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"Stepmom" duties and responsibilities

Posted by taylermarie (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 19, 13 at 12:06

My boyfriends almost two year old child lives with us half the week. I have been really struggling with it. It's been for about two months now that his child has been with us. I really like the kid and am happy he is with is but the adjustment has been hard on me. I wasn't mentally prepared for the constantly of having a toddler with you all the time. I also feel pressure to participate in every single activity. One time my boyfriend, baby, and myself were at the park. My boyfriend and I got into an argument and I said I was going home rather than continue it. He told me that if I did that, when "______ wants you here so I expect you to be here", then he would stop having the child live with us and would go back to the old situation, in which he went to his ex's apartment every single weekday and watched their child there. After a year of this I was close to my breaking point, this this new living situation. So now I feel like if I don't go to the park, read, color, do every thing, then I'm being looked at like a monster. This is also because I pushed for this living situation, so this is "what I wanted." Yesterday and today my boyfriend has been annoyed because he feels I don't change enough diapers and I don't get up with the baby at night. Last night I said I would, when the baby woke up I went in there but for 20 min he cried for daddy. Finally my boyfriend came in and took over but today is annoyed because I didn't give the baby another bottle and didn't change his diaper last night when I tried to put him back down. I feel like this is really unfair! First of all, I didn't have a baby yet! I never got the crash course in waking up 9 times a night. I don't even remember my boyfriend waking me up to get the baby. I don't have that response yet. All of this is new to me and then he makes me feel like a failure. Second, what IS my responsibility here? Should child care duties be 50/50? I'm really unsure of this and need advice. Thank you.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: "Stepmom" duties and responsibilities

Did you carry this baby in your belly for nine months? Did you give labor and birth to this child?

The nerve of this guy to get mad at you because you didn't give the baby a bottle or change it's diaper! Would he pay child support for somebody else's child? Of course not!

Child care duties should be 50/50 with the PARENTS of the child. It's great you help out, but if your BF was to break up with you, you would have no rights to this child. He has NO right to expect you to care for this child as if she's yours.

It sounds like he's too lazy to take care of his child himself. I bet the only reason you pushed for the current situation was because he was playing house with his BM for over a year.

The current situation isn't "what you wanted". What you wanted was for him to stop going over to his BM's house every day. But now that he doesn't have BM to take care of the child for him, instead he's dumping the child on you.

Why are you with this loser?


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RE: "Stepmom" duties and responsibilities

Thank you so much for responding. I agree with you that I DON'T think I am or should be responsible for 50% of the work. It's not my child. Having said that, I don't mind child are duties or helping, and I love his kid. I just want to be appreciated more and not expected to know everything or do everything. My boyfriend is a good guy but i just don't think he realizes the extent of how much this affects my life. I've told him that I need more appreciation and acknowledgement that I'm doing a great job. He said he needs me to appreciate that he has his kid with us, like it's a favor he is granting me. I feel like I'm in debt to him for doing this and that's not right.


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RE: "Stepmom" duties and responsibilities

You are being emotionally manipulated by someone who is immature.


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RE: "Stepmom" duties and responsibilities

Any toddler is going to be demanding and exhausting. Even a parent madly in love with their child needs an occasional break.

In your case, you aren't even biologically related and yet are expected to take on all the duties of parenting with none of the rights. How fair or realistic is that?

I do not think your boyfriend is such a good guy at all.

While I'm sure he has good qualities, he also appears controlling, manipulative and insensitive to your needs.

when "______ wants you here so I expect you to be here", then he would stop having the child live with us and would go back to the old situation, in which he went to his ex's apartment every single weekday and watched their child there.

So clearly he is essentially browbeating or blackmailing you with the threat of returning to his ex's apartment to watch the child if you don't get with the program and do exactly what he wants.

That is not a very promising sign for the future.

Fortunately you are not married and presently have no child of your own. I would be very slow to commit to either because currently he's being a bit of a bully.


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RE: "Stepmom" duties and responsibilities

The writing is on the wall here... RUN!


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RE: "Stepmom" duties and responsibilities

...This is the phase of the relationship during which people should be showing their *best*, impressing their potential partner with what wonderful spouses they would make, how rosy the future will be etc, & yet this guy is demanding, bullying, threatening, 'laying down the law', all signs of a manipulative, controlling, potentially dangerous & abusive personality.

This is his *best*.
Things will only get worse, much, much worse.

Extricate yourself from this nightmare & thank your guardian fairy angel godmother that you got away.

I wish you the very best.


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RE: "Stepmom" duties and responsibilities

Uhmm yeah I gotta agree with the others here (and as one of the few male voices around here, I often dont"). This is bad, there are so many things wrong with this situation. Let's start with the obvious one:

His baby -> his responsibility. End of story.

Now if all were good, of course you would occasionally help out, change the occasional diaper, hang out at the park...that's normal in a relationship where one person has a child to take care for and the other doesn't. Quite honestly, I think it would be rude/weird if you lived there and wanted ZERO to do with the child. But again, it's entirely your choice how involved you want to be.

Honestly I think you should have left well-enough alone and let him care for the child at the BM's place...but my guess is that you are probably pretty young and there may have been jealousies/fears involved with that setup. But I think it would have prevented the issues you are having now, while still allowing him to be very involved in his child's life, which is more important than any of the issues you two are having. Whether you two work things out or not, kids need a father and I hope he does not pull away from the child to make things better with you (and I really hope that is not what you want).

