My views are 'worthless'? I fear my SS because of this :(

yasminaSeptember 20, 2009

I'm in need of some advice and encouragement.

(I'll refer to my boyfriend as BF and to his son as SS in this post. I guess BF usually means biological father in this forum? Sorry about that!)

I've lived with my boyfriend for 2 months (moved to a new city for him). He has a 5yo son who's with us all weekends. I'm unexpectedly having trouble bonding with SS. First few weeks it was going well.

...But then a small, but to me traumatic, thing happened after I'd known SS for 3 weeks (only). I made a mistake regarding SS, and I got yelled for it: I gave SS pain medicine without consulting BF first when SS was under my care overnight.

That got resolved, I apologized etc, and BF forgot about it. But now, a month later, things have only gotten worse and my anxiety is only growing... After the incident I completely distanced myself from SS. First I thought I merely disliked him, but I have realized in the last week that I actually fear SS...

To be more precise, I am afraid of interacting with SS because I fear criticism from BF for whatever I say or do with regard to SS. It has made me so uncomfortable with SS, that I have trouble looking him in the eyes.

I sometimes avoid his presence by hanging around in the bedroom when he's in the living room etc. I especially avoid any decisions and orders. For example: It's been my joy to cook for BF but now I don't feel comfortable deciding what SS eats anymore so BF fixes his own and SS's meals when SS is here. Then there are the orders, I used to be comfy with telling SS to wash his hands after peeing, but not anymore.

Logically I know I shouldn't have any problems with SS, he did nothing wrong and he's a good kid. But somehow after that incident, every little negative action or word out of SS's mouth annoys me.

The things that drive me crazy for some reason:

The following are obviously not the "real issue" here, but the actual things that bug me about SS are really about the interaction between him and his father... There are two things that bug me the most:

1. BF rewards SS's bad behavior by coddling him after he's done something bad.

For example, last weekend SS kicked his dad (because he didn't get what he wanted). Not any sort of severe tantrum or anything, just a single annoyed kick. Then when dad understandably got mad at him for it, SS began to cry. So what does dad do? Immediately picks him up and hugs him tight until he stops crying!

Does this not spell WRONG to anyone else? How I see it, is all SS learns from that is that if he does something naughty, he doesn't have to make things better or even feel guilty, because all he has to do is cry pathetically enough and daddy will make it better.

2. BF makes empty threats like "if you don't stop whining, you'll never do [insert favorite thing here] again". In my mind, the kid will learn that he doesn't have to listen to orders, because at the worst, they will learn to threats, will will never come true anyway, so why listen.

This does not all happen all the time, and sometimes BF does go through with things. And of course, same thing with number one: of course most often he will not coddle SS, and he'll let him be upset when it's needed.

But still, it happens SOMETIMES and that's enough to keep up the whiny talking and crying and talking back that happens every single time things don't go how SS wants them to.

So guys... what do you think? BF shocked me two nights ago by saying something which sounds pretty inconsiderate to me:

He said that since I don't have children, my opinions on parenting are worthless. So now, on top of ALREADY being incredibly insecure around SS, I now don't know how I'm going to ever express these things that take my peace of mind, to my BF, since he's already decided that whatever I will say, will be worthless. He didn't say it out of spite either, he really thinks it's just a fact of life that I can't know anything about parenting.

(Not that I have EVER claimed to be a child expert or anything like it! I just think that all people including kids "do what works" and crying and whining sometimes works for SS which is why he does it.)

I really need help on how to approach my boyfriend about these two things. He's extremely touchy about his parenting (I know it's normal)... what do I do?

I don't want this to get worse, it's already blowing out of proportion in my head and I feel as though am going to explode if I don't speak out to my boyfriend. I have tried to ignore it, drop it, just try to be OK with it, but that has just lead to me resenting that I can't say anything AND being more anxious about the whining and crying.

How can I learn to like and bond with my SS? I need some light at the end of the tunnel. I've never had problems with kids, I even worked at a daycare before... sigh!

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Um, I don't think your problem is your SS, it's your BF. I'm sorry to say, from your description he doesn't sound like a keeper to me. You're right, his parenting techniques could use some work, yelling at you so much you're now gun shy about SS is, I feel OTT, and dismisssing your opinion "because you don't have children" is mean and wrong. I doubt things will improve.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 2:21AM
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Nah certainly the problem isn't the kid, it's how dad interacts with him that has began to bug me. He's very loving toward SS (and myself), but he gives in too much to SS, IMO.

