I’m probably not meant to be a parent, please give me advice/perspective
I’ve been dating this guy for a year and a half and our relationships’ pretty much perfect, best I’ve ever had, we’ll probably eventually get married, I’m 29 and he’s 30, he has an 8 year old daughter. He and the daughter moved into my house 5 months ago.
I’ve somehow gone 29 years with practically no exposure to children so
- I don’t know how to interact with them
- I don’t know what’s normal/abnormal behavior aside from overwhelmingly obvious things
His daughter has some emotional issues which she’s been in therapy for but that aside she generally seems well behaved most of the time.
The problem is I dread spending time with her and here’s why.
- 80% of our interactions are dominated by food arguments (over what’s she’s gonna eat, when, etc) My ex said it’s just a phase but nonetheless it’s the phase that I’m getting to know her in kinda like my first impression of her
- I know all kids do this but she always argues when I tell her no
- She has emotional issues, if I was some expert parent maybe that would be easier to manage but I’m clueless
- Even when she’s in a good mood she just annoying, I hate to say it but you know what I mean, wants to play imaginary games and stuff like that. Which that is totally normal kid stuff and I know but c’mon I just don’t want to play imaginary barbie salon for 30 mins, I engage with her for her sake and to try and bond but I still would rather be doing other things
Maybe all these things would be more tolerable if she was my child that I gave birth to or raised from a very young age when there was a more opportune window for maternal bonding but I feel like I’ve missed that window and I’m just trying to force bonding with this demanding, annoying, overly emotional, argumentative tiny human.
Another factor complicating things (and we’re working on this) is she has multiple caregivers due to a complicated custody situation with his ex, his ex’s nanny and his parents. So she’s exposed to different rules all the time which creates constant arguments. For instance the grandparents let her play on the tablet at dinner, we don’t--- result = argument.
It’s probably not fair for her to have a step parent in her life that dreads spending time with her, so I don’t know what to do. But I want to feel different, I’m hoping someone can tell me something that helps change my perspective on this and give me some hope that it will get better and easier.