I didn't... I don't want kids.

reggie247April 28, 2009

Hi - bit of a newbie here, tho I did post aaages ago with pretty much the same rant. My partner (no we aren't married and don't intend to be, not really our'thing' has a SD - 9 going on 6 if you know what I mean.

We have never really had any major problems - I just don't really like her very much. She's quite the needy one, still unable to spend time alone in the upstairs if we are downstairs and unless she's on the computer or watching TV, she follows Dad around like a shadow... hovering. She's still into dolls and babies and the like and is pretty much unable to play by herself, so her father has become her plaything. Is this normal?

To be honest I do my best not to be around every second weekend, but it's the little things that are starting to eat at my sanity. Should a nine year old be able to use the toilet without fearing the bathroom? I discovered the other day that she wasn't washing her hands either, seems she 'doesn't like the flushing noise' so she gets out - which explains why it isn't flushed a lot of the time. I thought this was something kids learned when they were 3 or 4? I know I did?

Dad is a good father, he loves her and spends a lot of time with her - but it's getting to the point where every time she comes over they go bowling or to the movies or she's given something as a gift. Overcompensation I know, but she's going to grow up thinking that the entire world revolves around keeping her entertained. And what time should a nine year old go to bed? She's quite often still up at 10pm and it drives me nutty. Not her presence, but the lack of expectation or responsibility.

Wow this is turning into quite the rant - I hope I don't sound horrible. I try very hard not to let her see that I don't want to be around and I never speak badly of her mother - who is an idiot, which doens't help her cause.

I've learned not to say anything about this to her father, he defends everything with, 'she's just a kid.' or 'i was like that at her age' So I keep my mouth shut and I guess end up raving on this site! We both knew going into the relationship that i was not into kids and nearly four years later it hasn't changed - but I really was expecting her to have grown up a little by now? Perhaps I'm just not familiar with the capabilities of a 9 year old, but compared to the way I was raised and how I conducted myself, she seems a little 'behind'?

I'm not really sure why I'm writing this - just to vent I guess? Am I a horrible person? I mean I have NO maternal feelings at all - not for SD or for any children. i don't dislike them, in fact the plucky ones are great! I'm just struglling with the clingy needy bit. Does it get easier for ppl like me as they get older and we can relate to SD more like an adult?

I've seen a few posts from ppl asking if they should get involved when they are in the early stages of this kind of relationship. I know that my partner is my soul mate - this really is our only 'bump in the road' but I tell you, if I knew then what I know now... I would seriously have pause for thought.

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She only sees her Dad EOW so its natural she wants to see him when she is there. She and he may be trying to stuff a whole month into 2 weekends. Maybe they go out so much becuase they realize you get annoyed when they spend tim togethor.

You seem to want the best of all worlds -- SD should grow up -- but go to bed at 9 and leave you guys alone. No -- I dont think 10 PM is late on weekends for a 9 YO.

I hate to tell you this, but if you cant get along with a 9 YO, I hate to think what its going to be like with a teenager.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 9:01AM
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She needs to be able to spend some alone time with her dad jeez. and 10:00 on week ends is fine in my book give her and dad a break and some together time.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 9:37AM
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I have to agree with KK. My SD is 10, goes to bed at 8:30-9 on school nights (we just started being a little lax with the 9 if she has been good) and on weekends, 10 or 11 is not bad. We've even stayed up watching a movie until midnight. Of course, I've complained that her mom lets her stay up as long as she wants.. but BM goes to bed leaving SD up on her own to crash whenever, wherever (with her BF's son's sometimes). It is the weekend, so as long as they aren't forced to get up early the next day where they are grumpy.. time isn't that big a deal. 1 or 2 am is a bit much but twice a month won't kill 'em.

My SD also fears the toilet. She's gotten better at home but in public, she won't flush because it's loud. In my opinion, it has to do with a trauma when they are babies. that may be wrong but it's the only thing I can surmise to explain this fear. By the time I was 4 or 5, there's no way I would walk away without flushing. I don't get it but it's something that should be addressed and worked on, not something to harp on and b*tch about. Yes, it's annoying but kids do things and don't always know why they do them. Fears need to be addressed so they can get over them. If she's living with her mom, her mom should address the problem but dad can address it when she's there.