My bf has only yelled at me ONCE (during that medication episode for good reason) and really hasn't voiced criticism at me regarding SS after it. I just became very (over)sensitive after that, to what my bf thinks AND something in me made me distance myself from his son because of that...

If I could only figure out how to talk to my boyfriend, just to get these things out... it would maybe make me feel better.

Even if he won't take any of my advice (I realize anyway that implementing changes like not giving in when SS cries is WAY easier said than done even if he did agree with me on it). If I can get him to listen.

Any tips from bio parents are appreciated on how to criticize parenting, errrm, as gently as possible.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 9:58AM
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You're so afraid to admit you made a mistake leaving everything you knew to be with this man that you transfer blame and resentment of his disregard and disrespect of you to his 5 year old son. Is it that you came here to him and not to a job that provides independence so you won't have to feel trapped? It happens very often, so you don't have to feel alone in the mistakes department. You might want to reconsider exactly what it is you need to talk to BF about.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 9:59AM
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Oh, there really wasn't much to leave behind, so I have no regrets there.

I do think I was not prepared for all this, which I wasn't. So that is the one thing that makes me wonder if I made a mistake coming here sooner than later.

On the other hand, here I am (with the man I love) so I am going to do my best to give this a proper chance, not twisted by my personal hangups. So I'm trying to work through those.

My boyfriend really would like to help me, and help us, he's more than willing to communicate. He tells me all the time that I should talk to him and certainly I should. Usually I just end up crying instead of talking because I'm thinking about his son and how it's so difficult to bring him up with my boyfriend. I'm ill-equipped to deal with all this by myself, and boyfriend is ill-equipped to help a depressed person. It is a bit of a mess...

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 10:22AM
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"I've never had problems with kids, I even worked at a daycare before... sigh!"

BTDT. I have my teaching certificate, my own DD and just love kids in general. BUT I have had issues with my SS that I never expected to have, and I have certainly felt feelings that I was not particularly proud of.

A LOT of it you already know---your issues are more with your BF than they are your SS. HIS parenting choices and his lack of respect for your thoughts are affecting your ability to develop a good relationship with his son.

IMO, there are two options. You can either bow out of ALL parenting regarding your SS. Don't put yourself in a position (or don't let your BF put you in it) where you are a caregiver for SS.

IF BF wants you to be a caregiver and to share some of the parenting responsibility (note, I said SOME, not all) then HE needs to cut you some slack. This is all new for you and it is a learning process. He needs to be patient with you and be supportive of you. YELLING at you is not doing either of those things.

I think you already know you need to have a serious sit down with your BF about his expectations, your expectations and how you can meet in the middle.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 10:24AM
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I think your issues with bf are pretty major. You feel like you can not talk to him and he has made you feel that your opinions are worthless! Thats a pretty big deal.

If it were me I would have a heart to heart with him and tell him how terrible he is making you feel. Then tell him you would like more info on parenting and you think that you both should attend some parenting classes together.

This child is young and should be a big part of your bf's life. So if you want this relationship to work then you need to be comfortable around him and his son.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 1:50PM
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@lovehadley: hmm, thank you, I will sit down with him and ask him about his expectations. We had a little bit of dscussion about that last week, when I told him I don't know how to relate to SS (as a friend like another child? Like a maid or babysitter or more like a parent?)

His answer then was I should relate to him like I am his friend. My problem is that I am an adult. Even though I have can be very childlike and have noo probs playing with toys etc, I can't always just be like another 5 year ols with SS if I am expected to babysit him. Which I am (I accept it.)

He doesn't seem to understand the difficulty in how to relate... I am not sure I am making myself clear either.

I am going to try talking with him, wish me luck :)

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 2:47PM
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Your BF has shown by both his actions and his words that he does not respect you as an equal adult, and this is a major, MAJOR problem.

He leaves his child in your care, then yells at you for giving the child pain medication? (Like most caring, responsible adults would have done?) If there was a reason SS should not ever have pain meds, it was HIS responsibility to tell you, meaning his anger was displaced. If you didn't read the med. directions and overdosed SS, the he has a valid complaint -- but that's not what it sounds like.

As to his statement that your opinions are "worthless" -- you need to really listen to that. NOT because it's true (it isn't) -- but because it says so much about him and how he views you.

At the risk of being repetitive, I'll say it again:

Your BF has shown by both his actions and his words that he does not respect you. And while you might succeed in getting him to be a bit nicer to you much of the time, you won't be able to 'earn' his respect by being a 'good little girl' and not angering him.

