I think I know what I need to do.
I am new to this site and it is very interesting to see other stepfamilies struggling with the same things I am...makes me feel not so alone.
Anyway...I have reached a point in our family where things need to change or I need to leave but I am incredibly scared.
I have three boys of my own- 6,2, and 8 months. My SS is 4 and my SD is 8.
My oldest has a different dad than my husband and my youngest two are ours together. My oldest goes to his dad's EOW and 1 overnight during the week. Our schedule used to be two dinner visits a week with stepkids and EOW, which we aligned to be the same as my oldest son's. Slowly, it has become every Th-Fr-Sa-Sunday and I can't stand it! I feel like my weekends are taken over by these ill-behaving children. I resent the fact that we have to have them EVERY weekend, while their mom goes out and has freedom every weekend. The weekends where my son is here isn't as hard because my 6 yr. old and his 4 yr. old are buddies and play. But, when my son isn't here, I feel a bit guilty spending time with another little boy when mine is gone. Plus, my stepkids have to constantly be entertained. I have children that play on their own for bits of time, then we play together, do activities together but my SD and SS are on the other end of the spectrum.
It's a thousand things I disagree with. Letting kids have seconds when they haven't finished everything on their plate, teaching kids to pick up after themselves, flush toilets, wash hands, have good attitudes. He fights me on all of this every step of the way- why? I don't know. He says kids need to be kids and I agree but I don't think that means letting kids walk all over you.
Not to mention, their mother is a NIGHTMARE! Whenever she is dating someone, the kids are over here 24-7. When they are not here, they are at their grandparents or stay late at after school programs. Both children have gotten massive infections down there because she hasn't bathed them for 5+days. She doesn't remind her daughter to change her underwear so SD just doesn't- for a week, until she is over here. She sends them over in socks that fit my 8 month old and underwear that is 3 sizes too small. They tell us about all the movies and video games they play- and I really believe(by the amount in one day they have talked about)that she sits them in front of a tv all the time. I have tried to talk to my husband about this and he doesn't think she is neglectful. I feel like I am trying to take care of 2 kids that aren't even mine that need parental affection and love, and their dad is in denial and their mom is selfish and only thinks of her needs.I have talked to my husband about filing for full custody and he says, Absolutely not. I asked him what it would take for him to do that and he says, Something REALLY bad, like where one of my kids got hurt. I think it would be better for the kids to be in a home 24-7 where they are at least getting their basic needs met. But I can't be the one to file and he doesn't see the need. I am sick of having to redo whatever their mom messes up for kids that aren't even mine. They take away from my time for my boys and I am so DONE! Everytime I bring up a solution, he knocks it down and blows me off.
I have told my husband that I want to go to counseling- he has told me that he thinks counseling is crap. We have gone rounds and rounds about our discipline methods and we can't come to an agreement. I am more disciplined and think it is absolutely inappropriate to ever have a child talk back to you, give attitude, hit, disobey. My kids have consequences for that and his don't. I feel like I am constantly fighting against him to have set boundaries in our house.
I want to leave but am scared out of my mind. I was a single mom of 1 and it was SO HARD. To be a single mom of three small boys feels overwhelming to me but I KNOW I can do it. I have school money I recieve, some child support from my oldest son's dad, I would recieve child support from my husband and with working part time- I could definitely make it. I am afraid though- it's hard to leave, start a new life, do it on my own. Harder emotionally than anything.I have talked to my aunt about this and she tells me I need to wait until my kids are out of diapers, until my youngest is 3. This feels like an eternity to me-how do I keep living like this when I am so unhappy?
I need advice.