I don't see going to movies or bowling every time she comes over as overcompensation. If she's being a brat and he takes her regardless of her behavior, BECAUSE he feels guilty and only gets to see her a couple of weekends a month, then that might be overcompensation. He still has the ability to teach her that she has to behave reasonably well in order to go have fun. But, finding activities to entertain a child a couple of weekends a month is not overcompensation in and of itself. I'm sure he wants her to have good memories of visiting him.

No, I don't think you are a horrible person but you might want to take a parenting class so you get an idea of what is normal. Take your BF with you so he can recognize the guilty parenting. If you have pause now, and consider this a bump in the road, it may be best to exit stage left. It does not get easier, it only gets harder. 9 year olds become 13 year olds and maybe sooner than that start getting that teen attitude. It has NOTHING to do with being a step, my kids had it... most kids get it. It's a very lucky parent that avoids it all together and if you can't handle the irritants you are mentioning, then really it's not for you. Your BF is a parent, he has no choice but you do. You are not married to him and that also is not good for his daughter... to see dad living without marriage, if he wants her to someday be married. Kid's learn how to have a relationship and values by watching their parents. It good that you acknowledge not liking kids. But, then why would you get into a relationship with someone that has kids? That would be a deal breaker for most people. Just because she only visits a couple of weekends a month, he is ALWAYS her parent. There is also, ALWAYS the possibility that he could end up with custody, however unlikely you think it may be... as long as he's a parent, that possibility exists.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 9:38AM
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Reggie, I hate to say it but you're the one who sounds like the "clingy" girl who needs to acquire some more maturity for her age. Here's why:

You basically don't want the little girl around when you are. As you say, "I do my best not to be around every second weekend", but when you are home you want her to just go off and be elsewhere, either asleep or awake, just elsewhere. "She's quite the needy one, still unable to spend time alone in the upstairs if we are downstairs and unless she's on the computer or watching TV". Well, don't you think that's pretty normal for a child --heck, for most of us? Most of us want to be doing the fun hanging-out things with others ---say, if everyone is "downstairs" watching a show on tv or talking or eating or playing a game--- especially a young child who's expressly there to have VISITATION, for a finite amount of time. And even an adult who for whatever reason chooses to not partake in hanging out with everyone else is likely going to be on either the computer, or the phone, or in front of the tv for much of that time. How would YOU like to try entertaining yourself "upstairs" with no tv or computer while everyone else is hanging out together? What else is this little child supposed to do, especially since you don't seem to approve of her playing with dolls!! I guess she could masturbate, but you strike me as the type to think that whatever natural sexuality she would discover (during all these hours alone without such spoiling, "center of the universe" entertainments as a movie to watch) would be sick and a threat to your relationship.

And another irony to all of this is that if the girl WAS spending time by herself doing her own thing, she'd likely be accused of being "rude" or "ignoring" you. Some people just can't win for existing.

I'm at least glad that you can admit you just plain don't want kids in your life ---that is more honest than many other people would be--- but you have a responsibility to not project and make YOUR problem hers.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 10:50AM
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I'll second everything that has been said already. It sounds to me like you should not be in this relationship. Not wanting kids is one thing, but if you don't like kids at all, why get involved with someone that has a child? She will be a big part of his life forever. Furthermore, everything you've said sounds like typical 9 year old behavior. I have a DD9 and I work a lot, so in the evenings and on the weekends, she is pretty much my shadow. 10 pm is not late on a weekend. Weekends are about sleeping in. I allow DD to stay up until she crashes so long as she doesn't have to go anywhere the next morning. With so much structure during the week, I think kids need a chance to just let go and unwind without worry of time. And as everyone says, the attitude will come and if you are already resenting the little things, just wait until she really becomes difficult (from your description, she doesn't sound like a difficult child at all). Please exit and allow this man to find a woman who will love and be a good stepmother to his child.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 11:22AM
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Ditto to all that has already been said.

My stepson and daughter are 7 and they go to bed around 9-10ish on the weekends.