My best advice?

TELL him (speaking firmly, no crying, no screaming) he's way out of line in the way he's treating you. That he needs to have a major attitude adjustment if your relationship is to have ANY chance of progressing. And that any future disrespect from him will result cause you to pack your bags -- because whatever else he has going for him is NOT worth being treated with contempt. (It's not.)

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 2:56PM
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Maybe you should consider this the family situation that you want for yourself? Your BF, possible husband (I'm assuming that if you packed up your life to be with him that you are thinking about being with him from now on) treating you this way over HIS child? And, look at whether you want to parent this child as he is? Sometimes kids change and sometimes they just get older but not better. This is true whether they are the ones you give birth to or that you take in to your heart.

You are not married to this man and his child is not yours, at least not yet as you are not even married. Take a step back and say, "is this a family that I really can love, enjoy and want?"

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 3:28PM
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He came home. I'd been thinking about all these things and especially the 'worthless opinion' comment, and I was mad at him. He noticed and asked why.

We talked some. I told him the 'worthless' comment is still fresh on my mind and that I find it hard to talk to him about things related to SS because he'll won't listen since I have no children and thus my opinion will be worhless to him.

Sigh... you'll never guess what he said to that! He said that I am the exception because I am his partner. Why could he not say that when we were having that discussion in the first place?

Well either way, that's good news, certainly more light at the end of the tunnel. I also asked him, to confirm, if he's willing to entertain the idea that I might have somethng worthwhile to say and he said yes.

Still doesn't change the fact that he's touchy and I feel I have to proceed ith extreme caution when it comes to criticisms and suggestions OR the fact that he still thinks childfree people in general basically have worthless opinions about parenting (which kinda makes me wonder if when push comes to shove he will actually listen to me).

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 6:15PM
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@lamom, Yes indeed the jury's still out. I do see potential though, even regarding SS. I may not be crazy about him now but I might feel completely different about him after this has been resolved. I remain scared but hopeful.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 6:28PM
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Maybe you could write him a letter expressing how you feel and then after he reads it, sit down and have a discussion.
Good luck in your relationships.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 8:20PM
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Hmmm, thanks Carol, that sounds like a good idea. I will do that :)

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 8:56PM
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Wow, to me there are a lot of red flags here.

1. BF is leaving you alone with SS too quickly into relationship.

2. You moved to be with BF? And you're not married.

3. You gave SS medicine without consulting a parent, after living with BF for a couple of months? And you work in day care. I assume you dont give medicine to day care kids without parental consent.

BF is taking advantage of you. BF needs parenting class. You should not give out medicine without parental consent. Way too soon for you to be making these decisions. If you were my daughter, I would have told you not to move for him. Visit yes, Move no. Letter is not always best way to communicate. Its not a dialog. It appears to you to give you the last word, but recipient may view it as manipulative.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 9:23PM
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1. It was a one time, unexpected surprise situation.
2. I don't see how that is a red flag. Do you think that's a sin or were you thinking of it from the "he's using you" angle or something else?
3. I made a mistake with too little instruction and too much responsibility. That issue has been resolved with BF. Christ, of course it was too early to make such decisions. But I was caring for the child in the best way I knew how.

Btw, when I worked at a day are I was an assistant not in the position to make those kinds of decisions. I mentioned the daycare thing to demonstrate that I like children.

As for your comment about him taking advantage of me, he's offered to find his son a daycare here if I don't want to babysit him during those times (that are very few and far between) when neither bio parent is able to watch him. I don't think he is using me. But maybe you were referring to something else I've said in the thread?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 10:36PM
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I think your moving was a mistake -- I wouldnt say a sin. If you moved in with him and was just across town, I would say no big deal. But for you to give up what you have to move, I'ld be worried.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 11:56AM
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kkny is right in her thoughts. She is a bio mom so her comments should be highly valued as you are a step mom to be.

Separate from the relationship advice, you moving in before marriage etc. on which I agree, there are some red flags that you shouldn't ignore. If I had looked more closely at the red flags with my husband's family I probably would never have reached this board!

Drama like this usually doesn't stop after marriage. That is reality. I don't think any of us are trying to tell you about your relationship with BF other than, when kids are involved, things don't usually get easier if there are problems with the kid relationships up front.