Everyone here is always so quick to say "run away", it drives me nuts. And while it does seem like that might be the best answer here, the fact that you are both (I am assuming) young and have yet to really mature yet, I see nothing wrong with at least letting him know how wrong many of his behviors and attitudes are and at least seeing if the light-bulb turns on. Having young kids is so stressful, I waited until I was 34 to have my first kid, and looking back on it now (that was 15 years ago) I am so much more mature in how i view things now than I was then, I wish I could have been this way when my kids were younger. But unfortunately in parenting we don't get any do-overs.

Good luck.

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RE: "Stepmom" duties and responsibilities

I cannot believe he is threatening you with going back to his BM's house to stay hours of the day there. I think that is completely unhealthy for the child #1 because obviously mom and dad are not together so the kid has to get used to the two homes regardless at 2yrs or 20yrs. I had divorced parents and if they were in the same house all week long acting like a married couple I would probably have ended up a super confused kid later on!!
It is good for them to get along obviously but that is a bit odd to me. Regardless of him even having a relationship with you.

He sounds like he wants to be there for his child (fantastic) but that he doesn't wan the entire responsibility of it. If having his child for days on end is too much for him, and HE can't handle it even with your help (which should be minimal or whatever YOU feel YOU can handle) then he needs to tell the child's mother! And work out another plan. Maybe he can't do the sleepless nights, and maybe he can bring the little guy over to your place and then bring him back or something or lilmit the days he has him in a row. I think there are a million different scenerios that can be thought of here... but what is currently going on is not fair... If you read any of my posts I have a guy that really doesn't want to deal with steping up to the plate and being dad ALL the time... he wants all the fun stuff like going to the park, riding bikes, playing and watching movies etc.. but no part in disciplining and in your case doing the dirty work... If this relationship is going to work you have to set the rules now.

I would seriously suggest, that you realise that this is your bfs child and the child has a mother. You can think about the position and role you want to get into with the child and maintain that role.... But you need to think very long and hard about it because like I have come to the sad realization - Step-Mom gets ZEROOOO say in the wellbeing of the child.. in my situation and in many other I know of personally. So be careful how invested you are letting yourself get here. Really think about what you want to be to this child. Because you will never be mom.

And you did not chose to have a child, you chose to be with your boyfriend and comes with him is a child which you must accept and care for. Draw the lines and define your version of 'care for'.

Best of luck,
Hope everything works out positive.


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RE: "Stepmom" duties and responsibilities

First of all, you are not his wife yet nor the stepmom of his child, so the expection that you need to change diaper for his child is OUT OF LINE.

If you don't clarifying things now then I am afraid once you are married the expectation will grow way larger than you can handle.


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RE: "Stepmom" duties and responsibilities

I wouldn't mind changing a diaper for any baby, but I would not want full responsibility for it while it was was visiting.


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RE: "Stepmom" duties and responsibilities

I agree lots of people say to "run", ugh, that is so tough, your having an issue that does not mean u want to pack up and leave. But you do have to set boundaries! I fully liked what mkrooky wrote, if you have to why don't you get something's down on paper, boundaries, things your willing to do while the baby is with you guys. Sometimes having a guide helps so you don't get lost in your argument, and so you don't forget what was bothering you. Kids are demanding and as this child gets bigger the demands grow, are you ready, if you don't have boundaries are you ready for school? Sports? Your man should not guilt you into anything. There is always options. The threat of "I'll go back to old situation" is not really a threat, he does not have to go to the apartment, he can pick up child and go to park or wherever. Anyway you will have to voice what you want and need or keep stewing and your friends will only listen to your complaints a short time before they tune you out! Watch some doctor Phil, :)


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RE: "Stepmom" duties and responsibilities

@mkroopy...I read so many posts that say "run" also; this string I was one to say it! It might be hard for you as a man to see some of the signs in men above. This guy only wants a caretaker. It is so obvious, it sickens me and I have seen it far too many times.
When taylermarie finally leaves him, he will find another lonely woman to fill that space & be the mommy to his child and mommy himself too. He is jerk all around and unfortunately, they are not a rare breed.


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RE: "Stepmom" duties and responsibilities

Awww I am sure this guy has something you like or you wouldn't be with him but he's putting a shed load of responsibility on your shoulders that you didn't invite. He's using emotional blackmail to get what he wants. If you don't like it my way I'll make it harder for you/us. That's a bad attitude to you and your relationship. Seriously, this is not what early stage loving relationship should look like. Walk out that door and live your life to the full. You have no responsibility to this child this man or the ex. Find someone who adores you and supports you and you can have a fantastic life together. This guy sounds like a snake. RUN! Before you become the unpaid nanny!!!


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RE: "Stepmom" duties and responsibilities

I normally don't say "run", but I have to agree with Dawn, this is a bad situation. First I have to wonder why a 2-year old is getting up at all hours during the night. He should be sleeping 9-10 straight hours and maybe ocasionally waking up because of illness or a bad dream. So my heart goes out to this toddler who is probably confused with the situation. If you're going to stay with this guy, I would have him watch the baby at his ex's apt. That's what's best for the baby/toddler. If you don't trust him to do this, then you shouldn't be in the relationship in the first place. Good luck.


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RE: "Stepmom" duties and responsibilities

I agree with Karen. Having him see his child at the ex's apartment seems much better for the child. And for you. It's HIS child. He should take TOTAL responsibility for the child's care.
Sounds like he would use the stereotype nonsense that a woman is better able to care for a child. If that's the case, DON'T have a child with him.
Find an adult to date. Your BF doesn't appear to be one.


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RE: "Stepmom" duties and responsibilities

I agree with Karen. Having him see his child at the ex's apartment seems much better for the child. And for you. It's HIS child. He should take TOTAL responsibility for the child's care.
Sounds like he would use the stereotype nonsense that a woman is better able to care for a child. If that's the case, DON'T have a child with him.
Find an adult to date. Your BF doesn't appear to be one.


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