As far as the entertainment goes, I don't see anything wrong with her dad taking her to do fun stuff. That's what you do when you have kids! We do something fun every weekend, whether it's going to the zoo, or a trip to McDonalds for Happy Meals and a picnic at the park...or going to see a movie...etc. Weekends are family time. Since your partner only has his daughter EOW, of course he wants to spend as much time as possible with her during that time.

I would urge you to get into some sort of counseling or take some parenting classes---because, honestly, I think the issue lies with you.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 11:24AM
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Hi Reggie
It seems to me you came here in good faith and were honest enough to admit you dont much like kids. No law against that.
However, itÂs all about respect  respect to ALL from ALL.
This little girl deserves to see her dad and have fun with him. I suspect your partner is quietly disappointed that you donÂt take an interest in his D, yet he doesnÂt berate you about that?
For your part, you need to accept that his D is part of his life and always will be. Judging the little girl about her development is inappropriate and futile.
There may be a perfectly good explanation about her bathroom habits. Get your partner to tackle the hygeine issue and maybe try to get to bottom of what worries her with the toilet flushing. Who knows whatÂs in her mind. She has probably been through a lot in her young life.
The fact you are not married is inconsciquential. A nine year old will regard and absorb the interaction between you, not be making status judgements.
I think 10.00pm is ok for a nine year old on weekends  or is that she just stays up to whenever she feels like it? As in  SHE sets the boundaries  not her father? I do agree that limits and boundaries are crucial. Obviously he wants her to have a good time, but he has to be careful about how much power he gives her or a nine year old innocent could turn into a teenaged nightmare.
ItÂs your call. I doubt anyone on this forum will tell you youÂre right (though I do think that rude answers trying to be clever are sadly lacking in respect), and who knows if you will ever warm to this little girl. In fact I think you should assume it will get worse, especially as she picks up more and more on your attitude.
A long, hard think about future effects on all of you is in order.

Good luck

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 12:35PM
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This doesnt sound like a situation of a dad compensating for feeling guilty. Playing with dolls is a great activity. Developes communication and social skills, encourages bonding. Do you ever ask to join them?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 12:37PM
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DD was not immature but she played stuffed animals until about 13. not a big deal. playing wiht dolls is a normal thing.

If SD only visits EOW then of course she should be downstairs wiht dad, not upstairs by herself.

bed at 10PM on the weekend is fine.

going out and having fun when she visits is normal and is to be expected. buying little things when they go out is normal too.

what i do not understand is why would you want to be wiht someone who has children, if you do not like children. seems very strange. I am also surprised your partner stays wiht you even though you clearly dislike children.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 12:46PM
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playing with dolls is normal.
going out on weekends is normal.
10pm bedtime on weekends for 7yr old and up is normal.
wanting to be "in the thick" of things is normal.

you can't compare your development with that of anyone. we are all different. My dd can't climb a tree. WTH? I could climb a tree at 2-3 years old. She can barely climb a stool!!! honestly, they switched her at birth.

You're not horrible at all. I think it's great you're looking at this situation. But know it will turn into a "bumpy" road later on. This "bump" will not go away. Kids know when people don't like them and react accordingly.