Sacrifice brings rewards sometimes, when they are merited and recognized. It's hard to get those kinds of credits with the situation you are in. This BF is blatantly disrespecting you for doing a job that is NOT YOUR JOB to do in the 1st place. Slow things down, detach from the SS. You don't have to jump in to the breach as a 2nd mom to him, consider that. Don't let BF thrust you in to that role and then undermine you later. Focus on that, this is your BF, not husband, not father to your children.

Read more of the posts here from both the stepmoms and the biomoms. It's a rough road. If he's acting like this now, be real and say he will be this way later. Enjoy the BF/GF relationship and let him parent HIS SON. You don't have to do that job no matter what BF says he wants, especially for what you are getting in return. Static, stress, disrespect and less love.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 1:09PM
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I get the impression that Yasmina wants to hear that things will get better.. it will all work out.. and that she didn't make a mistake.

I agree with kkny that there are many red flags. I couldn't get through half of the original post without thinking "WHAT A MISTAKE!!!" Too many red flags...

"I've lived with my boyfriend for 2 months (moved to a new city for him)"

Unless you had another reason for moving, like YOUR job/career, moving to a new city "for him" is a HUGE mistake. It isolates you from your life, family, friends, and comfort zone. You are more likely to feel dependent on him and put up with more crap because it's such a big decision.... it's easier to try to find the good in it than to admit it was a mistake and spend the time & money to move back... nobody wants to look like they did something foolish or feel like the 'failed'.

"I made a mistake regarding SS, and I got yelled for it:"

It's bad enough if a husband yells at his wife. That shows a lack of respect. When it's a boyfriend, that's a HUGE red flag. You have lived there 2 months and he is leaving his son in your care.. it's HIS visitation time and he only has him on weekends. If he isn't going to be home, why isn't the child with his mother? If he wants specific care, it's HIS responsibility to leave specific instructions. and if you made a mistake, he still has no right to YELL at you. That's a warning sign of an abusive man. Add that to moving you away from your community, and I would be VERY worried about you. He may get more violent if he can't communicate with you but feels the need to yell at you... that scares me.

"To be more precise, I am afraid of interacting with SS because I fear criticism from BF for whatever I say or do with regard to SS. It has made me so uncomfortable with SS, that I have trouble looking him in the eyes."

If you are walking on eggshells, it is NOT the child that makes you feel that way, it's your boyfriend. That's another sign of an abusive man!

"He said that since I don't have children, my opinions on parenting are worthless."

That is verbal/mental abuse! Next, it will be a push.. then a shove.. then a punch. It ALWAYS progresses. Your opinions matter whether you have kids or not. You don't need to defend having an opinion. He doesn't have to agree with your opinions, but if he says something like that.. at the very least, he has no respect for you... at worse, he is priming you for further abuse.

Abusers are charming. He has since 'talked' and will charm you and convince you he is understanding and willing to work things out... blah blah blah.

You can also look at the behavior of his son, which is modeled by him. He kicks his father out of anger and then cries for sympathy. The father is angry he is kicked, but then feels guilty his son is crying. Just as you feel angry when he treats you the way he does, but turn around with hope because he throws you a bone by saying you are his partner... like I said, they are charming!

"Well either way, that's good news, certainly more light at the end of the tunnel. I also asked him, to confirm, if he's willing to entertain the idea that I might have somethng worthwhile to say and he said yes."

Just the idea that you have to ASK him if he would ENTERTAIN the idea that you have something worthwhile to say, is really sad to me.

My advice: Realize that you are worthwhile. Your opinion matters. You don't NEED his approval, you NEED yours! You need to find your value and self worth, then you would realize that this is not the guy for you. I feel sorry for his child, and he does not sound like the kind of guy you should have a child with. It would probably be best for you to leave, go back home and learn to love yourself until you meet the guy that will make you feel like a princess. He's out there but you won't ever find him while you are with this guy.

The divorce rate in our country is 50-60% and if you stay with this guy long enough to have a child, you need to look 10 years into your future and IF you are no longer with him, is he going to be the kind of father you would feel comfortable sending your child to live with or spend weekends with?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 5:37PM
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I agree with Ima and KKNY. There are way too many red flags here and he is just a boyfriend.

And as about the medication thing, I generally leave my DD with only people I trust. Therefore if she did need medication, I would trust them to give to her in the correct dosage and when needed. All I would need is a heads up when I pick her up. I would not see that as something to freak out about. When I do leave DD with someone, they know the rules upfront and what's she's allergic too. They have all the information needed. I understand other people parent differently and I can see why some parents would want to give consent, but honestly it was up to BF to state his boundaries and such. Most daycares have you sign papers if you want prior consent before giving cold meds and such. His freakout was unwarranted unless he had stated not to give minor medication otherwise. Or if OP gave the kid adult meds, which I think is not the case.

