandmas. There's been many times the 5 year old has said she's been up very late, like until midnight. Her aunt and her cousin are also living with them now and she said he's sleeping with her and keeps her up all night. There was also an incident where mom didn't use a car seat for her in a snow storm. It's heartbreaking and I've tried to be very understanding. They don't have a lot of stability because of her, but it's very hard. He is trying to save the money to take her to court, but it's a slow process.
My other concern is that the 5 year old is not technically his. He is not her real dad, although he's been in her life since she was a baby. She doesn't know this. I think it speaks volumes of his character that he didn't walk away from her when he could have. But I'm also concerned about going to court and everything that will happen with her and her behaviors. I have no idea what her biological dad is like.
I feel like I need to mention also that I work with children. I work with 1-2 year olds five days a week, eight hours a day. I have A LOT of patience and I am at the end of my rope. I know my boyfriend is very frustrated too. He frequently talks about it. I've tried to give him advice, but consistency seems to be an issue, which is partially not his fault. He also doesn't have a lot of extra money. He's basically raising them himself and doesn't have a lot of extra money to save for court. I'm trying to be very supportive and understanding, but it's getting really hard. I need sleep and for our every conversation not to be about negative stuff going on with them or their mom. I'm not really sure what to do at this point. I don't want to walk away, but I'm concerned about mine and my daughters well being as well. I don't know that if their behavior keeps up, that I can keep up.