Your "adult" relationship with her will only be possible if you love her as she is. And right now, she's a kid. Find something you can both enjoy and do it with her. Puzzles... games... arts and crafts... photography... garage sales... shopping... something. She's nine. This is when the cool kid personality really comes out. You will have a big impact on her life. Be responsible. If you are not willing to be a good influence, you need to accept that you should not be a part of this family. Best of luck to you.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 2:24PM
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When I met my DH, I was 29 years old and I knew then that I didn't want to have children. He has three children and he would also see them every other weekend. Believe me, I did find it hard when they were around. I especially found it hard with the oldest child who right from the start did not like me at all. With time, I started disliking it when she would come over to our house because what missy wanted, missy got! It would just infuriate me and for years I had arguments with hubby about the way he treated this child, never, ever, ever saying no to whatever she asked for. Well, she grew up to be a spoiled, irreponsible child.She quit school early, got pregnant at 16 years old, got in-debth, etc. etc. etc. She got married and treated her husband just like she had treated her dad all her life, that is, when she asked for something, she had to get it NOW, her husband is the one who was stuck with cleaning the house, taking care of the children, etc. etc. That marriage did not last long needless to say. Today, she is divorced and she has had to make major changes in her life. And I must admit that she has matured quite a bit in the last two years and she is now in a new relationship and believe me, she doesn't treat that man the way she treated her x. But I find it so sad that she has had to go through all these experiences at such a young age. I sometimes think if her father had spoiled her less and had felt less guilty towards her, this child wouldn't have had to go through such negative experiences when she was so young. Today, my relationship with this step-daughter is good but it was hell getting there. I always told her that at 20 years old, she had gone through what a 40 year old woman would have gone through. So sad. This being said, I feel for you. I know you have been with this man for several years, but believe me, he will never, ever agree with you if you say anything wrong about his child, whether it's about the fact that you think she goes to bed too late or she is really childish or whatever. He will always defend her no matter how much he loves you. And believe me, this little girl's demands are going to become more and more big as she grows up. Whatever she will want from her father, I guarantee you she will get it and that will cause major, major fights between you and him! Believe me, I've been there. I have been with hubby for 20 years now and there were many times that I said to myself, if i knew then, what I do know now in regards to being a step-parent, I don't know if I would have started a relationship with him.

So, all I can say to you from experience is you either have to accept this child in your life and try and detach yourself from her with love or....leave this man. I know you love him but you will drive yourself mad and make yourself sick to death if you continue in this relationship knowing there is a child that will always, always be there.
Sometimes, in order to understand my husband's behavior towards his child, I would sit down for a minute and wonder what would I do if that was my child. Most of the time, when I truly thought about it, I thought I would do the same thing he did. These men love their children to death and they feel really guilty about not being in their life 24/7 and because of this, they will do anything an everything for them just so these children will be happy and not hate their father.

I truly wish you luck sweetie.Keep posting.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 2:49PM
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Everyone here has covered most issues. I just want to add in the fact that when you are with someone with kids there is no guarantee that custody and visitation will stay the same forever. What if bm was to die and your boyfriend had his child full-time? Or what if the child became hard to handle and dad took custody? Or what if bm did something awful and a judge gave your boyfriend custody?

What would you do then? Not send the child away!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 4:18PM
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"Sometimes, in order to understand my husband's behavior towards his child, I would sit down for a minute and wonder what would I do if that was my child. Most of the time, when I truly thought about it, I thought I would do the same thing he did. These men love their children to death and they feel really guilty about not being in their life 24/7 and because of this, they will do anything an everything for them just so these children will be happy and not hate their father."

I have been a SM to DSS 13 and 15 for going on 10 years, and I completely agree with Fleurs. She is so right in everything she said, especially above. DH and I were married a couple years before we had our DS, and visitation with DSSs was MUCH more difficult on me before I had DS. It was like we lived one life 99% of the time, then lived a totally different life EOW.

Also, although I knew about DSSs, I did not meet them until DH and I were dating for about 6 mos. (DH obviously was very careful about introducing them to a new female in his life), so I had fallen for DH and had a life with DH that did not include DSSs initially. In the beginning visits, I felt tortured when they visited b/c they did many of the same things you describe, especially the older DSS, who's always been VERY demanding of DH's attention. After DH and I had DS, I understood much better. I could ask how I would feel if I only saw MY DS EOW. Plus, having a DS full-time meant we almost never had "alone" time anyway, so things were not THAT different when DSSs visited.

On the specifics, no, it's not unusual for kids not to flush or for them to want to be where their parents are in the house, hanging out with them. It's not unusual for families to have family outings (bowling, restaurants, movies) on the weekends, since there is not a lot of "family" time during the week, even for intact families, due to work, school, the kids' activities, etc. It's definitely not late for a 9 yo to stay up til 10 pm on a weekend. If you think about it, much of what irritates you has to do with DD being there, in your face, so to speak, rather than off on her own to leave you and your BF to yourselves like you are used to.