I think women have a problem believing what they are shown way too many times. The last update where OP says oh no, I didnt mean your opinions were worthless because you are my partner is just crazymaking. Why did he say that to you the first time? Really, believe what you are shown.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 6:15PM
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I think I am bowing out of this discussion. I came here to vent and get some advice on how to communicate better with my partner so I can get over my hangup about his child. But this is not helping me.

I unfortunately am one of those people who'll sit there and be like "I can't sleep, someone is WRONG on the Internet!" And thus I am stressing over where this thread is going. Some of you have it so wrong. I certainly take the blame - partially. The rest of the blame I put to the medium of communication and people making assumptions based on hunch or whatever.

I don't have the energy to re-explain certain things here in order to show that my beloved is NOT an abuser physically or emotionally. I know some of you are going to be thinking stuff like "truth hurts eh?" but I need to stop caring about such things.

Thanks to everyone, I know you all mean well.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 10:30PM
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Nivea reminds me of the time Oprah said "Maya Angelou told me 'When people tell you how they are, believe them!"'

Yasmina, I think what we're all trying to say is you have made a big mistake. Well, enough of us said it that I shouldn't have to keep repeating it, but I do want to point out a few more reasons that we all think it.

One thing is you are on the inside and can't see the forest for the trees. All his loving tenderness you mentioned more than once is clouding what just might otherwise be your clear view. And of course, the fact that you love him also clouds your view. "Because I love him" is usually the sad excuse most of us women have for putting up with a man's awful behavior and treatment of us. The fact is, nothing in your home life and relationship should make you feel uncomfortable, especially too uncomfortable to go about doing what is and feels natural. This situation with his son is just the first thing that keeps you on pins and needles, feeling you are too stupid to do anything right. Please believe that yet another situation is soon to arise, where he will criticize your best efforts to make you feel worthless. He's already said you are worthless. You missed the translation by your clouded view. Then he canceled it because he had to comfort you, like abusers always do as Imamommy said. Now it's time for him to confirm it. He now has to make it stick just in case you are not convinced of your worthlessness, which will happen soon enough. Please recognize it when it happens.

Since you don't believe us right this moment, will you please, please remember our words when the next thing comes about? And then run for hills.....or back home whether there is anything there for you or not. Absolutely nothing is way better than an abusive man whose sole purpose in life is to tear you down mentally, emotionally. Please do not stick around another day to try to rationalize the problem because it will never make any kind of sense, no more sense than it made for him to tell you your opinion is worthless because you're not a parent, and then turn around and comfort you by making you the exception. I truly hope you see his sorry ploy in there. If you refuse to accept verbal and emotional abuse is exactly what that is, then I hope you properly identify it the next time. And as I said, there definitely will be a next time.

Too many times you have taken the blame for something you didn't do, and that always happens too. Perhaps you weren't prepared as you say, but exactly how much studying do you need and how many children must you bear to prepare for babysitting a 5 year old on one sudden occasion? What you don't see is any preparing you was up to BF to do. That was his failure, not yours. And honestly, just like you have not addressed the job question that was brought up twice, you also have not addressed why it was so horrible that you gave the child pain meds. Was it too much you gave him? The wrong kind? Was there an allergic reaction? Did he end up in emergency? Will there be a funeral? Please don't bow out. Come back and tell us of the cardinal sin that has you so guilt-ridden. Please confess it because so far you haven't, but he has you convinced of blunder.

Already, with just this one incident (only because you've told us of no others), he has you second guessing yourself for good judgment, blaming yourself where absolutely no fault exists, too afraid to breath with his son in the house, and entirely unable to see the difference. Moreover, you are so confused that you think the child somehow has something to do with it all, so much so that you resent his presence. Gollygeewillickers

I made the first statement about Oprah because it isn't likely anyone on this earth will actually come out and say "I am a mean, nasty person" or "I am an abusive man" or anything of the sort. If asked, we will all offer some emphatic praise of ourselves and try to convince others of how nice and wonderful we are. He made you fall in love with him with certain words and actions. As Imamommy said, abusers are very charming. You have to keep your eyes and judgment clear enough to see what his other actions reveal about his character. Those words and actions, as in this case, are him telling you how he really is. Don't ignore it next time like you're doing this time, try to explain it all away, or refuse to see what other people can see.

