3 stepkids

momof3and3August 16, 2009

I am a mother of 6 total. I have 3 older stepkids, and we have 3 little kids. My husband had been divorced for two years before we started to date. We dated for three years before we got engaged. His kids were all older at that time 17, 15, 12 years old. While we was dating we always included them into everything. I felt like they were always against us being together. The 15 year old at that time always said in front of me how he hated his life because his parents are divorced and everything was missed up. I know and get that divorces are hard on the kids. I was a little mad that he never said anything to his kids about saying things like that in front of me. I did one time say I know you are hurt and I am sorry that your parents got divorced, but I didn't even know your dad until the divorce was finalized for two years; are you not happy that your dad is finally happy. Because we were very happy and so much in love. Anyway we finally got married. We included all 3 of his kids in our wedding. I even ask his daughter to be in my line.

Now we have been married for 4 years and it has been a rocky hard road. His ex-wife gave us a lot of crap. But now all the kids are older we don't hear from her much. The daughter is 24 and living with her husband. The other two are 22 and 19 years old and still living with us. My husband and I have a 2 year old son, and twin 21 month old daughters. It is a rat race around here at times. I don't get much sleep. I have asked my husbands older two boys to help around here a little bit. I expect them to keep their rooms and the bathroom they use clean, do their own laundry, do a dish here and there, and take a hour a week to help pull weeds in the yard. I don't think that this is asking to much do you? They don't help pay for food or anything and our old enough to be out on there own. Well they do. Oh, I also asked them to come home at descent hour a couple of nights a week so I can get some sleep. They come and go when ever they want and come home all hours of the night. And when they come home they are noisy and wake up my 3 kids all under 2 years of age. Anyway, am I asking to much of them?

When he started dating his daughter and I at talked. But she wanted her belly button pierced and told me that she was going to do it and not to tell her dad. All I said to her was well, I am not your mother I can't tell you what to do or not to do; but I can tell you that your dad would not like you to do it. And I wasn't going to run and tell her dad. Maybe that hasn't the right thing to do. But I just felt like I should be in between that we was just dating. Since then she really never talks to me much. She was against us getting married. One day about 3 years after we was married she came over to the house to talk to her dad. Well he was still at work, I invited her in and I had a nurse down checking up on our twins because they were 3 months preemies. The nurse asked my husbands daughter how she liked being a big sister. Her exact words was I don't, it is hard for me. They are now 21 months old and she has only seen them about three times for very quick seconds. She doesn't call unless she wants something. Anyway there is nothing I can do about this she is out on her own. I just feel bad that her littler brother and twin sisters won't know her much. Any the way she treats me in my own home my husband doesn't say anything to her.

The two older kids live with us. The 21 year old will talk somewhat to me and help a little bit. He is always out. He goes to work usually by 10:00 in the morning and get off by 7 but then goes straight out with his buddies until all hours of the night. The other one that is 19 when he is home he sits in his bedroom watching TV or on the internet all the time. He doesn't talk to me. When I ask him questions it is yes or no if he answers me at all. He will call my husband(his dad)up at work and tell him that he is going to go do something and never says a word to me. If he can't get a hold of his dad he calls and tells his older brother to tell their dad. I feel that he should tell me. I am his dads wife and suppose to be his step mom. I asked my husband why do you feel that your older kids don't have to tell me where they are going if they can't get a hold of you? My husband said yes they should tell you if they can't get a hold of me. I asked him why he doesn't enforce what he just told me. He said what do you mean. I told him that every time your 19 year old can't get a hold of you he calls your 21 year old instead of me. Even when you are home and he knows you are home and your cell phone is off he won't call the house number looking for you, he just calls his brother and tells him to tell you. Anyway my husband and I got into a other fight over things. I don't know what to do. I am so frustrated. I just feel like all they want me to do is keep my mouth shut and just cook and clean. I really feel bad for our younger three. As they get older I don't know what to say to them when they ask why their older brothers and sisters don't come to their birthdays, or get them a Christmas present. On all of the kids birthdays I have always made a cake and ice cream for them and present to open even my husbands older kids. His older kids can't even say happy birthday to our three younger kids. They take off or if they are home go into their bedrooms. It really bugs me that my husband don't say a word to them. Or at Christmas his oldest daughter will get the two older brothers from my husbands first marriage a gift, but she doesn't get our 3 kids together anything. It will bugs me. What can I do? Any advice, please.