I know you don't want children, but if you are going to have a future with your BF you should encourage and support his relationship with his DD, including making her feel welcome in your home for visits. Believe me, I know it's NOT easy, and I agree that you should get counseling or maybe at least read a book or two on stepparenting (since you ARE in that role.) If you're not willing to do that yet you insist on staying with your BF (assuming in the meantime he doesn't decide that he can't live with YOU acting that way towards his DD) then I'm afraid you're in for nothing but many years of misery. Best of luck to you!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 10:45AM
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I read these posts so that I can understand my husband better. I have 3 daughters and recently remarried. My husband and my daughters don't always get along and there is a lot of tension in the home right now. It has helped me a lot to understand the stepparent's point of view, like my husbands.
REGGIE: You obviously don't see the signs of a great dad. You should feel fortunate that your boyfriend wants to and enjoys spending time with his beautiful daughter. It means he's a good man and will be good to you too - don't sabotage it. My ex only sees my daughters once a week for a few hours. I wish he spent more time with them because they need it so much. The attention that a father gives his daughters builds their self-esteem. A father that sacrifices his time for his kids truly loves his kids. If your boyfriend were a jerk and didn't spend time with his daughter, she'd have a lot of problems that you'd have to deal with. Again, be thankful.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 6:55PM
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I read these posts as well to try and gain a better view as I am a SM to SS and SD that have always lived with us. After the first year, it was very rare that we would have a full weekend off, much less EOW. It's been a very tough road and I can say it does get harder as they grow up. We've had our ups and downs, and I can relate to many of the posts already on here by the stepparents. It's hard not to feel selfish at times, and it's hard to be in the background on the rules, but on the front line for food, money, responsibility etc...

I've been told at times that I could not do this or that, ultimately father's word was the law in the end. Respect is a two way street and can be just as tough to give and to get. We've both made many mistakes in bringing them up and were not always there for them, but they have had much more than we did growing up. They are still at home now and are now both 20 something's, so I'm having an even harder time with it. They don't keep jobs and life is getting pretty expensive all around. I'm trying not to be angry all the time, but it's not always easy.

I wish all of us luck with what each day brings us.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 2:37PM
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The way I see this whole mess--from an old lady, gm and great gm etc. is that this new poster does not want answers, just wants to stir the pot, refuses to answer the help you have given her and probably will not come back as she/he does not care. Don't waste your time. Check to see when person joined etc.
Others do have real problems and do appreciate the help. This one is a looser.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 5:03PM
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You don't sound horrible. I can identify with almost everything you posted. It's tough being on the outside looking in. And it's really hard when your mate's children annoy you and there's nothing you can do about it. I often feel like the outsider myself and question whether I should subject myself to this kind of complicated relationship any longer. I don't think anyone can know what this kind of lifestyle is like until they try it. Overall I think weighing the pros and cons - especially for the long run of your life - is the most important thing. Do what's right for you in the long run. I don't particularly get into kids myself so this has been a very difficult adjustment for me. And I've been weighing the pros and cons for quite a while now and still can't decide what to do. Hang in there. Venting is good and it often helps me.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 2:49PM
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You have answered your own question OP.

You don't want kids.
This man has a child.

The child isn't going to dissapear so your only other option is for you to.

I also question this guys judgement if he is allowing soemone who dislikes children as much as you obviously do be around his kid. Red flags.

If a man told me he hates kids that would be a deal breaker for any relationship possibilities. He would be history. My daughter comes first.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 3:03PM
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I think your feelings are completely valid!

I went to bed at 8:00 EVERY night until I was in middle school, then it was 9:00 on weekends.

Being afraid of the bathroom? Grow up, kid! And I don't care if the "flushing" sound scares you, wash your damn hands!!

I also agree that the weekends at Dad's cannot be a vacation every time! If he truly wants to be a dad and not just an uncle, then there has to be real life when dad and daughter are together.

It is hard to feel like an outsider in your own home, and it is difficult to feel like you have no voice. I think there is definitely a chance for you to enjoy your SD, but first you and your partner have to become a united front. Until you feel like you are in it together, your resentment towards her will continue to grow.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 3:45PM
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