I was a little concerned that Imamommy's post might scare you away. I get her point but don't think I would have suggested he will turn physically abusive. He might and he might not, but he will become more abusive whether or not it ever gets physical. There will be other occasions, progressing in frequency and severity and all just as senseless as this one. Will you please see it next time for what it is? Come back to remind yourself of this thread if only for fortitude and strength to do what you must. It will still be here, still on the first page because it will happen soon enough.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 11:27PM
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They don't always turn physical, but I do agree that the abuse always escalates. It starts off with little things. Ambiguous things. Like the medication incident. (I was married to a verbal and emotional abuser for 10 years, and he never got physical.) The thing is, by the time the treatment escalates to the point where everybody will agree it's abusive, the person being abused is so unsure of her own judgement that she still can't see it and will rationalize it away.

You see, there's almost always a grain of truth in the abuser's criticisms. And this is the part they drive in (to make the rest true) and the part the victim has to acknowledge...

It's not hard to see how a parent might object to another adult's giving his child medicine. OK -- So what were you supposed to do? He could just as easily have set into you for "letting his child suffer needlessly - how cruel!"

I also understand how you don't want to 'lose face' by returning to your old home and admitting the relationship (and maybe the move) was a mistake. I get that - I really do. But try to view it from another angle. You were brave to take a risk like that on a relationship. You gave it a fair chance. You were smart enough to recognize that (while salvageable), the relationship was never going to be wonderful -- and that by settling for 'salvageable' now, you would be eliminating the possibility of 'wonderful' in the future. And you were confident enough NOT to settle for that, and the therfore, return to the place you lived before that is filled with people you care about. Spin it. Believe it.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 10:02AM
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Sigh. Ok then, let me sit here and explain myself and my partner to complete strangers for some mysterious reason.

The 'worthless' comment. He never actually said 'my' views on parenting are worthless. He referred to 'people with no children' and it was in reference to him saying he has a hard time listening to childfree people about parenting. Yes, I am one of those, but he'd thought I would see the difference. That just became apparent at the time I brought it up with him the second time, he seemed surprised that I hadn't excluded myself from that vast group of childless people with silly opinions. He wasn't trying to hurt my feelings or be mean. He told me about how he himself threw away everything he thought he knew about parenting, when he had his son.

I believe him when he says I am the exception, because he has given no reason not to because he has given no criticism after that one single time. Later I asked him SARCASTICALLY if he's "willing to entertain" the idea that I might have something worthwhile to say about parenting. I was annoyed so it came out that way...

As for my walking on eggshells around SS - that alone is NOT a sign that he's abusive! Like I said, he has given me NO criticisms regarding his child whatsoever after the medicine incident.

Speaking of which... It was the wrong kind of pain killer (codeine/paracetamol mix). I used the instructions on the package and gave the amount you're supposed to for his age. It's just that he'd never had codeine before.

Also, I was instructed to call my boyfriend if anything out of the ordinary happened. At the time, the child was crying like he was being eaten alive, and I didn't want him to also start crying for his mommy and daddy and make it even worse for the poor boy by calling right when it was going on.

What some of you have said about how my partner was supposed to explain in advance about allergies and rules about giving medicines, I certainly agree with. For some reason it didn't occur to me to ask in advance either. Bottom line, I was without the information, and thus I take a good chunk of the blame.

So I called him after the boy was sleeping again, and he found out what kind of medicine it was. He said "where have you learned that you can give a child medicine without asking the parents?" It sounded like he assumed that was common knowledge. I had never even thought about it, or been in the position to. I just thought codeine and paracetamol are both relatively low-risk medications (ya know, being extremely common and all) and since he'd not mentioned allergies or such, that I'm likely okay giving SS that.

Ok, now the "yelling" part. He didn't actually yell at me. He didn't raise his voice, he was just angry, reminded me I was instructed to call him. "This is exactly the sort of situation when you're supposed to call". There were no insults other than when he said that it was "stupid" what I did.

The next evening when he was back, we talked about it. He held me, I cried, I told him how horrible it felt when all I wanted to do was to care for the child and end up doing the wrong thing.

I told him about an incident in my childhood, when I was seven and another kid I was with was 3. I pushed the 3yo on a swing and she ended up getting a concussion because of it. Then her mother came out to yell at ME for it, even though she'd not been anywhere around to supervise her kid when it happened. The whole thing kind of reminded me of that incident, with that feeling of "I didn't know better, yet they are angry at me". I'm sure he got my point...