Thank you

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The first thing I notice in your post is that there might be some unrealistic expectations. The behavior of your older stepkids is somewhat typical for their ages.. I have three kids that are 22, 20 & 19 and if I don't remind my son constantly, he won't clean up after himself. My 19yo is a girl and I don't have that problem with her. My 22yo is also married & out of the home.. but he also left at 18 because I was with my DH and planning to get married. Since he has gotten married and had a child, he doesn't focus too much on my marriage. I told him when he said he didn't want me to get married that someday he will meet someone and whether I like her or not, I will respect his choice because I love him.. and I expect him to at least respect my choice. He doesn't have to like my husband but he needs to be respectful and that is something I laid down to him when he was 18. He's now almost 23 and has matured & has been respectful the last couple of years. My 20 year old has also given DH lots of crap and doesn't like that we have rules because DH had input in the rules. We have rules like keep your room clean.. clean up after yourself.. be in by a certain time.. and if you want to eat whatever you want, go buy your own stuff.. If he's in school, he lives there for free. If he isn't in school, he is charged $50 a week 'rent'. But, I am the one that brings the rules to him, not DH. I am the one that says something when he isn't following the rules, not DH. I am the one that has to do it because I am his parent and if DH says anything to him.. it turns into a battle with my son becoming rebellious just because DH is saying it. He doesn't have the relationship necessary, I do. My daughter is a totally different story. She calls DH dad and when he tells her she's doing things wrong... she doesn't like it but she is respectful and if she doesn't agree with him, she will talk to him respectfully and plead her case. My son won't do that. He will start name calling. It has more to do with different personalities, but my point is that your DH needs to be the one to set limit, boundaries, and enforce them with his own kids. I won't tolerate my kids treating DH with disrespect... just as I wouldn't tolerate them being mean to the other kids in school or if they didn't like a teacher, they were not allowed to be disrespectful. "treat others the way you would like to be treated" If they have nothing nice to say, they don't need to say anything, but they have to be respectful and that includes rolling eyes, making faces, or ignoring. I have had that problem with my SD because my DH has not had that expectation from his DD and I have a hard time when she treats me that way... because I won't allow my kids to do that to anyone.

In regard to your small kids... teenagers don't typically get excited to have new siblings. They don't want to think of their parents as having sex.. and a baby is in their face proof that dad had sex. Yes, they probably know it happens... they just don't want to be reminded or think about it. Again, dad should be the one to expect them to treat their siblings with respect, which includes gift giving. I wouldn't expect a grown kid to come to a kids party but they should acknowledge their sibling. You can't make people do what you like and all you can tell your children when they get older and ask (and it may be a non issue if the older kids get better about it as they get older) is that you don't know why... because unless your stepkids tell you why they don't buy gifts, you really do not know why. My SD's mom does crappy things like she sends her mom to pick up SD instead of getting her herself or she cuts visits short and while I have my own opinion on why she does it, I don't know for sure and if SD asks.. the only true answer is "I don't know".

Then, it was pretty insensitive to say "are you not happy that your dad is finally happy. Because we were very happy and so much in love." because that implies that dad was not happy with their mother or as a single parent with them before you came along... that YOU are responsible for any happiness he has. I would not like being told that. Personally, I was very happy when I was a single parent, just me and my kids. I love my husband and we are very happy together now... as far as relationships go, I never knew I could be so happy with someone. But, I would not want that tossed into my kids' face and him taking credit for all my happiness. I would find a way to be happy whether he is in my life or not. I'm sure he was very happy with his ex wife or when his children were born and he was raising them. If he wasn't.. his kids are the last people you want to tell. Besides, they lived it and they will already know whether they have seen him happy or not. It might help your situation to find a way to apologize to his kids for saying that. (I also thought it wasn't necessary to explain you are not responsible for their parent's divorce, if they were divorced 2 years before you came along, the kids know you didn't cause the divorce. They likely just want their parents together or to not have to go through seeing dad with someone new. It isn't personal, they would probably feel that way about anyone he's with)

The best advice I can give you is to back off. It wasn't until my husband backed off and I stepped up to being the ONLY one to enforce things... and I have to be consistent, which has been a problem for me in the past (and yes, DH does remind me in private when I'm not being consistent) but it wasn't until I handled my grown kids 100% that it got better. I also stand up for the kids when I think he's being unreasonable.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 11:26AM
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but these are not little kids, they're hardly even teens;
they're young adults, & not liking the way their dad lives his life doesn't give them the right to treat his wife badly.

You must tell your husband how exhausted you are (what's he contributing in the way of child care, cleaning, etc?), how isolated & alienated & utterly miserable you feel in your own home, *how disappointed you are that he stands for his grown children being rude to you*.

Let him know, & make him acknowledge that he's heard it, that you're through being a doormat in your own home & that you'll be setting your own boundaries with everybody, including these "kids"-
now that you realize that you can't depend on your life partner, you'll stand up to *anybody* who treats you badly, & his kids don't get a free pass.

Keeping one's own room, doing one's own laundry, washing the occasional dish is reasonable if you're 10 years old;
if you & hubs can't come to some kind of schedule for the older kids' "chores", tell him to get a maid.

& remember that you are in charge of your own behavior-
once you've had this discussion, stick to it.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 2:52PM
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well first of all with 3 little children you should not be cooking and cleaning 24/7 for grown sons. they have to take care of themselves most of the time or move out.

your SD is rude, not giving gifts or not acknowledging her little siblings is rude. even if she feels this way, she shouldn't be saying it in people's faces. My DD is 21 and has two younger siblings, DD's younger brother is 20 years younger than her and she was very happy when he was born, she certainly acknowledges his birthday and other holidays and buys him little things and visits every time she is off college and does things with him. i cannot imagine her saying in front of other people that she hates being a big sister. Now DD is very maternal type, very affectionate, other people might not be, I wouldn't expect everyone to be that happy, but that's besides the point, it doesn't matter how one feels, you just do not say these things to other people. it is not OK to be rude or disrespectful no matter how one feels.

All 3 adult children are rude and disrespectful to you, it is not OK. they don't have to like you but they should not behave this way. It is your DH's job to take care of it.

Now i agree about backing off but how do you do that if they make noise, wake everyone up, make a mess etc. how do you back off if it prevents you from sleeping and living any kind of decent life. You have to have a meeting wiht DH that you canot live like this anymore. he better does something about it.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 9:52AM
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