Troubled mind this evening
I don't post a lot these days, as steplife had been quiet for the most part. But tonight there are some things on DH's mind that we talked about as we went to bed, and now I can't sleep. It does help to get them out, so here I am.
The main topic was SS20, who is currently home from school for the foreseeable future as classes have gone online. We are happy he is here. However, in the last couple of days some concerns have been magnified. I think I have posted before about how he informed his dad a few months ago that he and his girlfriend plan to get an apartment together next year, his senior year of school and her junior year. They have been together a long time and we love her, but we don't support this decision because a) our values and what we tried to model for our kids before marriage. we want him to stay focused on school and living with a girlfriend could distract from that and c) he had not and continues to not have the financial means to live on his own. We have an amount per year we have been helping with for school. This year he decided (without talking to his dad before signing the lease) to move off campus with a few roommates. He got enough funding through scholarships and grants to cover tuition, and we decided to continue helping with what we had agreed to, which covered his rent. (Which we are going to be paying for the next few months even though he won't be there, actually his lease is through the end of July, and we are not real sure how June and July is getting covered as that goes above the amount we agree to). He expected that we continue that support next year, and although we hate the idea that we are paying for him to live with his girlfriend, we decided to go ahead with it because we do want to uphold our agreement to help him finish school.
He has been looking for an internship this summer, which we thought would be a great chance for him to make some money to save for next year and you know, life. He has been working very part time at the campus library and doesn't have a lot of savings, and what we will be helping with won't cover utilities and food next year, just rent. He accepted an internship out of state....which means even if the world was normal right now, he wouldn't be living in his apartment for two months this summer(but the rent still has to be paid),.and then we found out that this isn't a paid internship, it is room and board plus school credit. So, not making money for the future after all. Hmm.
So with him home and classes online now, and his future plan to make the adult decision to live with his girlfriend (who doesn't work at all during the school years and very part time in the summer), DH told him he needs to find a job here for the next couple months. We are seeing quite a few places looking for help. His response to that is......but places are going to be laying off, and it's only for a few weeks so why bother, and....do you want me to go out and get the virus? Umm . No. We want you to be a responsible adult and start helping yourself rather than wait for us to help you. And wash your hands a lot. DH is disturbed and frustrated to come home from work and see SS lounging, eating our food, and commenting on being bored. He said he is having a serious talk with him tomorrow, but he is worried this is going to drive a wedge and SS will leave here to stay at his mother's and not speak to DH anymore....like his daughter did...
Who is a whole other story. For the most part, SS is respectful, we all get along, and we genuinely enjoy each others' company. He just had a little bit of an entitled streak and can be kind of sneaky about doing what he wants. SD soon to be 17 left here angrily last year and moved in with her mother. It was a long build up, after years of struggling for all of us to find our place in our blended family, and the fact that her mom has a different point of view than we do on a lot of things, and is vocal about it. DH also spent many years catering to his daughter, and feeding into her being the center of the universe. When he finally started to make some changes to that, she did not respond well. The changes happened as a result of he and I having issues, which affected me and my demeanor. I was experiencing some serious depression and I withdrew a lot. She took that as I didnt want her here, along with I had requested that she let us know before coming by when she was with her mom. It was all a big mess for a while, but was starting to get better after I sat down with her to tell her I do love her and that I have never meant to make her feel unwelcome. Things seemed to be on an even keel and she was coming on her weekly days like she was supposed to.
Until almost exactly a year ago when DH picked her up from a party and she was falling down drunk. He yelled at her the next day, which hurt her feelings and she had her mom come get her. DH got her mom to agree to ground her for a week which he found out she didn't stick to. So when she told DH she was going to spend the night at a friend's on what was supposed to be her next weekend with us, he told her she was still restricted. She sent texts about how he was supposed to talk that over with her mom bc that was "coparenting", and she was just going to stay with her "real" parent. A couple weeks later she did come back, only to be caught in a lie about going to a party. He went and got her from the party, they had a huge fight, she called her mom to get her, and she has not stayed here since. BM gave her the master bedroom and newer leased car to drive, so she was rewarded nicely.
It has been up and down in the last year, she has times where she is downright hateful and times when she is great. Unfortunately the great times appear to be around when she wants something or gift giving time. A couple weeks ago, she and DH were talking a lot, she is looking for a new job and wanted to talk to him about it. We saw her at a family party last weekend and she came over and sat with us like everything was fine. She is now back on radio silence. He texts her every couple days to say hi and has invited her over for game nights, and has heard nothing. He asked SS today if he knew what was going on and SS said she was probably mad about the original thing. We aren't real sure what the original thing is at this point. Regardless, this sucks.
If you have read this far, thanks. I am not really looking for anything, just a release. With everything else that is going on, I wish some things could be put aside and we could move forward, but it truly feels like walking on eggshells with his kids. DH and I both would do anything for all 3 of our kids, but the thing we really *need* to do, which is parent, is not received well by his kids. And we both feel like BM is to blame for a lot of that. We are not mean or terrible people, we want the best for all our kids, but we have expectations too, like anyone does. It feels like in his kids and BM's eyes, our expectations are wrong because they don't always match what they want. And they have no problem berating DH for that. I don't think there is much we can do other than what we feel is right, and be kind. Some days the reality of a situation can really get you down.