As for the whole "coming here was a mistake". Now someone was even implying the whole relationship was a mistake... It's ridiculous. You have no means to determine such things. I came here for him, not for a job, and I do not think that itself makes it a mistake. If you do, then that isn't my problem.

Certainly if these things can't get solved and if one of us stays unhappy because of some facet of the situation, then it will have been a mistake and I will go back home. I knew right from the start that this was a sort of experiment. There was no other way to give this relationship a proper chance than for me to move (because of the distance). And so I took that risk willingly and knowingly and I have no regrets there whatsoever.

I am not one to settle for "salvageable" if there's something better out there waiting for me. I would not still be here if I didn't think me and my boyfriend (and yes his son) have a possibility to have an absolutely wonderful, happy future together.

Rocky start, yes, some would say too rocky to become workable, but I wouldn't be who I am, if I didn't have a pinch of idealism in me.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 11:30AM
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"He said "where have you learned that you can give a child medicine without asking the parents?" It sounded like he assumed that was common knowledge."

it is a common knowledge (and you worked in day care? and don't know that?).

i would say since you are not familar wiht such a common knowledge, you are in no position to be alone with a child, i frankly do not understand why do you want to be wiht a man who has children if you are so unprepared for it.

how old are you? do you work? went to school? do you depend on him? did you leave your job and your home to move in with this man? this makes no sense.

you don't sound like independent grown woman ready to be a stepmother. everything what you described in this thread sounds like a big mistake.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 11:55AM
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Are you kidding us or yourself? We are strangers but still friends at least virtually.

"where have you learned that you can give a child medicine without asking the parents?" It sounded like he assumed that was common knowledge" HUH?????

He left his child in your care, you gave the kid some medicine. I don't know or care whether it was the right medication or not, he left HIS SON IN YOUR CARE and you did what you thought was best. That's what happens when children are left in the care of someone else. The kid didn't die or end up in the ER so why be so ugly about it? ALL parents make mistakes with kids, caregivers too. If the child survives, thank God and don't do it again. That's the chief parental rule and it sounds like BF isn't acknowledging that for you. Or maybe he doesn't really know a lot about parenting and is taking out of you.

If you don't like SS5 or the way BF handles him and you as it relates to SS5, honey, it won't get any better. As kids get older their problems whether they are yours or stepkids just get larger. Lots of the problems between stepkids and stepmothers really boil down to problems between the parents and the new wives or dads.

I know the lecturing you are receiving from us must be uncomfortable for you but heck, that's the deal. In terms of bonding with a 5 year old, just be the fun adult figure in his life. Don't be the disciplinarian, don't tell him to wash his hands after the bathroom etc. That's not your job really anyway and it is certainly not your responsibility. Let your BF who thinks you don't know what you are doing do it HIMSELF.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 12:27PM
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That's it.

I don't know why I even wrote that last message, but this one, I am writing only to let people who are reading, know that I won't be following this thread anymore. You all are welcome (obviously, since posts here can't be deleted) to discuss my "big mistakes" and "abusive" boyfriend and whatever I have mentioned myself, amongst yourselves but I am singing out.

This thread is giving me more stress than it's worth and I regret ever writing here. Sorry to everyone who put thought and time into replying to me but I can't take part in the discussion anymore. I can't sit here and listen to any more varying opinions and wonder which ones are right. It's affecting me negatively.

I have read all of it so far though, and from it, I take with me whatever I will.

Thanks and goodbye.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 12:42PM
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Hey Yasmina? I hope you're still reading. But do you have any family? Or support system? Have you asked any friends about your situation?

You know, on the internet it's really hard to tell what is what. Someone that knows you may be able to give you better advice.

A lot of the regulars have been here awhile and yeah, I haven't made everyone take tests yet but I'm going to go out on a limb and say we have one of the most intelligent group of posters :)

I am concerned that something on the internet could keep you up at night or affect you negatively. Who cares if someone has a different opinion than you? Right? I hope you keep posting. You're in a new city and I'm sure haven't established a support system yet. And you know my Mama Bear instincts (as many other posters) have come out swinging for you on this thread. Why not give us a try for a little while?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 1:31PM
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Yasmina, I wish you'd stop being so immature about this thread and our responses. Your age is showing and you haven't even told us. If nothing else, consider the source. Consider how many respondents think you have made a big mistake. Count them if you will. Did we all imagine it? Do we all have the exact same imaginations that brought us to the exact same conclusions? Is everybody wrong but you? That last question is one for life. Ask it of yourself often for the next 50 or 60 years. Any prudent, self-reflecting person would.

Now consider the information and the source of the information on which we based our opinions. We had only that which you conveyed - the background of factors for us to examine and scrutinize. If there was more to the story; if the story wasn't nearly so bad as you initially expressed, then the failure this time was completely yours. You come back in anger to explain things a little better, but you surely cannot blame us for what we understood of your first and subsequent posts. One or two people might not catch something, might read it wrong, or might misconstrue, but surely not all of us and not most of us. You are again transferring aggression and blame, just like you did with the 5 year old.

doesn't require lashing out. We can be angry and not lash out because what holds us back is gratitude of no regret. Everyone on this earth has experienced something like what happened with you, the kid, and the medicine. In every case, there is someone to answer to, someone who exclaims "Woo! Thank goodness nothing bad happened!" but without lashing out about it. Why? Because nothing bad happened. So, why did he lash out in anger? What was there to be angry about and call stupid?

I disagree with BF and those here who say you should have known to ask the parent. I believe we do not know things until we learn of them. It didn't occur to you to check with dad about the medicine. It wouldn't occur to anyone without pre-disposure to the concept, whatever it might be in their history and experience that made them aware that this is something you have to ask about. There was nothing in your past, but now you know.

Sorry, I stick with my original opinion and previous two posts. Your last ones did not change my mind although they did shed some more light and probably offered a different perspective. However, they didn't change scenario or the logical, analytical review. For the record though, I did not say or intend your relationship was a mistake. I think it was a mistake to leave everything you knew to be with a man it doesn't sound like you knew so well and to be entirely dependent on him. Perhaps you have plans to find work in order to gain independence so that if you ever have to pick up and go, you can do just that. For all I know, you have considerable savings to fall back on. I hope one of those two possibilities is the case with you.

Incidentally, my age comment wasn't to offend you, just stating a fact that you are acting just like I did and practically every woman here when we were young(er) and inexperienced. A mature woman (someone older/more experienced) would not have written your posts, not the way you wrote them. Most of us are of an age and been through enough to have some wisdom to those younger ones who will listen so we can spare them some regret.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 1:58PM
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This is kind of going off topic, but where do you live?

I have never had codeine without a prescription. DD had surgery two yrs ago (epigastric hernia repair) and we were given a prescription for Tylenol w/codeine. Also, when I first started teaching right out of college, I got a horrible case of hand-foot-mouth disease. I had sores all over my tongue and on my gums. OUCH!!!! My dr. gave me a prescription for a codeine mouth rinse. As far as I know--codeine is not available over the counter in the states.

So I'm wondering why your BF had codeine just sitting around in the medicine cabinet? Am I way off base here?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 3:13PM
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Codeine is a prescription drug. If you are going to give a kid meds you should only give childrens Tylenol or Motrin and I am not a bioMom. Now the OP did say she gave him the kids dosage so that makes me wonder if the child had been given the presription for something else and that she found it and gave it to the child. Still does not make much since as to why you would give the codeine. If the codeine was for somebody else and not the kid she should have never givin it to him. I have to say i probably would have been upset myself if I was the parent.

When my SK's are sick I give them the Tylenol/Motrin for kids unless they have a prescription (which is usually an antibiotic not pain med)without asking their father if he's not there.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 3:49PM
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Codeine is over the counter in Canada, what she describes would be acetaminophen with codeine.....

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 6:42PM
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Yasmina, The response I gave earlier WAS after a LOT of thought. I read your post and waited several hours, came back and re-read it... and I did not hastily make a judgment call on your BF. The first line in your post says it all.. "I'm in need of some advice and encouragement." and if you are just here for encouragement, if there were something encouraging about your situation that I could offer, I certainly would have included it. I know firsthand what it's like to spend many years with the wrong person and with the right one. Your own words are what I base my opinion and advice on, not my own assumptions. That is why I quoted what YOU said and responded with what I feel is an objective opinion. I don't know you and I have no reason to sugar coat it, nor do I have an ax to grind. You asked for advice, you were given advice. You may not like the advice or it may not be what you WANT to hear, but that doesn't make it wrong.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 8:35PM
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I just think you are very young and not mature yet, if you is not mature yet to handle opinions different from her own (on the internet!) than how could you be mature enough to have a family? Funny that you didn't answer if you work, went to school and if you are independent. I guess the answers are "no". You sound like a teenager upset over who said what on the internet.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 11:33AM
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